A  L  P  A  M  Y  S  H  
                   Central Asian Identity  
                     under Russian Rule  
                        H. B. PAKSOY  
              Association for the Advancement of   
                    Central Asian Research  
                       Monograph Series  
                   Hartford, Connecticut  

             CHAPTER THREE: The Alpamysh Dastan 
The   1901  Tashkent  version   of  Alpamysh  prepared  for

publication  by  Abubekir  Ahmedjan  Divay  is  the  oldest

variant printed in Central  Asia the circumstances of whose

collection  are known.  The copy  from which  the following

translation was made was published  in Tashkent in 1901  in

book form by V. M. Ilina. The first page tells  us that the

work was  reprinted from Sbornik materialov dlia statistiki

Syr-Dar'inskoi oblasti (hereafter referred to  as Sbornik),

v.  X  (1901), the  publication  of the  Syr  Darya oblast'

Statistical  Committee, of  which  Divay was  a member.  As

noted in  the Bibliography  (Chapter Two), it  was not  the

only printing of this version in Tashkent in 1901. The same

version  was also  reprinted in  1922, again  apparently in

multiple editions in various serial publications. 
Ghabdullin and Sydykov cite a third 1901 version of Divay's

Alpamysh,  published  in  Pamiatniki Kirgizskogo  narodnogo

tvorchestva (Tashkent,  1901).1 Thus there were  apparently

three  different printings  of  the same  version in  1901.

Ghabdullin  and  Sydykov   also  state   that  the   second

publication  of   this  version  (apparently  only  in  the

original language)  came out  in 1922 in  Batyrlar Vol. VI2

and also  in  Russian translation  in  Kirgizsko-kazakhskii

epos, no. VI, Tashkent 1922.3 
Although  the 1922 issue was a reprint of the 1901 variant,

Divay made  changes in the vocabulary,  weeding out Persian

and  Arabic   elements  (which   he  noted  in   his  brief

introduction to  the 1901 editions) and  replaced them with

Turkic vocabulary.  Some of these changes are documented in

a  line by line comparison  of the two  texts in Ghabdullin

and  Sydykov (p. 42) and in greater detail by Sydykov alone

in his presentation to the Kazakh Academy and published  in

Kazakhskaia narodnaia poeziia (p. 183):  
     1902 (1901) edition      1922 edition  
     Yerde Otken Alpamysh     Jerde tken Alpamysh 
     batyrdyn taghrif 
     abiyatydur               batyrdyn hikaiasy. 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                        3

     Bul dnieden bi ferzend  Bul dnieden bir balasyz  
     ter boldyk              tetin boldyk.  
     Kette beiram toy tarkap  lken toy tarkap ketti.  
     Sahardyn faiyz uakytynda Tan bozaryp atyp kele 
                              jatkan uakytta.              

     Alghanlaryna             Alghandarymen kyzyk deuran 
     jakynlyk etti            sristi.  
     Boiyna hemile bitti      Boiyna bala bitip. 
The Language of the dastan Alpamysh 
The  language  of Alpamysh  is  Chaghatay,  adorned with  a

liberal  sprinkling of  tribe-specific vocabulary,  such as

Kirghiz,  Kazakh, Uzbek  etc.,  depending on  which  tribal

unit's version is examined.  
The  Chaghatay language  is alive  and well  across Central

Asia.4 It  has never  died,  and is  often referred  to  as

"Turkistani",  or simply  by its  earlier name,  Turki. The

designation   "Turkistani"  given   to  the   same  dialect

certainly  carries  political  implications,  conjuring  up

memories of more ancient associations and of the Turkistani

movement at the turn of the 20th century.5 
The label "Turki"  refers to the  language of Yesevi  (12th

C.), Timur (14-15th C.), Babur, Ulug Beg, Navai and Baykara

(15-16th  C.) among  other significant  historical figures.

This  designation  has been  preferred  by  nearly all  the

authors  who  have  written  in it.6  In  short,  Turki  is

probably one dialect understood by virtually all the Turkic

peoples of Central Asia. 
Abubekir Divay's 1901 printing  of Alpamysh is written half

in verse half in  prose and in the Arabic script.  The text

contains some  9000 words. Divay called  it Alpamysh Batyr;

Kirghiz Poem.  
As noted in Chapter Two, the term "Kirghiz" was replaced in

the Soviet  period by  the term  "Kazakh" to  denote Turkic

speakers  in   the  steppe;  those  who   had  been  called

"Kara-Kirghiz"  before 1917  were called  simply "Kirghiz."

This renaming  coincided with the division  of Central Asia

into    soviet    socialist   republics    (the   so-called

razmezhevania) and with the "language reforms" of the 1920s

and 1930s.7  Here,  when quoting,  the term "Kirghiz"  will

4                               H. B. Paksoy 
be used as  in the original.8 Otherwise the term  Kazakh is

Despite Soviet disputations on  the proper designation  for

the 1901 version,9   Divay noted in his brief  introduction

(translated below)  that the bahshi from  whom this version

was  recorded was  Karakalpak,  but the  version itself  is

"Kirghiz" ("Kazakh"). In view of Divay's life long research

on the steppe, his judgment should prevail. 
An  examination of  the text  itself establishes  the close

association with Kazakh/Kirghiz rather than the  dialect of

the  Karakalpak. In Line 724 is a reference to Aycurek, the

woman  of Semetey, the  son of Manas, alp  of the dastan by

the  same name.  The dastan  Manas is  primarily associated

with the Kirghiz. Furthermore, the informants consulted for

this translation,  were Kirghiz  of  the Pamirs  who had  a

native's familiarity  with the  particular dialect of  this

The  version  of  Alpamysh  which follows  is  neither  the

longest, nor  the shortest  variant known.  Furthermore, it

presents two major difficulties: 
1. The script suffers  from misspellings, demonstrably  due

to poor  typesetting, perhaps because the work  was done by

non-native typesetters.  For example, in a  number of cases

the spelling  of specific words varies  from one appearance

to the next. Even  the name "Alpamysh" is not  immune. This

not only makes the reading of the text  somewhat difficult,

but  in many  cases (noted  in  the commentary)  alters the

meaning of the relevant passages greatly.  
2. The style of narration  is somewhat erratic, making  the

distinction  between "who  is  speaking when",  or "who  is

doing what to whom" rather tenuous.  
The  first  problem is  purely a  mechanical one,  albeit a

nuisance,  and  can  be dealt  with.  The  second  is of  a

structural nature,  possibly due  to the recitation  of the

bahshi, the original transcription  or even the second copy

made from the first. The text also suffers from  the use of

faulty grammar.  
It  must  be emphasized  that  neither  of these  drawbacks

diminishes  the original  fiery  spirit of  the dastan  nor

reduces  this  edition's  critical  importance  and  value.

Indeed, there were several reasons for having selected this

version for translation and analysis:  
1. Aside from  the fact  that it is  the earliest  printing

outside  Kazan, it constitutes  a very early  attempt by an

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                        5

individual (Divay) to save the dastan from extinction.  
2.  The   transcription  and  printing  pre-date  the  1917

Revolution. (The majority of the Alpamysh printings are the

products of post-revolutionary efforts.)  
3. It is in  the Arabic alphabet, which is the  earliest of

the  three major  alphabets in  which this dastan  has been

4. The  specific location and  conditions in  which it  was

collected are known. 
5. It is possible to observe the "time-layers" in the text,

juxtaposed over prolonged historical periods. 
At  an early state in the process of translation, it became

evident  that a  group  of tribe-specific  words, as  noted

above,  were  not  covered  by  any  accessible  or  extant

dictionary.  Therefore  it  was  imperative  that  a native

speaker  be located to serve as a language informant. After

an extensive search,  Rahman Kul Kutlu  and his tribe,  who

became refugees from the Afghan Pamirs when the Soviet Army

invaded that country, were  discovered to have been settled

in the Van  province of the Turkish  Republic.10  Despite 

his advanced  age,  Rahman  Kul  Kutlu11  graciously  

agreed  to submit to an  incessant barrage of questions.  

As a result, many  a misprinted  word  been corrected  and 

semantic  and narrational difficulties clarified. 
The translation strives  to reflect the style and flavor of

the original narration. It  is done primarily for reference

to  the historical treatment of  the topic at  hand and not

undertaken  for purely  linguistic  analysis. At  the  same

time, it  became necessary to inject  explanatory words and

phrases,   within  the   parenthesis  pair  (),   into  the

translated text. First of  all, the bahshi, or  perhaps the

transcriber,   seems   occasionally  to   have  disregarded

grammatical niceties. Thus, inserted remarks  are sometimes

needed in order  to overcome the effects of this sloppiness

and to make the  text palatable for the Western  mind. Such

remarks  are also  needed  because of  a "literary"  method

employed by Central Asian bahshis, which I call "indexing."

Authors  writing  in   Chaghatay,  a  language   especially

suitable for terse and  concise expression, tended to bring

into view entire concepts with one operative key word. This

had  the effect of compressing  a large body of information

into  one  central word,  the  understanding  of which  was

pivotal to the comprehension of a couplet or quatrain. This

6                               H. B. Paksoy 
applies  equally  to verse  as  well  as prose  written  in

Indexing  was a  favorite mechanism  among the  authors who

produced literary works  in Chaghatay. In fact, a survey of

the Chaghatay literary output would suggest that the higher

the level  of indexing,  the more sophisticated  the poetry

was considered. On the  other hand, due to the  practice of

"indexing"  and  because   the  nature  of   the  classical

Chaghatay  is  rather   to  the   point  (without   flowery

redundancies),  the  translation  may, at  times,  give the

impression  that  the text  is  composed  of incomplete  or

random  sentences.  In  the original,  however,  the  rhyme

scheme holds the verse together.  
Divay  began the 1901 version with a very brief foreword in

Russian. This introduction is unsigned in the 1901 version.

However,  this same  introduction  reappears, over  Divay's

signature on p.  5 in the 1922  reprint of this version  in

Batyrlar VI. The introduction is translated here:  
     "We present here for the attention of the reader, 
     the translation  and text  of  the poem  Alpamysh 
     Batir,  which enjoys  great popularity  among the 
     Kirghiz of the Syr-Darya oblast.  
     "This  manuscript was  sent  for our  use by  the 
     former  head  of  the  Amu-Darya  otdel  of   the 
     Syr-Darya province, Major General K. I. Razganov, 
     for which we render to His Excellency our sincere 
     "It was  recorded by a Karakalpak  of the Tortkol 
     volost    Amu-Darya   otdel    the   improvisator 
     Djia-Muradov Bek-Muhammedov  [sic], by profession 
     a bahshi.  
     "The poem is presented, almost  from beginning to 
     end,  in  a poetical  form,  and  its content  is 
     extremely interesting.  
     "Although  the poem  Alpamysh  Batir is  a purely 
     Kirghiz  work, because  of the  fact that  it was 
     here set down by a Karakalpak, a near neighbor of 
     Bukhara, the text of it is sprinkled with Persian 
     and  Arabic terms.  In the  translation,  we have 
     tried, as far as possible, to remain close to the 

Importance of Name   
There   is   no  satisfactory   explanation  of   the  name

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                        7

"Alpamysh."  Three suggestions  may  be  mentioned,  though

neither of the  first two  is convincing and  the third  is

1. The man known to  historians of India as  Altamish,13 

who in A. D. 1211 assumed the  throne of Delhi as Shams 

al-Din, is  variously named on his coins as [scripts]  

(But  not in  fact Altamish?)14  Given  that the  Kirghiz 

and Kazakh versions spell the name "Alpamysh" as "Algamysh"

and "Alfamysh,"  it could  be  that "Altamysh"  is yet  

another variant. Indeed,  Digby  tells us  that  the  

pronunciation "Altamysh"  has   been  used   in  India  

since   the  18th century.15  But  Digby's  findings  seem 

to  bear  out  the traditional reading "Iltutmish." 
2. In  the  Secere-i  Terakime  by Abul  Gazi Bahadur  

Han,16 there  is a mention of Barchin, wife of Mamis  Bey, 

daughter of Karmis Bey.  Abdlkadir  Inan suggests  that 

this  alp + Mamis  may lie at the root of the name 

3.  The  words  "qagani alp armis" in the  eighth-century 

Tonyukuk  Inscription18 might  seem at  a  casual glance  

to support   the   obvious    though   impossible    

etymology "Alpermish." But of course  there is no question 

of  a name here; the words mean "Their Qagan is said to be 

It  is, however, possible that "Alp Imis" ("it is said that

he was an Alp" or, more  probably "he proved that he indeed

is an alp") may lie at the root of the name Alpamysh. 
Place of Origins 
A. K. Borovkov is  of the opinion that the  dastan Alpamysh

arose  between the  12th  and 14th  centuries among  Turkic

speakers  of the  Dasht-i  Kipchak.19  Both Hadi  Zarif  

and Zhirmunskii, on the basis  of various Byzantine and 

Chinese sources20 and  the works of  Bartold,21 note 

"ancient  forms" of the  dastan "existed probably  in the 

foot-hills  of the Altai as early as the sixth-eighth 

centuries at the time of the Turkic Kaghanate."  
Zhirmunskii's  synopsis  of  the   history  of  the  dastan

reflects the  views of  his predecessors, Bartold  and Hadi

     "From the Altai [an  ancient form of the Alpamysh 
     dastan] was brought by the Oghuz tribes, no later 
     than the  tenth century, to their  later seats at 
     the lower reaches of the Syr-Darya,... From there 
     it penetrated  into Transcaucasia and  Asia Minor 
     under the Seljuks in the  eleventh century.... In 
8                               H. B. Paksoy 
     the   twelfth-thirteenth   centuries,  with   the 
     movement  of Kipchak  tribes, the tale,  in still 
     another  version,  penetrated into  Bashkiria and 
     the  Volga region...  At  the  beginning  of  the 
     sixteenth  century it was  carried by the nomadic 
     Uzbek tribes  of Shibani-Khan into...  the bekdom 
     of   Baysun,....  whence   the  poem   was  later 
Concerning the  locale of this 1901  Alpamysh: Togan states

that a variety of Turkic tribes of the Kipchak group, among

which  he  includes  the  Kungrat,  have  occupied  various

locations stretching  from Western Siberia to  the Aral Sea

and the Ferghana  valley.23 From the mid-14th  century, 

they inhabited  the  Tobol River  region  and  in the  

17th-18th centuries, the south banks  of the Aral Sea and  

the shores of  the  Syr-Darya.  He  includes  the  Kungrat 

among  the important  tribes  found in  the  Kazakh,  Uzbek

and  Nogai confederations.24  
Hadi  Zarif argues  that the  localization in  Baysun dates

from the  early 16th  century when that  region became  the

yurt of the Kungrats  (whose name, he says, appears  in the

late 12th century) as a result of a division of lands among

Turkic tribes which entered Turkistan with Shibani Khan. He

further argues that this localization is common to all  the

variants that, "at the present time, the Kungrat constitute

the majority of  the Turkic peoples of  Central Asians: The

Uzbeks, Karakalpaks, Kazakhs, and Turkmen."25 
In the  last quarter  of the 14th  century, two  successive

Kungrat  leaders, the  brothers  Hussein  and  Yusuf  Sufi,

battled  Timur, established  a state  in Khorezm  and ruled

from  Urgench  until  Yusuf's defeat  by  Timur  in  


Perhaps as a result of this experience, the Kungrat  became

the object of Timur's policy of dispersing the tribes.27 
As for the Kungrats' adversaries in the dastan, the Kalmaks

(ethnically Mongolian, adherents  of Buddhism) made several

migrations  westward. One of  the first recorded migrations

took place in the  middle of the 15th century.  During this

time  the Kalmaks held a  vast territory from  the Altai to

the  western shores  of Lake  Baikal and  "their plundering

bands  ranged  from  the  outskirts of  Peking  to  Western

Turkestan."28   Other  major migrations  of  Kalmaks to  

the regions  north of the Aral  and Caspian Seas  took 

place in the mid-17th  century, when  they reached  

Bashkurt lands.29 

Another   migration  westward   in  the   mid-18th  century

increased their numbers. In the 1760-70s, part of the Volga

Kalmaks returned to Jungaria at the request of the Manchus;

during their  return they  fought endless battles  with the

Kazakhs and the Kirghiz.30 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                        9

Thus the Kalmaks  seem to  have been present  north of  the

Kungrat Uzbeks from the lower Volga all the way to Jungaria

and south to the Pamirs.31  The two may, therefore,  be 

said to have been neighbors not in any one limited area or 

time, but along a  rough line stretching from the Aral Sea 

to the Pamirs  over a period of  centuries. From the  15th 

to 17th  centuries, the Kalmaks made  numerous raids into 

Semirechie and were  a major  enemy of  the  Turkic tribes 

inhabiting Turkistan.32 
Just  where the exploits of Alpamysh  took place, or indeed

where exactly his homeland  was, is a moot point.  All that

can  be safely asserted is  that the poem  arose in Central

Zhirmunskii   states  that  there  are  separate  "national

versions"  of Alpamysh.  In  his introduction  to the  1939

Alpamysh, Alimjan  writes  that all  Central  Asians  share

Alpamysh.    By  implication,  Alimjan's  words  suggest  a

greater  degree of unity -- not a common origin to separate

versions, but a single shared dastan. Hadi Zarif states the

case  even more  directly: "Alpamysh  at its  foundation is

more ancient than the contemporary national division of the

Turkic-speaking peoples of Central Asia."33 
Virtually  every major  Turkic tribal  unit within  Central

Asia has at least  one version of Alpamysh which  they call

their  own. Under  these circumstances,  we may  accept the

fact  that Alpamysh is an  alp, indeed the  premier alp, of

the  Central Asians. No  Central Asian dastan  alp shares a

similar honor. 
The commentary  section follows  the translation  proper. A

facsimile of the original 1901 text is appended, for  those

who may wish to further study this rare version. 
10                               H. B. Paksoy 
1. In the times past, at a place called Jidali Baysun, 
2. these are  the verses  of the ancient  tale of  Alpamysh

3. In the times past, in the land of Jidali Baysun, Baybora

and Baysari 
4.  were two equal Princes. There was abundance all around.

