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 Cultural sights of Kazakhstan.

"That is real training for a cavalryman"

Kumis alu (pick up a coin) - a game is described as such: a dzhigit should pick up a silver coin from the ground at a full gallop - this was the earlier game requirement. Currently, a handkerchief is used instead of a silver ingot.
This competition amazed Alexander the Great from Macedonia, when he arrived in Central Asia. According to historians' witnesses, having watched kumis alu he exclaimed: "That is real training for a cavalryman".  
This is kind of sport. On the horse’s full speed the horseman bent downwards and quickly one by one lifted coins tied up into the kerchiefs. Penal time is set off for each unsuccessful try.
The man who would manage during one lap to take a plenty of kerchiefs with coins is the winner. “Bayga” is presented with the first horse at the amount of 10, 15, 20 coins. The next one gets 75 coins, then 50 coins and 25 coins.
So the amount is decreased. The winners of horseracing do not take away the reward. This is custom of generosity and courage. Therefore, the basic part of “bayga” is given to dead men, “aksakals” (old men).
The other part is allocated between friends. The fighters get big “bayga” as well. They are presented with camels, covered by carpets, “akyns” (singers) are presented with “chapan” (hat) and horses.
It is known, that the commemoration is arranged in honor of the oldest in clan. Many people till 15000 men were gathered in spite of their class. One eyewitness told: “Traveling hundred miles for good “toy” (holiday) doesn’t mean anything.
Treating and pleasure compensate everything”. Celebration was lasted from 3 till 7 days depending on material state of the organizers. Various games, competitions were carried out every day. The last day was ended by great horseracing as a glory of commemoration.Kumе-alu Kazakh of national game.Kumе-alu Kazakh of national game.Kumе-alu Kazakh of national game.

Life and culture of Kazakh people. Kenzheahmetuly S. Almatykitap, 2006. From the book “Kazakh traditional culture in the collections of Kunstkamera”. Almaty. 2008

Alexandr Petrov.