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About Kazakhstan / Arts / Craftsmanship / Embossing and Weapons

Since ancient times on the territory of Kazakhstan small plastics made from stone, bone, ceramics, metal, as well as crockery from clay, wood, leather and glass were popular. Wood and stone carving; leather processing and stamping; embossing; as well as plaiting of mats were also very popular. Artistic tin and bronze moulding was also developing.

Blacksmiths made labour tools: ploughs, ploughshares, sickles, shovels, ketmens, crowbars, tools for craftsmen and hunters; various household goods: jugs, pots, candlesticks, supports for boilers in the form of a circle on a tripod.

In ancient times bronze was used for the production of boilers and altars with the sculptural images of the heads of sheep, goat or horse. Iron was used to make “adalbakan” used in the yurta as a support and a coat-hanger at the same time.

Kazakhs called all precious things “assyl buiym” (treasure, valuable thing). They include horse harness, which consists of saddle, bridle, saddle-cloth, saddle-girth, belt with the stirrup, breast decorations and sweat-cloth.

Weapon production was one of the developed crafts for Kazakhs. Special steel was used for making so called curved sabres, which are called in the Kazakh folk epos “almas kylysh”. Their hilts and handles were decorated with precious stones. Hilts were decorated with pattern, for example, with the picture of the head of an eagle. People widely used “sapy”, a weapon like a rapier and similar to sabre, daggers “kanzhar” (they were usually held in the gilded silver sheath with the bony hilt), a long knife with a slightly curved blade (“zhele auyz”), a narrow long knife (“buida pyshak”). There were many types of weapons: combat hatchets, pole-axes (“ai balta”), bow (“sadak”), and quiver (“koramsak”). Artistic plaiting from “chiy” was popular (straw).

There were several types of rifles: old rifles with a fuse and decorated with silver inlay (“bshteli myltyk”), rifles without the inlay (“kara myltyk”), and rifles with a short barrel (“samkal”). Rifles with a short barrel, which shot length was equal to seven hundred meters, were called (“koz kesh”).

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