Princedom did not take away 
5.  worries about  being barren.  "What is  the use  of the

possessions beyond the (yurt) threshold Baysari Bay." 
6. Two princes conferred: "Listen  Baybora, we are about to

leave the world without offspring. 
7. If  God favored,  the apostle interceded,  patron saints

(performed a) miracle; only 
8. progeny  we should ask." These  words sounded reasonable

to both. (It is agreed that) patron saints 
9.  are to  be  visited, God  petitioned.  With tears,  two

princes promised each 
10. other. "If God gives  us children, a son to one  of us,

and a daughter to the other, 
11. would  you  agree to  their betrothal?"   "I  certainly

would" said the other. "If I had a son" 
12. (and) "if I had a daughter;" "we will match them," they

promised each other. 
13. Even in the absence of a daughter, they became kudas. 
14. Great God showed mercy, their wishes were granted. Time

15. days  followed days.  They went  back  to their  lands.

16. they  arrived in their  homes. Jan Talas  was Baybora's

17. Baysari took Altun Sach his wife. 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       11

18. There was togetherness.  Their tears were accepted, and

there was pregnancy. 
19. Nine months and eleven days passed. [...] 
20.   [...]  When  stomachs protrude  with pregnancy,  eyes

could not see the ground. The celebrated day 
21.  arrived.  Baybora's wife  gave birth  to  a son  and a

daughter. Baysari's 
22. wife, to a daughter. A great feast was arranged. Ninety

23. were  skinned, hearths  were fired in  every direction,

altun kabak was shot. 
24.  Smart  sword  plays  were  made.   Wrestling  contests

arranged. Games lasted thirty 
25. and the feast  forty days. Golden cribs were  placed in

the house. Both Princes 
26.  brought their children, and placed them in the arms of

the mollas. 
27. "You, the chosen people of God, name the children" (the

mollas were asked), "and pray for them." 
28.  All  the princes  thus  displayed  confidence (in  the

mollas).  Robes of  Honor were  presented (to  the mollas).

Discussion ensued, names were suggested for the children. 
29.  The  Princes were  not  satisfied  (with the  proposed

30. Upon casting an eye towards the kible, hoca mollas 
31.  (in their  distinctive garb)  were beheld.  These were

God's servants, seven kalendars. 
32.  Hoca  mollas  stated:  "Baybora Bay,  your  tears  are

33. From the unknown world, destiny sent the dervishes. 
34. Let them name the children. Whatever (names) they chose

is  acceptable to us. We  will raise our  hands" (in prayer

for their acceptance in the presence of God). 
35.  Their share (of the  food) was presented  to them from

12                               H. B. Paksoy 
the house of the feast. The seven kalendars were invited to

the center. 
36.  "You,  the  wanderers   of  the  unknown,  name  these

children" they were asked. 
37. The  kalendars  agreed. "The  only son  of Baybora  Bay

should be 
38.  Valiant  Alpamysh.  His  daughter's  name, Kirlangich.

Baysari Bay's 
39. daughter, Glbarchin. May Glbarchin be 
40. a match to Alpamysh." The seven kalendars have embraced

41. patted him  on the back, calling him the  only son. "We

are your seven pirs. 
42. If you slip on a muddy road, burdened with worries, and

ask for help 
43.  from your seven pirs,  and God sends his help, it will

be our duty to render it". 
44.  The forty  wanderers of  the unknown  disappeared. The

grand festivities 
45. ended. Seven years passed. One day, the two Princes sat

down and conferred. 
46. "We  asked for a son,  and were endowed  with one; same

for a daughter. We became 
47. kudas. We are  getting old, youth is fleeting.  We have

feasts (to attend) 
48. yet. Let us mount the Karakasga horses, and braid their

49. When we  get older, it will hurt more  when we fall off

the horse while playing kok boru." 
50. They chose good horses, and proceeded to play kok boru.

Baysari Bay 
51.  grabbed the goat and  took the lead.  Baybora Bay gave

chase after him, grabbed 
52. a leg of  the goat. Baysari Bay did not let go. Both of

them contested, 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       13

53. became  adversaries, struck  each other with  whips and

(in  due  course) entered  into  the  crowd of  contesters.

Baybora Bay's 
54. family  was teeming.  Baysari Bay's  family was  not as

55.  During the  kok boru  grappling, the goat  assumed the

personality of the Devil. Baysari Bay 
56. experienced  much  difficulty and  belittling from  his

kuda Baybora. * 
57.  If  the lock  of  hair remained,  and  life left  * He

(Baysari Bay) resented his kuda and his actions (during the

Kok Boru). 
58. "He  (Baybora) caused me to  remain childless." Because

of his ill feelings 
59. Baysari left the field  and went back to his  home. Due

to his distress 
60. he  did not leave his  house or bed for  seven days and

nights. He spent his time surmising. 
61. "Baybora  was my eternal  relation. Since he  caused me

grief, I should 
62. move away, find another place to live. 
63. Find a  place (to go) where I will  not be belittled. I

should not 
64. allow my daughter  to marry his (Baybora Bay's)  son. I

should not give him a pinch of my salt. In this false world
65. I should not see Baybora Bay's face again." Thereby, he

decided to move to a distance of forty days and six months 
66. to the  land ruled  by Taysha Khan.  After loading  his

ninety camels, 
67. he stopped at Ak Bulak. Spent the night. 
68. At dawn, he loaded his camels one more time. 
69. On a black camel, with Barchin in a gold kibacha, 
70. his wife Altun Sach said (to Baysari): * "May it rain 
14                               H. B. Paksoy 
71.  and  turn  the bright  days  into  floods  * may  your

prosperity be increased from year to year * 
72.  you loaded ninety  camels at dawn  * You, Gulbarchin's

73.  may your journey be auspicious * We have tightened the

girth on the horse's saddle * We 
74.  are listening to  hear the tongue  of the Mongol  * We

loaded the ninety camels at dawn * 
75. Which  lord's  land  are  we  going  to."  Baysari  Bay

answered: 'Pencil 
76. thin  eyebrows are the ornament of a face * I could not

eat because of my grief * 
77. I declare that  I was treated condescendingly *  Do not

shed tears 
78. Altun Sach *  you were as  high as the  full moon *  in

this world, 
79. you  were  known (the  distinguished one)  in the  four

corners * in the past, 
80.  we were two equal  princes living a plentiful life  on

this land * the full moon was up high 
81. * (Now) in  this world all around  me is lost *  in the

82.  (living)  on my  plentiful land  *  when (we  had) the

horses run, it was a festive occasion * 
83.  my exuberant  heart was  overflowing with  joy *  as I

whipped my horse * On that day I 
84. grabbed  * the goat and got away * who reaches his goal

in this world * The 
85. dignity  of (granted) offspring was  fleeting * Baybora

was my eternal kuda * 
86. He chased after and caught me * My eternal kuda * He 
87. struck me on  the head with  his whip *  I do not  have

elder or younger brothers * 
88.    (If  only it  had  not  been  for)  the lack  of  an

offspring! * My eternal kuda struck me on the head with his

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       15

whip * 
89.  I tightened the girth on my camel's belly * Traversing

a distance of forty days and six months * 
90. I  will arrive in  the Kalmak  Taysha's lands *  I will

braid the horse's tail * 
91.  I will lead  a life without  worry * My  only daughter

Barchin * to the atheist Kalmak * 
92. I  (freely) choose  to give (in  marriage)" *  Answered

Altun Sach: "I cry with tears in my eyes, * 
93.  forming lakes  *  My  dark  hair  on  my  back  became

felt-like * In such difficulties 
94. my only daughter Barchin * could  not enjoy her days as

a young girl * The roses in the garden 
95.  wilted  before the  ninety days  of  the winter  * The

valiant dies for his honor * 
96. Who does not argue, fight with his elders * We have our

dignity, shouldn't we live on our own land * 
97.  Mighty God will not approve anything other * Those who

do not know religion will suffer * 
98. Who  does not argue, fight with his elders * So what if

you have your 
99.  honor now * The good horse  eats well because he heeds

his master * You'll 
100. lose the  best days of your life  * Let us go  back to

our honorable land * The insolence of the atheist 
101. will be even worse." * They migrated. They 
102. travelled forty days and six months, arrived 
103. safely  in the land of  the Taysha. They  were given a

tract  of land  to set  up camp. Animals  received pasture.

104.  became poor  in  the land  of  the Taysha,  paid  the

enforced tax, and passed their days. They 
105. did not have  anybody of their kind around.  They were

looked down on. In short, seven years passed. 
16                               H. B. Paksoy 
106. When they arrived, Barchin  was seven years old. Seven

years passed, she 
107.  reached fourteen. Who will  you hear the  news from *

108.  it from  the Kalmak  Taysha *  The news  of Barchin's

beauty reached the ear of the ruler of the land. Sixty two 
109. alemdar, thirty two mhrdar,  all of whom heard about 
it. They all 
110.  gave a description of Barchin to Taysha Khan. "May we

be sacrificed, the pauper Baysari, 
111. who came earlier  (to your land), has a  daughter. She

is  worthy  of  you."  The  Ruler  was  amenable  (to   the

112. (Taysha said) "Wouldn't  he give me his  daughter, and

call me his son-in-law?" 
113. The officers  and servants declared: "Who will he find

better than you. Taksir." (Taysha said:) "Go 
114.  ask him."   At  that time,  there was  another Kalmak

named Karajan, 
115. who was a valiant and  mighty warrior. He was the lord

of a castle. * 
116. (upon hearing the word, Karajan said) "The business of

a  Ruler must  be that of  governing * He  should not force

(his subjects), what business does he have with that girl *

117. If it was written * she will spend her life with me" *

Karajan (added): 
118. "I will take her" (as  my wife). Taysha said: "I  will

take her'. 
119.  Among the many vezirs of the gathering (of vezirs) is

Hizir, among the thousands is found a saint. 
120.  Vezirs  said  to the  Ruler:  "Ey  Taksir,  cease the

argument, you are the Ruler. You send nine 
121.  ambassadors, let  Karajan send  nine ambassadors.  To

whomever he  (Baysari) consents, it will  be your destiny."

122.  was  agreeable to  the  Ruler.  This explanation  was

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       17

acceptable. The Ruler chose his 
123. nine  ambassadors. Karajan chose his nine ambassadors.

The Ruler instructed the 
124. eighteen  ambassadors: "If  he chooses the  Ruler, let

Baysari give his daughter to me. If he says the Warrior, 
125. then  to Karajan. The  choice belongs to  Baysari. The

Ruler will not use force. 
126.  Let  him  decide."  Eighteen  Kalmaks  mounted  their

horses. They headed 
127. towards  Baysari Bay's  camp. The Ruler's  good Vezir,

was the head of his (the Ruler's) nine ambassadors. 
128. He was Kokemen Kaska. He arrived  at the white tent of

Baysari Bay * 
129. "The silhouette of  the horses fell on the  mountain *

(he added) Do not stay away from us * 
130. Is there anybody in this house * Communicate with us *

We rode 
131.  our horses over stony ground * shed bloody tears from

eyes * If there is a person in the white tent * 
132. come out and communicate with us" *  Baysari came out.

He recognized the men sent 
133. by the Ruler. His color faded. He welcomed 
134.  them. At  that time,  Kokemen Kaska  spoke up:  * "We

taught a lesson * 
135.   to the enemy bedecked with rubies, corals and mother

of pearl * Stewards caused us 
136. to come as  ambassadors * The world is  transitory and

false * We 
137. came as ambassadors * Baysari, who is an outsider * is

138.  one of  the stewards *  We tied  on our  lances * the

standards, arriving to visit the Bay * 
139.  To look  at the white  camp site  * We  came to offer

greetings * to 
18                               H. B. Paksoy 
140.  ask for  his  Muslim daughter's  hand  in marriage  *

Matchmaking is done by ambassadors * so is 
141. making enemies * I am a hunter who let loose his birds

of prey * You have a daughter, we have a son * 
142. I came as an ambassador  for your daughter * you braid

the mane of your horse * You 
143. are the  respected leader of the Kungrat  * Nine of us

sent by Taysha * Nine by Karajan * 
144. If  you say The  Ruler, then  to Taysha *  if you  say

Warrior, then to Karajan * you have the choice 
145. Baysari * You  permit Barchin (to marry) *  how do you

answer?" * 
146. Baysari lost all hope * His luck ran out * 
147. He went back into his tent, saw his daughter: 
148. "You are my pearl, apple of my eye. Who else. An 
149.  embassy  from  Taysha  came  asking  for you.  He  is

150.  with Karajan.  Which one  will you  choose. May  I be

sacrificed to you, light of my eye." 
151. At that time Barchin Jan said: "My mind 
152.  became tired  from  thinking. Both  Kalmaks want  the

possessions of this world * Do 
153. not cry, dear father,  my heart is broken too *  God's

will shall prevail * Do 
154.  not speak disparagingly *  Do not look  down upon any

other man * 
155. Do not  cry, father, my heart sinks too  * Do not lose

your hopes, dear father, you still have your Barchin * 
156. I will look  at my face in the  mirror * and see  what

God created * 
157. Do  not cry, dear father, I  will give thanks (to God,

for what  we already have) *  I will give my  answer to the

Kalmaks * 
158. I have grown from year to year * The worry of my loved

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       19

one has been troubling me * 
159.  You do mount your horse and leave the gathering place

* You braid your horse's tail on the 
160.  day of  the battle  * You  agreed to  give me  to the

Sultan of the Kungrat * Is 
161. he not also  fourteen now *  Do not braid the  horse's

tail without (the prospect of) a battle * 
162. I know, you are an anxious man * The real owner of the

property will (eventually) arrive * 
163.  (For that reason)  please be  careful in  your answer

dear father" * (Altun Sach intercedes) : * "At dawn 
164.  you had loaded the castrated yellow camels * led them

165.  the atheist Kalmaks * I cried heartily upon migrating

from my land * What richness 
166.  have  you  gained   (from  that  action)"  *  Barchin

167. she  grew angry, tightened  her belt, twisted  off the

bird's neck. Barchin 
168. folded her arms, looked at the ambassadors sent by 
169. Taysha  Khan, and stated: * "I cried deeply when I saw

you * 
170.  However, what  can crying  accomplish * We  came here

believing that you Kalmaks were men * 
171. If I listen to my  heart, it has a message *  To those

ambassadors sent by the Ruler * 
172. This is what I have to say * Go and tell Taysha Khan *

the mane of the horse is 
173. braided  * valiant elders  are superior (to  those who

are coward) * If he is Taysha Khan * 
174. I am Barchin * We  are the guests (in his dominions) *

He should 
175. give us six months grace * When six months pass * thin

20                               H. B. Paksoy 
176. becoming  fat * Then he can strike his white lance * I

will wear my gold garments * 
177. I need the time to gather my mind * From a distance of

forty days * That I, Barchin came * 
178. I will submit myself * to spend a life 
179. without worries * From a distance of forty days * (he)

whose horse comes first * 
180. not calling him Kizilbash * or Kalmak * I am 
181. unlucky  Barchin * Go tell  your Khan *   I will marry

the one I (thus) choose." That is 
182.  what  she  said.  Ambassadors   left.  Taysha  Khan's

ambassadors reported that 
183. (Barchin) would marry  him. Karajan's ambassadors told

184. that she  would marry him  (Karajan). Taysha said:  "I

will marry her." 
185. Karajan said: "I will marry her." Both 
186. were determined. They were at loggerheads over Barchin

* "What is your business" 
187. "What concern of  yours" they queried of each  other *

Words became soldiers * Their noise reached the sky * 
188.  Both sides became enemies. If one was to look towards

nine  directions,  one   could  behold  nineteen   thousand

warriors * 
189. Warriors with  red colored  lances. *  White and  blue

tents * were erected 
190.  in  camps *  Battle took  place *  The blood  (of the

warriors) ran down the breasts of the horses * 
191. and  down the stirrups * The black stones of the roads

* formed 
192. new roads  and bridges  * Fighters slew  each other  *

193. was the cause * Believe it or not * 
194. For four months Kalmaks struck each other down. 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       21

195.  Now  (let us)  hear of  (from) Alpamysh,  who (later)

mounted his Baychobar 
196. and went to the land of Kalmaks after his beloved. 
197. Baybora  had a servant.  If you  ask his name,  it was

198. Kultay  was the head  of ninety (other  individuals or

horses). He was in charge of the horse herd. 
199. His  (Alpamysh's) father  and mother (earlier  to each

other had) said: "Only death will do us  part. No need (for

Alpamysh) to go after 
200.  the bride."  Alpamysh took the  golden saddle  to his

house, and went to see Kultay 
201. who was the overseer of the horse-heard. He 
202.  was  intending to  give  Alpamysh  a  horse, when  he

(Alpamysh) reached the age of seven. 
203. Duldul was also seven years old. If the northern winds

204. mounted him, no human yet did. Baychobar said: 
205.  "Only a bahadur or  the northern winds  can mount me.

