kazakh camels

Camels of Kazakhstan

Camels played an essential role in the life of nomads in different ways: as working animals (pack, harness, riding) and as a source of milk, meat, wool, and leather. However today the use for transportation is reduced, camels are now animals for tourism although they are still camel milk production became quite popular recently. 

“Rich is the one who has a camel” popular proverb. Indeed, since ancient times camel has been an indispensable assistant during the nomadic wanderings.  “Rich is the one who has a camel” popular proverb. Indeed, since ancient times camel has been an indispensable assistant during the nomadic wanderings.  Besides, camel gave people milk, meat, and wool. 

Camels are perfectly adapted to the semi-desert climate, so it is beneficial to breed them in the Kazakh steppes. Kazakhs have long considered the camel to be the most important animal. No physical force was ever used on these creatures. The camel is considered a sacred animal. They can stay without food for months and be able to wander and not drink for 40 days. Therefore, they are called “oysyl”. This word means tough, patient.

For thousands of years, the camels were the main working pack animals in the nomadic pastoralist household of Kazakh ancestors. Particularly in deserts, this animal with its qualities like patience for water, courage and strength, was the main helper of man. They carried the caravans with goods, cultivated the lands and even extracted the water.

women milking camel
kazakh camel

Kazakh Camels

One-humped and two-humped camels are bred in Kazakhstan. One humped is called “Nar”. The female Nar Kazkahs call “Maya” or “Aruana” and the male is called the “Ulek”. Nars are well adapted to hot climates, but they do not tolerate frosts in Olticia from their two-humped counterparts Bactrians. This species of camel is well adapted to living in a sharply continental dry climate with hot, dry summers and very frosty, snowy winters. A camel lives on average 30-35 years. During their lifetime they gain up to 100 kilograms of fat are collected in the humps. 

A good camel is capable of producing up to 10 liters of milk per day, while the milking season lasts 15-16 months. The camel milk “Shubaat”has recently come to be highlighted as a healthy drink. Camel milk is famous for its medicinal virtues, true or assumed, and the nomads attribute these health effects to the milk composition linked to the desert plants on which free-roaming camels graze. Shubat is extremely popular and widely consumed, they are even sold in Almaty and Nur-Sultan supermarkets in cartons or plastic containers. 

Page updated 31.1.2021

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