Balbal – a carved solid stone sculpture. These figurines first began in the Turkic period. They were placed on the hills and high mounds, on the steppe hills or in the centre of the Maidan. They played an important role in the life of travelers as they were often placed at crossroads.
Stone statues throughout its history have always attracted attention, and the uniqueness of balbals make them special. The appearance balbals differs depending on which tribe carved them. Most balbals are of a male with the characteristic drooping mustache and a frowning brow. They are from half a metre up to two metres tall.
A balbal is simply a memorial statue and people believed that the stones embodied the deceased ancestor, who remained on earth in the form of a balbal, to look after their relatives and protect them.
According to Central Asian traditions, in the hands of a balbal there should be a bowl or a sword, symbolizing power.
There are balbals scattered all over the Tien Shan, and they can be seen on the routes of many of our tours.