Attempts to Destroy and Save Alpamysh:
Phase II

The attack on the content and history of the dastan itself -- "Phase II" -- constitutes a more sophisticated, often subtle, undermining of the dastan not only as a literary and historical monument but as the repository of historical identity, tradition and the wisdom of the ancestors. Part and parcel of this campaign is the attempt to obscure the origins of the dastan, including complex pseudo-analytical verbiage about "variants" and "versions," to divert attention from the common origin of the dastan and the people who share it.


The existence of at least 55 printings of Alpamysh -- although these actually represent only a small number of distinct variants -- invites comparison. Indeed, there are numerous commentaries on the dastan Alpamysh, including some comparative discussions. Tura Mirzaev's bibliography1 cites 185 secondary sources on Alpamysh published between 1890 and 1967, excluding the papers of two major Conferences, one on folklore, held in Moscow (1954) and the second, on Alpamysh in Tashkent (1956). The majority of these works cited by Mirzaev were published in Tashkent. Because of the abundance of materials published annually in Alma-Ata, Moscow and Leningrad, it is likely that a comprehensive list would be much longer. Virtually all confine themselves to general remarks about the dastan rather than engaging in analysis. Many writers often draw upon one or two early commentaries and merely repeat those works' main assertions. Indeed, some works are singled out for large scale publication and mass distribution. Even the most widely circulated monographs concerning the Alpamysh dastan do not treat in detail one particular variant or edition in its entirety. Comparative studies, such as those by Tura Mirzaev, V. M. Zhirmunskii, M. Ghabdullin, N. Smirnova and T. Sydykov, usually group a number of variants into categories and discuss the category rather than indivdual variants. These scholars write about the "Kazakh Alpamysh" or the "Uzbek Alpamysh," lumping together all the variants of each of these categories, themselves artificial, and determined by place of collection rather than content (this point is elaborated further below). They then make what are, for the most part, obvious generalizations or point to superficial or minor discrepancies among the variants such as different

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 3

words used in the same context or a missing line. Lacking are details of collection and previous publication, analysis of historical context, exploration of levels of meaning. Even citations of printed versions are incomplete, inaccurate or contradictory.

In his Russian language work of 1960 on the dastan Alpamysh2, Zhirmunskii offers only fragmentary citations of previous printings of Alpamysh, including Divay's 1901 printing. In a footnote, Zhirmunskii cites Divay's 1901 printing of Alpamysh, noting its original publication under the heading "Ethnographic materials" in the Sbornik, in which Divay frequently published his findings during the 1890s and 1900s. Zhirmunskii incorrectly identifies the 1901 edition of the Sbornik as Vol. IX. He also notes only one Russian-language publication in which the 1922 edition appeared.3 Only by piecing together fragments from numerous Soviet sources is it possible to determine the numbers of printings of this version by Divay4, the languages of publication and the changes Divay himself made for the 1922 reprintings.

A later (1969) English language work (alternately translation and synopsis of the 1960 monograph), repeats the claim that Divay's 1901 Alpamysh is a Karakalpak variant, of which a second edition was printed in 1922.5 Various notes in this 1969 text are even more confusing (sometimes misleading) than those of 1960. One note (p. 276) refers to the printing in the Sbornik without citing the date of the specific number containing Alpamysh. A later note (p. 292) cites only the reprint from the Sbornik, published separately, and merely notes the existence of a second edition in 1922 without any details. Ghabdullin and Sydykov in their 1972 work, however, not only do not cite the two printings cited by Zhirmunskii, they also omit other printings of the dastan including a 1964 collection of the works of Divay in which Sydykov participated.6 In the matter of Alpamysh's "genealogy," the lack of precise tracig of individual variants (described in Chapter One.7) leaves the door open to deliberate obscuring. Neither the secondary sources (which themselves lack discussions of origins) nor the manuscripts are readily available to researchers, even those working inside the USSR. It is standard procedure for Soviet libraries to restrict access to portions of collections, especially to books and periodicals published before 1932. Restrictions apply (although not always the same ones) to both Soviets and foreigners. Only a handful of the 55 identified

4 H. B. Paksoy

printings of Alpamysh are accessible at all, even to Soviet researchers, as indicated by notes and bibliographies in Soviet works. Indeed, no single comprehensive bibliography of Alpamysh printings exists in any Soviet or other work on that dastan of which this writer is aware. As for the manuscripts themselves, the field records of those individuals who collected Alpamysh directly from the ozans are strictly confined to the restricted-access manuscript archives of various branches of the Academies of Sciences. In this climate of restriction and control, it is no wonder that those versions and commentaries which are singled out for wide circulation should enjoy exaggerated, indeed contrived, prominence. Penkovskii's translations and Zhirmunskii's commentaries are cases in point. These two men have been perhaps the greatest beneficiaries of this selective treatment. Penkovskii effected the translations of Alpamysh that have been most widely disseminated, including the printing cited during the "Trial of Alpamysh" that was noted for the translator's "refinements" and "improvements," and the 1958 "most complete" version. It has been his translations that have been distributed outside Central Asian republics and outside the USSR. As a result, his work has formed the foundation for Russian-language and Western analyses of Alpamysh.

V. M. Zhirmunskii, long regarded as the doyen among Alpamysh scholars, has achieved and held that distinction by use of a former colleague's work and through the wide distribution of his own publications. The typology and themes he has established for the study of the dastan are widely used by both Soviet and Western scholars, and his arguments carry great weight. For those reasons, it is necessary to review his treatment of the Alpamysh dastan. Careful examination of Zhirmunskii's works indicates that he, along with Penkovskii, has been perhaps the major contributor to the campaign to subvert the dastan. His influence among Western spcialists has meant widespread misunderstandings of Alpamysh and the dastan genre. At the root of Zhirmunskii's assertions is the presumption, which he states explicitly in all discussions of the dastan cited here, that one variant of Alpamysh is "authoritative" and can serve as a "yardstick" by which to measure all others -- that is Penkovskii's translation of the variant by Fazil Yoldashoglu. In view of the documented changes Penkovskii made in Fazil's versions, this foundation is immediately suspect. Yet Zhirmunskii uses it to categorize "versions" and "variants" and to tag "missing" parts. He provides surveys of reciters, with varying degrees of information, as a means to classify individual versions by place of collection rather than dialect or content.

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 5

On the distinction between "version" (versiia) and "variant" (variant), Zhirmunskii himself does not tackle this issue head on but, by virtue of his chapter titles, the reader may infer that each "version" of a dastan has or may have several "variants." Precisely what delimits a "version" is left unstated, and usage in the text is inconsistent.

Each chapter of Part One of Zhirmunskii's monograph is named for a "version" of Alpamysh -- Kungrat, Oghuz, Kipchak and Altai. The Kungrat "version" includes, according to the chapter subtitle, Uzbek, Karakalpak, Kazakh and Tajik "redactions." However, the Kipchak chapter includes Bashkir, Kazan Tatar and Kazakh "variants." At no time does Zhirmunskii explain the dual classification of the Kazakh "variant." Zhirmunskii also refers to Uzbek, Karakalpak, Kazakh and Tajik "variants" of Alpamysh, and to an "Uzbek version" (p. 30), "Tajik version" (p. 33), "Karakalpak version" (p. 26, 35, 42) with its "variants" (p. 37) and a "Kazakh version" (pp. 26, 39). All this is confusing, but the synopses themselves often provide sufficient information for the reader to discern the content of any particular redaction regardless of its classification.

Tura Mirzaev, clearly influenced by the imposition of such distinctions, addresses the issue directly. He raises six points concerning the scope of "version" as opposed to "variant" -- that of the former being decidedly wider than that of the latter. His main point concerns the historical differentiation of human groups. Mirzaev argues that the differential development of a "people" (halk) leads it to evolve a "version" of a dastan differentiated from that of other peoples. Thus, as the title of his work implies, there is a single "Uzbek version" and he wrote about its "variants."8

Zhirmunskii argues that there are several "variants" of Alpamysh including Kazakh and Karakalpak. He classifies the Divay (1901) version as Karakalpak because it was taken down from a Karakalpak bashi. He, therefore, calls Divay's own abelling of the version as "Kirghiz" "imprecise": "In Karakalpakia at the present time there are recorded five variants of Alpamysh of which three have been published:

"1. In 1901 A. Divaev under the imprecise title 'Alpamis [sic] Batir, Kirghiz poem' published in the original and in Russian translation a manuscript 'recorded by a Karakalpak of the

6 H. B. Paksoy

Turtkulskii volost' of the Amu-Darya otdel, the improvisor Dzhiyamurad Bekmuhamedov [transliteration from Russian] by profession a bahshi.' "The manuscript contains only the first part of the legend." This quotation brings together two components of Zhirmunskii's assertion -- the categorization of the Divay redaction and the issue of "missing part." The Divay version, for example, he says is missing the second part.9

Collection Efforts

As noted, the most widely available printed version of Alpamysh was taken down from the reciter Fazil Yoldashoglu in 1928 (Lev Penkovskii's Russian translation is the form available rather than any printing of the original, which is no longer available -- even in libraries). It was collected under the directorship of Hadi Zarif after the earlier transcription by Gazi Alim had been lost. The edition recorded from Fazil Yoldashoglu in 1928 contains about 14,000 lines. The manuscript is No. 18 in the folklore archive of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences.10

It was this redaction which was eventually prepared for publication by Hamid Alimjan in 1939. This was the first publication of that version. Zhirmunskii notes that the Fazil variant was published "with abridgements." It has been translated into Russian with "refinements" at least twice by Lev Penkovskii11, and has been reprinted in numerous editions, including the 1958 edition which has been declared "most complete" by Soviet sources. Zhirmunskii cites the Alimjan 1939 edition as "first" and a 1958 edition as "third," implying the existence of a second edition, but furnishing no particulars.12 Mirzaev indicates that a second edition was published in 1957. All three were published in Tashkent.13

Zhirmunskii reports only briefly on redactions by four of Fazil's contemporaries who lived in other areas of what became the Uzbek SSR: Pulkan (abbreviated: P) (1874-1941) of the Samarkand oblast; Berdi-bahshi (BB) (no dates given) of the Tashkent oblast14, Jurabaev (Jur) (dates not give) of the Samarkand oblast and Buri Sadykv (Sad) of the Ferghana oblast.15 He notes only differences from Fazil's variant. He does not state that his list is exhaustive, however, and thereby implies that these variants are

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 7

extremely close to Fazil's except as noted. In the composite below, no such assumption has been made and the portions translated from Fazil's variant have been attributed only to him.

Nine variants were apparently collected in the Kazakh SSR or are printed in what Zhirmunskii identifies as Kazakh dialect.16 The manuscripts are kept in the Folklore Archive of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR.17 Of the nine recorded versions, three have been published:

1. Kissa-i Alfamish (Hereafter: Kazan 1899). However, Zhirmunskii states that the form "Alfamish" was, "by a fantasy of the editor" considered more literary, and "proceeding from the placing, common in Turkic languages, of the letter 'p' instead of 'f' in borrowed words." According to Zhirmunskii this variant skips from the description of the "miraculous" birth of the batir to what he calls the "second part" describing the captivity and return. He further states that the "introduction" (meaning the genealogy and birth of Alpamysh) and the "second part" were combined with the "first part" (Divay's 1901 redaction) and published as a "whole" variant in Sbornik obraztsov Kazakhskoi narodnoi literatury (Kyzyl Orda, 1931). (Item 16 in Bibliography) It was reprinted later in the book Batyrlar (Alma-Ata, 1939). (Item 19) This text, he says, was widely disseminated. This is reaffirmed by Academician A. S. Orlov in a 1945 publication.18 This was the same redaction which, as noted in Chapter Two, Togan described as part of a larger effort on the part of its publisher, Yusufbek Sheyhulislamoglu, to develop literature in the Kazakh dialect and to combat Christian missionary activity.19

2. "Velikan Alpamysh" (VA) ("The Giant Alpamysh") recorded by Divay and published in the journal Turkistanskaia Vedemost' in 1916 (Item 12 in Bibliography). Zhirmunskii gives no information on its collection.

3. Alpamys batyrdyng kissasy, "collected by an expedition of the Academy of Sciences in 1958 from the akin Jelsu Jakpov who lived in the South-Kazakh oblat. The text had reportedly been written down by Jakupov himself in 1948 from an old akin named Akkojaev, who had learned it in the late 19th century from a famous akin named Maykot. According to Akkojaev, Maykot had taught the dastan to him 'from some kind of manuscript or book.'" This variant of Akkojaev-Maykot was published by the Kazakh Academy of Sciences in 1957 (Item 36) and translated into Russian.

8 H. B. Paksoy

Zhirmunskii gives the date of the Russian translation as 1953 -- five years before the expedition by which this variant was collected. 20 (Item 35 in Bibliography. Abbreviated AM for Akkojaev-Maykot.)

