Analizing Kyrgyz Narratives (AKYN) Research Group at the American University of Central Asia Plumtree, James Bakchiev, Talantaaly Sydykov, Doolot
The Talantaaly Bakchiev recordings were transferred to Blinken OSA in the year 2019, the Doolot Sydykov recordings in 2020.
Content and Structure
Scope and Content (Abstract)
The series consists of audio and video recordings of an episode from the Kyrgyz-language ‘Manas’ epos.
Scope and Content (Narrative)
The Manas Epos is a term for metrical Kyrgyz-language narratives concerned with the legendary hero Manas and his descendants. The earliest known transcription, collected by Kazakh scholar Chokan Valikhanov, from an unnamed performer (later identified as Nazar Bolot uulu) dates from 1856. A number of episodes were collected by the German-born Wilhelm Radloff in 1862-1869. A significant variant was collected and published by the Hungarian researcher György Almásy, and the earliest sound recording of the performer Kenje Kara dates from 1903-1904. Placed beside later manuscripts and early printed versions, the narratives show an oral tradition adapting in response to different social-economic conditions, different audiences, and different media. The Soviet period saw attempts to produce a single, canonical, version of the epos, with sizeable variants produced by Sagımbay Orozbakov and Sayakbai Karalaev. The publication of a ‘harmonious’ variant, and its widespread availability, alongside fluctuations of support for oral performers, has resulted in lingering questions about the survival of the oral tradition. Branches of the tradition also exist among the Kyrgyz diaspora in the Pamirs and in Xinjiang.
This is a collection of audio and video recordings made by the Analizing Kyrgyz Narratives (AKYN) Research Group at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek as part of a project to collect and study the current status of Manas performances in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan. Variants of the same narrative episode were collected to study methods of construction of contemporary performers.
The recordings were made by Kamila Baimuratova at the recording studio of the American University of Central Asia. The performances of Talantaaly Bakchiev were recorded on October 31, December 12 and December 22, 2017; the performances of Doolot Sydykov on February 16, February 22, and March 1, 2018.
Transcriptions made by Alymkan Jeenbekova, as well as further details on the project can be found on the AKYN website at https://auca.kg/en/research_faculty_akyn/en/ (as of November 25, 2021). The AKYN website was hosted earlier at http://akynproject.auca.kg/en/.
The recordings were donated to Blinken OSA by former CEU student James Plumtree.
Conditions of Access and Use
Conditions governing access
Plumtree, James. "A Telling Tradition: Preliminary Comments on the Epic of Manas, 1956-2018", in S. Thomson (ed.), Medieval Stories and Storytelling: Multimedia and Multi-Temporal Perspectives (Turnhout: Brepols, 2021), pp. 239-301.
Processed by Mark László-Herbert, October 31, 2020. Last updated by Mark László-Herbert, November 25, 2021.