Kazakh culture – is a reflection of the history of the nomadic people. For thousands of years, the Kazakh steppes were visited by nomadic tribes, who formed their unique worldview, created unique customs and traditions, and cooperated with neighboring peoples and cultures. In the XIX – XX centuries, many Kazakhs began to change the nomadic lifestyle to sedentary, and there was a development of new cultural aspects of the Kazakh people. Today, the culture of Kazakhstan is a huge layer of different types of art, traditions and life, imbued with the spirit of the nomadic past.

Kazakh yurt:

Kazakh Yurt is a traditional dwelling that has existed since ancient times and is still in use today. Yurt of Kazakhs is a kind of portable dwelling, typical for the inhabitants of the great steppe. Yurt with original architectural design, with complex semantic meaning reflects the level of cultural development of the Turkic – Mongolian tribes, their complex ideology. The uniqueness of this type of housing, architecture, created from felt and flexible willow rod, has become today for every Kazakh capacious symbol of the Motherland, the ancient culture of the people. Speaking about the Yurt, it is safe to say that as a dwelling it was not only accurately calculated and thought out taking into account the needs of the nomads ‘ life, and its decoration was distinguished by ornamental elegance of decor, but the very principle of building the Yurt was a reflection of their views on the world around them. The symbolism of the Kazakh Yurt deserves great attention, revealing the spiritual, cultural, scientific and philosophical meaning of the Yurt. The symbolism of nomadic culture represented a philosophical attitude to the world and was the norm of life.

The Yurt consists of three wooden elements: gratings “kerege”, form walls; poles “yuk” (or “uuk”) forming the dome; and round the rim “Shanyrak”, which is the top of a Yurt, skylight and vent for smoke. By the way, the element of the Yurt “Shanyrak” is imprinted on the coat of arms of the Republic. The basic material has always been wood of the willow, and the rich nomads build a Yurt made of birch. On the assembled structure, a felt cover is stretched, which provided protection from wind, rain and snow in winter, and from the scorching sun and dust in summer.

Shanyrak is a symbol of unification, so the Kazakhs, when they make “Bata” – and these are the wishes of the elderly – say “shanyragyn shaikalmasyn” – let the dome of your Yurt be strong, unshakable. This means: let there be peace, friendship and brotherhood in the family. In the national consciousness, the Outlook of the Kazakhs “Shanyrak” is “home”, “family”, “generation”, in the spiritual and philosophical understanding it is a symbol of the hearth, the continuation of the family, traditions and education, spiritual closeness.


Nomadic life in the harsh conditions of the steppe and fully subsistence farming forced people to engage in the production of everything necessary on their own. Thus, Kazakh folk crafts were born, which satisfied all the needs of people, and quite rarely became the subject of trade. In nomadic tribes, there was a gender division in the types of Handicrafts: men were engaged in the processing of wood, metal, leather and other types of crafts that require strength, and traditionally associated with male activities; and women worked in areas where perseverance and painstaking work is needed-the manufacture and processing of felt, wool, various types of weaving and embroidery.

Leather products are famous for their quality: saddles of horses, vessels (torsuk is used to store koumiss) and Kamcha, which causes envy and admiration in all. Blacksmiths have been making Kazakh spears, weapons, sabres and swords since ancient times. Kazakh wood is widely known and used for the manufacture of doors, chests, tables and beds. The horns of cattle are used to make amazing ladles for pouring koumiss into them. The most pleasant thing is that guests can not only observe the work of craftsmen, but also order a particularly favorite thing or souvenir.


One of the most important materials in the life of Kazakh nomads was wood. It was used to make details of the frame of the Yurt, furniture, dishes, and other household items. Basically, woodworking craft was developed in the North of Kazakhstan, with a lot of forest.

The most important craft was the production of parts for the Yurt: the walls-lattices “kerege”, poles for the roof “Yuk”, and the rim-finial “Shanyrak”. Creating a strong and geometrically correct frame for a permanent home required high craftsmanship. Moreover, “Shanyrak” was the most complex and important design, it was inherited, and quite often it was decorated with various carved ornaments.

Also, some parts for saddles, handles for working tools, various lockers and chests were made of wood. A separate craft for working with wood was the manufacture of Kazakh musical instruments “kobyz” and “dombra”.


Less common material for artisans were various metals, but blacksmithing was an important skill in the life of nomads-metal made horseshoes, stirrups, harness parts, as well as knives, and various tools. In General, the crafts associated with metal work were poorly developed. And with the development of trade, imported products completely replaced local production. However, skills in working on metal were also used in the work of Kazakh jewelers.


Leather craft was another important part in the life of the Kazakhs. From the skin of wild and domestic animals do winter clothes, hats, parts of saddles and other accoutrements for horses. Some types of clothing were so high-quality and comfortable that the fame of them spread throughout Central Asia, and they were highly appreciated in the bazaars of the East. Also, shoemaking was popular among the nomads, as in winter and summer the Kazakhs wore boots. In addition, vessels for water and koumiss were made of leather. And although leather work was the prerogative of men, women were often involved in these crafts.

Felt and weaving crafts:

The manufacture and processing of felt was the basic craft of the Kazakh nomads, and this was done by women. First of all, felt was used to cover yurts. Felt was used for sewing Slippers, and thin felt was the material for various clothes. Also, felt served as the basis for carpets “tekemet”, which covered the floor in the Yurt, and for beautiful carpets “tuskiiz”, decorating the walls of the Yurt. At the same time, carpet weaving of wool and thin strips of fabric was well developed. And in more ancient times was ubiquitous craft weaving mats.

Jewelry and bone – cutting art:

Kazakhs were also excellent jewelers, and owned many techniques of working with metal-forging, embossing, stamping and others. The main material was silver, although there were products made of gold. Jewelers created various rings, bracelets, earrings and pendants, as well as clothing items-buckles and buttons. A special kind of jewelry art of Kazakhstan can be called bone-carving craft, where from the bones and horns of animals masters carved various figures, as well as made thin plates with drawings and patterns, which then inlaid furniture.

In the XXI century, the culture of Kazakhstan successfully joins the world community, and at the same time national traditions and customs are carefully preserved. From generation to generation, the knowledge and philosophy of life of ancestors who once conquered the vast Kazakh steppes are still passed on. You can get acquainted with the culture of Kazakhstan in numerous museums of the country, at festivals and holidays.