The monetization of social celebrations in rural Kyrgyzstan: on the uses of hashish money

Gulzat Botoeva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on the embeddedness of hashish production in the local economy of Toolu, a village in Kyrgyzstan. It explores how transformations in social relationships and the monetization of gift giving put constant pressure on families to find cash in a semi-subsistence agricultural economy. Although not produced on an industrial scale in the community, hashish is used as a cash crop in times of deficit. Based on a mixed-methods study combining ethnographic fieldwork with survey data, I show how the hashish economy is intertwined with different forms of reciprocal relationships based on gift-giving practices and the monetization of social relationships. In doing so, I illustrate how the hashish economy is embedded in local livelihoods and shapes emerging forms of economic morality in Kyrgyz society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-548
JournalCentral Asian Survey
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • drug production, hashish economy, monetization of gift giving, gift-giving practices, Kyrgyzstan,

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