KHAKAS NATIONAL CULTURE
Khakas nation has very rich and honourable history which does to the depth of
ancient times when Siberia has been settled by many tribes of different origin,
tumuli of men of which have discovered by archaeologists until present days.
Khyrghyz people who has been an ancestor of modern Khakas nation and has left
him original patterns of ancient writing system of Orkhon-Yenisei Turk Runics
script and of unique examples of ancient petroglyths which are widespread
throughout the Khakas steppes and mountains.
Khakas national culture contains the brightest colourite of historical heritage
of Kyrgyz people and of previous Persian, Chinese, Mongolian, Scythian, Hun and
some Finno-Ugric tribes like the Samoyeds, Samody and Kets. Together with that
the Khakas culture bears the parts of a common cultural heritage that is left
for us up to thousands of years ago by our ancestors who had lived on Khakas
land in previous historical periods like Tazmin, Afanasievo, Andronovo, Karasuk,
Tagar (Scythian-Sarmatians of Southern Siberian state of Dingling-go), Tashtyk (Huns)
arceological epoches. Thus, culture of our nation carries traces of very vast
spectrum of cultural and folkloric background which in present days has been
continued by painting and sculpture art, and through the preservation of throat-songing
[in Khakasian `Khai`, and a throat-songing performer `Khaidji`]
tradition which is the national Khakas songing`s style met in general only in Asian people.
Khakas Republic there is Khakas Republic Philarmony founded in February of 1989.
Solists of this philarmony`s subgroup `Ulger` [means `constellation` or `galaxy`]
which performes both the traditional Khakasian Khai and modern repertoire have
many times toured abroad (Japan, Spain, Holland, Turkey, etc. Western and
Eastern European countries and their towns).
the Khakas Republic there are professional folk musicians named Khaidjis, who
make in self-denying form an effort for
protecting and propagandizing this ethno-musical tradition that has been
transferred to us as national cultural heritage by our ancestors. These throat-singers (Khaidji) have performed
Khai a throat-singing which is a part of the traditional ethno-cultural
heritage of Khakas people and a part of cultural wealth of all humanity as well.
performs Khai in two styles; by mounting a horse (i.e., Khai throat-singing
under Chatkhan accompaniment), and by sidewalk (i.e., without any musical
instruments accompaniment). Together with that, first way of Khai performing
is more widespread within Khakas community..
also have to give some marks about traditional Khakas folk musical instruments
Chatkhan, that is being leading instrument among other traditional Khakas
national instrumental collection which consist of Chatkhan (this instrument in
general has 6, 7 strings, but sometimes number of strings reach up to 12, 14), 2
or 3-stringed Khomys, Timir Khomys, and Pyrghy, Khobrakh, Syylas (these three
instruments are like flute by form), Tuur (which is a rhythmic instrument like a
drum and also is a shaman`s `horse` for astral and mental travels), Yykh (2-stringed),
is essential musical instrument of Khaidji for performing the Khai by telling
heroic epic (Alyptygh Nymakh) which performance may last up to several days and
nights. Chatkhan lies in centre of
spiritual life of Khakas people. First descriptions about Chatkhan have been
made by D.G. Messerschmidt, who in 1721 for the first time discovered the steles
of Yenisei Turkic inscriptions (Ancient Kyrgyz inscription steles which in
following times has been named as
Yenisei and Orkhon [located at the Orkhon River basin in a northern part of
Mongolia where had lived the Gok Turks - `Heaven-originated Turks`] inscriptions.
Descriptions of recorded details of Chatkhan made by this scholar are very
important from point of view on an evolution experienced by a Khakas ethno-musical
instrument Chatkhan [it`s name may in modern sense be interpreted as `Khan
of Chat`, because of Chatkhan like a Tuur (a Shaman`s drum) is a mean of
communication to ghosts (in Khakas Khut -tar [hut])].
with alyptygh nymakhtar in Khakas folk literatural heritage of national culture
there are national melodies [kog -ler], sad and tragic melodies [Mong -lar],
tales [Nymakh -tar], stories [Chookh -tar], true epics [Nartpakh -tar],
traditional songs [Yr -lar], modern songs [Saryn -nar], short poems which
generally have eight lines [Takhpakh -tar], proverbs [Sospek -ter], wise phrases
and idioms [Khyigha Sos -ter], poems [Kibelis -ter], puzzles [Taptyrghas -tar],
fiction stories [Taima chookh -tar], anecdotes [Khongaldjos -tar], true stories
[Syn chokh -tar], prayers [Alghas -tar] during rituals [Taiygh -lar],
thanksgivings [Alghys -tar], desires and requests [Suranys -tar] and many other
of Khakas national takhpakhs as well as other national literatural-cultural
elments were due to prohibited under repressive Soviet regime. But in spite of
then disadvantageous repressive regime they could continue themselves beings by
confidential verbal transmission among the bearers of traditional Khakas
cultural heritage. Furthermore in our days when around the world there are winds
of scientific and technological revolution have blown stronger all ethnical or
sub-national groups have a chance and opportunity to research, protect,
conserve and even develop their own
cultural and ethnical identities against or under negative impacts brought by
above mentioned winds of information and technology revolution which accelerate
the globalization process through using positive or adventageous means and
opportunities created by these winds.
I would like to present for you a simple of Khakas takhpakh together with its
English interpretation made by me:
chiri allygh chir
ot osken chir polghan
kharaamnang chas akhcha
chiri ilbek chir
oscheng chir polghan
kharaamnang chas akhcha . . .
My fatherland once was a vast country
which soil there was the Nature with a rich flora and fauna
when I think about it
run down from my hazel eyes
motherland once was a great country
On which soil there was grown a holy herb of Irben(*)
now when I remember it with sorrow
Tears are flowing from my both eyes..."
(*) Irben [Thymus vulgaris] according to Khakas shamanistic belief is a sacral herb used for give off smoke and sanctify during a shamanic ritual the people attended to it. This herb is grown in mountains and mountainous places.
Timur Bulat DAVLET [25 Alai