Only that bahadur 
206. who can  lift me (off  my feet) by  my tail may  mount

me." That is what Baychobar 
207.  had in  its heart.  (Alpamysh) said:  "Let me  have a

horse to go after (my) bride, 
208.  to the land of the Kalmaks." (He was told by Kultay:)

"Let us see 
209. your valor  first. To test  your skills (to  determine

your ability in  undertaking such an action),  I'll let the

entire horse heard run towards you. 
210.  You  lay  low under  a  rock.  I  will determine  the

correctness  of your  value judgement  (from the  horse you

211. You catch the horse you think is worthy. I shall 
212. see your worth thus my  son, and separate you from the

22                               H. B. Paksoy 
213. He gathered and  drove the entire herd over  him. "The

whole herd is at your disposal." 
214. The whole herd galloped over Alpamysh. 
215.  He was not satisfied  with any of  his father Baybora

216. horses. Finally, at the back he spotted a Chobar. 
217. It's mane flowed over its ears, surefooted, 
218. bushy tailed. When it came closer, 
219.  Alpamysh, who has been  under a corner  of a boulder,

220. Alpamysh spread the fingers of his hand, jumped up. 
221. Alpamysh Sultan, grabbed the tail of the fourteen year

old  horse's tail 
222.  like a lion. Alpamysh stood like an elif (like letter

I). Baychobar kneeled like 
223. a camel. Licked its face, stiffened its ears. Tried to

get away thrice. Alpamysh did not let go. 
224.  Alpamysh (thus) established his power, his supremacy.

225.  had promised itself that "only the man who could grab

and lift me by my tail 
226.  may mount me. Then,  he is my  master." He (Alpamysh)

227. in (towards Kultay) on his young horse. (Kultay said:)

"May your horse be auspicious * You 
228. are  my only hope  * May your  Chobar be  auspicious *

Hang the amulet on the neck * 
229. When the horse runs, one forgets ones all worries * It

will light up your soul 
230. when you ride  your Chobar" * (Alpamysh) put  a golden

saddle on, with double girth. He had the iron 
231. drums  sound * He wore  his shield on his  back * hung

his lance across his saddle * 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       23

232. (He) regarded this mount * as an equal to himself * He

233.  the reins from Kultay, mounting the horse * rode out,

to the land of the Taysha Kalmak * 
234. Here and  there he rode *  (He) heard many tongues  on

the way * His face turned pale (from the hard riding) 
235.  (He) sustained difficulties * on the way to Barchin *

Caused his 
236.  Chobar mount to  become tired * Who  did you hear the

news from. As the soldiers of Taysha Khan and Karajan 
237. were feuding,  asleep in their  forts, one morning  at

238. the noise of hoofs reached Karajan's ears. While 
239. the  others slept,  Karajan speedily arose.  (He said)

240. men  (these must be). Get  up * my men,  on your feet,

one thousand men are coming * We 
241. are going to be ambushed * Let me wear my white mail *

242. the tail of my horse * I will not let the name Karajan

be belittled * (I will) attack the enemy 
243. like a  hungry wolf  * If the  dogs fight each  other,

they  will unite upon spotting a wolf (so, forget your feud

and unite against this coming force)." 
244.  Thus  Karajan and  the others  left for  their lands.

Karajan rode until dawn broke. The day 
245. rose scarlet.  Karajan could not see the reason behind

the noise. In the darkness 
246. of the dust, (raised by the same source that is making

the noise, such as a rider)  could not even see the ears of

his horse. 
247. The spirit of  (who he is looking after)  Alpamysh was

very powerful.  Thus, even  though Karajan had  Good Saints

looking  after him,  he could  not see  Alpamysh. Karajan's

24                               H. B. Paksoy 
248.  tulpar  did  see  Alpamysh.  Baychobar's  stars  were

mightier than 
249.  those of the tulpar of Karajan. Thus, Karajan's horse

was afraid of Baychobar, 
250. moving side to side on the road, in his fear. 
251. (Karajan  states:) "The eyes  that look at  the bright

face  of the  black  horse are  blinded  * May  your  elder

brother be sacrificed  
252. to you * With your  God given eyes * what did  you see

black horse, 
253. what did  you see *  I tried to  get you to walk,  you

balked * you refused to eat * 
254. You became agitated without my whipping you. What have

you seen * You are a fourteen year old 
255. tarlan * I did not see an equal to you in my life * If

I  whip you, you fly (your feet  barely touch the ground) *

256. did you see black horse, what did you see * Princes do

not erect tents (their orderlies do) * The lion 
257. does  not fall under his  foe * Are those  coming more

valiant than we * What did 
258.  you see  black horse,  what  did you  see *  Horse is

covered  with perspiration  * Are  those coming  more brave

than we * 
259. The coward worries only about food *  What did you see

black horse, what did you see" * 
260. At that time, the cloud of dust (restricting Karajan's

vision) settled. North wind  stopped * When Karajan looked,

261. beheld a youth  of fourteen with white face  and brown

eyes. One of his locks of hair was from gold, 
262. the other, of silver; he beheld Alpamysh, the zbek 
263. of Jidali Baysun. (Karajan said:) "Are you  a sorcerer

or a saint * I'll take your life, 
264. spill your blood * You  are a powerful enemy * May the

bright  days turn  into  floods *  May  my rule  grow  more

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       25

265.  from year to year  * In all my life,  I did not see a

youngster like you * 
266. Bandit natured sultan,  may this be your last  foray *

The mountain of Kalmaks is tall * 
267.  Seisens know the prime  condition of a  horse * Where

are you coming from, 
268.  where are  you going  * Who  are you,  a prince  or a

pauper" * Alpamysh 
269.  answered: "I tightened the girth on the horses back *

I drank the water of 
270. the Baysun lake * If you ask my name, it is Alpamysh *

son of 
271. Baybora * I left my land may days ago * 
272. White geese  were flying on the Baysun lake  * I chose

my horse at the age of fourteen, 
273. mounting it * I come after Barchin" * When 
274.  Alpamysh said  that, (his)  horse of  prime condition

neighed  * (Alpamysh  continued)  "He who  is patient  will

attain his wish * At 
275. the age  of seven I (learned how to)  read and write *

My dear Barchin came to this land * 
276.  In the garden there were apples and pomegranates * In

the realm of God, there is a sweetheart * 
277. I was separated from my beloved * Is there anyone who 
278.  saw my  sweetheart" *  Karajan laughed  with contempt

(and responded:) "There are two other suitors 
279. besides  you *  Roses need  (a garden) to  bloom *  In

order to (be) burn(ed), one 
280. needs a tongue * In order to take the  beloved from us

281. One has to be more valiant than we * If I get angry, I

will take your life * 
26                               H. B. Paksoy 
282. spill your red blood * Go back where you came 
283. from * You cannot take back Barchin * If you run away,

284. I'll catch  you and lance  you down *  If you stay,  I

will grab you * You 
285. cannot take back your Barchin * Go back where you came

286. Alpamysh Batir's patience ran out, he became angry: 
287. "Do not speak ill * If you see someone, do not 
288.  think that  he is  less than  you *  Do not  speak of

vanity on  the field * Do you 
289. believe in what you are saying * Do not be vain on the

field * Do not think 
290. you are valiant and I am not * Do not believe 
291. that you  can scare me * God  gave you a bird  brain *

292.  do not try  to act  with that small  mind *  If I get

angry I'll behead you * Did 
293. you think  that you  could scare me  * When  Barchin's

honor is at stake" * 
294. At this time Alpamysh added: "No need to speak down to

295. or attempt to argue." Kalmak Karajan said: 
296. "If I argue, I'll draw my bow, strike with the sword. 
297.  Then what  will you do." Karajan added:  "Argument is

upon your six ancestors. 
298.  get used  to it."  At this  time, Alpamysh  undid his

golden belt. 
299. He dismounted Baychobar. Karajan unfastened his golden

300. Both prepared to fight and die for Barchin, 
301.  pledged  their lives  for  the  cause. Both  took  up

positions to wrestle. 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       27

302. Alpamysh said: "You go first." Karajan said: 
303. "You go  first." Alpamysh said: "Your beard  is white,

you are older, therefore I defer to you. 
304. You go first." Karajan grabbed Alpamysh like a lion. 
305. Alpamysh Sultan took refuge in Hz. Ali. 
306.  At  that time,  the seven  Saints who  named Alpamysh

307.  The Saints came and  worked their magic, weighed down

308. Alpamysh became so heavy that, Karajan was not able to

lift him up. 
309.  Karajan tried to throw  him. Karajan was  not able to

move him. 
310. Karajan thought:  "Is this a walnut tree, deep rooted,

that it does not move?" 
311. Karajan  deferred  to Alpamysh.  He (Alpamysh)  called

God's name three times.  
312. He called his seven saints, grabbed Karajan's belt. 
313.  Picked  him  up,  turned  and  heaved  Karajan  under

himself. Embraced him so tightly 
314. that  Karajan's nose  started bleeding.  When Alpamysh

threw him down, Karajan started to beg for mercy 
315. and said: * "Young horse runs in his time * the 
316. one who is a batir, will use his shield * You broke my

317. took my  life * If it is Barchin  you are looking for,

she will be found * I was 
318. alone, now I have an equal * I was fooling myself with

the falsehood of superiority * 
319. I accept your God, and his apostle * I  become friends

with you, 
320.  as of  now *  If blood  is spilled,  then the  golden

throne will shine (because, there will not be anyone to sit

28                               H. B. Paksoy 
on it) * I speak, 
321. elders listen * I became friends with you *  
322.  I accept your God, and his  apostle * He (God) is the

creator of all * 
323. Shall I, the offender, can ever be forgiven * I became

324. friends with you *  I became Muslim, my God is  one" *

At this time, 
325. Alpamysh thought. "If I kill him, the black earth will

not be filled. 
326. (Furthermore) he (Karajan) invoked the name of God and

his apostle; became a Muslim." He (Alpamysh) stopped. 
327. Karajan  collapsed. (Karajan) came to,  about the time

of the noon prayers 
328.   and said to Alpamysh: "I became friends with you out

of my fear. 
329. Now teach me the Creed (of Muslims). He 
330.  recited  the Creed.  They  placed  the Isfahan  sword

between them, embracing, became 
331. friends.  Karajan mounted  his  black horse.  Alpamysh

mounted his Chobar. 
332.  They arrived  at  Karajan's house  and inner  circle.

Karajan served his friend. 
333. Five days passed. The face of the  sixth day was seen.

Spring arrived. 
334.  Karajan said: "Bay came from a distance of six months

looking for his beloved, became friends 
335. with me. My friend, if you allow me, I should 
336. go find Barchin, give her the good news. 
337. What do you  think." (Alpamysh said:) "That is  a good

idea my friend." 
338. Karajan mounted his friend's Chobar, 
339. reached the white tent of Barchin * (Karajan said:) 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       29

340. "The silhouette  of my mount on the mountain  * do not

be afraid of my presence * Is there anyone 
341. in this house * to speak with me * There are relatives

at the black mountain * I shed 
342. bloody tears (because of the hard  ride) * If there is

anyone in the white house * come out 
343. and  speak with me" * Barchin finally said * "I suffer

from heartache * 
344. but (I have) no  friend to welcome * Whoever you  are,

do not lose time * 
345. I do not have  anyone I need to speak to *  I lost all

hopes * and worldly riches 
346.  too *  I do  not have  anyone I  need to  speak  to *

Whoever you are, do not lose time" * 
347. Answered Karajan:  * "If  there is war,  (I) braid  my

horse's tail * Your 
348.  name is Barchin, what did you  say * apple of my eye,

349. Jan  * I have news for  you from the land  of Baysun *

Mounted on the horse, arriving from 
350.  the field * Countless  Kalmaks are dead  in Isfahan *

One who is at the age of fourteen. 
351. His name is Alpamysh *  This boy comes looking for you

* He 
352.  has a  gold amulet on  his neck  * One  loses all his

worries in the battle * He is 
353. fourteen, named Alpamysh  * If you do not  believe me,

(look) I came on his Chobar." * When 
354. Barchin heard of  Alpamysh's Chobar, she became crazed

with excitement. 
355. (She) ran  out to  the square, shining  like the  full

moon. When she looked, spotted the Baychobar. 
356.  When she  looked  at the  rider,  saw a  boiled  iron

colored, shapeless stranger, 
30                               H. B. Paksoy 
357. godless Kalmak. Barchin sighing deeply, 
358.  recognized  Baychobar.  She was  disheartened.  Tears

rolled down her eyes * (She said to Baychobar:) 
359. "I wear a gold amulet on my neck * I have cried loudly

day and night * 
360. May I be  sacrificed to your canter *  Baychobar, when

you were a tiger, you fell as booty * 
361. I cried, my tears formed a lake * My hair on my back 
362. became felt-like * Apple of my eye Baychobar * 
363. You were free like  a tiger, now but are a  prisoner *

When I beheld your image, it was like 
364. the new  moon * as my heart throbbed with  joy * May I

be sacrificed 
365. (to  you) Baychobar  * When  I left, you  were a  mere

colt" * 
366.  Karajan answered: * "Do not deny your intended * With

your tears, 
367. do  not stun me *  May I be sacrificed  to you Barchin

Jan * Do not display 
368.  your womanhood * I tightened the girth on horses back

* listen 
369.  to Karajan's  words.  * Believing  he (Alpamysh)  was

unmanly, I deceived  myself (when  we first met)  * Like  a

370. he (Alpamysh) grabbed me by my belt * I  cried for the

gods, horse was covered with sweat * He (Alpamysh) called 
371.  for the Saints * Believing he was unmanly, I deceived

myself * he swung me around, and like an eagle, 
372. threw me to the  ground * In this transitory  world, I

entertained my destitute heart * I 
373.  was alone, I  gave advice  to a  younger brother  * I

accepted the one God * His apostle as his messenger * 
374. Out of my fear, (I) became friends with Alpamysh * Led

him by his arm 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       31

375. to my house, dismounted and  welcomed him. Offered him

376.  Barchin,  if  you were  to  accept  me,  and call  me

Alpamysh's friend, I'll go 
377. back to my friend. This would give me pleasure." 
378. Barchin jumped up, searched the chest, pulled out 
379. an overcoat with  gold buttons, left it next to him. *

Karajan said: "Your 
380. father was Baysari. Where did your father, mother go?"

