If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

Funeral rites: after the dressing

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Funeral rites: after the dressing - e-history.kz
Kazakhs, as well as other nations of the Middle Asia strived to bury people on his family cemetery, close to his relatives and ancestors.
After the dressing there was another ritual — mullah was saying prayers with the purpose of atonement of sins of the dead, which were voluntarily assumed by one of the present people or the mullah himself. 

For accomplishing outside and put in a quiet place lit with sunshine, or they left it in the same premises where they dressed up the dead. «Zhanaza» was one of the last honors that were shown to the dead. 

Differing from the custom traditional for the nation of Kazakhstan, there are some nations in Middle Asia where the dead is taken out from the house not feet first, but with the head forward. One of the explanations lies in the belief that while carrying out the body head forward the dead would not be able to find his way back there and cause harm to the alive. 

After the service (zhanaza) that was served by a mullah-imam, the body was transported to the cemetery. 
There the dead body was put in the southern part of the grave hole. Four of the mullahs were standing on each edge of the grave, the fifth — imam-mullah was standing at the head of the dead. Then the carpet was united. Three representatives of the family groups descended in to the grave and held the body there that was drawn down on the laces or towels that were later taken away. During that process imam was reading a prayer «putting into the grave» — kabyr sadaka (literally «alms to the grave»), then every mullah was delivering relevant surahs of the Koran in turn. 

According to Moslem tradition the dead man was put on his back so that his feet were directed to kubyla, or turned him on the side so that his face was turned to kubyla. Kazakhs knew two ways of burying: north-south, west-east. 

Before delivering funeral service (zhanaza) all the honorable gusets (representatives of families and their branches) were presented with some expensive gifts (zhol), as well as with the money. 

The immediate participants of the funeral process «zhyrtys» were given patterns of fabric that was cut into pieces in the graveyard. There was more ancient form of that tradition — cutting the clothes of the dead into pieces. His best dressing was cut into patterns and was divided between friends for the sake of keeping memory about the deceased. 

According to Kazakh people’s conception with the help of that pattern of the clothes the beneficial power (kasiet) of the dead was passed to the live people. Kazakhs were sewing clothes out of these patterns for the children (often head wear), so that the children lived as long as their grandparents, and deserved respect of the people. 

Kazakhs, as well as other nations of the Middle Asia strived to bury people on his family cemetery, close to his relatives and ancestors. 

One-year memorial service (as — treatment, zhyly — anniversary (lit.)) were the main and concluding ritual of the funeral cycle. This time the family of the dead called as many guests as they could afford for the occasion. As demanded a lot of expenses and good organization. They were to determine how many guests to invite, how many yurtas to put, how much cattle to kill, how many «main» dishes, how many «middle» and «small» dishes with meat to serve, when to start milking horses. 

Surrounding people were informed about the coming one-year memorial two months before the funeral feats, so that people might prepare their horses for participation in horse riding contests. 

The arriving people first of all visited the «black» (mournful) yurta, where there were dressed in the ritual clothing women and girls, who were bewailing the passed relative. Commemorating the dead, reading Koran, and blessing the organizers of the as, the guests were directing to the yurtas that were prepared for them. There they were served with kumys, tea, and oshak as — usual food; the day before the main day there was horse riding contests. The second day they were killing sacrificial cattle. The as lasted one-two days and the great festivals lasted for three days in a row. 

Abundant, luxurious as could be given only by rich and well-to-do people. 
The order of conducting such a big treat (as) with racing was as follows: on the first day (usually Wednesday) on a «favorable» day people dug out holes for the hearths preferably on a bank of the rives; on the second day they slaughtered cattle, on the third day they treated people with meat, on the forth they conducted races and on the fifth saw off the guests. 

Worship of the ancestors was on the precious place in the beliefs of Kazakh people. Sh. Ualikhanov noted that Kazakhs «in the hard minutes of their life call upon to their ancestors... Any luck they attribute to the patronage of aruak (ancestors’ spirit). In honor of these spirits people sacrifice various home animals, and sometimes they go to their graveyard on purpose to worship them and ask them about something, for example, childless people ask for a son». 

Kazakhs were respectful to the graves of the ancestors. They confessed and were giving oaths on the graves. A traveler that found himself in the steppe at night was recommended by a tradition to spend the night near graves, as nobody would dare to assault him there. Passing by a solitary grave or a graveyard a traveler got off his horse and was walking by for a while as a token of respect to the dead. It was considered to be helpful to say a prayer standing with the face to a grave. 

As well as other nations of Middle Asia Kazakhs’ funeral and service were also a social event. 
There still exists an ancient tradition kara tigu — sign of mourning. 

A house where somebody died was called «karaly ui» — mourning house. As a sign of mourning there was a black cloth hung out, so that passing by people would notice and devote their kuran to the deceased. And zhoktau — bewailing — lasted for the whole year.
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