Books on the Oral Tradition of the Pamiri-Kyrgyz Published
The University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit (CHHU) launched two new books in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on February 22nd 2018, on the oral traditions of the Pamiri-Kyrgyz living in Turkey, authored by renowned folklorist and ethnographer Dr Sulaiman Kaiypov. This is the first time that original texts of historical songs, proverbs, sayings, and funeral laments have been published in such detail.
These works are the result of over 10 years of fieldwork by the author among 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), and proverbs and sayings that meet the high academic standards of UCA, have been published for the first time,” said Dr Sulaiman Kaiypov.
Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha (centre), Chairman of UCA’s Board of Trustees of UCA, presenting a set of books published by UCA to Dr Sulaiman Kaiypov (R), renowned Kyrgyz folklorist and ethnographer. Also on stage is Dr Elmira Köchümkulova (L), Head of CHHU at UCA, who was one of the editors of the books.
Both works, Proverbs and Sayings of the Pamiri Kyrgyz Living in Turkey, and Funeral Laments of the Pamiri Kyrgyz Living in Turkey, were published with the support of UCA’s Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit, and the book launch took place in the auditorium of the Kyrgyz State University named after I. Arabaev in Bishkek.
“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. CHHU is advancing this mission through research, documentation, archiving, and support of regional scholars,” said Dr Elmira Köchümkulova, Head of CHHU.
“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. Through Dr Kaiypov’s research and publications in various languages, the world will now know more about us,” said Mr Musadyk Kutlu, son of Rakhmankul, the last Khan of the Pamiri-Kyrgyz who moved from Afghanistan to the Van region of eastern Turkey in 1983.
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 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. UCA brings with it the broader commitment and partnership of the Aga Khan Development Network.