381. (Upon hearing that)  Barchin cried: "Khan behaves like

a Khan, and a pauper, like a pauper. 
382. Taysha Khan has been difficult towards us. Saying, "If

you don't give your virgin daughter to me, 
383.  neither will you give  her to Karajan," He imprisoned

my father and mother. Today is the third day 
384.  they are  in prison." (Karajan  said:) "If  my friend

were to query me about your father and mother (and discover

that they are in prison) he will be distressed. 
385. This is not something I can tell my friend." 
386. He mounted  the horse  (and said:) *  "My mind  became

upset on this 
387. field (under these circumstances) * Kungrats are in  a

revolt over their honor * When 
388. the owner  arrives from  the land of  Baysun *  Taysha

Khan will be in trouble * Mounting 
389. horses  from every direction *  Countless Kalmaks died

in Isfahan * 
390. When I look, I see that your house is on fire Taysha *

Valiant Alpamysh arrived from the land of 
391. Baysun * When the roses of the  garden wilt before the

ninety days (of the winter) * When my 
392.  time is up, the  appointed hour cannot  be deferred *

All my limbs  are devastated * When he was  our guest (for)

the six days 
32                               H. B. Paksoy 
393.  * Padishah, hear that I am crying * Taking (draining)

my life 
394. away * consumed my sustenance * at every 
395. (travel) stage  * ate  my nine camels;  even when  the

Kalmak could not eat one baby camel (causing me intentional

difficulty and devastation)." 
396. Thus (Karajan) was displaying his degree of friendship

(towards Alpamysh). * Kokemen 
397.  Kaska was  the head  of  the executioners  * (Karajan

said:) "Hear Taysha Khan,  if you had nine camels  eaten at

every stage, 
398. that won't last (you cannot  keep it up until the  end

of time). Won't you admit that. 
399. You are an impostor  * when I listen to the God in the

morning * become angry and 
400. take  your head  * You  will die  doing what you  have

always done * Of all your bad deeds, you do the worst to me

401. You have imprisoned my father and mother." * 
402.  Kokemen Kaska  realized  that Khan  was changing  his

mind. Speedily 
403.  coming  to  the  jailhouse,  Kokemen  Kaska  released

father-in-law Baysari Bay and mother-in-law 
404. Altun Sach to Karajan. 
405.  Baysari Bay  recognized the Baychobar,  walked around

it, hugged it. Jumped 
406. and  mounted  Baychobar. Karajan  mounted  (Baychobar)

behind him. 
407. Altun Sach mounted  behind him (on Baychobar). Horse's

chest got longer, with 
408.  a gallop, speedily left. * The horse was covered with

foamy sweat * 
409.  (Baychobar)  invoked the  help  of  the  saints *  My

sorrowful heart became joyful * Baysari 
410. arrived * at his expectant house * He dismounted, 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       33

411.  picking up the overcoat handed to him by Barchin Jan,

presented it to the friend of 
412.  Alpamysh, Karajan * Barchin spoke: * "I lost my mind,

it became scarce as precious stones. 
413.  May God have mercy  on this sorrowful  servant * This

414. (person) has something to say * When you come (next) *

415. riding (your) horse on the  open plains * I await with

erected tents * Do not come 
416. with empty hands  * or with much *  When batirs arrive

speedily * 
417. I  am the blooming rose  in the garden *  May you (and

your kind) be free * Kungrat 
418. with Baysun horses  * Following our trail *  with many

soldiers bearing banners * 
419.  To  the  creator God  *  My  dedication  will not  be

temporary * Batir's 
420. mind  is uncomplicated, like  young brothers *  to the

atheist Kalmak. * Do not again 
421. arrive alone, without  my beloved" * Karajan answered:

"Do not make this your worry * 
422.  Your beloved is not less then  any other batir * When

there is serious battle 
423. in the  field *  Alpamysh is equal  to forty  thousand

soldiers" * Answered Barchin: * "My 
424.  eyes resemble black  narcissus * My  face is brighter

than red apples. * Before 
425. my batir arrives * to the atheist Kalmaks, * those who

cannot speak the truth, I have 
426. something to say * White strands appeared in my hair *

Does that bother you * 
427. Tears rolled down my eyes * When six months passed * 
428. The one whom I (must) choose (as my husband) arrives *

From a distance of forty days * Whoever wins the 
34                               H. B. Paksoy 
429. race * riding on  the horse-herd * I must call  him my

man * Let me lead a 
430.  trouble-free life * From  a distance of  forty days *

arrives  (my husband to be) on the running horse * 
431. I wear  my gold embroidered clothes * If  need be, (I)

gather my wits * without 
432.  saying Kizilbash  * or  Kalmak *  from a  distance of

forty days * 
433. to  (him) whose  horse wins  (I fall  as the  prize) *

Luckless Barchin I am * I cannot say I am 
434. free  * Karajan, who  is a friend  * I promise  (this)

with a heavy heart" * 
435. That, Barchin said for  (Karajan to tell) Alpamysh and

went back to her house. Karajan went back to 
436.  his friend Alpamysh.  * Told his  friend what Barchin

437. (Alpamysh asked:) "Are my elders well." "They are well

my friend." Upon hearing this news, they 
438. rested  Baychobar for seven days  and nights. Kalmaks,

rode hard 
439. towards  the fortress  of Taysha Khan  over the  stony

ground * Hid their beloved in the castle * 
440.  (To the winner of the horse race contest) Barchin was

the prize, hence all hell broke loose * For the lady 
441. and the child * Horsetails were braided * Death  is an

order of the creator * 
442.  No Kalmak was left  behind, all gathered  * All cried

with the hope of (receiving the hand of) Barchin * 
443. Four  hundred  ninety swift  horses from  the side  of

Taysha entered 
444. (the race). Karajan called for his friend Alpamysh, 
445. who was ready to enter the race. He (Alpamysh) himself

was  not  permitted.  (Because)  children  only  fetch  the

horses. His friend 
446. Karajan was fielded  (instead). (Saying) "For the sake

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       35

of friendship, 
447.  I will be  the horsegroom." (He)  mounted the Chobar.

(Alpamysh) entrusted Karajan 
448.  to the  care of  God, and  Baychobar to  the care  of

Karajan. Four hundred ninety horses 
449. were recorded by the mollas * (Alpamysh said:) "I came

from the fortress of Baysun * my 
450. wish is from God * I allowed you 
451.  to mount Baychobar because of our friendship * Do not

betray  this trust Karajan  * When you  run (Baychobar), do

not take his life * 
452. No horse with  full belly races after the black  one *

For reasons 
453. of friendship I  allowed you to mount him  * Remember,

for good or bad, he is mine * Hungry 
454.  or not (be  careful with  him) *  I implore  God with

tears * I let 
455. the  gray falcon on  my arm  take flight *  I let  you

mount Chobar out of friendship * 
456. I commend you  to the creator." * (Alpamysh)  thus bid

farewell and sent them on their way * 
457.  Karajan received prayers  from the Sultan  * who gave

him his (precious) rose * Time 
458. passed  * Upon  receiving starting orders  from Taysha

Khan * valiant Karajan, batir 
459. by  birth *  (along with) four  hundred ninety  horses

(ridden by other contestants) * started the race. * 
460.  The horse was covered with foamy sweat * Saints' help

was called for * Karajan 
461. (would) progress * for forty days * For five days * 
462. Karajan  travelled * He  arrived everywhere  * he  was

running at the edge 
463. of the crowd * He slept for a while * remounted Chobar

* (Along with) four 
36                               H. B. Paksoy 
464.  hundred ninety  (other horsemen,  on their)  horses *

After ten days * made another stop * 
465. Rested for a while * slept a spell * 
466.  Tested his  friend's  horse *  After  fifteen days  *

467.  the fountain  of  Ak Bulak,  where  the Kalmaks  were

entertaining themselves. 
468. They were saying over and again (for  Karajan's ears):

* "I cried heartily in the field *  My heart is 
469. heavy with tears * Do not leave these prosperous lands

on account of a Sunni * 
470. Your  bone is like  ours *  (His) mount is  a carriage

horse * of his stupidity thinks 
471. it is a racehorse * (He) combed his tail * (He) asked 
472.  directions from  the elders  * Go  back to  your land

Karajan * what good 
473.  is it to be a vagabond  * (We) tightened the girth on

the horse's back * You 
474.  accepted the religion of Mohammed * There is no place

for you in this race * Do not 
475. race your horse Karajan. Go back to your own kind." * 
476.  At that time,  Baychobar thought about  these words *

His understanding was better than men's. 
477. He was a  horse protected by the saints.  Upon hearing

these words, fell down 
478. as if hit by an arrow * Karajan 
479.  hit him  with  his whip  * Baychobar  did not  move *

480. became angry, lifted  Baychobar, by picking him up  by

his tail and ears. 
481. The horse's weight was not of consequence (to Karajan)

compared to the words weighing in his heart. 
482. (Karajan) let the horse down on his four feet. Carried

him for three stages 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       37

483.  in succession. Finally picked up a piece of wood, hit

the horse. 
484. Hit it every which way. The horse neighed noisily, (as

if) saying "Do not hit, 
485. My flesh is in pain" * Karajan, born as a batir, * 
486.  mounted the horse  once again *  ran for a  day and a

night * Five 
487. days passed * twenty days ended * (The riders) reached

Kok Derbend * 
488. Where the horses (were scheduled to) turn back * White

faces turned pale * His 
489. heart  was filled with  sorrow * Upon  reaching twenty

days' distance * Horses mounted 
490.  by the  Kalmaks  * stopped  at  a stage  *  (Karajan)

observed this with the corner of his eye * 
491.  He  reached  the  boundary *  Kalmaks  were  having a

discussion * Karajan 
492. had  an idea * "I should allow Baychobar to rest for a

day * 
493.  give him five handfuls of  feed" * (He) picked up the

feedbag, approached 
494. Baychobar. Baychobar was afraid of the feedbag. 
495. Baychobar had never seen a feedbag. 
496. Karajan patted  the forehead of  the horse, pulled  on

its ears to force its head into the feedbag * 
497.  Baychobar lowered  its  head, Karajan  forced on  the

feedbag. Baychobar did not eat the feed * did 
498. not  know its  value *  He was foaming  at the  mouth.

Kalmaks were 
499. laughing and  having fun. "Fuck  you, your horse  will

500. they  said (to Karajan) mockingly.  Everyone went back

to their places (in the encampment). 
38                               H. B. Paksoy 
501. A tore was sent by Taysha 
502. to observe the order of the race, 
503.  and was instructed to keep an eye on the four hundred

ninety Kalmaks. He was At Peshin Tore 
504. (who, at  once) spoke  about the horses.  "We saw  the

four hundred ninety horses as they 
505. filed past us. We watched all. Next to the chestnut of

Taysha Khan, 
506. and Karajan's horse, all the others seem like oxen. 
507. Karajan's friend's horse is some mount" 
508. he said. "Let us go  see it." He gathered nine Kalmaks

to go with him. 
509. They all went near it. Ever since Karajan 
510. became friends with Alpamysh, and became Muslim, 
511.  Karajan never missed  a single prayer  time. While he

was performing 
512.  his morning  prayers,  Baychobar was  walking  around

behind him. 
513. The tore inspected Baychobar's body and flesh with his

own hands. 
514. Discovered the wings on his shoulders, 
515.   and  the   way   the  horse   folded  them,   moving

occasionally. Atpeshin Tore 
516.  became scared  of  Baychobar. He  fled, rejoined  the

517. He  gathered all of  the four hundred  ninety Kalmaks.

Whom do we now hear from, 
518. from Atpeshin Tore:  "Now, hear this, I tightened  the

girth on the back of the horse * 
519. waging  war against the  Muslims *  Barchin cannot  be

yours * Run 
520. your  horses, return to  the lands  of the Kalmak  * I

raced my horse over rocks and plains * 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       39

521. The armor you wear does not reach your knees * Go back

522. to  your lands while you have your honor * Take a look

at your future with calm eyes. * As long 
523. as the beautiful  Baychobar is in existence *  you may

as well forget about Barchin * Karajan, 
524. with  grace *  brought Baychobar  to peak  condition *

Also, master Alpamysh * 
525.  chose a true pure-blooded  animal * If  his wings are

not clipped, hooves taken out * graceful 
526.  Baychobar  * roads  of twenty  days  * will  cover in

seven" * 
527. At this  time, Karajan's only son  Dost Mohammed spoke

528.  Atpeshin Tore:  * "Do not  make this your  worry * As

long as I am here, do not be concerned 
529.  with my father  * My  father still  has to  sleep his

seven days' batir slumber. After seven days, 
530. the tired horses will  have rested. Consider all this.

531. when  my father  Karajan starts his  seven days  batir

slumber, we can kill Baychobar, 
532. and tie my father's hands and feet." Kalmaks 
533. considered  all that.  * Small minded  batir (Karajan)

tied the feet of his young mount, 
534. placed his head on the saddle cushion, rested his head

on his palm, and laid down. (He) Immediately 
535. became motionless  like a tree. His  son Dost Mohammed

came over his father Karajan, 
536. knew  that he  (Karajan) was  asleep.  He called  four

hundred ninety Kalmaks 
537. to his side. (They) tied together his father Karajan's

538. hands behind him securely. Along with the four hundred

ninety Kalmaks, 
40                               H. B. Paksoy 
539.  (he then) went near Baychobar. Some grabbed it by the

reins, others by the stirrups, turned 
540. Baychobar  and put him on its  back. They built a fire

from the brushes. 
541.  Drove  horseshoe  nails   into  the  four  hooves  of

542.  noisily. They  forced  the horseshoe  nails into  his

hooves. Kalmaks then 
543. mounted their horses in unison. They were pleased with

themselves. All of them lined up, 
544. received their marching orders from Atpeshin Tore, and

left. Three 
545.  days passed.  Karajan's  heart was  heavy. He  jumped

546. When he looked around, what he saw 
547. took his mind away. He  was alone in the field. It had

been three days 
548. since the Kalmaks  left. The dung of their  horses was

drying. He 
549. got up like lightning. Because his arms and hands were

tied like a ram, 
550. he fell down,  sprawling. He realized he was  tied up,

551.  He  crawled,  and  uprighted  himself.  Searched  for

552.  spotted  something dragging  on  the  ground. He  got

close, and 
553. discovered Baychobar lying on  his back as the Kalmaks

had left him. 
554.  Baychobar's four  hooves were  showing (in  the air),

555. He could  not get hold  of the horse, his  hands being

tied. He said: * 
556. "My  color faded seeing the  select horse * I  ran the

horse without failing to put forth the effort * 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       41

557. (They) drove four nails into  four hooves * I became a

558.  became last (in the race) *  If I die, the camel will

be orphaned * He 
559. who serves  his friend  will be admitted  to heaven  *

Four nails were driven into four hooves * If 
560. I  am a Muslim * I must succeed  * Roses that bloom in

the spring garden * 
561. Alas, my friend's Kungrat lands of Baysun * Four nails

were driven 
562. into four hooves * Where are you, the protector saints

of my friend * I made 
563. the horse's blanket out of manat * The lion days of my

youth are being wasted * 
564.  Four nails  were driven  into four  hooves *  May the

bones of those who committed this treachery 
565. be exposed * I have erred in my  heart * I implore the

566. of anyone * Four nails  were driven into four hooves *

567.  the protector  saints of  the Chobar,  Yilkici  Ata *

listen to this lament at this time * I 
568. am  imploring God  * For  those who  know, the  Day of

Reckoning is near." * 
569. When he listened, he heard a voice crying "God" * 
570. When he understood (what he heard) and looked * (There

they) were, the good servants of God * Kalendars 
571. wear yende * praising God * wearing klah, appeared 
572. with dispatch, like  Hizir * They came near  Karajan *

Karajan gave the greetings of God * 
573.  received like  greetings  * Seven  saints gave  their

hands to Karajan * 
574.  With a burning desire, Karajan * with the strength of

a lion, grabbed Chobar, who was lying in the pit. * 
42                               H. B. Paksoy 
575. He got Chobar on his feet * four small nails in 
576.  four hooves *  Batir is  but a  small minded  child *

(Karajan)  forgot that  there  were  nails  in  Baychobar's

hooves * 
577. Seven Saints * trusting him to the prophets, spoke (to

Baychobar): * "May we be sacrificed 
578. to you" * Petting his forehead * "Our auspicious stars

above * Sunny days 
579. are  longed for * Karajan, our lamb * may your path be

open * 
580.  May Hizir be  your companion, leader  of your people,

our tiger * 
581. Our leading  tiger * May  you be  free from dangers  *

582. of his lands, sultan, be safe our child," they said. *

"May your horse's path be open * 
583. May you live without worry * May the fateful Baychobar

584. come first in the contest * Barchin, our dear child * 
585. may  be a match to  the Sultan * God  created them for

each other * Barchin for 
586. the Sultan * may you be honored" they said. 
587. Forty saints prayed and left. Karajan 
588. set  out on his way * Batir whipped (the horse) * "May

I be sacrificed to your eyes Baychobar" (he said). 
589. Baychobar  (running) became fire like,  burning * Four

nails in four hooves * 
590.  caused Baychobar's eyes  to flame  (with pain)  * His

life was taken away (by the pain of the nails)  * His mouth

agape * 
591. foamy sweat  pouring from  his breast *  Horse was  an

ocean, overflowed * Karajan 
592. whipped him  * Baychobar's hooves  became hot *  could

not step down squarely * 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       43

593.  One full day he ran *  During the time of the evening

prayers * ran under the force of the whip * 
594. At the time  of the night prayers *  Karajan begged of

Chobar * taking the right path * 
595. Karajan-named batir * Rump of Chobar became fiery  hot

* On stony ground * 
596. began tripping * as if he had a hunchback. * On narrow

paths * 
597. began swaying from side  to side * his eyes rolling  *

If you look at his breast, 
598. it became the size of  a (door) threshold * His  mane,

with the beauty of silk, 
599.  beautiful locks * like the velvet at the market place

* beautifully blazed creature * 
600.  Like the  house erected  on a  hollow land  *  with a

beautiful rump * Like the  reed pens cut by the mollas * 
601. creature with  beautiful ears *  Like the plates  that

come from the Russians * 
602.  creature with  beautiful hooves  * Like  the rabbit's

shining teeth * its molars are two fingers long * 
603.  Over the six  fathom tall rocks  * as if  a lightning

bolt * rumbling, it jumps * 
604. Three days time passed * chasing after the Kalmaks * 
605.  When the  dawn broke *  to the  Kalmaks, who  speak a

language no one knows, * God granted him (Karajan) his wish

606.  Karajan chasing  after, and  caught up  *  having run

without stopping * Bats (at dawn) 
607.  gathered and  folded (their wings)  * Chobar  who was