Zhirmunskii also notes a fourth redaction taken down, although never published, by K. Nurgaliev, whom Zhirmunskii describes as a "student." Nurgaliev recorded the text from a manuscript given him by Iskak Jusupov, of the North-Kazakhstan oblast. The text of Jusupov was recorded in 1934 according to words of the reciter Rahat. Of this version, only the episodes of the birth and selection the tulpar remain from the first journey of Alpamysh. Barchin is absent and Alpamysh marries the Kalmak princess. Zhirmunskii includes it in his synopsis and it is therefore mentioned in the composite below (JR for Jusupov-Rahat). Three more printings are classified by Zhirmunskii as "Karakalpak."21 He identifies five recorded "variants," of which three were published -- 1901 Divay variant (Div. 1901), "a variant recorded in 1934 by K. Aimbetov from a reciter Hojabergen Niyazov in the Chimkent region of the Karakalpak ASSR [sic. Chimkent is in the Kazakh SSR, but there is a Chimbai region in the Karakalpak ASSR, which is within Uzbek SSR.] (Items 18, 25 in bibliography. Abbreviated: N)22, and the third recorded by A. Karimov from the reciter Kiiaszhrau [sic - Khosrow?] Khairatdinov in Nukus" (Abbreviated: Kh) (Item 37).23

The two unpublished variants were recorded 1956-57 from the reciters Kurbanbai Tajibaev (1873-1958) and Esemurat Nurabullaev. Zhirmunskii lists these, but gives no information on them.

After these considerations, one comes to the question of Zhirmunskii's own expertise. The passage below illustrates that the bulk of the material on which Zhirmunskii built his career and reputation was in fact written by Hadi Zarif in their 1947 collaborative effort on the Uzbek heroic epic.

Hadi Zarif on the Alpamysh Dastan The 1947 work by Zhirmunskii and the Uzbek Orientalis Hadi Zarif, Uzbekskii narodnyi geroiceskii epos, (Tashkent, 1947), is, as noted, probably the first book-length work dedicated to a study of dastans in Central Asia. The Introduction explains the war-time conditions out of which the study grew, provides an indication of contemporary attitudes to the Central Asian dastan and indicates the division of labor of the collaborating scholars. It pays homage to the man who inspired the study, Hamid Alimjan:

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 9

"This book was conceived and written in the difficult and the glorious days of the Great Patriotic war, when the peoples of our Union carried on a heroic battle against the fascist invaders, defending the freedom and honor of our homeland, striving for a better future for all of mankind. In these days our national epic poetry [nasha narodnaia epicheskaia poeziia (The use of the singular here perhaps raises the question, 'which narod?')], those great forms of the heroic past which are so rich, became especially near and dear to us.

"The peoples [narody] of the Soviet Union are justly proud of their most rich treasure house of the heroic epic, oral and written. The Russian legends and the Lay of the Host of Igor, the Ukrainian 'dumy,' the Georgian poem of Shota Rustaveli 'The Champion in the Tiger Skin,' the Armenian epic David of Sasun, the Nart epic of the peoples of the North Caucasus, the Kirghiz Manas, the Kazakh batir songs famous at present far beyond the borders of their homeland, repeatedly published in the original and in fine translation, have become the general cultural property of all the brotherly peoples of our Union.

"In this new form of its own being, the heroic form of the national [natsional'n(yi)] past, having been retained in folk [narodnoi; also means 'national']24 monuments in the form of epic idealization, received unprecedented social significance as a means of patriotic education, worthy of our heroic epoch.

"The study of the epic creative work of the peoples of our Union is one of the foremost and most relevant [aktual'n(yi)] problems of Soviet historical science. The Soviet Union is the single country in the world possessing inexhaustible sources of living and current, actual national [narodnyi] epic works... That is why all kinds of special research in the field of the national epic, built on new, formerly unknown material, inevitably brings into our circle more general problems of the principles of the comparativ study of epic literature.....

" material... underlines the wider

10 H. B. Paksoy

perspective of historical generalization -- the picture of the many centuries of development of the epic work of the Uzbek people in a range of details thus far necessarily preliminary and hypothetical. Such research necessarily goes beyond the narrow national culture: Alpamysh, historical and romantic dastans, the cycle of Koroglu, all in various ways bring the Uzbek epic close to the creative works of other peoples of our country, with whom the Uzbek people were closely tied for centuries of their history....

"The book is the result of the joint work of two specialists. One, in the course of many years, collected and studied the folklore of his own people. The other came to the Uzbek epic from the general problems of comparative study of epic works. According to this [expertise] the tasks of each in this common work were delineated. The authors acknowledge the great help from their comrades... In particular the authors want to note the continual friendly cooperation of correspondent-members of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR A. Iu. Iakubovskii and E. E. Bertels, of whom the latter participated in the editorial examination of the book....

"The book on the Uzbek epic was first suggested to us by the Union of Soviet Writers of Uzbekistan on the initiative of its leader, the Uzbek poet Hamid Alimjan. One who knew and valued his own native folklore, a poet in his own creative work, one who experienced its fruitful influence, Hamid Alimjan wanted to spread the epic works of his own people [narod] widely and comprehensibly to all the fraternal nations of our Union. In our friendly cooperation and in our work, which he initiated, he saw one of the numerous phenomena of that great Stalinist friendship of peoples of our Union, which developed in the years of peaceful construction of Soviet socialist culture and was steeled in the heroic battle against the fascist invaders and carried us to victory over the evil enemies of progressive mankind.

"To the memor of Hamid Alimjan, poet and patriot, we dedcate this book.

"--The Authors."

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 11

This Introduction reflects the post-war political emphasis on the friendship of peoples of the USSR discussed above in Chapter Two. Particularly interesting is the statement that the heroic epics of the peoples of the USSR have become the "general cultural property of all..." The implications of such an assertion may be profound, especially in view of the right of owners of dastans to alter them. The mention of Bertels editorial assistance recalls the intimate link between the Oriental Institutes and the publishing of Central Asian literature. It foreshadows Bertels' later role as head of the sections of the Soviet East and Oriental Literature in the Oriental Institute hierarchy. Those thanked in this Introduction are Russians -- the "elder brother" even provides a guiding hand in the field of indigenous literature and its interpretation. The Introduction also indicates that Hadi Zarif was the principle author and wrote those portions of the book on Central Asian dastans and their reciters. Zhirmunskii evidently authored the portions which made comparisons with non-Central Asian literature.

The designation of Zhirmunskii in this Introduction as a student of epics is not entirely accurate. According to a recent book on Zhirmunskii's career25, Zhirmunskii was a specialist on comparative literature. His earlier works focus on European literature and include a comparison of Byron and Pushkin and several studies of German literature of the early 19th century.

Turning to the book itself, Hadi Zarif's first chapter presents an in-depth discussion of ozans generally, then a brief discussion of some reciters of Alpamysh. In a subsequent chapter, he compares variations of the different versions of Alpamysh, lists some of the published versions of the dastan and briefly discusses the Bashkurt and Altai versions.26

As for the matter of Zhirmunskii's subsequent borrowing, examination of this 1947 work reveals Zarif's description of the Fazil variant of Alpamys is nearly identical to the synopsis n Zhirmunskii's 1960 work. The latter differs only rarely and then in minor rewording or by the addition, between sentences or paragraphs, of some descriptive material or quotations from the text. In the later English language work with Chadwick some important sections by Zhirmunskii are merely translations of the 1960 monograph.27

Because the Fazil variant, as translated and amended by Penkovskii has been elevated officially (as reflected by Zhirmunskii) to the pinnacle of Alpamysh "variants," it is

12 H. B. Paksoy

essential to explore the differences between it and the many others. Perhaps the most accurate way to approach such a comparison is by means of constructing a single "composite" Alpamysh and examining the range of variations.


The following composite of Alpamysh is based on twelve redactions taken down from at least fourteen different reciters cited by Zhirmunskii (and those noted above). Some redactions were taken down from two ozans or represent one or two reciters' reworkings of variants they learned from an older reciter. Twelve are known - Fazil Yoldashoglu, Muhamedkul Jamratoglu Pulkan, Berdi Bahshi, Bekmurad Jurabaev, Buri Sadykov, Jiyamurat Muhammedbek, Akkojaev, Maykot, Rahat, Niyazov, Khairatdinov. Two other printings are Kissa-i Alfamis (Kazan 1899), collected by Yusuf bin Hoca Sheyhulislam oglu (Yusufbek 1899) and "Velikan Alpamysh" published in 1916, collected by Divay. The synopses provide useful, if sometimes incomplete, information on more than a dozen Alpamysh variants which are not readily accessible (or are completely inaccessible) inside or outside the USSR. Also incorporated are the original printings Divay 1901, Yusufbek 1899. As noted, the 1960 synopses of what Zhirmunskii calls the "Uzbek variants" differ little from those of Zarif.28 End notes give pages of both volumes where relevant. One uniform spelling has been followed. Variations, when they occur, are noted in parentheses based on the Library of Congress standard transliteration from Zhirmunskii's (or Zarif and Zhirmunskii) Russian text. An exception is made only for the letters "j" and "h" which exist in the original Turkic language and English, but not in Russian. Parentheses () within quotations were translated from the original Russian text. Brackets [] indicate the Russian or Turkic original or explanatory remarks by the present writer. In order to preserve the original flavor of the text, translations are often more literal rather than literary.

There are several major events ofthis composite synopsis. It begins, as do most individual variants with the birth of the alp to barren parents, his betrothal to Barchin "in the cradle," the conflict between their fathers and the departure of Barchin's father for the land of the Kalmaks. Alpamysh subsequently goes after them to reclaim his bride. He undergoes various trials and wins her hand. He returns to the Kalmak territory and becomes a prisoner for seven years until he is rescued by a Kalmak princess. He defeats the Kalmaks and (in several versions) returns home to

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 13

rescue his wife and family from a usurper.

Not all variants include all these episodes. Some omit either the first journey or the second. Names may vary slightly as do the religious themes, the degree of fighting and the detail of description.

Several variants of the dastan begin with a description of Alpamysh's family and the prayers of either his parents or of his father and Baysari, who in some variants is Baybora's brother, for children. Fazil's (F) variant, which has the greatest number of episodes, begins as follows:

"In a remote times in the 16-generation tribe of the Kungrat in the region of Baysun lived Dabanbii. Dabanbii had a son Alpinbii. Alpinbii had two sons -- Baybora and Baysari. The older, Baybora was the 'shah' of the Kungrat; the younger, Baysari was the 'bii' [Bey] and stood at the head of ten thousand yurts of Baysun families.

"The brothers were knowledgeable and rich, but they had no children. In order to make their petition, they set off on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Shahimardan [the legendary grave of the Caliph Ali the Ferghana oblast']. They travelled forty days and nights and at the expiration of this time they heard a voice, addressing their wish: 'Baybora, God sent you a son and a daughter, not one by one, but immediately at once he sent them. Baysari, to you God sent a child, not two, but a daughter he sent. Return home now and when the children are born, gather the people and give a toy [feast]. To the toy in the clothes of a kalendar [wandering dervish] I myself will come and give each child a name.'"

In the Akkojaev-Maykot (AM) and Kazan 1899 variants, Baybora and Baysari [Saribay in these variants] are heads of different tribes. Those praying for offspring are Alpamysh's future parents:

"Baybora comes from the country Jidali-Baysun from the tribe of the Kungrat, Sarybai is from the tribe Shekti. Kultay is the relative (third cousin) of Baybora and Ultan is the illegitimate son of Kultay fro a slave woman, 'that gathered kizyak [drie dung].' He is taken into the home

14 H. B. Paksoy

of the childless Baybora. Ultan grows up huge and uncouth... He does not listen to his foster father and ridiculed his childlessness."

(In Kazan 1899 variant, Alpamysh, when still young, cuts off Ultan's ears and pierces through his foot in retaliation for this ridicule.) Baybora and his wife, whose name is Analyk, make a pilgrimage to a lake near the holy mountain Karatau, and pray for offspring to "Shashty Aziza." (AM and Kazan 1899) Zhirmunskii translates his name as "hairy saint" and states that this is the name for Baba Tuklas, "a respected Kazakh saint." The saint promises the couple a son and daughter -- Alpamysh (here Alpamys) and Kaldyrgach (here Karlygash). In Akkojaev-Maykot and Kazan 1899, "The pregnant Analyk expresses the desire to eat meat of a leopard (kablan) -- this ancient representation of 'sympathetic magic,' is widespread in the epics of the Central Asian people (the same thing is told of the mother of Manas.)"29 At the same time Barchin [here Gulbarshyn] is born to the childless Sarybai and betrothed immediately to Alpamysh. In order to give the flavor of this earliest printing, a portion is translated below.30

1899 Alpamysh

"In the times past, when the religion was Islam
At a place called Jidali Baysun, in the land of the Kungrat
There was a Prince called Baybori, who was wealthy but was crying longingly for progeny.
Baybori had an elder (relative) named Kultay.
Sinibay came from the same well-spring as Kultay.
Sinibay's woman bore a boy named Tortay, who was raised by Kultay.
One day, while he was walking among his herds,
Baybori looked around thinking:
If I had a son, he would have enjoyed all this;
riding the horses, driving the herds.
When I die, who will inherit all my wealth?
Longing for offspring, walking in the fields,
weeping daily, Baybori said:

'Heart filled with anxiety, bosom stricken with grief.
Absence of offspring is a perpetual worry in the land.
With my eyes open, I am about to leave this world.'
Baybori implored God: 'You did not take my soul, I continue to endure.
One child's absence will cause my possessions to be left to my older brother.

