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BALBALS - STONE SCULPTURES

  Balbals - ancient stone sculptures of Kyrgyzstan. With settling of Turkic tribes on the territory of KR, appear a new ceremony of burring; in which wildly spread the custom of installation the stone sculptures on the graves. Mostly they made of granite, sometimes from limestone. Also the only flagstones were selected for statues. Sometimes the surfaces were meticulously trimmed, sometimes not.

  In its mass the stone sculptures are not the same, scientists distinguish 2 main groups: the 1st group are valued, round sculptures on which clearly traced the proportions of the figures and details: clothes, jewelry, weapon. The 2nd group are flat sculptures, when on the stone the contour line image just a head with the face features, or even rarely the whole figure. The last group is dominated and probably older then the 1st group. Usually the statues represent the Male-stern fighters, rarely female, the faces are mongoloid. In the right hand there is a vessel, on the waist there is a knife or sabre.

  Stone sculptures date to 6-10 centuries and just very few of them to 10-12 centuries. One of the main causes of disappearing is spreading of Islam, and as it is known Islam forbid imaginations of alive people, animals, birds.

  The stone sculptures were created by skillful sculptors-masons who were the great artists of the time. They could correctly reproduce the proportions of the figure, face features, jewelry. There are also 2 hypothesizes of the purposes these sculptures: the 1st one is what the stone statues represent dead Turks by themselves and the 2nd is what the stone statue is an imagination of an outstanding adversary killed by Turk in the real life, and who has to serve the winner in his next-after death life. Also, in most of the burial places main sculptures were surrounded by a number of smaller rocks that were supposed to represent the number of enemies that person killed during his life so they became his servants in the afterlife


  North of Kyrgyzstan is the single place in Central Asia where the stone statues are well known.

Aliases: Balbaly, bal-bals, bal bals, Tums, Tuhms, Tumy, tuhmy.

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