(artificially) restrained * (at) morning prayer time * 
608. passed the Kalmaks. * After four days * at dawn * 
609.  upon looking  back *  Taysha's  tarlan *  spotted the

spreading wings of Baychobar * 
610. Chobar's wish was granted * noon prayer time * 
44                               H. B. Paksoy 
611. like the northern  winds of spring *  at the heels  of

the tarlan * came 
612.  close. Baychobar passed * On the way bit (the tarlan)

613. The tarlan stayed behind * having been passed 
614. (Baychobar) ran all day * Ran all night * after 
615. five  days * on the  slopes of the Karadag  * the only

one left (ahead) was Dost Muhammed * 
616. Riding on a black horse * belonging to Batir Karajan *
617. Karajan's  son  received a  request *  Looking at  his

flank,  saw with  the  corner of  his  eye (the  source)  *

(Karajan said:) "You are my pearl, 
618. apple of my eye * If you wouldn't, who would ask how I

am * 
619. May your khan  father be sacrificed to  you * My  only

sultan * hear me, 
620. you are my light * crying my wish to God * If you die,
621. wouldn't  my wings  be clipped *  If you were  to say,

'Father,  your eternal  friend's horse  should not  be left

behind' * 
622. rein back your  horse, son *  (A) fast horse races  in

its time * The  batir 
623. wears white armor * Rein back your horse, do not worry

if you fall behind * 
624. Barchin-like girls will  be found * I braid  the horse

tail before the battle * 
625.  My  dear son  you are  mindless, what  should I  do *

Barchin-like girl will be found 
626. from  your land.  I will  select one for  you" *  (His

son:) "Dear father, I am 
627.  not listening to  you * In this  struggle, I will not

heed you * Whichever bey's 
628. horse is better, deserves to win * I will not have any

other but Barchin." * Karajan 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       45

629. became angry * whipped Baychobar * His son whipped his

mount * Karajan whipped (his mount) as well * 
630. Two horses raced * Batirs were enraged * 
631.  The  black  stones  disturbed by  the  hooves  * were

sparking * Holes 
632. were dug in the sand, where the horses' hooves stepped

* Beautiful-faced,  short-haired black  horse did not  give

way * 
633. Karajan became very agitated * very anxious * White 
634. armor he was wearing * became too small for his body *

He could not catch the one ahead * God 
635.  did not  allow satisfaction  * Three  hours passed  *

Beautiful faced black horse * 
636. did  not give way * nearly dead * (Karajan:) "Apple of

my eye, 
637. Baychobar!" * Baychobar  hung his head in shame  * The

creature grunted in his effort to pass * 
638. (Dost Mohammed) behaved like an adversary * (Karajan:)

"Four times I asked * You did not stop * You did 
639. not respect me" * Karajan grabbed his son's head * who

was named Dost Mohammed * 
640. and belt with his other hand * invoking the protection

of God * 
641.  onto the millstone-sized rocks * threw his only one *

642.  his son  Dost Mohammed  * (Karajan)  got hold  of his

son's white sword * (and) the winged tulpar (of his son) * 
643.  beheaded * If  you will have  a friend, he  should be

thus * My lords, he killed 
644. his son and his son's horse * Karajan, born as a batir

* performed the duties of a friend * 
645.  (He) proceeded, lamenting. * Seven days passed * Now,

from whom do you hear the news * 
646.  Hear  it  from  the  Kalmak  Taysha.  Observers  were

46                               H. B. Paksoy 
647.  They could see anyone coming.  There was one observer

from Taysha Khan, 
648.  and  another from  Karajan.  They  spotted the  horse

649. Taysha Khan's observer said: 
650. "Khan's  happiness will  be increased shortly  * there

will be an end to his worries * Barchin Jan 
651.  now belongs to the  Khan, tarlan horse  is in sight."

Karajan's observer * 
652. (recognizing) gold amulet on the neck: "Once 
653. the  battle begins,  all worries  are forgotten  * You

cannot say contradictory words * 
654.  The one  coming is  Baychobar"  * Upon  hearing these

655.  Batir  Alpamysh  climbed   the  white  hill  and  saw

Baychobar coming * 
656. "I hung  the golden amulet on his neck * Whoever rides

657.  will forget his worries *  Glory will be won by one's

self * 
658. May  I be sacrificed to your eyes Baychobar * I do not

have tulips blooming on the nearby mountain * 
659. You  are priceless,  even beyond one  hundred thousand

tumans * When you walk 
660. you  earn honor *  God is  my witness, I  do not  have

661. I have no roses blooming in the spring * if you do not

run, earning honor. * 
662. God is  my witness, I have  no brothers *  I am but  a

poor beggar, away from my land * 
663. Forty saints have  touched my head * When  you run, my

worries disappear * 
664. May I be sacrificed  to your eyes * When you  win, the

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       47

future of the Kungrats 
665. will  be secure" * The race  was to end where Alpamysh

666. at Kakbali Karatash. Taysha conferred with his vezirs.

"Whoever's horse 
667. comes across this rock, will have Barchin" he said. 
668. Alpamysh  was  standing there.  The creature,  passing

Alpamysh one step, 
669. collapsed as if hit by an arrow. When Alpamysh looked,

saw that the creature's hooves 
670. were swollen to  the size of a (human)  head. Alpamysh

grabbed his sword. Unsheathing, 
671. spat on Karajan, and said: "I won't cause 
672. any harm to a Muslim * When I saw the horse, I lost my

mind * Four small 
673.  nails in four hooves * Valiant Karajan, where is your

friendship towards me * 
674. Utter your last prayers, I'll cut off your head * I am

too young  to know the  value of the  horse * I  drink wine

from the 
675. golden cup  * Utter  your last prayers,  I'll cut  off

your head * 
676. Where is your friendship to me, you atheist * I'll let

alone the horse and beat the dust out of you * 
677. In my anger, I will  make your face turn yellow * Four

small nails in four hooves * 
678. you have deceived me with words" * Karajan answered: 
679. "I started out * praised God * After 
680. fifteen days * I reached Ak Bulak * Atheist Kalmaks * 
681. made fun of us *  Baychobar was ashamed * fell down as

if hit by an arrow * 
682. I hit  him (to make him run), *  forced him. In twenty

days time * 
48                               H. B. Paksoy 
683. we reached the turnaround  point * Kalmaks deceived us

684. making us believe that we would rest for seven  days *

Batir (myself) simple minded small boy * 
685. believed and agreed * Invoking  the name of God * when

my eyes were 
686. filled  with  sleep *  both  of my  arms  were tied  *

collapsed  with sleep, I Karajan. * To Chobar, whose eyes I

love * 
687. four nails were driven * making him unable to walk * 
688. I  cried to my God  * Atheist Kalmaks *  left on their

way * 
689. After satisfying my sleep in the field * I jumped from

my sleep * I realized that I was lucky * 
690. realized Chobar was lying down * approached him crying

* My coatskirts became wet * 
691. with the tears running down my eyes * I almost died on

the field *  
692. God is alone, I was alone * Who comes to my side * God

693. had mercy * With tears  running down my eyes * I cried

to God * Seven patron 
694. saints * appeared at  my side, saying "God" *  "Do not

cry, son * We 
695.  came  to help."  they said  *  Seven patron  saints *

untied my arms * 
696. I gave thanks to God  * Chobar was lying in the  pit *

With the strength of a lion 
697. I  grabbed him  * pulled  him out of  the pit  * After

mounting me on 
698.  Baychobar *  the seven  patron saints (said:)  * "Our

tiger of tigers * 
699. may you not have difficulties on your way, 
700. our tiger" they said: * "The child Barchin   * may she

find Alpamysh" they said * 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       49

701. I mounted Baychobar * not of us, but of God * 
702.  "May  he cross  the finish  line"  they said  * Seven

saints * prayed 
703. for us * Ninety days passed * Tarlan belonging to 
704.  Taysha  *  (Baychobar and  I)  caught  up  with *  As

Baychobar passed * 
705. bit him (tarlan) on the ear * The tarlan slowed down *

706. only son Dost Mohammed, I  caught up with * I told him

to stop, he did not * 
707. He  did not  call me  father, or respect  my wish  * I

begged of him, he did not listen * 
708. I killed my  son * Afterwards,  I killed my own  black

horse * 
709. I wore golden clothes without  a belt * I performed my

duty to you, * lion 
710. of  my white  house, *  garden of my  gray sheep.  * I

killed my only son * 
711. Luckless am I  in this passing world * I  am separated

from my son Dost Mohammed * 
712. I give thanks to Islam * May I pass through this empty

world with 
713. the name of God on my lips" * At these words, Alpamysh

and his friend 
714. started  to weep. Glbarchin answered:  * "My Sultan's 

horse came as well, 
715. I  shall go and take  a look at it  * and congratulate

(it)" * 
716. Reclaiming what was hers * taking it back * Her cheeks

tanning * 
717. raising her eyebrow * biting her lip * resting  a hand

on her hip * 
718. gathering her hair on her breast, Barchin 
50                               H. B. Paksoy 
719.   Jan said  (to Alpamysh):  * "You  lost your color  *

worried that your horse 
720. would  not win  * (crossing) through  the finish  line

(first) * Chobar came first * 
721.  Batir, congratulations  * (With  the) amulet  on your

neck * When you ride all worries are forgotten * 
722. Did not  your Chobar  come first *  (Your) horse  came

723.  congratulations * The  horse is covered  with sweat *

May your arm be strong in the battle * 
724. May Aychrek  be sacrificed  to you *  The horse  came 

Batir, congratulations." * Alpamysh 
725. answered: * "The  horse is covered with black  sweat *

The race took away my breath * 
726. If  it be auspicious, it should be for both of us * Go

back to your house, Barchin * Let the 
727. Kalmak  faces fade * May they be plagued by my sword *

If the occasion be auspicious, it should be (auspicious) to

(both of) us * 
728. Barchin,  go back to your  house * Let them  not drink

from your fountain * May there be 
729.  separation no more * May no other stranger's eye fall

(covetously) upon you again * Go back 
730.  Barchin, to  your  house"  *  At that  time,  Barchin

answered: * "You are priding yourself with the victory 
731.  of your horse * Your horse  nearly died * in the land

of Kalmaks 
732.  Its  bones *  nearly  left to  dry *  When  the horse

arrived, you collected your thoughts * 
733. I am going to the orda * my beloved Sultan * Send your

734.  friend  Karajan after  me"  *  (Alpamysh) sent  after

Barchin * his friend Karajan * 
735. Barchin  arrived at her house * (She) put on her arm *

four lamb 
736. tails * On the back of friend Karajan * 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       51

737. the beauty  named Glbarchin  * Picked  up a  cauldron 

with her right hand * (Together they) headed 
738. to the place where Baychobar was lying * With Karajan,

at speed * (they) arrived urgently * 
739.  (The) horse Baychobar *  (who had) four  nails in his

hooves * 
740. With pliers, twisting  * (they) removed (the  nails) *

The bad 
741. blood collected  in four hooves  * (They) dressed  and

dried * Not even a trace was left of them * 
742. Placed the tails of the four lambs in the cauldron, 
743. boiling * Poured the fat into the wounds * The winning

horse Chobar * 
744. she nursed for fifteen days * Karajan, fifteen days * 
745.  (and)  Alpamysh (for)  ten days *  The winning  horse

Chobar * 
746.  (Alpamysh) walked  forty nights,  * made  Barchin and

Kalmak weary * 
747.  The swelling  of the  hooves disappeared  * Mounting,

(Alpamysh) went galloping * The winning 
748.  horse  *  walked forty  days  and  nights  * When  he

749. was  satisfied that Baychobar has  totally recovered *

he joined Barchin * 
750. With Karajan  * the three gathered  in the house  * in

the land of Kalmaks * 
751. The marriage ceremony (of Alpamysh and Glbarchin) was 

held * They enjoyed themselves * 
752. When the  girl and  the young man  get together *  who

does not know of the custom * They 
753. conversed * Dawn broke * (The two) renewed ablution * 
754. performed  the morning prayers *  Now, conferring with

Barchin * (Alpamysh) spoke of 
52                               H. B. Paksoy 
755. their longing for the homeland * Now we hear of Taysha

Khan, his vezirs 
756. spoke: "Will you really allow him to take away Barchin
757.  because his  horse won  * Only  the Judgement  Day is

final.  Life leaves the mouth, 
758. so  does the word. If  we were to change  our word and

759. what would happen?" This is what the vezirs said. 
760.  They added:  "Our Ruler,  do not  let Barchin  go, on

account of one promise. Call Alpamysh 
761.  into  your   presence.  You  have  servants,   ninety

wrestlers.  Tell him  that  you have  seen  him riding  his

762. Let there be another contest. (Tell him) 'Wrestle with

champions. If you defeat the wrestlers, I'll 
763.  believe  in  your  might,  then  I'll  let  you  have

Barchin.' Command is yours, 
764. we will cause  it to happen." In short,  Taysha sent a

765.  summoning him.  Alpamysh arrived and  appeared before

Taysha Khan. Taysha Khan saw  
766. when he looked, a young boy of fourteen. I am mistaken

767. in calling him a boy. An angel from paradise, with his

locks. Son of a Ruler, 
768. pearly and beautiful. Taysha lost his mind. Those who 
769.  looked  at Alpamysh  left  the  streets, climbed  the

770. "My young son, from a distance of six months, you came

following your beloved. 
771. You ran your horse over many roads. Your horse won the

772.  Your God  gave you  your  beloved. Barchin  is yours.

However, for the hand of Barchin, 
773. wrestlers  and  men of  fast  horses came  from  seven

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       53

774. Will you just say, 'My horse won, and I'm  leaving for

my land?' You must contest 
775. with  the wrestlers."  * Alpamysh thought  to himself:

"God is alone, so am I. In 
776. these lands  who do I have besides  God and Karajan. I

will brace my waist for 
777.   the  sake   of  manliness.   Kalmaks  are   behaving

treacherously. Taksir (Oh God). Khan, you are lying. 
778.  You  are  trying to  go  back  on  your word.  Taksir

(fate)." (He  said to Taysha:) "I will  contest." The ruler

779. one of his wrestlers to the field. 
780. The wrestler  came out to wrestle. Alpamysh  prayed to

Hz. Ali, 
781. grabbed and threw him mightily at the 
782. feet  of the Ruler. False wrestlers cannot survive. In

half an hour, 
783. he demolished the Ruler's nine wrestlers. Then, no one

else wanted to contest. When he looked behind him, 
784.  he saw Baychobar standing  at the edge  of the crowd.

