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Life on the move: traditions in contemporary Central Asia  
Snezhana Atanova (Nazarbayev University Constructor University)
Alima Bissenova (Nazarbayev University)
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Cynthia Buckley (University of Illinois Urbana Champaign)
Cynthia Buckley (University of Illinois Urbana Champaign)
Anthropology & Archaeology
207 (Floor 2)
Friday 7 June, -
Time zone: Asia/Almaty


The panel focuses on how traditions live, die, and re-born in contemporary Kazakhstan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The case studies range from horse breeding and carpet-weaving to the pilgrimage to sacral sites, and marriage. Taking into account the recent publications on how tradition is "everyday-ified" (Beyer and Finke 2019, 2020), and scholarly literature that develops and criticizes the concept of “invented traditions” (Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983; Jolly 1992; Sahlins 1999) the panel explores tradition in its formal and informal, institutional and private context, as a complex process that includes bottom-up and up-to-bottom activities, supported or contested internally by local state/non-state actors and externally by international organizations and foreign experts. Thus, the panel centers on, but is not limited to, the following questions: How did a practice, a performance, and even non-existent craftsmanship become a tradition? Who plays a decisive role in selecting from a variety of practices, performances, or craftsmanship, and in legitimizing only some of them into tradition? Where is the line drawn between "authentic tradition," "invented tradition," and "relic of the past?"

Accepted contributions:

Session 1 Friday 7 June, 2024, -