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 15

Worry embraced my heart;
Almighty God created me, may he also be my refuge.
The absence of a child created hardships for me.
Pronouncements are made by the elders who have many sons.
I supplicate to you, Almighty, You are my Creator.
My bones grow weak, friends are distant.
Seeing eyes turn blind, falling in love with a baby,
my streaming tears are ridiculed by the distant mountain.
A man without child is without credit.'

Baybori said these touching words from his bones.
'Creator, Ruler, if you were not going to grant me
offspring, why did you (bother) to bring me to life?'
Baybori was weeping thus, asking for a child from God daily.
The bones of those who heard Baybori's pleading ached.
Tears drenched Baybori's face.
His words echoing, he wished to be dead.
At that time, on that laggard black day, a boy was born to Kultay.
Baybori spoke out his thoughts, he was tormented.
Grief chased away his being.
Meeting the baby, downtrodden, he placed him in his abode.
He named him Ultan.
Thereafter, Baybori regarded Ultan as his own.
Bodies dried-up, noses like hills.
Incisors dull, throat seemed that of Juhut
Where he sat, deep as six wingspans.
Ears like shields, noses like foul flour
Eyes like deep dungeons, traces of steps like ditches.
"Mouth, fireplace; mouth, knife-like.
Nostrils like holes in the ground; grounds trembled.
While such idiots existed, Baybori's tongue was tied.
Even if you are enraged, do not speak of it.
Baybori saying 'If Almighty was not going to grant me offspring,
He would not have created this one,'

'I would rather die than keep hearing about this newborn.'
He took crutches, wore clothes [appropriate for visiting]
and set out to pay homage to a Saint named
Babay Tukti, who was known for ages.
He repeated his wish for progeny during his visit.
The Saint gave his blessing for a son and a daughter,
admonishing to name the boy Alpamysh, the girl Kadirgach.
'When the boy reaches the age of ten, he will be impervious to arrows,
water will not drown him, swords will not cut hm. He will be a Khan.'

Then Baybori went back to his home, joyful.
His woman became heavy with child.
Nine months ten days later a boy was born. He was named Alpamysh.
Next, Karligach [sic] was born.

"At a place named Shekti, there was a Bay named Saribay,
who had a lone daughter named Glbarchin.
They (Baybori and Baysari) became kudas.

16 H. B. Paksoy

Alpamysh reached the age of ten,
Saribay, who did not have another child, said:
'My progeny was thus left stunted (in numbers).
If, for some reason, his (Alpamysh) fortunes change (leave this life)
my daughter would be left to Ultan in an instant.'
He (Saribay) therefore decided to leave for the land of
Khitay and carried out his thoughts.

"Then, Alpamysh became the eagle of the Kungrats at the age of ten.
Alpamysh, saying: 'Are you the one who is
denouncing my father?' cut Ultan's ear and flayed his soles.
Alpamysh, while playing, killed those whose necks were pliant.
One day Alpamysh was playing with the son of an old woman, the boy died.
The old woman said: 'Here there, instead of destroying
those children who cannot withstand you,
if you were any good, you would go to Khitay
and take your intended beautiful Gulbarchin
from your father-in-law Saribay.'

This was news that had not touched his (Alpamysh) ears.
When Alpamysh heard this, he massed troops, disregarding day or night,
without dismounting, covering distances with equal lengths,
swallowing his own blood instead of water,
breaking many men, in forty days secured and brought his woman back.

"However, while Alpamysh was after his woman,
Taysha carried off Alpamysh's herds.
When Alpamysh returned, Baybori Bay said:
'Of my blood, Alpamysh; disappear from my sight
You have done nothing useful for me, by becoming a man.
Taysha took away my herd, swiftly carried away my belongings.
"Do not stand before me, go away," he (Taysha) said [to me] with enmity.
Chase after the herd taken by Taysha.
Avenge this act of his.
If you cannot, be a slave and remain the last.'
Then, Alpamysh said this:
'I will pursue the herd taken by Taysha.
If Shahimardan gives me his help,
I will chase your herd back.
Do not cast a sorrowful glance, for I cannot act on your word.
I placed the saddle-blanket on the horse's back,
I lived the life of a Bey on Karatau.
After I leave, my dear father, you will suffer hardships from the servants.
I placed the saddle-blanket on th horse's back.
After I leave, my dear father, you will feel guilty.
You have weak servants, my father, waiting behind you.
They are your enemies.'"

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 17

Descriptions of Alpamysh's origins and parents are sparse in the variants of Niyazov (N), Khairatdinov (Kh) and Divay, 1901. Baybora and Baysari are not brothers but equal beys. Zhirmunskii writes (See note 28):

"The genealogy of Alpamysh is absent. Baybora and Baysari live in the land of Jidali-Baysun..., which is located near Bukhara (Kh) and belongs to the Kungrat tribe. 'Bald Ultan' (Ultan-taz) -- is a shepherd, a slave, who stands at the head of 90 families of slaves (N). The name of Alpamysh' bride is Barchin or Gulbarchin. The children are born of childless parents by the intercession of forty cihilten who later intervene on the alp's behalf. (Div. 1901)."

The Jusupov/Rahat variant (JR) begins with the birth of the alp from barren parents and the selecting of the batir horse. Divay's "Velikan Alpamys" (VA) has none of these events. Both variants (JR and VA) omit Barchin and, therefore, themes connected with her -- the "marriage journey" (to rescue her) and the return of the husband theme. These two variants consist of the captivity of the alp and his salvation by the Kalmak princess, whom he marries.

In the variant of Pulkan (P), Baychobar and a black camel (who turns up only at the end of the dastan) were born on the same day as Alpamysh, an auspicious sign. Alpamysh was nursed on that camel's mother's milk, making the batir and the young camel "milk-brothers."

In Fazil's variant, the births of the children were celebrated with a feast to which came, a wandering dervish who had been called by the new fathers earlier in a dream. The dervish named the son of Baybora, Hakim, his daughter - Kaldyrgach (Swallow), and the daughter of Baysari - Barchin. He foretold the glory of Hakim as a batir and conducted his betrothal to Barchin. He touched the boy on the shoulder "and Hakim retained the mark on his shoulder of the 'five fingers.'

" It is this touch (in the Fazil version it is the hand of Ali) that makes Hakim (Alpamysh) invincible -- "in fire he is not burned, a sword cannot wound him and arrows cannot penetrate."

In variants Akkojaev-Maykot and Kazan 1899 also, Alpamysh's invulnerability is due to the saint's intervention. To the litany of his invulnerability is added, "he will not be hurt by bullets [sic], they will slash, no sword will cut him, he will be the enemy of the Kalmaks." Later that saint will become the protector of Alpamysh. In Divay 1901, seven kalendar arrive to name the children. They call Baybora's son Alpamysh and say they shall be his pirs. The batir's

18 H. B. Paksoy

invulnerability, however, is not attributed to their influence.

Fazil's variant describes the education of the children, which is lacking in other variants: "When the children reach the age of three, their fathers send them to school [mekteb] to learn to read and write. When they reach the age of seven and have already become literate, their parents bring them home again; Hakim studies 'kingship and military affairs' and Barchin - 'tending the sheep.'" Some variants include reports that "The batir youth crippled his own playmates during their play." (AM, Kazan 1899)31 Fazil describes Hakim's first batir feat, performed at age seven. He draws the old bow of his grandfather Alpinbii, made from 14-batman copper: "the arrow flies like lightning and topples the summit of Mount Askar. For this feat, Hakim... receives the sobriquet Alpamysh: 'In the world there were... 90 batirs, their leader was the batir Rustem, let there now also be a batir ('alp') Alpamysh.'" The batir bow would reappear in later episodes of nearly all variants.

Among the variants, there are three reasons for Baysari's departure from Baysun. According to Fazil's variant, in which Baybora and Baysari are brothers, the two quarrel over the payment of the zakat:

"Having learned from Alpamysh that Muslims according to the Koran are obligated to pay the 'zakat,' Baybora demanded that his younger brother pay the tax [sic] to him. Baysari refused to fulfill this demand, saying it was unheard of among the Kungrat people and insulted his brother with words and inflicted on him a cruel mutilation [sic]. After this he decides with his ten thousand tribes [sic-tents] and all the cattle to emigrate and go to the country of the Kalmaks, a six month journey from Baysun, through the mountains of the Altai and to place himself under the patronage of the Kalmak shah Taysha [here Taichakhan]." It is interesting that this dispute is articulated in terms of a discrepancy between religious obligation and Kungrat tradition. Furthermore, this variant makes it plain that Baysari's departure splits the Kungrat and reduces the collective wealth by removing Baysari's ten thousand tribes (perhaps a symbolic figure) and their herds from the confederation.

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 19

In variants of Divay 1901, Niyazov and Khairatdinov, the argument between the two fathers (who are not related) stems from the oglak tartis competition. Baysari feels that Baybora wins unjustly. Another motivation for Baysari's emigration is the fact that Alpamysh is the only son of Baybora; in case of Alpamysh's death, Baysari fears, Barchin must fall to his foster brother, the slave Ultan. (AM, Kazan 1899) The depiction of the Kungrats' arrival hints at the historic conflict between the nomads and the settled populations. Fazil notes (similar to Divay 1901): "Having arrived in the country of the Kalmaks, the Kungrats stopped in the steppe Chilbir-chol near lake Ayna-kol. Not having known property ownership in their homeland [sic], they trampled the sewn land of their host, using it as pasture for their cattle. The Kalmaks complained to their khan and [he], upon learning of the conditions of the matter, accepted Baysari and his kinsmen under his own patronage and gave them the Chilbir steppe as their yaylak and the lake Ayna-kol to water their cattle."

In the variant of Berdi bahshi (BB), this land is given by Taysha as kalym for Barchin. Taysha is not, according to Berdi bahshi represented in the horse race for Barchin's hand.

In Fazil's variant:
"The Kalmak shah had 90 batir-giants who lived together in the caves in the remote forest (in the region Tokaistan - the country of the Tugai). 'Every one of them carried armor weighing 90 batman, every one ate each day 90 sheep, every one received from the shah every month 90 gold tumans;' 'every one has 40 girl-servants.' Among these batirs the strongest were 7 brothers, the sons of the evil and crafty old woman ['mastan-kampir'] Surkhaiil... the youngest son was Karajan."

Barchin evokes the love of these batirs (F).

Surkhaiil-mastan wants Barchin to marry her youngest son Karajan, but does not succeed: "The smartly dressed Karajan rides his horse in vain around the velvety yurt of the beauty." Srkhaiil's second son, Kukamon (Kokemen) tres to seize Barchin by force, but "the batir maiden wrestles with him,

20 H. B. Paksoy

squeezes the air out of him and throws him to the ground." Finally the eldest son Kokaldash, in order to avoid discord among the brothers, suggests to Baysari that he give his daughter either to one of them or to all collectively as a "common wife." Baysari and Barchin refuse their solicitation, but the Kalmak batirs threaten to seize Barchin forcibly if she does not select one of them. "Barchin requests an interval of six months and sends a messenger to the Kungrat, to her own promised suitor."

According to Divay 1901, Niyazov and Khairatdinov, both the old Kalmak shah Taysha-khan and his head batir Karajan pay court to Barchin at the same time. The two fight but there are no other batirs nor the old woman character. An evil old woman does appear, however, in Alpamysh's second journey to the Kalmak domains. This latter episode is found in Niyazov and Khairatdinov, but not in Divay 1901. Kokemen-kaska appears as the faithful slave (N) or the vezir (Div 1901) of the Kalmak shah. In these three variants, Barchin promises to marry the winner of a 40-day baiga (horse race). The other contests are absent. The wrestling is initiated later by the shah as an additional test of the victor.

Two events precede Alpamysh's departure for the land of the Kalmaks -- the acquisition of his Chobar and knowledge of Barchin and her plight. Alpamysh receives his horse from the herder Kultay. In all variants Chobar is homely: "His mane rises above his ears, he walks evenly, on all four feet, in step (gait), on his tail he carries a whole armful of saksaul, and his forelock and mane you do not see, on them sticks a whole patch of tumbleweed thorn." (Div 1901)32

Alpamysh initially learns about his bride from an old women who had been offended by him (N, Kh; in AM and Kazan 1899, she is the mother of a child whom Alpamysh crippled or killed in play). Alpamysh elicits the truth from the old woman "by squeezing her palm in which, by his request, she brings hot wheat kernels for him to aste." This incident is absent in Diay 1901, in which it is unclear how Alpamysh knows about Barchin. In Fazil's variant, as in Akkojaev-Maykot and Kazan 1899 the acquisition of the horse is linked to the journey to save Barchin:

"Learning about Barchin's situation, Alpamysh, prompted by his sister Kaldyrgach and in spite of the advice of his father, decides to go to the

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 21

country of the Kalmaks. He goes for a horse to the old man Kultay - the herder, slave and servant of Baybora. Warned by his master, Kultay tries to refuse Alpamysh and even falls upon him with words and blows, but the angered young batir overcomes the old herder, forces Kultay to give him the ukruk [lasso?] to catch a horse. Three times into Alpamysh's lasso falls the same homely Chobar colt. Alpamysh sees in this an indication of 'fate' ['takdir'], although he doubts his own choice. But Baychobar, as it turns out, is a real tulpar -- a winged batir horse; on him Alpamysh, having taken his grandfather's batir bow, heads out on the long road to the country of the Kalmaks." (F)

In the Akkojaev-Maykot variant, Alpamysh learns about Barchin's troubles from a letter, which she had written him on a roadside rock (a motif, not found in other versions, which Zhirmunskii states is very ancient). The description of Alpamysh's journey is nearly the same in all variants which involve the rescue of Barchin. Fazil, however, embellishes the journey by including a magic dream:

"On the way Alpamysh finds lodging for the night in a tomb at the grave of a saint. Here the batir in a magic dream sees Barchin who is coming to him with a goblet of wine and greets him with a song. Alpamysh refuses her love until he defeats his enemies, the oppressor-Kalmaks." On his arrival, Fazil's Alpamysh finds shelter with the shepherd Kaikubat-Kal, who in this variant tends the sheep of Baysari. Alpamysh inquires of him about his uncle and Barchin.

