Until recently the majority of the Kalmyk population were involved in pastoral nomadism. Those who lived on the shores of the Caspian Sea and on the banks of the Lower Volga were also known to have been engaged in fishery. As culture and economy are interconnected, changes in any one domain trigger changes in the other. Given that in the Soviet period pastoral nomadic economy was replaced by one based on collective farms, a shift has also occurred in traditional culture. In Kalmykia, significant changes that took place in culture and social structure went hand in hand with changes in the economy. On this page you can access traditional knowledge, beliefs, stories, rituals and practices related to cattle breeding, fishery and hunting.

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