Pavlodar region, Kazakhstan July 17-30, 2022

Kazakh folklore

A landscape of legends

“Kazakh folkore (both in the past and in the present) is distinguished by its colorfulness and natural form of existence. It is well preserved thanks to the especially careful attitude of the Kazakhs towards their past and to what connects them with their nomadic ancestors.”

Dr. Alevtina Tsvetkova

Volunteers will meet their team and spend one day in Pavlodar before heading out for 3 days in the beautiful Bayanaul National Park, famous for its scenery and natural rock formations resembling people, fantastical animals and mythical creatures. These rock formations, along with the peaks, lakes and rivers, gave rise to a rich local store of Kazakh legends explaining their names and origins. Over time, these legends have spread to the Russian-speaking population. The team will record these narratives in both Russian and Kazakh versions.

Then the team will move to the nearby villages of Karazhar and Toraigyr, documenting Kazakh oral history, songwriting, traditional lore, and family and seasonal rituals. The group will include translator Anar Uyzbayeva, who is fluent in English, Kazakh (her native language) and Russian.

Accommodations will include a hotel in Pavloda, a private village house and a commercial guest house. All have electricity, but toilets are located outside the house. A shower or bath house is available at each location. Local cooks will prepare the meals.

Arrive & Depart through
Pavlodar, Kazakhstan

Rock Formations in Bayuanaul National Park

Please note: dates and fees are approximate at this time.

About This Expedition

  • Dates:

    July 17, 2022 to July 30, 2022

  • Location:

    Pavlodar region, Kazakhstan

  • Expedition Languages:

    Kazakh, Russian, English

  • Projected Fee:

    $500 - $1000 (depending on number of volunteers)

  • Apply By:

    May 19, 2022

Meet The Team

  • head shot of Dr. Savelieva

    Dr. Tatiana Savelieva

    Associate Professor, Department of Philology. Chelyabinsk State University, Miass branch

    Special interests: neo-mythology, mechanisms of mythologization and sacralization of space. Dr. Savelieva has led folklore students into the field on a “folklore praticum” every summer for the last 10 years.