Kazakh Falconry

China Plus Published: 2017-10-23 15:38:14
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The Kazakh people have lived for generations in China's Xinjiang.

At home on the grasslands, they are both great herdsmen, but also expert hunters, traditionally using falcons and hounds.

The Kazakhs believe that falcons are sacred, and the only birds that can face the sun. Only the falcon has the flying and predatory skills needed to hunt in the sky.

It’s believed Kazakhs have used falcons to hunt wolves for more than 600 years.

Falcons not only hunt game like hares and pheasants, but even larger animals such as gazelles, roe deer and foxes.

Falconry is a form of hunting practiced especially by Kazakhs and other ethnic peoples. During the hunting periods in cold winters, strong Kazakh hunters ride sturdy horses with falcons resting on their shoulders. Flanked by hounds, they gallop through the forests and across the meadows. 

Today, very few people still use falcons to hunt, but this tradition lives on in the lives of Kazakhs. 

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