While Kalmaks 
785.  were  deciding  what to  do  next,  plotting  to take

Alpamysh's horse and standard, 
786. and saying: "Let us kill him." Baychobar  was stepping

on those (Kalmaks) who were trying to get close to him. 
787. He  was kicking  those who  were approaching  from the

side. In the  clamor of the crowd, he  was not allowing the

Kalmaks near himself. 
788. Sultan Alpamysh saw all  this. No other wrestlers were

contesting. He walked over to his horse * 
789. Batir mounted the  Chobar * fixed his thoughts  on the

Kalmaks * Soldiers 
790.  surrounded him  *  Batir understood  (the meaning  of

54                               H. B. Paksoy 
this) at one look * All atheist Kalmaks * 
791. prevented  him  from  moving  * Batir  was  enraged  *

started playing with 
792.  the hilt of his sword * Unsheathing the sword halfway

now, sheathing  then * saying: "Guilt  (the consequences of

my drawing) 
793. is upon you." *  Ruler's vezir, Kokemen Kaska, without

794. knowledge  of the  Ruler, shot an  arrow at  Alpamysh,

displayed his enmity. 
795.  The arrow did not touch the Batir, whose days had not

reached an end * He drew his sword * 
796.  Into the  countless Kalmaks  * whipped  the Chobar  *

797. scrambled *  He swung  (his sword) again  and again  *

took many a Kalmak's head * 
798. The Kalmak that came straight on *  he split from head

on down * The Kalmak who approached 
799. from the side * he took  the head of * One hour passed

800.  Much fighting took  place * From  the struggle, (his)

sword was bent * The mountain of Ayralik (?) was cruel * 
801.  Khans and those from the blood-line of the khans, and

the beys with their followers * (All) Kalmaks at this time,

802. * took refuge in the big castle, and closed  the doors

* By that time, 
803. Sultan Alpamysh  had killed many a Kalmak  * Barchin's

house * 
804. along with his friend Karajan * (he) reached hastily *

805. Whom do you  hear the news from.  Hear it from  Taysha

Khan: "Who started this fight?" (he asked) 
806. Vezirs said: "Alpamysh." Taysha said: "This fight 
807.  was started by you,  by Kokemen." He summoned Kkemen 

and said: 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       55

808. "It was you who started this fight, you caused it." He

had Kokemen put to death. 
809.  For (the  hand of)  Barchin, Alpamysh  Batir  had his

horse win the race, defeated the wrestlers, 
810. killed those Kalmaks  of Taysha whose days came  to an

end. Caused pain to those whose days were not yet up. 
811.  Along  with his  ninety camels  *  with all  kinds of

possessions on the camels * in a white 
812.  ship  * with  his  beloved named  Barchin  * Alpamysh

Batir, with his father (in-law) Baysari Bay * 
813.  giving thanks  to God  * started  out for his  land *

(Also) With his mother (in-law) Altun Sach * With tears (in

his eyes) 
814. bid farewell to his friend Karajan * (and) set out  to

his land * His white face 
815. turned pale * Tired the loaded camels * He covered the

road of six months, 
816. forty  days *  To the  land  of Jidali  Baysun of  the

Kungrat, where his mother cried, 
817. he arrived safely. His father and mother  weeping, his

male and female relations 
818.  likewise. He made a  grand feast *  (He) gathered the

crowd, * had 
819. horses race on the  plains * He placed his beloved  in

the castle * (while everyone said) "He brought back Barchin

Jan" * 
820.  All adored him * Alpamysh named (youth), at this time

* upon whom the  
821.  saints have  cast their  eyes *  had the  altun kabak

contest * had his swift horse race * Wrestlers (were) 
822. matched * Thirty days of  games * forty days of feasts

were made * 
823.  (They) knew only one  God * and  His apostle * (They)

gave thanks for all his affairs, 
824.  obtained (their)  desire(s) and  wish(es) *  All have

56                               H. B. Paksoy 
reached  their aims  and  God knows  best.  We receive  the

825a. Apple (size) headed mallard 
825b. is an ornament in his own lake. 
826a. Precious handled knife 
826b. is worthy of the Bey's belt. 
827a. Everyone is happy on his own land. 
827b. The taste of bread is good at home.  
828a. Alpamysh was transcribed 
828b. from the worthy tongue of Jiyamurad. 
829a. If you fall in love with your beloved for five days 
829b. that is fine, before your beard grows. 
830a. Said all this finely 
830b. by accompaniment to the saz. 
831a. To serve the Ruler is to serve God 
831b. (and) I serve the Ruler well. 
832a. One who recites these words  
832b. is Jiyamurad, son of Bekmuhammed.  
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       57

The  following commentary  section  addresses  a number  of

issues.  First,  it  clarifies  discrepancies   created  by

typesetting  errors,  inconsistencies, or  "sloppiness," as

noted  earlier. Second  it  elaborates on  the "key  words"

employed in  "indexing" as  well as certain  other phrases,

references  and allusions.   The  bahsi, Jiyamurad,  son of

Bekmuhammed, assumed  -- and rightly  so at  that time  and

place -- that  his audience was entirely familiar  with the

general  conditions under  which the  events of  the dastan

took  place, the  customs  and beliefs  mentioned, and  the

action  of the  dastan  itself. The  modern Western  reader

requires elucidation of these references.  
In the commentary numbers appearing within the bracket pair

[] refer to the  line numbers in the translated  text above

and in the original in the Appendix to this work. 

[1] The  location of  Jidali Baysun  has been discussed  by

various scholars. Togan  associates it  with the  Syr-Darya

area.34 Zhirmunskii  refers to  it as  "formerly the  

Baysun bekdom  in  southern  Uzbekistan."35  According  to 

A.   T.  Hatto, "Baysun lake" may be referring to the Aral 

Sea. This possibility was also suggested by Zhirmunskii. 

Furthermore, L. S. Tolstova, in  Istoricheskie traditsii 

iuzhnogo Arala, notes: 
     "It  is  not  without  interest  that  among  the 
     Karakalpak   of   the   Choresm   Oasis   legends 
     concerning   arrival   from  Jidali-Baysun   are, 
     basically,   distributed  especially   among  the 
     tribes of Aris Kongrat.  (The leading hero of the 
     Karakalpak   epic    Alpamysh,   whose   activity 
     according   to  the   dastan   takes   place   in 
     Jidali-Baysun  also belonged  to Aris  Kongrat of 
     the tribe Irgakli.) The same legend also has been 
     located/recorded   by  ethnographers   among  the 
     Uzbek-Kongrat of the Amu-Derya Delta."36 
However,  the  map accompanying  Materialy  dlia statistiki

Turkestanskogo kraia, Ezhegodnik (Vol. III, St. Petersburg,

1874) shows  a Baysun  in the  south of  what is  today the

Uzbek SSR. 

Divay's own note to the Russian translation [henceforth the

translation  and  the  accompanying  notes  are  cited   as

"Divay"] discusses Jidali Baysun:  
     "The  central  point  of  the  Baysun  bekdom  in 
58                               H. B. Paksoy 
     Hissare [Russ: Gissare] located on the slope of a 
     mountain. Baysun-tau is  near the river  Surkhin, 
     at a  height of 3680  feet above  sea level.  The 
     Baysun bekdom  is settled  by Uzbeks and  Tajiks, 
     the main occupation of the inhabitants  is cattle 
     raising. Baysun-tau  is at  the southwest  end of 
     the Hissar  range to  the south of  Samarkand and 
     southwest of Bukhara.   Through this range passes 
     the great caravan road from Bukhara to Hissar and 
     the Amu-Darya; it goes  along a narrow gorge with 
     cliffs  of 150  meters, which  bear the  name the 
     Iron Gate.   See the Entsiklopedicheskii slovar', 
     Brokgauz  and Efron, vol 4, p. 731.  According to 
     the  information of our Kirghiz, Jidali-Baysun is 
     located at the boundaries  of two bekdoms: Kuliab 
     and Hissar. There is  located a large lake called 
     Baysun. Living there  are Kirghiz  of the  Lesser 
     Horde, and also Kungrat  and Argyns of the Middle 
[5]  The title Bay (often "prince") is appended to the name

of a tribal elder or  a member of the ruling elite;  it may

simply signify "man  of wealth." It  may precede or  follow

the  proper name. Therefore, the term is retained as in the

original throughout the text. Hence, Bora and  Sari are the

actual names of the princes.  
Regarding  the  phrase: "What  is  the  use of  possessions

beyond  the  (yurt)  threshold", Remy  Dor  suggests  that:

"since  'eshik-toz' is commonly used for yurt, possessions,

so possibly the sense is 'because of the lack of posterity,

they   derived  no   pleasure   from   inventorying   their

possessions',"38  i.   e.  what   is  the   use  of   

having possessions if one has no progeny. 
[7] Divay in his notes states "In the  text 'pir,' from the

Persian  meaning  old man,  head  of  monks, founder  of  a

religious order. Pir  and sheikh  are the  same: sheikh  is

Arabic, pir is Persian."39 
[8-9] I.e.,  it is the tombs of the saints visited. 
[13]  Kuda connotes giving  or taking  a girl  from another

family in marriage. Baybora and Baysari have thereby became

"in-laws."  In  a society  which values  kinship, relations

established by marriage are  significant and carry  certain

obligations. In  the  beginning, the  audience is  informed

that Baybora and Baysari  are two equal "bay," establishing

the  terms of  reference. "In  the  absence of  a daughter"

simply  refers  to the  fact  that,  as  yet,  neither  has

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       59

[16]  "Jan" can  be a  proper name,  as well  as a  term of

[19-20] [...]  contains the phrase "Kabir  tapsa kan bayda,

boyurgansa  tun  fayda,"  an ancient  Kirghiz  proverb,  as

attested by the emigre Kirghiz elders. Rahman Kul testified

that  he heard  it in this  form as  a child  but could not

remember its meaning. It is not surprising that there is no

unanimity  over  the   text  or  the  interpretation.   The

following analysis was provided by Prof. A. T. Hatto:  
     "The  play is  on  bayda  (Pers. paida)  'clear', 
     'manifest';   and   fayda   (Pers-Arab.   fa'ida) 
     'profit', 'advantage'  - both  of which  would be 
     bayda/payda  in the vernaculars,  only the editor 
     is  learned. The  second phrase  may be  read as: 
     buyurgense  ton   fayda  'if   you  make  as   if 
     pleat/fold, a  cloak would be a  good thing' (cf. 
     Kirgh.  buyur) -gense  may be  'when one  folds'. 
     Therefore, the following  may be hazarded: [with] 
     mourning (Pers.  tafsa)  at the  burial  (qabir), 
     blood is seen.  That is, bereaved  women lacerate 
     their faces". 40 
Prof. Remy Dor has the following reading and observation:  
     "Kabir  togulsa kan bayda,  buyurgansa tn fayda. 
     Therefore, it can be  translated as 'If the grave 
     overflows blood affairs [sic], if you give orders 
     night is useful.' Meaning:  'It is better to give 
     orders  at night  when you  cannot be  spied upon 
     because  if what  must  be kept  secret is  known 
     there can be blood feud'."41 
In  view of  the context,  I am  inclined to  the following

explanation: Kabir  tapsa - "If the  grave is encountered";

kan  bayda - "when the  blood is noble";  boyurgansa - "for

establishing  order" or,  in  this case,  to maintain  your

lineage; tun fayda - "darkness is useful." Thus the meaning

can be "If you are old (i.e. death is near), but your blood

is  noble, then  the darkness  of night  may be  useful for

conception,   i.e.  to  maintaining   your  lineage."  Such

references to the conceiving of sons in the darkness of the

night are found in  The Book of Dede Korkut, notably in the

tale of "Boghach Khan." 
Divay's own  Russian translation  entirely omits  this line

and goes to  the next  line: "their stomachs  grew so  much

that when  they  squatted  down, they  could  not  see  the

earth." 42 
60                               H. B. Paksoy 
[23]  Divay explains: 
     "During great holidays in olden days, the Kirghiz 
     organized  a  game  called  'altyn-kabak,'  which 
     means 'golden gourd.' A long pole was brought, at 
     one end  of the pole  was suspended a  gourd with 
     gold  or silver coins and the pole was put in the 
     ground.  Then marksmen  came out  and shot  (with 
     arrows) at  the gourd.  Whoever  split the  gourd 
     received  the  contents. They  say that  even now 
     sometimes this game is played."43 
Altun  kabak was  a well-known  contest, popularly  held at

such  joyful occasions.  Its origins  may well  go  back to

early times about which we know very little. In addition to

its  ceremonial  use,  the  game  of  altun  kabak  (golden

pumpkin)  was  clearly regarded  as  an  essential military

training exercise even outside  Central Asian domains,  for

instance  among the  Mamluks.44    For example,  the  

Mamluk historian Ibn Taghribirdi, portrays it as follows: 
     "On a tall mast  a gourd would be fixed,  made of 
     gold  or  silver. A  pigeon  was  put inside  the 
     gourd.  The horsemen  would  advance towards  the 
     target and shoot at it (with bow and arrow) while 
     moving (most  likely at  full gallop). If  he hit 
     the target and made the pigeon fly away, he would 
     receive a robe of honor and take the gourd as his 
     prize.... The kabak game was frequently performed 
     on  a large  scale  and with  great  pomp on  the 
     occasion of the birth or circumcision of the sons 
     of the Sultans and of the Grand Amirs."45 
[30]  Jelle is a garment, usually without a collar, made of

naturally pink colored cotton fiber, especially favored  by

the mollas or mystics. 
[31] Divay states: 
     "Kalender  [sic]  is  the  name of  an  order  of 
     dervishes  taken from  the  name  of its  founder 
     Kalender Yusuf Andaluzskii  [sic] (the word means 
     'pure  gold'  -  it  alludes  to  a  pure  heart, 
     demanded  of  proselytes),   the  dervish  is   a 
     mendicant,  the  'kalender  hane'  the  place  of 
     residence of these dervishes.  See the dictionary 
     of Budagov, p. 25, part II.  See also "Dervishi v 
     musul'manskom mire," Issledovanie Petra Posdneva. 
     Orenburg, 1886. 
     "In  Russian  Turkestan  are spread  chiefly  two 
     orders,  the  Nakshbendi  (kalenderi) and  Kadrie 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       61

     [sic - Kadiriyye].   The kalenderi  or Nakshbendi 
     are considered 'khufiia,' as the founder of their 
     order,  the  kalenderi  Nakshbend was  'khufiia,' 
     that is  one who  performed the zikr  to himself, 
Also see  EI2 entry "Kalendar."47   Kalendar, besides  

being the name  of a class  of dervishes is also  applied 

to good natured, unconventional people who do not complain 
or want. 
[39] Divay  notes: "Further in  the text everywhere  she is

called  by the  abbreviated  (form):  Barchin, without  the

prefix "Gul" but for uniformity, we use 'Gulbarcin.'"48 
[41] There are some numbers that are considered to be holy,

fateful or simply  lucky. Three, seven,  forty are in  this

category. Other  round numbers occur for the sake of random

representation of crowds, distance, time, etc. 
[44] Concerning the  phrase Gaib-iran-kryk-chilten [sic for

gha'ib-iran-kyrk-cihilten], Divay explains the following in

his  footnote [comments  in  brackets are  supplied by  the

present  author,  from  Redhouse,  A  Turkish  and  English

Lexicon, indicated pages]: 
     "According to  the information of M.  N. Aidarov, 
     the entire  composition of the  holy gaib-iran is 
     divided  into seven  categories. The  supreme one 
     over  them is  called Qutb  ["the chief  of God's 
     saints upon earth," 1461]. The second category is 
     called Emanman, they consist  of two persons  and 
     are considered  the vizirs of Qutb.  One is found 
     at  the  right  hand, the  Alem-i  melekut  ["the 
     heavens above,  the kingdom ruled  by God," 1278, 
     1972] supervising the invisible; the other on the 
     left  is   called   Alem-i  meleke   ["world   of 
     possessions, the material  world," 1972],  ruling 
     over the  visible.   The third category  is Evtad 
     ["four cardinal  saints  on earth,  one for  each 
     cardinal point,"  10, 235]  and consists  of four 
     persons. They keep watch over the four corners of 
     the  world.   The  fourth,  the Budela  ["saintly 
     persons  maintained  by  God  on  earth,"  9-10], 
     consists  of  seven persons.    The  fifth Ruqaba 
     ["seven seers or saints," 983, 984] consists also 
     of seven persons and  they are called simply 'the 
     seven.'   The  sixth  category  is called  Nujeba 
     ["noble ones,"  2073], of forty  persons and they 
     are called usually, 'chilten [sic],' and finally, 
     the  seventh category is called Nuqaba ["deans of 
     communities," 2097], consisting  of 366  persons, 
62                               H. B. Paksoy 
     and they  too are gaib-iran and  are divided into 
     two divisions: Iqrar  ["those who declare,"  165] 
     and Umena ["those who  conceal," 202].  Those who 
     wish to request help  from the Gaib-iran sit with 
     their backs  to  them [Divay's  note  includes  a 
     sketch  suggesting  a  direction of  the  compass 
     needed to  make the  prayers in various  parts of 
     the  globe] and  then perform  their prayer.   In 
     order to  determine in  which  direction are  the 
     Gaib-iran in the known lunar months, there exists 
     the circle reproduced here with indicated compass 
     points and numbers of lunar months." 
Below the drawing, Divay adds, "Additional information  can

be found in Budagov, part II, p.58."49 
[48] Karakasga is a horse with a blaze on his face. 
[49] A description of  this game is provided in  an article

published in the  Journal of the  Royal Asiatic Society  in

1985.50  Portions are excerpted here: 
     "Kok Boru  is the ancient name  for Oglak Tartis, 
     which  is a  game  reserved for  the able  bodied 
     young  men who  must field  formidably  agile and 
     hardy  horses.  The latter  designation literally 
     means  "contest  for   the  goat,"  actually  the 
     carcass thereof. Usually a young goat is  killed, 
     then  its  abdominal   organs  are  removed   and 
     replaced by wet sand to weight it. 
     "The   contest  has   very  few   rules   and  is 
     deceptively  simple.  The  starting  point  is  a 
     circle,  the  diameter  of which  is    generally 
     proportional  to  the  number   of  participants, 
     varying from  ten feet to one hundred. As soon as 
     the Aksakal51  judges  give the  starting  signal, 
     the  goat is picked up by one of the players. The 
     object is to bring it back to the starting point. 
     "This  is easier  said than  done, each  horseman 
     plays for himself. The  game has all the elements 
     of  mounted  combat,  although  the  only  weapon 
     allowed  is nothing  more dangerous than  a whip, 
     which  may,  however, have  lead-reinforced tips. 
     The horseman  in possession of the  goat tries to 
     outmaneuver all others in  order to bring it back 
     to the  circle. The rest oppose  him fiercely and 
     reach  for the  goat,  seeking a  hold,  tugging. 
     Hence the "tartis."52  The new possessor  attempts 
     to ward  off the  pursuers by clutching  the goat 
     between his thigh and his saddle.... 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       63

     "Historically, the contest of Oglak Tartis was an 
     occasion to  assess the courage and  skill of the 
     new generation  as well as re-test the durability 
     of  the older one. It  also served as  a means by 
     which the millennia-old horsemanship  skills were 
     transferred from the master to the novices....  
     "  'Kok  Boru'53   was  the  wolf's   head  symbol 
     adorning  the  standards  of  the   early  Turkic 
     Khanates of Central Asia,  and the expression  as 
     well as its derivatives also repeatedly appear in 
     Oghuz  Khan  dastan.54  It  commands  respect  and 
     fear  simultaneously,  variously  appearing as  a 
     guide, ancestor and cherished symbol... 
[58] The Central Asian  tribes are almost always exogamous.

