Date: September 4 Time: 7:30 p. m.
Place: Pleasanton Middle School, 5001 Case Avenue, 94566
Topic: "Hunting with Birds of Prey in Kyrgyzstan"
Presenter: Dennis Keen
The Kyrgyz tradition of capturing, training, and hunting with golden eagles has survived for centuries through oral transmission, passed down from father to son through dynastic chains of tradition. The breadth of knowledge involved in the craft is astounding -- an eagle hunter is required to be an expert in bird taxonomy and physiology, raptor reproduction and migration patterns, and raptor husbandry. Each hunter should have a grasp of leather making and woodworking to fashion his own hunting equipment. How is this traditional knowledge being preserved today, and in what context is it being put to use? How have modern economic forces, from tourism to the illegal falcon trade, shaped this ancient tradition? How can this important national heritage be responsibly promoted and maintained? These questions and more will be analyzed and discussed during a photo presentation from Mr. Keen.
Dennis Keen worked in the Kyrgyz Republic from September 2010 to July 2011 on a Fulbright Fellowship in Anthropology. He received his B.A. in linguistics with a concentration in Russian from the University of California, Santa Cruz. In addition to his work on falconry, Mr. Keen's interest in ethnomusicology has led him to pursue an apprenticeship in Kyrgyz folk instrumentation with the well-known komuzchu, Nurak Abdirakhmanov, and he writes regularly on various topics for the regional magazine The Spektator.
To reach Pleasanton Middle School, take I-680 toward Pleasanton. Exit at Bernal Avenue and head east on Bernal to Case Avenue. Turn right on Case. The school is located on the right. Park at the south end of the parking lot. We are meeting in the library, which is to the left once you enter the campus. MLT