According to Akkojaev-Maykot and Kazan 1899, the Kalmak khan is Karaman and he is a contestant for Barchin's hand. On his arrival in the land of the Kalmaks, Alpamysh defeats a huge Kalmak force and the shah himself (who is killed) and reasserts his own right to his bride. The Akkojaev-Maykot variant has no specific "suitor contest." Karajan and the other Kalmak batirs are absent. In most variants, however, Karajan and Alpamysh meet a Alpamysh nears the land of the Kalmaks. n Niyazov's account of the meeting of Karajan and Alpamysh, the two speak in riddles. Alpamysh answers Karajan's questions saying that when he (Alpamysh) "was eight years old, his

22 H. B. Paksoy

old camel went away, and after him went the she-camel, and after them went a [camel's] calf with copper [ornamented?] reins, and searched for them everywhere."

In Fazil's variant Alpamysh refers allegorically to himself as a falcon [lain] who is pursuing a wild duck [suksur], which had flown from the lake Kok-kamysh; [he also calls himself] a he-camel [nar] searching for his she-camel [maya]. Karajan answers in the same allegorical form: "The duck which flew away from you is now settled at the lake Ayna-kl, 90 birds of prey [gajir] surround her." And further: "Your she-camel is grazing on the steppe Chilbir-Kol, the covering on her head has 1500 gold coins [tilla]. I saw 90 batirs threaten her." In variants of Pulkan, Berdi bahsi, Divay 1901, Akkojaev-Maykot and Niyazov, Karajan accepts Islam and befriends his rival only after the two batirs engage in physical combat in which Alpamysh defeats Karajan. This conflict is absent in Fazil's variant: "On the heights of Murad-Tepe, the Kalmak batir Karajan waits for Alpamysh. He had seen Alpamysh in a dream, felt his excellence and decided to conclude with him a friendly union and become a Muslim."

All variants that include Karajan and Barchin recount how Karajan befriends Alpamysh, takes him to his yurt and entertains him. He acts as messenger to Barchin, but she does not believe Karajan's sincerity. His rejection of her feigned seduction proves his friendship for Alpamysh. In Divay 1901, Barchin makes a request of Karajan -- that he have her parents freed from a dungeon, in which they had been confined by Taysha Khan.

It is at this point in Fazil's variant that Barchin informs Karajan that she will give her hand to whichever suitor emerges victorious in four contests. To win, a suitor's "horse must surpass all the other horses in the baiga, he must draw the batir bow without breaking it, shoot (with a rifle [sic!]) a tenga (a small silver coin) at a distance of 1000 paces, and defeat his opponents in a wrestling atch [kurash]. 'The people will not be offended; whoever wins will marry me.'"

In the variants of Pulkan and Berdi bahsi, there are three contests -- the 4-day baiga, wrestling, and shooting the bow. Only the first two are described in detail. In Berdi bahsi's variant, the attempt to draw the bow is not made by the suitors but by the bride herself, who breaks all 90 batirs' bows except that belonging to Alpamysh. Jurabaev retains only the first two contests.

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 23

Fazil tells little of the second and third contests (drawing the bow and shooting the coin with the rifle). The descriptions of the baiga and the wrestling occupy a central place. Karajan, however, emerges as Alpamysh's true friend and "matchmaker," as in Divay 1901. Karajan rides Baychobar in the baiga, but in Fazil's variant, his main rival is his own brother Kokaldash. The Kalmak batirs overpower Karajan, tie him up and drive nails into Baychobar's hooves. Here the traitorous son is absent as is the batir slumber. Karajan gets no supernatural help in freeing himself. Baychobar wins, despite the nails in his hooves, by "spreading his wings."

In the variants of both Niyazov and Divay 1901, the description of the race is also important and the groom of Taysha-khan, (or of Kokaldash in Fazil's variant) notices Baychobar's wings, confirming that this is a real tulpar against whom it is impossible to compete. The groom in all three variants is blinded for this observation by his angry master.

In the baiga of Niyazov, Khairatdinov and Divay 1901, the main competitor of Karajan is his son Dust-Muhammed (Dosmambet - Kh, Kallimjan - N) and it is he who informs the Kalmaks that his father is sleeping his seven-day batir sleep (Div 1901, Kh). During the slumber, the Kalmaks bind Karajan and Baychobar. In Divay 1901, Karajan gets supernatural help in escaping. Finally, Karajan overtakes all his rivals, except his son, whom he kills in order to win the race.

In these variants, the wrestling is not part of a predetermined set of contests but is started by the Kalmak shah on the advice of his advisor, in order not to give up Barchin to the "newcomer" batir, who has "only one horse to his name." (N) The description of the wrestling of Alpamysh with the khan's wrestlers Kaytpas and Kokjal in the variant of the reciter Niyazov is compared by Zhirmunskii to the wrestling scene in the "Uzbek" composite version. This scene ends with general bloodletting, which in te other variants (Kh, Div 1901) is prooked by the treacherous shooting of Alpamysh by Kokemen (with a rifle in Kh or arrow in Div 1901).

In Divay 1901, the khan has Kokemen killed for his treachery. Alpamysh and Barchin return to their homeland, Baysari remains in the land of the Kalmaks. The Divay 1901 variant of the dastan ends here.

24 H. B. Paksoy

In Fazil's rendering of the final wrestling match, Karajan defeats and kills all the opponents of Alpamysh, even several of his own brothers. The only one who remains at the end is Karajan's eldest brother -- Kokaldash, the oldest and strongest of the Kalmak batirs. Fazil injects hyperbolic humor into his description of the batir-giants: "One of them ate 90 camels in a day, another girded on a sash of 50 arm-lengths, one wore boots sewn from 90 large ox skins, and a fourth had a cap made of 60 cubits of alaci (striped cotton cloth). 'Koshkulak is a healthy youth, his mustache grew on all sides and among the hairs mice propagated, cats ran after them and, chasing them, caught them only six months later.'" In the end, it is Alpamysh who wrestles with Kokaldash:

"Alpamysh himself wrestles, but for a long time can not overcome him, until Barchin with her own jibes, arouses the manliness and malice of her betrothed, threatens to come herself out into this single combat." Thus provoked, Alpamysh throws Kokaldash up into the sky "like a doll" and kills him.

"After this," Fazil tells us:
"the whole people recognized Alpamysh as the victor. After celebrating the marriage to Barchin, he with Karajan and the majority of the Kungrat return to their homeland. On the way, Alpamysh and Karajan defeat an attack by a Kalmak force which is sent after them by the Kalmak shah on the instigation of the evil old woman Surkhaiil. In the country of the Kalmaks remain only the family of Baysari who would still not be reconciled with his elder brother."

In Pulkan's variant, Barchin forces Alpamysh to solve a riddle before accepting him as her husband. This Zhirmunskii identifies as an "ancient" motif of the competition between the suitor and the bride, the batir maiden. The same could probably be said of Berdi bahsi's recounting of Barchin's breaking all batirs' bows except that of Alpamysh. In variants Kazan 1899 and Akkojaev-Maykot, the second journey of Alpamysh to the landof the Kalmaks is provoked by the theft ofBaybora's cattle, in the absence of Alpamysh, by the Kalmak shah (here Taishyk: in variant AM he is in no way identified with the shah Karaman, who was killed during the first journey [AM] by Alpamysh). The

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 25

angry Baybora sends his son after the herd, threatening him with a paternal curse if he disobeys. Alpamysh sets out alone. Variants JR and VA begin with this event. The Niyazov and Khairatdinov variants include the episodes of Alpamysh's return to the land of the Kalmaks, but in their variants he is motivated by the violence which Baysari suffers at the hand of Taysha-khan. He sets out alone to help his father-in-law, but forgets to pray to God and the holy cihilten. On the way, an old man appears to him in a dream and foretells his punishment -- seven years' captivity in the land of the Kalmaks.

Fazil recounts how, after the departure of Alpamysh:

"Taysha-khan, on the advice of the vindictive Surkhaiil, takes from Baysari all his property and makes him a shepherd. News of this reaches the Kungrat and Alpamysh again sets out for Kalmak lands at the head of forty jigit [noble young men with batir-like qualities]. Among them is the husband of Kaldyrgach, Bek-Temir, a bek of the Kungrat lineage Tartuvli (Alpamysh, was a bek of the Kanjigali lineage)."

In this variant, Surkhaiil lays a trap: she leads the batirs to a meeting on the mountain Murad-tepe with forty beauties who seduce the alps and make them drunk. While the jigit are in their slumber "from drunkenness and love," the forces of the Kalmak shah kill them all except Alpamysh and burn their bodies in a fire. Alpamysh, sleeping a batir slumber, is invulnerable. But the indomitable Surkhaiil, tells the Kalmaks to dig a deep pit (zindan), tie the sleeping batir to the tail of his horse and drag him into the pit. When Alpamysh awakes, he "bitterly weeps over his fate." (F)

The news of the death of the other batirs reaches the Kungrat and Alpamysh, too, is presumed dead. Ultan-taz (taz - 'baldheaded mangy'), here Baybora's son from a "slave-captive of the 'Kizilbash'," seizes power among the Kungrat. He makes Baybora and his baybiche (the senior wife, Alpamysh's mother), his servants. Kaldyrgach e sends to the steppe, to lake Babir-kl, to herd camels. He banishes Karajan to the mountains of the Altai, forbidding him to come to Baysun. Barchin, who gave birth to a son Iadgar, shortly after Alpamysh's departure, he does not harm: "'Wherever she gets away to, she must remain mine all the same.' (F) (By custom the widow of the elder brother passes to the younger,)" explains Zhirmunskii.

26 H. B. Paksoy

According to Kazan 1899, Akkojaev-Maykot, Jusupov-Rahat and VA, the Kalmak shah had a frightening dream foreshadowing the destruction of his rule: he is threatened by a rabid he-camel (bugra). The old woman character is an ugly sorceress (mystan-kempir), who says she will save the shah from his fate but demands in compensation the hand of the khan's daughter Karakoz-Aim (lit: 'blackeyed beauty') for her own wretched and ill son. The frightened shah agrees. Then follows, as in other variants, the seduction of Alpamysh engineered by the sly old woman, in which besides the 40 girls, the shah's daughter herself participates. The latter, falling in love with the batir, secretly tries to warn him, but to no avail.

Again, the alp's enemies can neither burn him nor wound him with weapons. The formula of invulnerability is repeated. The old woman has Alpamysh thrown into a deep pit. (Also in N, Kh) A wild goose, that had been wounded by a hunter, takes refuge in Alpamysh's dungeon and the batir cures him. The goose then bears a message (in BB the goose is absent and the messenger is an angel) to the Kungrat. The goose evades the hunter and succeeds in flying to the Kungrat camp, landing at the lake Babir-kol where Kaldyrgach finds the letter. At her request, Karajan travels to the country of the Kalmaks to save Alpamysh.

In Khairatdinov's variant, the hunter Shakaman, heedless of the advice of his old mother, shoots at the goose-messenger, but the arrow does not find its mark and returns to hit the hunter himself. In Niyazov's as in Fazil's variant, Shakaman is the name of the place. Karajan tries to rescue Alpamysh at Kaldyrgach's request, but fails: in the variant by Niyazov, Karajan hears Alpamysh ask: "Has not my friend Karajan come to me, (he) who became my friend from fear before my sword?" In the variant of Khairatdinov, Alpamysh does not at first recognize his friend, and inquires about his loved ones, but forgets to asks about Karajan. Offended, Karajan wants to go back, but in the end says fareell to Alpamysh and lowers a branch to him. Half way up, Alpamysh decides that his savior will boast of his feat, cuts the branch and again falls into the pit. Karajan's [here Karabay] attempt to rescue Alpamysh is found also in variant VA. Here Alpamysh refuses help because he fears that accepting it would be "dishonorable."

