Chapter 14. Cultural Element in Turks: Atli-Cirit


Ugur Karcioğlu
Atatürk Üniversitesi, Türkiyat Araştırmaları Enstitüsü, Tarih Bölümü, Eskiçağ Anabilim Dalı, turkey

Part of the book: Applications of Traditional Equestrian Sports in the World


If we take social conditions of history as a basis, the horse being tamed and used as a saddle beast is equal to the use of motor vehicles in our age. Because, if the ones who own motor vehicles can direct the history of our age, those who owned horses had the same power in ancient times. Ural-Altaic tribes had two important roles in world history. The first one of these was ‘horse breeding’ and, the second was their ability of ‘deck processing’. Based on these, we can see that horses have extensive coverage in Turkish culture. The word ‘horse’ is expressed as ‘at’, ‘yılkı’ on the Orkhon and Yenisei Inscriptions, and it is expressed as ‘at’, ‘yılkı/cılkı/çılgı’ in today’s Turkish dialects. The horse is even the name of a year on the Twelve Animal Turkic Calendar. It is known that the economy of Huns was considerably based on the horses that they bred. Moreover, a great amount of the gifts that they sent to China consisted of horses. Turks used horses in their ancestor sports like javelin besides their legends, folk songs, stone paintings, cairns, and person and place names. Although mounted javelin has come from those days until now, it could not spread at the intended level in Turkey. But today, it can be learned and improved through different activities such as school trips to barns and riding facilities that have javelin horses or playing unmounted javelin.

Keywords: Turkish culture, Middle Asia, horse, sport, javelin


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