Cultural space of Boysun District
The Boysun District located in south-eastern Uzbekistan on the route from Asia Minor to India, is one of the oldest inhabited areas of Central Asia. With the diminishing importance of the Silk Road and the political changes in Central Asia, the region became quite isolated, which favoured the preservation of ancient traditions that show traces of several religions, including shamanistic beliefs, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Islam. Today the district is home to about 82,000 inhabitants.
Numerous traditional rituals are still alive: on the eve of the spring festival of Navruz, for instance, a sowing ritual is held with offerings of food. Family rites also persist: 40 days after a birth, the evil spirits are chased away with fire and ashes; the circumcision of boys is accompanied by goat fights and various games, such as wrestling and horse races. Ancient practices are still often used to conduct wedding ceremonies, funeral rites and shamanistic rituals to cure the sick. Among other popular traditions are ritual chants linked to annual festivals, epic legends and dances Read more about this element on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage website.