Two books on the oral tradition of the Pamiri Kyrgyz launched

HAH Report

Dr Elmira Köchümkulova along with Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha (centre), Chairman of UCA’s Board of Trustees, present a set of books to Dr Sulaiman Kaiypov, noted Kyrgyz folklorist and ethnographer in Bishkek on Feb 22.

Islamabad (Feb 27): Two books on the oral tradition of Pamiri Kyrgyz people living in Turkey have been published.

Authored by renowned Kyrgyz folklorist and ethnographer Dr Sulaiman Kaiypov, the books Proverbs and Sayings of the Pamiri Kyrgyz Living in Turkey, and Funeral Laments of the Pamiri Kyrgyz Living in Turkey, have been published with the support of the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit.

It is perhaps the first time that original texts of historical songs, proverbs, sayings, and eulogies (funeral laments) of Pamiri Kyrgyz have been collected and published in such detail.

The books were launched at a ceremony in the auditorium of the I. Arabaev State University in Bishkek, on February 22, says a statement of the UCA.

Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman of UCA’s Board of Trustees, presented a set of books published by UCA to Dr Sulaiman Kaiypov.

The pioneering works are the result of over 10 years of fieldwork by the author of the Afghan Pamiri Kyrgyz living in the Van region of eastern Turkey.

Dr Kaiypov’s goal was to analyse the multi-faceted genres of oral tradition according to the highest academic standards in an effort to broaden public interest and provide source material for linguists, folklorists, ethnographers, and university students in the fields of philology and ethnology.

“I have been researching the oral tradition of the Pamiri Kyrgyz living in Turkey since 1997. Original texts of funeral laments (koshoks), proverbs and sayings that meet the high academic standards of UCA, have been published for the first time,” said Dr Sulaiman Kaiypov.

“A critical part of UCA’s mission is to help the different peoples of the region preserve and draw upon their rich and diverse cultural traditions and heritages as assets for the future,” Dr Elmira Köchümkulova , Head of CHHU, who was one of the editors of the two books, said.

“CHHU is advancing this mission through research, documentation, archiving, and support of regional scholars,” she added.

“On behalf of the all the Afghan Pamiri Kyrgyz living in Turkey, I would like to express my deep gratitude for the hard work and care that has gone into preserving our cultural heritage,” said Musadyk Kutlu, son of Rakhmankul, the last Khan of the Pamiri Kyrgyz who moved from Wakhan, Afghanistan, to the Van region of eastern Turkey in 1983.

“Through Dr Kaiypov’s research and publications in various languages, the world will now know more about us,” he said.

The University of Central Asia was founded in 2000 as a private, not for profit, secular university through an international treaty signed by the Presidents of the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan, and His Highness the Aga Khan; ratified by their respective parliaments, and registered with the United Nations.

The presidents of the three republics are the patrons of the university, and His Highness is the Chancellor. UCA’s mission is to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia, particularly its mountain communities, by offering an internationally-recognised standard of higher education and enabling the peoples of the region to preserve their rich cultural heritage as assets for the future.

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