On November 9, 2023, a meeting was held between employees of the Department of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Institute of History and Ethnology named after Ch.Ch. Valikhanov with US scientists – anthropologist Adaheid Mestad and PhD Jake Culbertson, representing the HGA company, and representatives of the KAZGOR Design Academy – Serik Seifullin, head of the translation department, and Yesengeldy Kuzembaev, architect.
In connection with the upcoming construction of the US Consulate General building in Almaty, American guests arrived in Kazakhstan to get acquainted with the culture and architecture of the Kazakh people. The chief researcher of the department, honorary academician of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, corresponding member of the International Academy of Architecture of Eastern Countries, Doctor of Historical Sciences Serik Eskendiruly Azhigali briefly outlined the key features and symbols of Kazakh culture – horse, yurt, kulpytas (Kazakh memorial stele, gravestone), dombra, shezhire (genealogy or family tree), associated with the horse-nomadic civilization of the Great Steppe. Next, he named the names of Kazakh architects who were able to introduce the national style into the architecture of cities of the Soviet period – M. Mendikulov, T.U. Basenov, B. Ibraev, S. Narynov and others. In his opinion, during the period of independence, the technocratic Western style dominates, architects pay little attention to the traditional foundations of architecture and ornamentation. The historian advised me to get acquainted with the works of Doctor Architect L.O. Turganbaeva on the history of Kazakh architecture.
Chief Researcher, Honorary Professor of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Doctor of Historical Sciences Akhmet Ualkhanovich Toktabay focused the attention of his American colleagues on the culture of horse breeding and recommended that they use symbols of horse breeding in the design of the new building of the Consulate-General.
Deputy Director of Public Relations A.T. Abdulina recommended using paintings by Kazakh artists in the design of the wall panels of the consulate – A. Kasteev, N. Khludov, K. Karzhasov, A. Abulkhair, who in their works depicted the everyday life of the Kazakhs, taking advice from specialists from universities – KazGASA, Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T. Zhurgenev, who researched and applied ethnic style in architecture.
Employees of our department, among whom were also present a leading researcher, candidate of historical sciences Orynbaeva G.U., research assistants, masters – Dosymbetov N.A., Ashim B.A. and others, answered questions from guests on trends in the current state of culture of multi-ethnic Kazakhstan, focusing on the culture of the main ethnic group – the Kazakhs, who have reached more than 70% of the population. As a result of the meeting, an agreement was reached to continue cooperation with HGA specialists in consulting on the use of traditional Kazakh elements in the planned project.