Koumiss in Turkish Culture Environment

Durmus I.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.104, pp.75-84, 2014 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.75-84
  • Keywords: Turkish, koumiss, mare, celebrations, gatherings


Koumiss is a beverage made of mare milk and it has been one of the most consumed product by Turks from old times to this day. Among the ancient Turkic communities, it was the Scythians, Huns and the Kok Turks that attributed great importance to. Today Turkic communities such as Kyrgyz, Kazakh and Yakut societies are consuming koumiss. Research has argued that the beverage is a Turkish invention. It was drunk on special occasions, gatherings and ceremonies. Koumiss was epecially popular during the Spring Celebration. It is known to be nutrient, making one strong by reinforcing the immune system, and also curing certain diseases related to the stomach, intestines, and the lungs. Not only written records, but also sagas and poems spoke of the importance of koumiss. Even though it was a Turkish drink, koumiss was also known to other nations thanks to its curing effects. This made koumiss a beverage that was consumed both in daily life and also in curing illnesses. Today Turkic communities produce and consume a large amount of koumiss. It also has different varieties because children, women and men drink different versions. The strongest koumiss is consumed by heroes.