They  marry  outside  their  immediate tribal  unit.  As  a

result,  the  daughter  leaves  her  father's  home.  Hence

Baysari will once again be childless. 
[65]  The distances  represented by  "forty days"  and "six

months" are probably used metaphorically to indicate a long

[66]  Taysha is a title given to a Mongol ruler, Ta'i-shih.

It  was apparently  utilized by the  Kara Khitay  as 


Later  on in  the text  Taysha is  also referred to  as the

Kayser  (from  Arabic  via   Persian)  and  Padishah  (from

[67] Ak Bulak  is identified as being a location "northeast

of  Karaburghaz   bay."56  However,   this  term   need  

not strictly  refer   to  a   geographic  location.   It  

could conceivably be used symbolically to mean a place of 

refuge, an oasis. 
[69] White or black camels are  rare, thus indicating these

are choice beasts. 
Divay  explains the  term kibacha  as "A  wooden  crate, in

which  are  carried  dishes  and  other  things,  and  when

migrating, it is used to carry children on a camel."57 
[70-71]  "May it rain and turn the bright days into floods"

appears  to denote  a wish  for a  turn of  events for  the

better.  In  semi-arid climates,  one  expects  rain to  be

auspicious and bring lush pastures for the herds. 
[74] "To hear the tongue of  the Mongol," i.e. to be  where

Mongols live. 
64                               H. B. Paksoy 
[78]  "Full  moon" is  a  standard  phrase, describing  the

beauty of  a human being, usually  a young girl or  boy. In

this case, he may be exalting the beauty of his wife. 
[88] There is  double indexing in  this phrase, one  within

the other. The first one is:  'If I (Baysari) had not  been

without an offspring, than, I  would not have been  obliged

to enter into an oath with Baybora'. As it follows, Baysari

is  implying: 'Hence,  I must  compete with  him in  such a

contest and humiliated.' 
[94-95] Divay explains: 
     "The Kirghiz divide the year in four  'nineties,' 
     specifically,  the  winter  ninety,   the  spring 
     ninety,  the summer ninety and the autumn ninety. 
     The  'ninety' comprises three months.  Concerning 
     the times  of the  year, see  the  article by  A. 
     Divaev,   "Mesiatsy   po  kirgizskomu   stiliu  s 
     oboznachenykh  narodnykh  primet,"  in  Izvestiia 
     Obshchestva  Arkheologii,  Istorii i  Etnografii, 
     vol. XIII, No. 4." 58 
[95]  Notes  Divay:  "There  exists  among  the  Kirghiz  a

proverb: 'Kuyandi kamis  oldurur,  erdi namus oldurur'  

"The reed kills the hare,  and honor (striving for it  or 

losing it) the brave one."59 
[109] Muhurdar,  literally: seal  bearer. In  this context,

probably  a high level bureaucrat, a non-military official.

Alemdar, in the strictest  sense, means standard bearer. In

most Central  Asian tribal  hierarchies, such officers  had

additional  responsibilities  above  and  beyond  what  the

offical title implies.60 
[110] "May we (I)  be sacrificed" is an emphatic  statement

used to underline  the importance of one's  thoughts or the

intensity of desire. This  phrase is also used  to indicate

deep affection and devotion.61 
Divay calls this "an affectionate phrase, remaining from an

ancient custom, according to which, making a sacrifice, for

example  for the recovery  of an  ill person,  they circled

around the patient and  then a possession of the  victim is

either sacrificed  [presumably an  animal] or given  to the

poor. See Budagov, p. 212, Part I."62 
In this explanation, Divay  is perhaps recalling the action

of  Babur (1483-1530, a direct descendant of Timur, and the

founder of the "Moghul"  empire), who, according to record,

performed this ceremony  to cure his son  Humayun; and died

shortly afterwards. 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       65

[113]  Taksir  is a  term of  respect  used in  the Kirghiz

dialect,  to  address   a  ruler.63  Divay  translates   

(in Russian)  as  "ruler"  (gospodar).64  Also  see  

Comment  on Lines 777-778. 
[119]  Divay's Russian  translation states  that this  is a

proverb. His note  identifies "Khizr" as  "the name of  the

prophet who found the source of living water and drank from

it, and  then lives  to the end  of the  ages; the  prophet

Ilya;   the  helper,   savior  (one   who   defends  [those

travelling]  on  the water,  [in]  Kazak  [is] Khizr;  [in]

Kirghiz  [is] Kidr)  =  [thus the  saying] Juru  tikaningda

joluneng  bolsun; Kudrata  joldasining bolsun;  [meaning] I

wish you  good journey, may  your companion be  the prophet

Khizr (good journey); [also] Khizr, [means] green, pleasant

to the eyes.  See the  dictionary of Budagov, p. 534,  Part

[131]  "Shed  bloody tears"  refers  to  the difficulty  of

riding through rough and treacherous terrain. Lewis (p. 11)

notes that  "when the  characters are distressed  they weep

bloody tears..." 
[135] "Stewards" refers to those in authority. 
[142]  "Braiding the  mane,"  but especially  the tails  of

horses  was a  requisite prior  to engaging  in battle.  So

prepared, the horse becomes spirited and more responsive to

the rider. 
[146]  "Lost all hope" because  he fears the Taysha's wrath

if he to turns down a request of this sort. 
[158] "The worry  of my  loved one has  been troubling  me"

refers to  Barchin's worrying  about Alpamysh,  his health,

his whereabouts and if he is aware of their difficulties. 
[159]  Braiding the tail of  the horse: see  the Comment on

Line 142 above. 
[162] Referring  to Alpamysh,  and his expected  arrival to

marry Barchin. 
[167]  "Twisted the neck of  the bird" is  a description of

anger. It may also suggest that  the lady in question has a

shapely neck. 
[174]  In his Russian translation, Divay retains the use of

the  term "misafir,"  and  explains that  this term  "among

Muslims" denoted  "those who came temporarily  to a strange

land or to another  city.  Also included among  misafir are

66                               H. B. Paksoy 
[175-176] "Thin becoming fat * then he can strike his white

lance" Barchin  is likening herself to  a sacrificial lamb,

fattened for sacrifice. She is also buying time. 
[180]  In  other  words,  without   distinguishing  origin,

ethnicity, language or religion. 
[188]  "Nine  directions,  nineteen  thousand  warriors" is

probably figurative. 
[190-191]  "The   blood  ran  down  the   stirrup"  is  the

traditional  bardic  reference  to  blood  from  the battle

wounds of  the warrior first filling  the boot, overflowing

and  finally running down the stirrup and the breast of the

[192] From  the disturbance  of the horses'  hooves, stones

fly and are reassembled into new roads and bridges. 
[195] Baychobar is  the name of Alpamysh's horse,  so named

because of his  color; gray with white "rose" spots, called

"Chobar."   "Bay" (see note on  Line 5 for a  definition of

Bay) prefix is added, to indicate that this is an unusually

noble and beautiful animal. 
[197-200] These lines  are rather unclear, as  noted in the

introduction of this Chapter.  Here the bahshi seems  to be

assuming  previous knowledge of a series of details.  It is

difficult to  determine when the bahshi  stops referring to

Baybora and  begins referring  to Kultay. Accordingly,  the

reader cannot  be certain if Kultay,  a servant, personally

decided  to  give  Alpamysh  a  horse,  or whether  he  was

instructed by Baybora to do so. Moreover, there is a rather

severe  misspelling (Line  200);  taladin  (open space)  is

substituted for tilladan (golden). 
[200] Alpamysh must know of the existence of his betrothed,

both were seven  years of age at the time  of parting (Line

106 notes Barchin arrived in the land of the Kalmaks at age

7).  Alpamysh's   parents  are  specifically   against  his

pursuing  Barchin,  and  appear  to  have  concealed  their

betrothal  from him.  However, he is  preparing to  mount a

quest  for his  fiancee  and claims  a  golden saddle,  the

origins of which are not alluded to by the bahshi. 
[202]   There   are   a  certain   number   of   conceptual

inconsistencies  in  the text,  most  of  which pertain  to

numerical  values. In this line,  it is stated that Baybora

was desirous of giving Alpamysh a horse when he reached the

age of seven. In  Lines 207-208, Alpamysh specifically asks

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       67

for  a  horse on  which to  seek  his fiancee.  He captures

Baychobar in Line 224. In Line 233, he  takes the reins and

rides out to the land  of the Kalmaks. Only in Line  254 do

we  discover  that  Alpamysh   is  fourteen  years  of  age

immediately after selecting his own  mount. It is not clear

whether  Alpamysh waited  seven  years after  the point  at

which  we learn  of his  father's intention  to give  him a

horse,  making  do with  other  horses before  encountering

The effect  of this narrational sloppiness  is not critical

for  the  conclusion  or even  the  flow.  It  is simply  a

nuisance for the orderly mind. 
[203] "Duldul" is the name of Ali's horse. 
[205]  The text uses bahadur which, as stated earlier, is a

variant of batir. 
[218] Seksavul (Anabasis ammodendron, holoxylon) is a plant

abundantly found in the Central Asian steppes. 
[221] "Sultan"  is used  to further honor  Alpamysh, albeit

before the reader (or the  listener) is presented with  his

feats. It is a rather forward looking compliment. 
[222] Divay's  Russian translation says  here that Alpamysh

was brave, young and strong like an "elif."  In his note he

explains  "The  letter  elif  is  depicted  in  the  Arabic

alphabet by a thin stick and corresponds to the letter "a;"

here it refers to the slenderness of his figure."67 
[228] Explaining the term tumar, Divay calls  it "amulet, a

case with a talisman."68 
[246-247]  The term  ervaghi  (ervah, pl.  of ruh;  spelled

arvakhi in  the Russian translation) is  explained by Divay

as  "the spirits  of  saints which  help people,  an unseen

force.   Further description  of arvakhi in  A. Divaev,  in

Sbornik  mater.  dlia  stat.   Syr-Dar.  Obl.  and  Etnogr.

ocherki,  Khud.   Kustanaev,  and  in   XI  book,   Etnogr.

obozrenie, p. 24."69  Divay gives no further  information 

on these sources. 
[248] Tulpar, a  "winged horse," usually belongs  to an alp

or batir. See the Commentary on Line 514 below. 
[251]  Karajan  here  says   "may  your  elder  brother  be

sacrificed to you" to stress his astonishment at the goings

on. There is no actual intention of sacrificing anyone. See

Comment on Line 110 above. 
68                               H. B. Paksoy 
[254-255] Divay's Russian translation states: 
      "The   life  of   tarlan  [rendered   in  Arabic 
     characters], a  bird of  good luck lasts  only 14 
     years..."  [Divay's ellipsis].  His note explains 
     "The  precise  meaning  of tarlan  we  could  not 
     obtain from the Kirgiz.   One said it was  a bird 
     of  good  fortune,  others  compared  it  to  the 
     khomai,  the legendary  bird, a noble  breed like 
     the  eagle,  a heavenly  bird  like  the phoenix, 
     which   never   comes  down   to   earth,  always 
     commanding the  upper heights of  the atmosphere. 
     If  its  shadow  falls on  someone's  head,  that 
     person  will be  made a king and have  good luck. 
     From it  comes humayun -- the  auspicious, august 
     epithet of  sultans of  the Turkish Empire.   See 
     Humayun in Budagov, p. 315, Part II."70 
If the khomai above  is a reference to "Omay"  (Umay, Huma,

etc), it should be noted that the word appears in Kul Tegin

E31, as well as in Tonyukuk II, W3. Moreover, I. Kafesoglu,

citing A. Inan, traces "Huma" to Iranian-Indian beliefs. D.

Sinor  indicates that "Umay" is  a Mongol spirit honored by

the Turks.71 
[266]  The bahshi  is using kaysar  for sultan.  Divay says

"'Kaysar' seems  to be  a Kalmak personal  name, signifying

adversity in life."72 
[267] Divay translates "Only Seisens know the value  of the

Bedouins," which he  thus explains:  "Seisens must  suggest

the  owners of  Bedouin horses,  and then  those  who value

There  may be  a connection  between the  "Zaysan" ("...the

Turkic  speaking  `Two-tribute'   Mountain  Kalmak  of  the

Altai...) referenced  by Hatto and the  seisen mentioned by

[267-268] Divay  translates  the interjection  as "O  [you]

with  bristling bottom," which in  the note is clarified as

"a  curse,  expressed  more  strongly  in  the  text."75  

It appears that  Divay excluded the "more  strong language"

of the expression from the text. 
[279] Divay's translation is: 
      "On our steppes, one needs buds to blossom." His 
     note  refers  to  a Kirgiz  quatrain,"Jigitdining 
     jiyirme  bis  gunu   emesbe/  kiz  deygan   jengi 
     achulghan  gul emesbe/  Bulghanda  giz gizil  gul 
     jigit bulbul/ bulbul gus gizil gul ki tunamasbe?" 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       69

     Translated as "The best of times for young men is 
     25  (years)... Is  the  maiden then  not a  newly 
     blossomed  rose?  If the maiden is a rose and the 
     youth a nightingale, then is it not possible that 
     the  nightingale  may  pass   the  night  on  the 
[279-280] "To be burned  one needs a tongue" seems  to mean

"words will get you into deep trouble." 
[297]  "Argument is upon your six ancestors" is a manner of

cursing Alpamysh's  lineage. The  number is  rather curious

for the  usual number  employed in  this context is  seven.

Perhaps the "six" is a double insult indicating that in the

lineage  there  is  an  "unknown." Even  the  children  are

taught, at the earliest possible age, to recite their seven

ancestors  when asked who they are: "yedi atang kim?" It is

very shameful for  the child  not to be  able correctly  to

recite  seven  consecutive lineal  ancestors.  This failure

also reflects badly on his parents and lineage. 
[301] The implication is that the fight is to the death. 
[303]  Karajan  being  clearly  older,  Alpamysh    may  be

deferring  to Karajan's  age.  It  is  a requisite  act  of

etiquette. On the other hand, Alpamysh may also be needling

Karajan, implying  that he (Karajan)  is too old  to fight,

and should not hope to win  the wrestling contest. Probably

Alpamysh  is doing  both.  Prior to  actual fighting,  such

verbal combat is commonplace. 
[306]  According  to  Sufi  tradition,  saints  can  travel

without being encumbered by  physical laws. Therefore, they

can appear and disappear at will. 
[320] Because if the  occupier of the throne dies,  the sun

will reflect off the empty throne.  
[330]  Isfahan is  referenced  in two  contexts. (See  also

Lines  350  and 389.)  In this  case  the Isfahan  sword is

placed between two men as  a sign of conciliation. However,

the tradition is much older. The Kirghiz are known to place

an arrow (vertically) between those who are about to take a

"brotherhood" oath before the two embrace. 
[336-337] Divay  refers to a suyunji  which Karajan expects

to receive  from Barchin for  giving her  this news.  Divay

defines suyunchi [sic] as "a present, given as a reward for

carrying joyful news."77 
[350]  The possibility  that must  be raised  regarding the

70                               H. B. Paksoy 
references  to "Kalmaks dead in Isfahan" is that this is an

erroneous reference,  confusing Isfahan  in  Iran with  the

town  Isfijab (also  called  Sayram, Sefid  Ab and  Ak 

Su)78 north of  Tashkent in  what is today  the Chimkent  

region. Such an error could be accidental or deliberate on 

the part of the  bahshi or  yet another  typesetter's 

error.  In any event, there is historical  basis for  the 

allusion  to the deaths of "many Kalmaks"  in the Isfijab 

area because  of a Kalmak attack in 1681.79 
The second possibility, of course, is that the reference to

Isfahan is correct. If so, the historical basis is somewhat

more  obscure and may refer to conflicts of Hulagu's forces

in their conquest of Iran  in the mid-13th century80,  to 

an uprising and slaughter of  Timur's tax gatherers in 

Isfahan in 138781  or  to some  other,  later  event in  

which  some Mongol  and  probably  non-Muslim  force [such 

as the Kalmaks]  is  defeated  at Isfahan. 
[353-365]  Barchin "recognizes"  Baychobar, for  she claims

that Baychobar was a mere colt before she left the land  of

the Baysun. It must be remembered that Alpamysh did not ask

for  a mount to go  after Barchin until  long after Baysari

took  Barchin  away to  the land  of  the Kalmaks  [in Line

207-208]. She may  simply recall  him as a  horse from  her

childhood, or even from Baybora's herd.  
[358] Barchin  naturally believes that  Alpamysh was either

captured or killed in  battle with the Kalmaks. She  or any

other sane  person in  that setting would  scarcely believe

that a Kalmak  has befriended a Kungrat. See  Commentary on

Lines 353-365 above. 
[367-368] Karajan means "Do not  behave like a drippy  eyed

[373]  This  means, "I  behaved as  if  he were  my younger

brother, hence inexperienced, green." 
[386-387]  "My mind became upset on this field" is a direct

translation. Reference is  to the necessity to think on the

verge of action. The  field is almost always the  combat or

[392] On a secondary level, the allusion may be that losing

a limb and staying alive is definitely worse than death. 
[393]  Padishah is  the traditional  title for  the Ottoman

Ruler.  See  Islam  Ansiklopedisi  on the  origins  of  the

[394-397]  The  reference  to  eating camels  is  meant  to

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       71

indicate  that  a   "guest"  (Taysha?)  is   consuming  his

(Karajan's)  wealth.  The  rate  at which  the  camels  are

consumed obviously outstrips the supply. 
[396-397]  This  "executioner"  may  be  the  same  Kokemen

appearing in Lines 128 and 807. 
[399] Impostor, i.e. one who is impersonating a just ruler,

but is  actually an  usurper, not  fearing God,  nor shying

away from depriving other people of their rights. 
[401]  Karajan  seems  to be  accepting  Alpamysh's  future

in-laws as his own. 
[402] Perhaps Kokemen Kaska understands  Karajan's resolve.