In Fazil's variant, Alpamysh refuses aid at the last minute

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 27

because he does not wish to be obligated to Karajan for his salvation: "half way up, he tears the silk wrap [arkan] which was thrown to him and remains in the dungeon. Returning to his homeland, Karajan tells Kaldyrgach about his misfortune and tells her to keep silent about his having found Alpamysh. 'Let them think he's dead.'" Also a trace of what Zhirmunskii calls an "original" trait is another episode absent from Fazil's variant but included by Jurabaev -- the return of Karajan, after his failed attempt to rescue Alpamysh from the zindan, to become the vezir of the usurper Ultan. Alpamysh kills Karajan with an arrow shot from his batir bow in a final scene. Alpamysh is saved from captivity finally by the Kalmak shah's daughter who falls in love with him.

In Fazil's variant, the princess' favorite kid falls into the pit and is retrieved by the shepherd Kaikubat-kal. This shepherd was in love with his royal mistress. Alpamysh promises to obtain for him the princess when he gets out of the zindan and defeats her father. As kalym, Alpamysh demands from the shepherd one sheep each day. Once he consumes Kaikubat's whole flock, he tries to teach the shepherd to steal, but without success.

Then Alpamysh makes a 'changavuy' (lip harmonica) from the bones of the sheep he had eaten and sends Kaikubat to sell it at the bazaar. The daughter of the Kalmak shah, hearing Kaikubat play, sends her own servant girls to invite him to the palace. They force Kaikubat to take the princess to see the imprisoned batir and she immediately falls in love with him. She orders the digging of an underground passage from her own palace to the zindan and begins every day to call on her beloved. Surkhaiil accidentally learns about this and succeeds in informing Taysha-khan, who, on her advice, orders that the zindan be filled up immediately with dirt. In order to be saved from certain death, Alpamysh asks the princess to bring his horse. She takes dried 'isryk' -- steppe grass-- to Baychobar. [in BB she takes Alamysh's clothing which Zhirmunskii calls a "more primordial motif."33] Baychobar then recalls his master and breaks out to freedom.

Baychobar lets his tail down into the pit. The tail miraculously lengthens to 40 'kulach' (Kulach: arm-lengths) and thus he pulls out his master who then defeats the Kalmak forces, kills the shah and the evil Surkhaiil. He puts on the throne the shepherd Kaikubat to whom he gives the promised princess. Kaikubat frees Baysari (his own former master) and with honors returns to him his

28 H. B. Paksoy

confiscated property. In order that the Kalmaks would listen to their Shah-shepherd, Alpamysh, according to an agreement with him, gives the appearance that he himself is submitting to Kaikubat. After this Alpamysh bids farewell and returns to his homeland.

The variations on this series of events are few. According to VA and Akkojaev-Maykot, in which Barchin is absent, Alpamysh places Kaikubat [here Keikuat] on the throne and gives him the first of the 40 maid-servants of the princess. Alpamysh himself marries the Kalmak princess Karakoz. This characteristic of these versions distinguishes them from others in which the hero gives the princess to the shepherd.

The marriage of Alpamysh to Karakoz ends the variant VA. In variant Jusupov-Rahat Alpamysh becomes lonely for his own homeland and decides to return home. This is told in a short conclusion. Again there is no Barchin and, therefore, no theme of the "returning husband." In variant Akkojaev-Maykot the batir forsakes his second wife within a month after an ominous dream urging him to hurry to his home. Karakoz saddles his horse and, crying, follows after him. Three times Alpamysh returns to his beloved. At the end, in the general celebration, Karakoz "is not forgotten" -- Alpamysh visits her twice a year.

In the variants of Niyazov and Khairatdinov the shepherd is named Ashim-kal and the Kalmak princess, Arzaim. Alpamysh promises to make Ashim-kal the shah and for that reason Ashim feeds Alpamysh the shah's flock. Then, disguised as a dervish, the shepherd goes begging and finally steals in order to feed the batir. The princess is in love with Alpamysh and, as elsewhere, gets his horse and weapon from her father by a ruse. Alpamysh is saved by the aid of a silk 'arkan' (in variant Kh it is tied to Baychobar's tail). Vengeance is meted out to the Kalmaks and the shepherd Ashim-kal becomes shah and marries the princess.

The return home, in those variants in which it is depicted in detail, is always remarkably similar: "Returning from his seven-yar imprisonment, Alpamysh crosses through the Alatau and for the first time from the mountain Askar he again sees his native steppe, the summer camp of the Kungrat tribe." (F)

Caravan leaders, whom Alpamysh meets on the way, tell him [Alpamysh] about the changes that took place in Baysun after the news came of the alp's supposed death. They told him of the new master, Ultan-bek. In anger, Alpamysh kills

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 29


According to Zhirmunskii's "Kazakh composite," Alpamysh returns to his homeland in the dress of a divane [i.e. mendicant dervish]. The first person he meets is his relative Tortay, now a servant to five slave-herders who had been made beks. Alpamysh kills the bek-slaves (probably a variant of the killing of the caravan merchants). Baychobar upon entering his native pasture, "neighs, chews his bit. Hearing his neighing, an old grey mare, his mother, comes running from a horse herd that was grazing in the reedy brushwood, and with joyful neighs she circles around her foal."

Then, Alpamysh encounters a young slave-herder who, with tears in his eyes, tells the stranger about the fate of Alpamysh and his family. Further on he sees his sister Kaldyrgach, "barefoot and in rags, tending a herd of camels on the shore of the lake. An old black camel, who had been laying down in the pasture for 7 years, now suddenly raises himself up and runs straight to his old master. He circles Alpamysh seven times. Kaldyrgach goes after the camel and thinks she recognizes her brother. Alpamysh passes by without identifying himself. (These episodes with Kaldyrgach and the camel are not found in N or Kh.) In Zhirmunskii's Kazakh composite, it is Baybora whom Alpamysh sees driving his herds and calling, " Arai, canim, arai!" Finally, Alpamysh sees flocks of sheep which formerly belonged to Baybora. There he meets the old Kultay, who still weeps over Alpamysh as "a beloved child." In the variant Khairatdinov, Kultay together with Iadgar (Jediger here) slaughter a sheep in order to feed the unknown guest. In the Kazakh composite, two goats, once Alpamysh's favorite kids, recognize him.

Alpamysh identifies himself, but Kultay does not believe him until Alpamysh shows him the familiar mark on his shoulder -- the sign of the 'five fingers' of Shahimardan. Discovering the impending wedding of Barchin with the usurper Ultan, Alpamysh changes clothes with Kultay in order to remain unrecognized at the wedding feat: "I want to see with my own eyes who are my friends and who my enemies." Kultay kills a white she-goat, and "The batir cut out from the white goat skin for a beard for himself and from the hide cut out a nose with scissors [sic]" and became unrecognizable."

30 H. B. Paksoy

In the Kazan 1899 variant, Alpamysh sends Kultay to warn Iadgar whom Ultan keeps in chains and wants to use instead of the goat carcass to play oglak tartis at the wedding! Fazil, Khairatdinov and Niyazov all mention this same incident on the way to the wedding: "On the way Alpamysh encounters some simple women who were hurrying to the wedding feast and took him for the grey bearded old man Kultay. He eats their food and unnoticed places in [their] container 'dry kizyak of a cow, manure pellets of a sheep and goats.' The women, upon opening the dishes, curse the old joker." (F)

The description of the wedding feast in variants of Fazil and Sadykov begins with oglak tartis in which Alpamysh, disguised as Kultay, wins. Unrecognized, the batir sees the injuries and offenses caused by Ultan to his relatives and friends. His old mother on the side of an irrigation ditch cleans the entrails of sheep slaughtered for the wedding banquet. Baybora carries wineskins with water. The seven year old Iadgar endures beatings by Ultan and his servants.

"Barchin all the while refuses to acknowledge the oppressor Ultan as her suitor, and with her own steadfastness upholds the taciturn resistance of Alpamysh's family."

The scene with the cook (F, N, Kh) presents what Zhirmunskii labels one of the very ancient elements. The disguised Alpamysh congratulates Ultan, who then sends him off to the kitchen for food. The cook treats the poor man crudely and gives him leftovers. The angered Alpamysh throws the cook into the cauldron.

The competition of shooting the bow appears in all versions that include the "return of Alpamysh" theme. The alp breaks the ordinary bow (he breaks seven in N, 80 in Kh). He asks that the old bronze 14-batman bow of Alpamysh be brought to him. Barchin orders that the bow be brought. It had long remained at the lake Arpali, now overgrown with steppe grass. The minions of Ultan did not have the strength to lift it and it is brought by the batir boy Iadgar (Kh sas with the help of the cihilten). Apamysh, drawing it without difficulty, shoots off the top of a distant plane tree.

In the evening, the disguised Alpamysh participates in singing improvised olan (wedding verses). He sings with Ultan's mother. "The overbearing old woman is a comic figure: she can not pronounce the sound 'r' and this deficiency of her speech is especially funny in the wedding song with the traditional love refrain: 'yar-yar!' she sang 'yay-yay!'" Then Alpamysh "exchanges lyrical, heartfelt lines with the sad bride Barchin. From this he is convinced

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 31

of her fidelity and alludes to his own arrival."

In the Kazakh composite, Alpamysh meets his old mother, now blind, carrying a bundle of wood on her back. "She recognizes 'her only one,' her 'withered, unlucky breast' again became filled with milk, '[her] deafened and long blocked ears' again were opened, and 'wax poured out of them.'" Only after the singing, the archery contest takes place and Ultan offers Kaldyrgach as the prize to the winner.

Many of the wedding guests had already begun to guess that under the mask of Kultay was concealed the returned master Alpamysh. Now the real Kultay proclaims to all the people the return of the ruler. The batir together with his friends destroy Ultan and his followers and put Ultan to death by torture. At this time, Baysari returns from the land of the Kalmaks with his family. "The poem ends with the unification of the dispersed tribes of the Kungrat under the leadership of...Alpamysh." (F)

The Anatolian Variant: "The Tale of Bamsi Beyrek" "Bamsi Beyrek," despite its title and some other differences including its localization in Asia Minor, is clearly a version of the Alpamysh dastan.34 The variants of Alpamysh and "Bamsi Beyrek" are quite similar both in the action of each and in motifs. Both exhibit the desire of two equal princes for offspring, the betrothing of their children "in the cradle," joyful festivities greeting the newborn, falling into captivity, the fight for freedom, the false suitor to the alp's betrothed -- at appropriate places incognito, bloody armed combat to secure the final victory and finally regaining liberty, celebrated with traditional feasts. Concerning the similar motifs, both contain references to pre-Islamic as well as Islamic practices.

V. V. Bartold published, with a Russian translation, four episodes from The Book of Dede Korkut, including the "Tale of Bamsi Beyrek," in the 1890s.35 Bartold in his first translation noted that "The Oghuz version of the tale of Alpamysh i presented in the 'Story of Bamsi-Beyre, Son of Kam-Bori,' appearing in the cycle of the Book of Dede Korkut..." Bartold calls the "Bamsi Beyrek" story "Bamsi Beyrek, Son of Kam Bori," although Beyrek's father's name is Bay Bori-Bek (similar to the name of Alpamysh's father).

There is no Gam Khan in the story, although in the first sentence of Bartold's translation, he notes that Gam Khan (a possible variation of Kam Bori) is the father of

32 H. B. Paksoy

Bayindir, the Oghuz "khan of khans." Bartold called these "epics" (Russian: bylina). He published a translation of the full work in 1922.36

Two manuscript versions of Dede Korkut survived from the 16th century -- a Dresden manuscript made known to modern scholarship in 1815 and a manuscript discovered in the Vatican in 1950. The only English translation of Dede Korkut was made by Professor G. L. Lewis on the basis of these two manuscripts. Lewis points out that:

"...[T]he substratum of the stories [of Dede Korkut] is the struggles of the Oghuz in Central Asia in the eighth to eleventh centuries against their Turkish cousins the Pecheneks and the Kipchaks... It is significant that the 'infidels' are given Turkish-sounding names: Kara Tuken, Boghajuk, and so on....

"This substratum has been overlaid with more recent memories of campaigns in the Ak-koyunlu period against the Georgians, the Abkhaz..., and the Greeks of Trebizond. The Ak-koyunlu Sultans claimed descent from Bayindir Khan and it is likely, on the face of it, that the Book of Dede Korkut was composed under their patronage. The snag about this is that in the Ak-koyunlu genealogy Bayindir's father is named as Gok ('Sky') Khan, son of the eponymous Oghuz Khan, whereas in our book he is named as Kam Ghan, a name otherwise unknown. In default of any better explanation, I therefore incline to the belief that the book was composed before the Ak-koyunlu rulers had decided who their ancestors were. It was in 1403 that they ceased to be tribal chiefs and became Sultans, so we may assume that their official genealogy was formulated round about that date."37

In Lewis' translation, "The Tale of Bamsi Beyrek" is about 12,000 words long. Except for Fazil's 1928 manuscript (14,000 lines), all published versions and many other variants of Alpamysh are shorter than "Beyrek." Divay's 1901 variant, for example, is nearer to 9,000 words. The differences are partly due to a number of humorous, but philosophical, pasages that "Bamsi Beyrek" contains. These are of the type associated with another Turkic personality, Nasreddin Hoca who probably predated the compilation of The Book of Dede Korkut. The insertion of this humorous material is not a common occurrence in dastans. By definition and tradition, dastans are primarily created for very solemn purposes, and as a literary genre reflect the

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 33

"self identity" of their composers.

