Kiit – ritual gift exchange in the wedding cycle, which, according to Z.K. Suraganova, dates back to the ancient Turkic era and demonstrates the permanence in people’s minds of the custom of giving gifts to one’s counterpart… The exchange of gifts was intended as a means of overcoming the alienation of the two clan collectives [14, p.19]. Linguists associate the word “kiit” with the word put on (clothes, hat, shoes). Therefore, kiit usually means clothes, headgear, and in ancient times it could be a riding horse or a camel necessarily covered with a pile carpet – “qaly kilem” (a carpet is one of the most expensive things). Such a kiit was intended exclusively for the father of the groom. It is called “bas kiit” (main kiit).
Sometimes wealthy people could have a silver ingot as bas kiit – “tai-tuyaq”. The value of other gifts depended on the degree of kinship, and most often they were chapans (quilted robes).
It is worth noting that this traditional gift exchange also included a type of kiit such as aruaqqa kiit (kiit for aruah). Such gifts to ancestral spirits as part of rites of passage represent one of the facets of maintaining connections between the outside world and otherworldly forces. The kiit fulfils a communicative (regulating the relationship between two collectives, families) and symbolic function – a guarantee of the success and well-being of the relationship, in one case between the relatives of the bride and groom, in the other between the living and the ancestral spirits.