In a previous study (Kleinbach Russell, Ablezova Mehrigul, Aitieva Medina, “Kidnapping for Marriage (Ala Kachuu) in a Kyrgyz Village,” Central Asian Survey 24/2 (2005): 191-202, tab.), a group of authors had determined that more than a third of ethnic Kyrgyz women have been married by non-consensual kidnapping, and that the practice had been increasing for at least the past half-century ― casting light on an increase in male dominance and degradation of women’s rights in present-day Kyrgyzstani society. In the same normative and legalist mind, the present article endeavours to demonstrate, on the basis of historical and ethnographical evidence, that non-consensual bride kidnapping in pre-Soviet Kyrgyz society was not legitimate by customary law ― a productive, if polemic, reflection on the present traditionalisation of a number of vernacular practices in Central Asian societies.

The Redaction
CER: II-6.4.D-522