"Bamsi Beyrek" is approximately one third verse, especially those portions in which the individual characters are making emphatic statements. The Divay variant is, after a prose introduction of about 500 words, almost wholly in verse. Neither format is particularly unusual, however. Almost everything Radloff reported from South Siberia is in verse as are the fruits of the classical Chaghatay (Turki) period in Central Asia. On the other hand, around the Caspian Sea -- the western edge of this cultural domain -- many tales are related in prose.

The basic plot of "Bamsi Beyrek" is as follows:
Bay Bore is desirous of a son and prays for one in front of the teeming Oghuz. His friend and fellow prince Bay Bijan, hearing Bay Bore's wish, prays for a daughter so that she may be betrothed to his friend's son in the cradle. A son, nicknamed "Bamsa" is born to Bay Bore. Banu (or Lady) Chichek is born to Bay Bijan. The offspring are betrothed in the cradle. The boy grows up, performs "alply" deeds, for which Dede Korkut gives him the name Bamsi Beyrek. Bamsi wishes to marry Lady Chichek and Dede Korkut is commissioned to negotiate with her brother Crazy Karchar, on the issue of kalym.

Crazy Karchar demands stallions, camels, rams, dogs without ears or tails and huge fleas -- 1000 each. He is given the stallions, camels, rams, dogs without ears or tails. Karchar demands the huge fleas. The teeming Oghuz are puzzled and dismayed as to how to find and present the fleas. Finally, Dede Korkut undertakes to solve the problem. The ensuing humorous exchange, constitutes one of the primary differences between Divay's Alpamysh and "Bamsi Beyrek:"
"He (Dede Korkut) took Crazy Karchar to a flea-infested sheep-fold, tore the clothes off him and pushed him in. Then he said, 'Take what you want and leave the rest,' and barred the door firmly. The fleas were starving and they swarmed all over Crazy Karchar, who shouted and roared, 'Help Kede! For the love of God, open the door and let me out!' 'Karchar my son,' said Dede Korkut, 'why the uproar? There are the goods you ordered; I've brought them for you. What's wrong? Why have you gone all stupid? Stop the chatter, take the fat ones and leave the thin ones.' 'Dear Dede,' said Crazy Karchar, 'these are not the kind you can sort into ones you like and ones you

34 H. B. Paksoy

don't. For God's sake open the door and let me out!' 'Afterwards you'll quarrel with us again,' said Dede Korkut, 'just you see.' Crazy Karchar reared up to his full height and stamped and bellowed, 'Help, dear Dede! Just you let me out of this door!' Dede opened the door and Crazy Karchar came out, stark naked and swarming with fleas. Dede saw that he was at the end of his tether and scared stiff; his body could not be seen for fleas, and his face and eyes were invisible. He fell at Dede Korkut's feet and said, 'Save me, for the love of God!' 'Go, my son,' said Dede Korkut, 'throw yourself in the river.' It was a cold day, but as if his life depended on it Crazy Karchar trotted to the river and plunged up to his neck in the icy water. The fleas, as fleas will, streamed into the water and left him. 'Dear Dede,' he said, 'may God not be pleased with them, neither the thin ones nor the fat ones.' He put his clothes on, went home, and saw to the preparation of a lavish wedding-feast."38

After the wedding, Bamsi Beyrek and 39 companions are abducted by the infidel. The entire Oghuz Kulus mourns the loss.

For sixteen years nothing is heard from Beyrek and his 39 companions. Finally a group of merchants happen to stop at the domain of the infidel holding Beyrek and his companions captive. From the merchants, Beyrek learns that Yaltajuk, son of Yalanji is preparing to marry his betrothed on false pretenses. After securing the help of the infidel king's daughter, Beyrek makes his escape and returns to his homeland.

Close to the kishlak (winter quarters), Beyrek meets people in succession who are mourning his death and cursing Yaltajuk. In order better to identify his friends and enemies among the Oghuz, Beyrek decides to assume the identity of a minstrel. In his disguise as a poor wanderer, Beyrek joins the festivities, participates in contests, particularly arrow shooting. Finally he makes his way to the ladies' tent where his betrothed is surrounded by the wome of the Oghuz. In this gathering, Beyrek exchanges verses with Lady Chichek, who has no idea who this minstrel is, on specific events only Beyrek and Lady Chicheck would know.

Finally it is understood that this crazy minstrel is the lost Beyrek. After forgiving Yaltajuk for his crime, Beyrek sets out with the rest of the Oghuz following him, to the

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 35

land of the infidel where his 39 companions are still in captivity. The ensuing furious battle frees the men of the Oghuz, and marries the "infidel" princess who helped him escape, as in several Alpamysh variants. Lady Chichek is not mentioned in the final outcome.39 What follows is a standard forty days and forty nights of festivities during which all eligible young men and girls get married, blessed by Dede Korkut himself, who also named this tale.

Comparisons of the "Variants" and "Versions"

This section will make a cross-comparison and analysis of all those versions of Alpamysh from which the composite synopsis was compiled and of "Bamsi Beyrek." Then, the discussion will offer some conclusions concerning the Alpamysh dastan in its various forms.

Zhirmunskii has grouped the various redactions of Alpamysh into what he calls "national versions": Uzbek, Kazakh and Karakalpak. The classifications are based on the place of collection or, sometimes, on the perceived dialect of the text. This classification system will be one topic of the following discussion.

The issue of the primacy of Fazil Yoldashoglu's version, not only among "Uzbek variants" but over other "versions" will also be explored here. In view of the wide variety which the many variants of the dastan encompass, it is difficult to see by what criteria one version can clearly be established as the "standard" against which to judge others. This consideration will end with a discussion of the possible reasons for this elevation of the Fazil variant.

Comparison by Structure and Content

The wide variation among the Alpamysh versions described in the above synopsis is striking. Some include only the birth of Alpamysh, his early feats, betrothal to and separation from Barchin, selection of his Chobar, the first journey to the land of the Kalmaks and winning his bride. Pulkan's "Uzbek" and Divay's 1901 variants encompass only this group of events. Among the "Kazakh variants," these events are given little attention, including variants of Akkojaev-Maykot and to an even lesser degree in Jusupov-Rahat and Kissa-i Alfamysh (Kazan 1899), or are absent altogether as in Velikan Alpamysh.

It is not only the Pulkan ("Uzbek") and Divay 1901 ("Karakalpak") variants that omit the "Odyssey theme." Both

36 H. B. Paksoy

Velikan Alpamysh and Jusupov (both "Kazakh") variants are without Barchin, and thus lack the "return of the husband" as well as Alpamysh's son Iadgar. Beyrek does have a betrothed, but extant manuscripts do not indicate their marriage, and Beyrek has no son.

Versions which have the second journey include Alpamysh's return to the land of the Kalmaks, his imprisonment, subsequent escape and, usually, return home. In all "Kazakh" variants, Alpamysh makes his second journey to the Kalmaks' territory to retrieve Baybora's stolen cattle. In those two of the five "Karakalpak variants" which include this journey (those of reciters Niyazov and Khairatdinov) as well as in the "Uzbek variants," Alpamysh returns to defend his father-in-law, Baysari (or Saribay) from the Kalmaks.

The ending of the second journey also may vary. Usually, Alpamysh returns home as Barchin is about to marry the usurper Ultan-taz, variously cousin, half-brother and/or slave shepherd. This is the famed "Odyssey theme" about which Zhirmunskii has written so much. Obviously, in those variants that omit Barchin, this theme, too, is absent. Jusupov-Rahat (JR) ends with a lonely Alpamysh returning home, apparently forsaking his Kalmak bride.

Akkojaev-Maykot sends Alpamysh home to Barchin, but ends< his narration before the batir arrives. Velikan Alpamysh, like "Beyrek," ends with the marriage of Alpamysh and his Kalmak (or "infidel") princess. Only Kissa-i Alfamish, among the "Kazakh" variants, includes the return home, the meeting with Kultay, Kaldyrgach, the wedding scene and revenge on the usurper. Jurabaev ("Uzbek") includes the killing of Karajan (now Ultan's vezir) in his finale, and Berdi Bahsi and he both omit oglak tartis.

In the "Bamsi Beyrek" story, the initial separation is a result of the departure (kidnapping) of the batir rather than the bride and ends with the return of Beyrek to the wedding of his lady to a usurper, whom he forgives. The second journey is made in order to rescue the cmpanions taken prisoner with Beyrek n the first part. Thus similar events are found but in reverse order to the other Alpamysh versions.

Certainly, the Odyssey-like theme can be identified at once. As Lewis states:
"Much ink has been spilled over the puzzle of how the Homeric tale found its way into the Book of Dede Korkut... [One can] imagine that Homer borrowed some themes which he found circulating

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 37

orally round western Asia Minor and which, still circulating after two millennia, were borrowed once more, this time by the unknown Turkish author of The Book of Dede Korkut in the east of the country."40

The origins of this motif in Anatolia might explain, at least in part, the absence of this theme from those variants of Alpamysh circulating on the steppe, which is far from Asia Minor, and the frequency with which we find it in the "Uzbek" variants.

In addition to these structural differences, variants also exhibit significant divergences in presence or absence of major actors and motifs. The absence of Barchin in some variants has been noted. In the variants in which she is included, the degree to which she exhibits the traits of the "batir maid" varies. In Fazil's variant, she is more "batir-like" than Alpamysh, wrestling her suitors and pulling the nails out of Baychobar's hooves with her teeth. Lady Chichek, too, behaves like a "batir maid" in testing Beyrek's skills in riding and wrestling against her own. Divay's Barchin is independent and spirited, but performs no such feats to rival Alpamysh. Concerning the behavior of Barchin in the variant of Akkojaev-Maykot, Zhirmunskii's synopsis is strangely silent. In the end, however, Alpamysh forsakes his second (Kalmak princess) wife for Barchin. Abul Gazi wrote in Secere-i Terakime about Barchin, the second of seven "Batir Maidens" who was the daughter of Karmysh-Bay and the wife of Mamysh-Bek (sometimes identified as Alpamysh). Barchin's tomb was believed by the population of the Syr-Darya region (in the mid-17th century) to be located near that river. It was called "Barchinin Kok Kashane." Abul Gazi described it as having "a magnificent dome, decorated with tiles."41 Karajan does not appear in any "Kazakh variant" nor is there a corresponding personage in "Beyrek." In all variants except that of Fazil, he is converted to Islam after his combat with Alpamysh. In variants in which Karajan has son (the "Karakalpak variants") the sn's name varies and Karajan kills him in the baiga. But in the "Uzbek variants," there is no son and thus his treachery towards his father and the competition between him and Karajan is absent from the baiga. Karajan does not sleep his batir slumber in Fazil's "Uzbek" variant nor in the "Karakalpak" variant by Niyazov, but is overpowered by the other batirs who tie him and Baychobar. Both Divay 1901 and Khairatdinov ("Karakalpak") include the

38 H. B. Paksoy

batir slumber.

Zhirmunskii notes the coincidence of names between the Alpamysh variants and "Bamsi Beyrek." The fathers of the batirs are Baybora/Baybori and Baybura-bek. He remarks on the origins of the names of the alps: "The name Alpamysh (Alpamys) according to information of Abul Gazi (Mamysh-bek) and the Altai tale (Alyp-Manash) is explained as alp-Mamysh, that is as the batir Mamysh; Bamsi, agreeing with the interpretation of Hadi Zarif42 may be a phonetic distortion of the same name -- from alp + Mams(i)."43 The heroine in "Bamsi Beyrek" is Banu Chichek, not Barchin, the name of Banu Chichek's father is Baybijan-bek. These have no parallel in other versions. Also the suitor-usurper in the Oghuz version is called Yaltajuk, a name which does not appear in other versions. Furthermore, in the tale of "Bamsi Beyrek" this usurper is not a slave or the brother of the alp, but "friend-betrayer." He carries the false story of the alp's death to get the hand of the betrothed. (This motif Zhirmunskii identifies with the Altai Alyp-Manash.) Apparently there is also an Armenian variant of "Bamsi Beyrek," recorded in Kayseri.44 According to Rossi, the tale was widespread in the region of Bayburd and many Armenian families living in the village Almyshka (of that region) before the First World War claimed descent from Beyrek and an Armenian princess.45

Further comparisons of the variants of Alpamysh are hindered not only by the lack of genealogy as mentioned above, but also because the unavailability of many printings (not to mention original field records and manuscripts) requires reliance on the composite synopses of Zhirmunskii. Although they contain considerable and useful detail in most instances, as synopses they reflect Zhirmunskii's choices concerning which portions to include or exclude. Furthermore, these synopses are not totally reliable in the details they do include. The few available printed variants make it possible to trace some of these erroneous omssions or attributions. The following xample compares Zhirmunskii's composite "Karakalpak" synopsis to Divay 1901.

Zhirmunskii states that in the Karakalpak variants, the children of Baybora and Baysari are born due to the intervention of the cihilten. However, Divay's 1901 variant actually states that the two men agree to pray to saints. Only in naming the children do seven kalendars appear. When they disappear, they are referred to as the 40

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 39

cihilten. In the wrestling scene, Zhirmunskii states that the bloodletting is begun by vezir Kokemen's shooting Alpamysh with a rifle. In Divay's variant, there are no rifles. Kkemen shoots Alpamysh with a bow and arrow.

