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Some Remarks on the Traditional Animal Treatment and Healing Practices of Black Sea Livestock Farmers and Shepherds
Despite their dwindling numbers the livestock farmers and shepherds strive to preserve the rich cultural heritage that extends to our day from the first Turkish settlers of the Black Sea region in harmony with the seasonal cycle of the nature on the winter, summer and fall pastures. In the region, animal husbandry and its practices survive on a subsistence scale and the owners of the herds and the shepherds are still seen as the dynamic representors and transmitters of the livestock based cultural processes. The livestock farmers and shepherds has been trying to preserve and feed their cattle herds in the best condition between the months of April and November of each year at altitudes reaching as high as 3000 meters used as grazing lands belonging to the pasture settlements. These livestock owners and shepherds often times treat and heal their cattle with their traditional knowledge that benefits from all aspects of the pasture culture. The livestock farmers usually cannot benefit from veterinarian service because of their limited income sources. Instead they rely on traditional knowledge that they acquired from their fathers, and transfer this constantly updated knowledge to their sons. This study subjects the traditional animal treatment and healing practices of the livestock owners and shepherds by evaluating the rational, superstitious and mixed treatment forms, belief and thinking patterns and the cultural codes, functions and effects of these elements to the traditional worldview. The data compiled was obtained through field research by participant observation and interviews. The findings of the study sheds light on the effects of animal husbandry on the regional culture by providing perspective on the general cultural studies to be conducted about the region and laying bricks for the unfinished cultural inventory of the region.

Eastern Black Sea, oral culture, shepherds, folk veterinary

Adres :Atatürk Üniversitesi Türkiyat Araştırmaları Enstitüsü Müdürlüğü 25240 Erzurum
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