Sacred Functions of Musical Instruments in the Creative Syncretism of Shamanistic Ritual

Amanova Roza Aslanova1, Mukhambetova Asiya Ibadulayevna2, Dzhanseitova Svetlana Sattarovna3

1PhD in Art History, Professor at the Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University. Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek. Email:

2Sc.D in Art History, Professor at T. Zhurgenev Kazakh National Academy of Art

3Doctor of philology, Professor of Kazakh National Conservatory after Kurmangazy.

Volume 10, Number 2, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n2.04

Received November 10, 2017; Revised January 25, 2018; Accepted February 05, 2018; Published May 06,  2018.


The study explores the spiritual and worldview aspects of shaman’s ritualistic practice through the example of Central Asian Turkic tribes. We tried to show the magico-religious aspect of using the most widespread Kazakh and Kyrgyz musical instruments in the shamanic practice as a ritual that forms the artistic field in the general context of syncretic multi-element complex of shamanistic practice. This study considers the syncretism of creative principles in the shamanistic ritual, and the meanings of the sacred musical instruments (kobyz, tambourine, dombra, asatayak) used in the re shamanistic rituals of the nomadic Turkic religion – Tengrianism. The ritualistic practice of shamans is interpreted as an artistic comprehension of the world, which not only records and reflects the reality, but also bears creative and forming principles, thus becoming an integral part of culture. At that, emphasis is placed on the key role of sacred musical instruments in the shamanistic ritual. The study reveals the spiritual and symbolic meaning of each key musical instrument in the shamanistic ritual separately and in the context of the syncretic complex of the shaman’s ritualistic practice.

Ke?words: Central Asian shamanism, shamanistic ritual, storytelling, Tengrism, shaman tambourine.

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