In comparing "Bamsi Beyrek" with Alpamysh, Zhirmunskii uses whichever version of Alpamysh best illustrates his point even if that leads to unclear, ambiguous or even misleading conclusions. For example, he notes that "Bamsi Beyrek" exhibits ancient elements as does the Kungrat Alpamysh. His following paragraphs comparing motifs of "Bamsi Beyrek" and Alpamysh refer sometimes to one variant, sometimes to another. After a series of examples drawn from Fazil's variant, he adds the "friend-usurper" role of Yaltajuk in "Bamsi Beyrek," which has no counterpart in Fazil's variant. It is, however, the role Karajan plays in Jurabaev's variant.46 At no time does Zhirmunskii mention that he has switched referents. Zhirmunskii also spends considerable time on the "romantic" and marriage motifs, which are certainly secondary (if not tertiary) to the main purpose of the dastan. This is perhaps self-serving because it allows him to pursue his analogy with the Odyssey and, more serious, to undermine the primary purpose of the dastan -- to recall the liberation struggle.

These considerations lead to larger issue of Zhirmunskii's classification system. First, as noted above, each variant is categorized by its place of collection, rather than by content. The flaws with this method are obvious from the above discussion -- "variants" within the same "version" may be quite different from one another. They may, in fact, have more in common with "variants" that are classified as being within another "version" category. For example, Pulkan's "Uzbek" variant is much closer in scope to Divay's 1901 (which Divay himself called "Kirghiz," meaning present-day Kazakh, but which Zhirmunskii classifies as "Karakalpak") than either one is to other "variants" of its "own" category. Classification may beconvenient and useful, but not when the categories are artificial, when they obscure relevant trends or run contrary to actual similarities which suggest more useful groupings. It is also surprising that material Zhirmunskii himself presents undermines his classification scheme by revealing such differences among variants.

A second question posed at the outset of this section is what makes the Fazil version, among the dozens recorded,

40 H. B. Paksoy

many of which were recorded before it, the "classic." Zhirmunskii notes at the outset that Fazil's variant is distinguished by "remarkable completeness and artistic cultivation," suggesting that it is more than the length which makes this variant so noteworthy.47 However, the remainder of his lengthy chapter using this "variant" as a basis of comparison reveals some inconsistencies in Zhirmunskii's own treatment of the Fazil "variant." Zhirmunskii begins his 1960 monographic treatment of Alpamysh with the declaration that "The classic variant of the Uzbek Alpamysh was recorded from Fazil Iuldashev [sic] (1873-1953)..."48 In contrast, he begins the comparison of the variants by suggesting that there is little to distinguish other "Uzbek variants" from Fazil's: "The variants of the Uzbek Alpamysh do not concern the basic lines of subject: they are limited only to separate, more particular, motifs."

In his detailed treatment of individual features of the "variants" he not only emphasizes this theme of relatively minor differences, but in fact points out incidents in the narrative, motifs and elaborations that exist in other reciters' "variants" and do not exist in Fazil's. Since the reader has already been assured that Fazil's is the "classic" version, the absence of some significant events and details is puzzling. This is especially so in view of the great length of this variant -- 14,000 lines in manuscript49 and what Zhirmunskii and Hadi Zarif call the "richness of detail" of the Fazil variant.

Zhirmunskii's own comments on other reciters' variants cast a shadow on the "classic" status of Fazil's. By Zhirmunskii's own statements, other "variants" contain elements that are more "ancient" (combat between Karajan and Alpamysh before the conclusion of their friendship), "original" (Karajan's becoming the vezir of the usurper Ultan), and "primordial" (Tavka-Aim bringing Baychobar Alpamysh's clothing, rather than steppe grass). Possibly there is another reason for he "classic" status of this one variant.

Fazil's "variant" depicts Karajan's conversion to Islam because of a persuasive dream, unlike other variants which include combat. In that combat, Alpamysh is victorious, convincing Karajan not only of his rival's "excellence" but also of the strength of his faith. Perhaps this seemingly greater weight on the religious element qualifies Fazil's version as "classic." According to Hadi Zarif, however, Fazil consistently refused to recite variants of Alpamysh which included religious elements and particularly rejected intervention by saints or the cihilten. Fazil argued that

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 41

the need for such intervention detracted from the "alply" qualities of the batir:
"What kind of hero is it that feels himself helpless before every difficulty and in order to overcome them needs direct divine intervention? With the help of saints, even a weak person can overcome any obstacle. Such help from above only weakens interest in the hero."50

Indeed, comparing Fazil's variant with that of some other ozans, notably Berdi bahsi, whose variant employed several such divine interventions, bears this out. Fazil rejects the idea of saints' aid to the bound Karajan during the race (reportedly saying that if Karajan is a real batir, why should he need the saints' aid to free himself?)51 Fazil, like some other ozans, includes the letter-bearing goose, who carries the news of Alpamysh's captivity to Kaldyrgach, where Berdi Bahsi places an angel. Thus Fazil's "variant" is not consistently religious, but neither does it denigrate nor exclude religion.

Furthermore, because of certain aspects of Fazil's narrative, the characters seem to act with almost undetectable motivations or with none at all. The inspiring dream seems unconvincing as sufficient motivation for Karajan's religious conversion, much less for his friendship and willingness to endure all hardships to win for Alpamysh his betrothed. This is especially so in view of Karajan's own earlier entry into the contest to win Barchin for himself.

Alpamysh's own behavior -- in Fazil's variant as reported by Zhirmunskii -- is hardly deserving of the creation of a dastan or the bestowing of the title batir. (This was noted by the dastan's 1952 critics, as described in Chapter Two.) In Fazil's "variant" Alpamysh goes after Barchin only with the urging of his sister. He does not defeat Karajan, nor does he participate in any of the contests for Barchin's hand until Karajan has eliminated all the competition. Then the batir steps in at the end to finish off the exhausted Kokaldash, and this he does only fter Barchin threatens to enter the fry herself. When imprisoned, he weeps on waking in the zindan. He teaches Kaikubat to steal in order to feed him.52

Among these examples of "unalply" behavior, at least one incident, the batir's weeping, is known to be uncharacteristic of Fazil's recitations. According to Hadi Zarif, Fazil not only rejected religious motifs, he especially disliked the variant of Alpamysh recited by

42 H. B. Paksoy

Pulkan precisely because in it the batir weeps.53 It is surprising therefore to find this incident in a variant attributed to Fazil. In this regard, two facts must be kept in mind: first, Zhirmunskii used Penkovskii's translations rather than any original manuscript;54 and second, it has been documented that Penkovskii deliberately altered Fazil's version since his [Penkovskii] earliest translation. Thus, it is quite probable that Penkovskii's changes are responsible for these elements in content that are contrary to Fazil's own views. One wonders what other such "refinements" there may have been.

Hadi Zarif, too, calls the Fazil variant a "classic" but not without qualification. Here we encounter one of several significant passages by Zarif that are never repeated in later works by Zhirmunskii. In the 1947 work, Zarif couches the declaration of Fazil's version's "classic" status in highly cautious language that restricts and specifies the "classic" qualities: "In richness of detail, fullness of epic content and high level of artistic mastery -- this is the classic text of Alpamysh." But Zarif follows this qualified statement by an even more ambiguous one:
"However, the epic breadth, the artistry of the 'trimmings' [otdelki] by itself does not fulfill the criterion of antiquity of epic tradition: on the contrary, in a series of cases, wide and full development of epic subject, the abundance of episodes and working over of details conveys a maturity [zrelost'] of this tradition, of the long road from short epic songs to the epic of great scale. Obviously the redaction of Fazil Yoldashev in many cases carries signs of such stylistic breadth."

In the final analysis, one characteristic of Fazil's variant does indeed set it apart from all others -- the fact that it and it alone has been so often translated (by Penkovskii) into Russian (1943, 1944, 1949 [twice]), and so widely reprinted (one 1949 translation was reprinted 1958, 1973, 1982) and distributed in largenumbers. This list of translations an reprintings is probably not exhaustive. It was the Fazil variant that was declared the definitive version (1958) in the wake of the "trial of Alpamysh" and the extensive reorganizations of the Oriental Institutes of the mid-1950s. This variant with the weak and indecisive batir is thus the most widely circulated. Such is the model officially sanctioned for Central Asian youth to follow and for all nationalities to see.

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 43


A dastan is a living and changing monument, recalled to duty by its owners as needs demand. For that reason, it is more correct and more useful to see each "version" of Alpamysh as a "freeze-frame" in an on-going, dynamic process rather than as ossified and ancient "folklore" containing this or lacking that "part." Each recitation or printing can be viewed as a "frame" of the "original film." It is for us to see the larger, moving picture of which each variant is one still photo.

In order to try to put together the larger picture, it is necessary to take into account the "still photos," that is, the variants themselves, what we know about their collection, and the larger pattern suggested by students of the dastan genre such as Hadi Zarif and Zeki Velidi Togan. The incomplete information about the general collection process and the lack of a complete genealogy for any one variant remain a handicap. Any variant, version or genealogy -- conveniently discovered or rediscovered in the future -- should be viewed with all due caution. Keeping these conditions in mind, we can proceed with the available information.

Only three variants of Alpamysh are known to have been collected and published before the 1917 revolution. The earliest printed variants are those of Yusufbek (1899 Kazan) and Divay (1901 Tashkent). The only other distinct variant collected and published before the revolution, to my knowledge, is Divay's Velikan Alpamys (1916). The information concerning the collection circumstances of the 1901 Divay Alpamysh is the most detailed, as noted above. Inan's theory of fragmentation from "mother dastans" would seem to be in agreement with Hamid Alimjan's remark about the dastan being shared by the Turks in Central Asia and with Hadi Zarif's statement that Alpamysh dates from the time before the division of the Turkic tribes. In that case, the present-day "variants" may be fragments of one ancient dastan. any may be in the process (described in Chapter One) of "spinning off" from liberation dastans (which remain intact) to lyrical songs and finally, to masals.

The content of many extant variants reflect various stages of the "spinning off" process. Most published variants include the so-called "part two," often in very elaborated form which sometimes utterly dwarfs or eliminates "part one."

44 H. B. Paksoy

The original liberation theme is embodied in the "first part." The 1901 Divay variant concerns the struggles of an alp, Alpamysh, primarily for the good of his kin and tribe. This becomes obvious if we consider that Baysari took with him a large number of families and thereby split the tribe. Thus Alpamysh's mission takes on the aspect of a unification, certainty of offspring, and also a liberation struggle, of which his marriage to Barchin is merely a symbol. Indeed, Alpamysh himself states (line 664-5) "When you [Baychobar] win [the race for Barchin's hand], the future of the Kungrats will be secure." Certainly this declaration takes the whole journey out of the realm of the merely personal and makes it an attempt to ensure the unified future of the tribe.

By comparison, other variants which emphasize "part two" place greater weight on personal revenge or on romantic themes. Yusufbek's 1899 printing, like Fazil's and many other post-revolutionary variants, highlight this "second part" during which Alpamysh is saved from captivity by a princess who loves him and whom, in some variants, he marries. In many of these variants, the batir returns from imprisonment and exacts revenge on those who mistreated his family during his long absence. Although most of these variants may be said to uphold values of family loyalty, their emphasis on personal as opposed to collective, tribal sufferings and needs can be seen as part of the devolution of liberation dastans into romantic ones.

The 1899 printing, although its date of publication is the earlier, appears to be much further along the "spin-off" process than the 1901 Divay. Both seem to have been collected at approximately the same time, in the mid-1890s, but appear to be "frames" of different scenes in the "motion picture." Divay's 1901 variant is more immediately occupied with liberation and the Yusufbek 1899 ("Kazakh") shares more with 1939 Fazil ("Uzbek") than with 1901 Divay. >From this point of view, Hadi Zari's reference to the "maturity" of th Fazil version of Alpamysh may be seen from another perspective (if not as veiled criticism of a decadent narrational style). He seems to be describing the "spin-off" process described in Chapter One. Fazil's variant had already moved quite far from its original form as a liberation song toward a lyrical dastan stage.

New Meanings of "Saving" dastans:

Those who first recorded the variants of Alpamysh were perhaps also trying to preserve the dastan as the liberation song it was originally intended to be. The

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 45

earliest level in the process of saving dastans concerns collecting available fragments and fixing them onto paper in order to disseminate them widely. Efforts to reach and to reassemble the original liberation song from available variants represents the next higher level of "saving." The highest level is the effort to place the dastan in historical context, to match how the dastan related to the lives of the original composers and how it affects the owners at the time of the study. (These levels are not to be confused with the "waves" of rescuers discussed in Chapter One. The two do not coincide, i.e. the "waves" do not represent a progress from one level to another in this process.)

