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Berkutchy

Berkutchy, as the art of eagle hunting is called, is a life's profession, and in Kazakhstan is often a hereditary one. The relationship between the bird and its master is constant and all-consuming and the eagle comes to be considered part of the family. In the training of a young eagle, the owner must sacrifice his sleep for a long period as he hand feeds the growing bird. Initially, the eagle wears a hood over its eyes to keep it calm and to ensure its dependence on its owner. But the bird is no slave to its master, only a partner in hunting. The bond becomes one of lifelong trust and it is said that as the man trains the eagle, so does the eagle train his man.

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