The horse has a special significance in the wedding
process. When the groom for the first time arrives to the village of the bride,
it is very important for him to perform the rite of “at baylar” (tying a
horse). The groom should saddle the best horse and with his faithful companions
come to the village of the bride. For half a mile to the village, the groom
must dismount while his companions must lead the horse to the village, the
groom himself should stay. His friends must announce the arrival of the groom;
the horse should be given to bride's father or one of his close relatives. The
girl should take the reins of the horse and then she will receive a gift «al
Bailar» from the groom. After this, the bride with her sister and mother should
stay in the village while women, boys and girls of the village should go out to
meet the groom. V. Firsov explains these customs: “…This ceremony requires
explanation. The departure of the horse is a very ancient habit of the steppe;
it was used by nomads to express the devotion and confidence to the people with
whom they entered into negotiations. Indeed, it is impossible to find more
reliable pledge in the steppe than a horse, without which people are helpless…”
V. Firsov, “Turkestan and its horse breed” St. Petersburg. 1895. P. 65
When the girl marries, the tail of the horse is braided.
If the bride is guilty before the groom, if she was not virgin, she could be returned to her parents sitting on a horse backwards.
We already talked about the fact, that according to the Kazakh habits, the dowry consists of 47 integers, 37 integers, half 37, 27, 17, round dowries. These numbers are decoded as follows. They indicate the number of horses that were given as a part of the dowry, 47 - three years old mares, 37 mares, etc. Moreover, some addition horses could be presented. «Zhanama at» (indirect horse" - 1 horse, which is given to the relatives of the bride. "T?N at" - the best horse, which is given to the matchmaker outside the dowry, the "t?N at" is the most fastest horse. "Kishi at" is a horse that is given to the relatives of the bride. Besides, the groom's side gives one horse as "Өli-tiri".
From the book O. Zhanaydarov "Tengrianism: myths and legends of ancient Turks." Some Kazakh customs and beliefs associated with a horse.Photo: alltradition.ru