The Traditional Knowledge of the Hortobágy Shepherds

The Traditional Knowledge of the Hortobágy Shepherds

The shepherd communities of Hortobágy have inherited and bear the memories and traditions of about two hundred shepherd dynasties through their daily work. This living heritage is passed on to the younger generations by the csikós, cattle-herdsmen (gulyás), shepherds and swineherds.

Their diversified knowledge includes herding, guarding and counting animals. They maintain knowledge about the sky and the stars, also the skills of preparing traditional pastoral dishes, and they possess knowledge of the environment, including the proper use of plants and medicinal remedies. The preparation of various dairy products, milking animals and the professional use of rennet require great skills. The complexity of the tradition is demonstrated by their typical costumes, stories, pastoral dances and songs, and the pastoral art.

The Traditional Knowledge of the Hortobágy Shepherds is safeguarded by the help of the holders of the title of the Herdsmen of Hortobágy, the local governments of the settlements in Hortobágy area, local educational and cultural institutions, NGOs and the Hortobágy Nature Conservation and Gene Preservation Nonprofit Ltd.

The traditional knowledge of the Hortobágy shepherds reflects the diversity of the nation's culture and provides an example of human creativity.

Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO
Elemér Muharay Folk Art Assosiation
Assosiation of Hungarian Folk Artists
Institute of Ethnology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Kriza János Ethnographic Society
Hungarian Ethnographic Society
Museum of Ethnography
Hungarian Heritage House
National Cultural Institute