Divay, Yusufbek, Gazi Alim, Alimjan, Hadi Zarif, Tura Mirza were among the men engaged in saving dastans at the first level -- collection, transcription and large-scale dissemination. A number of these individuals made use of existing manuscripts as a basis for their published versions. Divay, for example, received his 1901 Alpamysh in the form of a bahshi's manuscript. Other evidence of the use of manuscripts before the revolution comes from statements by bahshis whose variants were collected in the Soviet era. Some bahshis stated that they had learned Alpamysh from manuscripts or from older ozans who were themselves making use of manuscripts. Publication of manuscripts was a part of the first level of saving and disseminating dastans. The multiple printings of both the 1899 and 1901 variants appear to have been made with the same goal in mind. Since both the 1899 and 1901 printings (and their reprintings) had long been in circulation, these may have been available to other reciters like Fazil.

Togan noted that Yusufbek, who operated solely within the first level, mixed Islamic elements into the dastans he collected. Presumably this was true also of his 1899 variant of Alpamysh. He added these religious motifs, which were not part of the original liberation dastan, pparently to combat the vigorous effots of Russian Orthodox missionaries based in Kazan. Other "saviors," including Divay and Fazil, rejected such use of these religious elements. Their own statements suggest their faith lay in the power of the dastan's original message.

Gazi Alim and Togan personify the second level of saving dastans. In his 1923 introduction, Gazi Alim states that he had seen both the 1899 Yusufbek and the 1901 Divay variants of the Alpamysh dastan. Both, writes Gazi Alim, are incomplete and omit many incidents. He further criticizes

46 H. B. Paksoy

the reciter of the 1899 variant as an "untalented" individual who "ruined the structure" of the dastan. Gazi Alim had intended to publish a "complete" variant, accompanied by explanatory notes. He writes that he did not have the time to accomplish that task.55

Gazi Alim's effort constitutes the collecting of fragments to form a single, complete dastan. It is strikingly reminiscent of Togan's observation, cited in Chapter One: "In the end, when a nation faces a monumental event, an enlightened poet collects these fragmentary dastans to create the great national dastan." It is probable that Togan and Gazi Alim spoke of this matter. Gazi Alim's action seems to express Togan's thought. (They were in Tashkent at the same time).

Because of their efforts and vision, Togan and Gazi Alim, as well as Alimjan and Hadi Zarif, must be seen also as proponents and practitioners of the third, highest level -- placing the dastans in their historical context and articulating the meaning of the dastans for both their creators and present-day owners. Like Togan and Gazi Alim, Alimjan and Hadi Zarif emphasized the significance of dastans as part of their people's history. Alimjan (in his 1939 Introduction quoted in Chapter One) notes that the Alpamysh dastan is shared among various Turkic peoples and that it has been part of their history for a millennium. Therefore it is no surprise that "lack of knowledge of Alpamysh was considered a shame."

The Power of Alpamysh and Its Implications

That so many "saviors" chose the Alpamysh dastan as the object of their efforts on all three levels suggests the power of that dastan's message and its continuing relevance.

That power is further implied, and confirmed in Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, by the use of the Alpamysh dastan as a propaganda tool during World War II. At that time, a number of Alpamysh variants (at least ten) appeared in print. In view of severe war-time shortages, the allocation of precious resources to publish "folklore" -- i original dialects and Russian transltion, in Moscow and Central Asian cities -- is indeed a reflection of its power to mobilize its owners. Even then, it was not the 1901 Divay variant that was the focus of attention and re-printing. Instead, Fazil's variant and others which contained the "return of the husband" theme (no doubt striking a sensitive war-time chord) were published and translated.56 The 1901 Divay variant appears not to have been republished after Divay's death.

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 47

The dastan's denigration during Soviet post-war reconstruction suggests that such stirring, martial "liberation songs" -- even in the lyrical form, such as Fazil's -- were no longer required. Indeed, they might now be dangerous -- with the removal of the German threat, the "alien" might be understood to be the Russian "elder brother."

Finally, the current emphasis on "variants" may reflect the regional pride of their editors and the manipulation of such feelings by official circles. Despite the relatively late collection of the Uzbek versions of Alpamysh, both the longest manuscript and the earliest monographic work on dastans were produced in the Uzbek SSR by native Central Asians. Feelings of local pride exude from Gazi Alim's statement that he wanted to collect Alpamysh from "Uzbek" bahshis, after his criticism of the Yusufbek and Divay versions. At the same time, the Kazakh authors have been tracing their studies of Alpamysh to Divay's efforts. Divay's collections took place before the printing of the 1899 variant and therefore represent earlier scholarly efforts than those of the Uzbek Academy. Mirzaev, Gabdullin and Sydykov also engage in this type of effort of establishing "their" variants of Alpamysh -- Uzbek and Kazakh, respectively -- as the earliest.

Officially proclaiming this "Uzbek variant" of Fazil as the "classic" may be part of another policy by the official circles, attempting to incite not so friendly competition among the Central Asian populations. The differentiation of versions contravenes the original message and intent of the dastan. Such differentiation implies separateness of peoples, as Mirzaev argues, and each "nation" may be incited to strive for the supremacy -- or primacy -- of "its own" version. On the other hand, Central Asians are beginning to display signs indicating that they are becoming aware of this perspective.

The appearance, in the 1970s and 1980s, of various works such as Singan Kilic by Tolongon Kasimbekv (Frunze, Kirghiz SSR, 1971); "Baku 501" by Azize Jaferzade (Azerbaijan, Nos. 7 and 8, 1982); "Altin Orda" by Ilyas Esenberlin (Culduz, Alma-Ata, Nos. 7 and 8, 1982) and "Olmez Kayalar" by Mamadali Mahmudov (Sark Yildizi, Tashkent, Nos. 9 and 10, 1982) attest to the authors' awareness of unspoken policies. But they also demonstrate a recognition of other issues. These literary works reflect knowledge of the dastans and an understanding of their intent and power. All these works of "historical fiction" employ the format and messages of a dastan, often quoting

48 H. B. Paksoy

from older and more ancient dastans when not borrowing themes liberally. 57

Mahmudov's work and those of his contemporaries is not only part of the "saving" process of dastans, individually or collectively. Rather, it embodies the tradition and the message of the dastans themselves. This contemporary "fiction" in fact constitutes new dastans in the proper Central Asian tradition, written in a new guise.

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 49


1. Mirzaev, Uzbek variantlari, 151-160.

2. V. M. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie ob Alpamyshe i bogatyrskaia skazka, (Moscow: Izd. Vostochnaia literatura, 1960) Publication of the Academy of Sciences of USSR the Gorkii Institute of World Literature and the Oriental Institute.
3. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 35 and note 13. "A. Divaev. 'Etnograficheskie materialy VII,' (in Sbornik... vol IX. Taskent 1901 and separately); Second edition in the series Kirgiz-Kazakhskii bogatyrskii epos, v. VI Tashkent 1922 (without translation)."
4. See Kazakhskaia narodnaia poeziia (Iz obraztsov, sobrannykh i zapisannykh A. A. Divaevym) (Alma-Ata, 1964), 182. This is a publication of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, M. Auezov Institute of literature and art. Another version was collected from Irkembek Akhenbek, a "Kazakh of the Chimkent uezd of the Nogaikurinsk volost" and published in Russian under the title "Velikan Alpamysh" (The Giant Alpamysh), in Turkestanskaia vedomost', 1916, No. 217-218.
5. Chadwick and Zhirmunskii, 292.
6. Kazakhskaia narodnaia poeziia cited in note 1, this chapter.
7. Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 69-70.
8. Uzbek variantlari, 29-30. On the other hand, as noted in Chapter One, this is in contradiction to Zhirmunskii and Zarifov's writings.
9. This view is presented in English in Nora K. Chadwick and Victor Zhirmunsky, Oral Epics of Central Asia (Cambridge, 1969), 293.
10. Zhirmunskii, 15; repeated from Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 68.
11. See Chapter One.
12. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 15.
13. Mirzaev, Uzbek Variantlari, 10.
14. According to Mirzaev, 4, 108, the variant of Berdi Bahshi was recorded in 1926 by Abdulla Alaviy.

50 H. B. Paksoy

15. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, On Fazil's variant 16-23, 23-24 on the bahsis, 24-30 on variations of other bahsis listed here; additional information on the bahsis in Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, Chapter 1.
16. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 40-45; shorter but similar comments are found in Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 66-67, 102. In the 1947 work the story is not tortuously retold, but differences are simply pointed out.
17. Zhirmunskii notes, Skazanie, 40, note 18, that he is indebted for information on this repository to corresponding member N. A. Smirnova and 'nauchnyi sotrudnik' ('scientific assistant') T. Sydykov. The wording of this statement suggests that Zhirmunskii did not actually see these manuscripts.
18. A. S. Orlov, Kazakhskii geroicheskii epos, (Moscow: Academy of Sciences, 1945) cited in Skazanie, 41, note 20.
19. Togan, Turkistan, 492, 493.
20. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 40, note 21.
21. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 35-39.
22. Published in Latin orthography as Alpamys in Moscow, 1937, with second edition Tashkent 1941, cited in Zhirmunskii, 36.
23. Zhirmunskii, 36, does not give the date of collection, but cites the publication of this work as Alpamys (Nukus, 1957).
24. Narod means a people, equivalent of halk; in Russian, narodnyi may mean 'folk' or 'national,' depending on context. Here it is contrasted to the term 'natsional'nyi' and so it is rendered as 'folk.' However, elsewhere in this passage, the term 'national' is more in keeping with the sense of the passage.
25. USSR Academy of Sciences, Department of Literatures and Languages, V. M. Zhirmunskii: sravnitel'noe literaturovedenie, vostok i zapad (Leningrad, 1979). (Part of the series "V. M. Zhirmunskii; izbrannye trudy.").
26. Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 61-68.
27. See Chapter Two. This is true primarily of Section 2, Chapter 2 (The chapters of Section 2, of which there are three, are by Zhirmunskii) on "Epic Songs." The final chapter on "Singers of Epics," actually contains comparatively little material on Cenral Asians ozans. What there is seems heaily based on Hadi Zarif's work.
28. Zhirmunskii, 16-23; Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 61-65.

ALPAMYSH: Chapter Four 51

29. Zhirmunskii's note 29 cites his own Vvedenie v izuchenie Manas (Frunze, 1948), 20.
30. Translated from Text of Kazan 1899.
31. Zhirmunskii, "Literaturnye otnosheniia Vostoka i Zapada kak problema sravnitel'nogo literaturovedeniia," (Literary relations of East and West as a problem of comparative literature," in the Trudy iubileinoi nauchnoi sessii (Works of the jubilee academic session) of the Leningrad State University, Section of Folkloric Sciences (Leningrad, 1946).
32. This translation from Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 36-37, also in Chapter Two.
33. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 29.
34. For a comparison of Alpamysh and Bamsi Beyrek, see H. B. Paksoy, "Alpamis ve Bamsi Beyrek: Iki Ad, Bir Destan," Turk Dili, Sayi 403, Temmuz, 1985. This paper was rendered into Kazakh by Fadil Aliev and published under the original author's signature, in its entirety (but without footnotes), in the weekly Kazak Edebiyati, No. 41 (Alma-Ata, 10 October 1986).
35. These were published in Zapiski Vostochnogo otdeleniia Russkogo arkheologicheskogo obshchestva, (ZVORAO) vols. VIII, XI, XII, XV, 1893-1903; they were apparently republished (presumably from these issues of the ZVORAO) by the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences as a single work under the title Dede Korkut, (Baku, 1950), cited in Zhirmunskii, 64, note 1.
36. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 63. More detail about Bartold's publishing history of Dede Korkut is provided in Zhirmunskii and A. N. Kononov's "From the Compilers" note in a 1962 republication of Bartold's translation of Dede Korkut: Kniga moego Deda Korkuta (Moscow: Academy of Sciences of USSR, 1962).
37. Lewis, 18, 19.
38. Lewis, 68. Lewis, in his commentary, refers to the "tiresome question" about Lady Chichek's whereabouts. He argues that since the manuscripts from which he made his translation represent fragments, it is not possible to determine this matter. Since Beyrek had been betrothed to her, however, it must be assumed that he did marry her. 40. Lewis, 15-6.

52 H. B. Paksoy

41. Abul Gazi, Rodoslovnaia Turkmen, 78 (Zhirmunskii, 83, cites here the Russian translation of Secere-i Terakime.
42. Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, Uzbekskii narodnyi geroicheskii epos, 74.
43. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 71, refers to Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 74.
44. N. Macler, Contes legendes et epopee populaire de l'Armenie, (Paris, 1928) and E. Rossi, Kitab-i Dede Qorqut (Vatican, 1952), 58; cited in Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 76, note 31.
45. Rossi, 58, cited in Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 77.
46. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 70-71.
47. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 15.
48. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 15.
49. Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 68; repeated in Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 15.
50. Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 41.
51. Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 41.
52. Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 18-21.
53. Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 41.
54. There is no evidence in his narratives, commentaries or notes that Zhirmunskii knew any Turkic dialect. All his references are to Russian translations of Alpamysh and, in works such as the 1962 republication of Bartold's translation of Dede Korkut, Zhirmunskii states that items "were checked" against other manuscripts and indicates that his own contribution was limited to compilation. His biography similarly does not reflect any knowledge of Turkish (to conduct the applicable research).
55. Gazi Alim, "Alpamysh Dastanina Mukaddime" in Bilim Ocagi, No 2-3, Tashkent, 1923.
56. See the items 19 through 29 in the bibliography.
57. See H. B. Paksoy, "Central Asia's New Dastans."

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