The reference to Khan is unclear. Given the context, it may

be to Karajan. 
[407] Under the weight, no doubt. 
[410]  Obviously it is not  the home that  is expectant but

Barchin, who is inside. 
[411] It is not clear when Baysari had  a chance to discuss

with  Barchin  the  matter of  a  present  to  be given  to

Karajan. Baysari simply picks  up the coat and hands  it to

[416] "Just bring Alpamysh," seems to be the meaning. 
[424] The  reference to  "black narcissus" is  obviously to

the  rarity  of the  item. "Cheeks  like  red apples"  is a

traditional  phrase,  much  like  the  "peaches  and  cream

[440]  "Lady  and  the  child" though  reminiscent  of  the

Madonna,  appears  to be  a  simple bardic  filler.  In the

original, hatun  menan balaga  may be referring  to Barchin

and  Alpamysh,  since  Alpamysh  has  already  been  called

"bala," (Line 265). See Comment on Line 445. 
[445]  Alpamysh is still  being considered a  mere child by

the Kalmaks and therefore only fit to fetch horses. 
[447] Karajan means, "I will do this easy riding, much like

in the manner of the horsegrooms who fetch the horses." 
[449] Mollas were presumably  the only individuals who were

literate,   and  being  the  most  trustworthy  individuals

because of  their piety, undertook the  registration. It is

curious though, to find mollas among the "atheist" Kalmaks.

72                               H. B. Paksoy 
[457]  Here "Rose" refers to Baychobar, to portray him as a

valued and beautiful creature. In addition,  this is a play

on words. See Comment on Line 195 above. 
[461] "Started on a race to last for forty days" is meant. 
[466]  For  the  first  time, the  bahshi's  arithmetic  is

[469] Kalmaks  are chastising Karajan for  throwing his lot

in  with a Sunni. As the Kalmaks are portrayed as "atheist"

throughout, and Karajan having been introduced as a Kalmak,

this singling-out  of one  sect, as opposed  to the  entire

religion of Islam,  is rather curious.  In this regard,  it

should be remembered that earlier, the Kalmaks talked about

Muslims in general terms. See Lines 140, 519. 
Moreover, as Alpamysh has been asking the help of "Hz. Ali"

(Lines  305, 780);  and as  Baychobar is  likened to  Ali's

horse "Duldul"  (Line 203) when in  difficulty, one wonders

about the intention  behind such differentiated inferences.

As Togan  has observed,  an early transcriber  of Alpamysh,

Yusufbek,  had  injected  Shi'i  references  into  all  his

published works, including his 1899 Alpamysh. 
This fact  may have  further  motivated Divay  to elect  to

simplify the language of the 1922 printing of his Alpamysh,

noting the proximity of the  collection place to Bukhara as

his reason.  83 It will  be remembered that  Bukhara was 

one of  the main population centers where Sunni-Shi'i 

struggles had spilled over into armed combat between their 

adherents, the last major occurrence of which took place in

[471]  The phrase "combed  his tail"  means to  display him

(Baychobar) as if he were a race horse. 
[472]  The  Kalmaks are  saying,  "Karajan asks  directions

because he does not even know where he needs to go." 
[487]  "Kok Derbend" might be a reference to "Barchin's Kok

[500]  The Kalmaks  are most  probably riding  in specially

arranged formations. 
[503-504] The  name of the tore"  (elder, variously spelled

as At Peshin and  Atpeshin) translates as "the  observer of

the horse that is leading the race." It is perhaps  a title

rather than a proper name. 
The word tore also means "tradition." 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       73

[514] A tulpar  is a horse worthy of a  batir and naturally

would have "wings"  like Pegasus.  Perhaps the  exceptional

speed of  a  horse, such  as  Baychobar, suggested  to  the

Central Asians that it was flying. See Comment on Line 248.

[518] An obvious allusion to the  fact that he is ready for

[521]  Although this  may be  a reference  to the  Kalmaks'

wearing armor  covering only  the torso, by  implication it

suggests the inadequacy of the Kalmaks and their  horses in

competition against Baychobar. 
[523] Divay's  translation contains the phrase  "As long as

Baychobar exists,  lest (unless?) sores cover  him, I think

Barchin will  not  be seen  by  you."86  In his  foot  

note, Divay  explains this  reference to  the sores:  "The 

Kirgiz 'jamalar atmak'  is an  epidemic disease, fatal  to 

horses. During  the course of this  disease the spine  of 

the horse swells near the neck or at the tail."87 
[525] "Hooves taken  out" is a  direct translation to  mean

"destroyed," "removed." 
[527] It is  odd that  the atheist Karajan's  son is  named

Dost Muhammad before Karajan  becomes a Muslim. Divay's own

note   remarks  that   "Probably   he  received   the  name

Dost-Muhammad after Karajan accepted Islam."88 
[529]  The batir or alp slumber  also occurs in the Book of

Dede Korkut. It is  one of the  attributes of an alp.  They

are capable of non-stop riding and fighting for a prolonged

period  without sleep.   After  such exhausting  feats, the

alps must sleep  the "batir slumber."  In Asia Minor,  some

mothers are known to ask: "Did you go down for Oghuz sleep,

[533]  "Tied   the  feet"   here  means  that   he  hobbled

Baychobar's legs  together (usually  any two) with  a short

rope to give  the horse some  limited mobility but  prevent

him from wandering too far. 
[540] "Built a fire" presumably to heat the nails which the

Kalmaks will drive into Baychobar's hooves; not to shoe him

but to injure him. 
[545]  Karajan could not sleep his  full seven days because

he was subconsciously worried about the race or sensed that

disaster has occurred. 
[556]  Karajan's  color  faded  upon discovering  what  had

74                               H. B. Paksoy 
happened to Baychobar. 
[558] Karajan means "No one will care if I die." 
[563] According to  Rahman Kul, manat is a precious fabric,

or  material  that is  expensive.  Hatto  agrees with  that

evaluation.  Generally, manat is  used to denote  a unit of

currency or simply  "money." 
[564-565] Corpses  will dry under  the sun, thus  the bones

become exposed,  i.e. the liars will die and no one will be

inclined to bury them because of their reputation. 
[567]  Yilkiji Ata  is the  "patron saint"  of  all horses.

Confirmed  by Divay (who calls him Jilki Ata, however) in a

note  and  refers  the  reader  to    his  own  "Legenda  o

Kazikurtovskom kovchege," in Sbornik, Vol V.90 
[571]  Kulah is the conical headgear worn by members of the

mystical orders. Divay   defines the janda as  "halat, sewn

from multicolored  scraps, which  is worn by  dervishes and

[572]  The   proverb  "when  (God's)  servant   is  not  in

difficulty, Hizir will not  come to help" is often  used to

assert that God  will send help  only to those  who are  in

[573] A saint  "giving a  hand" ordinarily  means that  the

saint  has approved the deeds and  intentions of the person

receiving  help.  Consequently, in  this manner,  the saint

(giving  a hand) causes the  "disciple" to be admitted into

the  "inner  circle."  When  the  saint  decides  that  the

auspicious time  has arrived, the disciple  becomes a newly

created saint or head of his own following, thereby forming

a "chain" or cell in  the order. In this case, however,  it

may be  presumed that Karajan is  only receiving "emergency

relief" from the saints to complete his assignment, because

both the  horse and  the owner of  the horse are  under the

protection of the saints. See the comments to Line 469. 
[578] References to  stars and sunny days  are also "bardic

fillers." In  Line 248,  employing an  obvious astrological

reference,   Baychobar's  stars  are  stated  to  be  "more

powerful than Karajan's Tulpar's stars." 
[579] From the style of  speech of the saint or saints,  it

is not clear  how many are  speaking or if one  is speaking

for the rest. 
[590] Now  the bahshi remembers  that Baychobar is  also in

pain. Baychobar's life is pulled out of its eyes. 
ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       75

[603]  A kulach is "approximately three arshins."92 
[605-608]  The bahshi  uses transposed  syntax  here, first

giving the end result (catching up and passing the Kalmaks)

then describing the process  (chasing). In translation this

gives the feeling of disjointed narration if read in single

[646] Divay anachronistically explains durbenci as "one who

looks through binoculars."93 
[659] Tuman is  a unit  of currency. It  also signifies  an

army  "division" among  the  Turkic and  Mongolian  tribes,

composed of ten thousand troops. 
[674] "I am too young to know the value of  the horse" that

I allowed you  to mount him. It may also  be an ironic turn

of  words,  i.e. "you  are  older,  you should  have  known

[674-675] Alpamysh perhaps is posing a rhetorical question:

"Shall  I make a drinking  vessel out of  your skull?" This

was  indeed practiced by the Scythians and at least as late

as 1510 when Shah Ismail made a drinking cup from the skull

of Shibani Khan. 
[677] Alpamysh  is now speaking with  sarcasm. The audience

is already familiar with the fact that Karajan's complexion

is reminiscent of "boiled iron color." See Line 356. 
[689]  Karajan considered  himself lucky  to  have awakened

before the seven days had passed. 
[690]  Karajan  would be  wearing  a  long coat-like  outer

garment called, inter alia, chapan, hence the "skirts." 
[703]  "Ninety  days"  is  yet   another  exaggeration  for

emphasis. This  time it is  unlikely to be  carelessness on

the part of the bahshi. 
[709] This statement  seems to  mean "I have  won a  hollow

victory because winning the race cost me my only son." 
[714-719] The  bahshi is stressing the fact that Barchin is

very sensuous. 
[724] Aychrek is the woman of Semetey, Manas's son. 
[729-730]  "May no other stranger's  eye fall on you again"

is not an order for Barchin  to conceal herself as in urban

Islamic  societies, but  as  a sign  indicating her  public

76                               H. B. Paksoy 
commitment to Alpamysh. 
[733]  "Orda" in this context refers to the camp site where

the  tents are  erected.  Ordinarily, orda  is the  largest

confederation of nomads. It may also of course mean "army,"

[742-743]  This  is  a  standard method  of  healing  horse

hooves, in case of a cut or penetration by a sharp rock. 
[749] In the  original, the  bahshi likens  Baychobar to  a

five  year old sheep. This appears to  be a general term of

[752-753] The  bahshi is being extremely  coy or courteous.

This  very  modest allusion  increases  the  impact of  the

description of Barchin's posture in Lines 714-719. 
[753]  "Renewed ablution"  is the  proof that  Alpamysh and

Barchin became man and  wife in earnest, since  washing the

entire  body  is  the  Islamic  requirement  after   carnal

[777-778]   References   "Oh  God"   and   "Fate"   are  my

interpretations, given  the context.  In the original,  the

bahshi uses  the  word "Taksir."  Concerning "Taksir,"  see

Comment on Line 113. 
[800] "Mountain of  Ayralik" (ayralik: separation)  perhaps

refers to the cruelty of separation rather than a place. 
[812]  The use  of the  word "ship"  is  rather incongruous

here. However, the saddle of the camel might have resembled

ALPAMYSH:            Chapter Three                       77

1. M. Ghabdullin  and T. Sydykov,  Kazak halkynyn batyrlyk 
jyry, 37, fn. 4. (Henceforth, Ghabdullin and Sydykov). 
2.  Batyrlar is  not  identified, but  is  called a 
'series'  by Sydykov, "'Alpamysh' v publikatsii  A. A.
Divaeva" in Kazakhskaia narodnaia poeziia, 181-186. 
3. Ghabdullin and Sydykov, 37. 
4.  A. S.  Levend, in  his Turk  Edebiyati Tarihi  (Ankara,
1973) states that  Chaghatay is primarily  based on Uygur, 
which later became  Karakhanid on  the  way to  Chaghatay. 
See also  A.  von Gabain, Ozbekische Grammatik  mit
Bibliographie, Lesestucken  und Worterverzeichnis, mit
einer Karte  von Turkestan, mit  Ortsnamen in Ozbekischer
Form (Leipzig and  Vienna, 1945), 278; S. Cagatay, Turk
Leheleri zerine Denemeler, Ankara, 1978. 
5.  See Alexander  Park, Bolshevism  in Turkistan 
1917-1923 (New York,  1957); G. Wheeler, Racial  Problems
in Soviet Muslim Asia, Institute of Race Relations (Oxford,

1960). See also W. Bartold, Turkestan Down to the Mongol
Invasion, 4th ed. (London, 1977). 
6. See for example the writings of Ali Shir Navai and
7. See text above. 
8.   Togan, Turkistan, 37,  38 provides a definition  of
the work "kazakh."  It must  also  be pointed  out  that
the  Kirghiz  are mentioned in the Orkhon  inscriptions.
See Tekin, KT E4,  E14; BK E15; pp. 261-281. 
9. Zhirmunskii in his 1960, Russian-language work and in
Chadwick and Zhirmunsky, 292-4, argues that this version is
Karakalpak and was "mistakenly" called "Kirghiz"  by Divay.
This is  explored in Chapter Four. 
10.  See H. B. Paksoy,  "Observations Among Kirghiz
Refugees from the  Pamirs  of Afghanistan  Settled  in  the
Turkish  Republic," Journal of the Anthropological Society
of Oxford, Volume XVI, no. 1.  Hilary 1985.  Idem, "The
Traditional  Oglak Tartis  Among the Kirghiz of the
Pamirs," The Royal Asiatic Journal, 1985, Part II. 
11. Dr. Nazif Shahrani, who  spent 22 months among this
tribe  in the  Pamirs, at this writing  (1984) is compiling

a biography of Rahman Kul Kutlu at UCLA. 
12. See the text in the appendix. 
78                       H. B. Paksoy 
13. See V.  Smith, The  Oxford History of  India (Oxford, 
1919), 225. 
14. See Halil Ethem, Duvel-i Islamiyye (Istanbul, 1927),
15. See  S. Digby, "Iletmish  or Iltutmish? A 
Reconsideration of the Name of the  Dehli Sultan," Journal
of the  British Institute of Persian Studies (Iran), 1970,
VIII, 57-64. 
16. See the version  by Le Baron Desmaisons, Histoire  Des
Mogols et des Tatares, Tome I, Texte. Imprimerie de
l'Academie Imperiale des sciences (St. Petersburg, 1871). 
17. Inan, 181. 
18. See A Grammar of Orkhon Turkic, 250, 268. 
19. Borovkov, "Geroicheskaia poema," cited in Mirzaev, 18. 
20.  V.  M. Zhirmunskii,  Skazanie  ob  Alpamyshe i 
bogatyrskaia skazka (Moscow, 1960), 66. 
21. Barthold's "Turetskii  epos i Kavkaz," in Iazyk i
literatura, vol. V.  (Leningrad, 1930),  12, cited in 
Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 71. See  also Barthold's article on 
"Kalmucks," in Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition, (EI
1) vol.2, 700-701; Bartold's "Eshche izvestie o  Korkude,"
in ZVOPAO, v. XIX, 1890. Finally, Bartold's translation of
Dede Korkut  was published in ZVORAO, v.  XV, 1903 and 
republished  in the  Baku 1950  publication on  pages
42-67, cited in Zhirmunskii, Skazanie, 67, note 13. 
22.  V. Zhirmunsky,  "The  Epic of  Alpamysh  and the 
Return  of Odysseus," Proceedings of the British Academy,
London, 1966. 
23. Togan, Turkistan, 35, 40. 
24.  Togan, Turkistan,  29.  It should  be  noted, however,

that Kungrats were originally  an Eastern Mongolian tribe 
(Qonggirad) and  the  consort of  the Chinggisids.  I  am
indebted  to Thomas Allsen  and  Hidehiro  Okada 
(independent  of  each  other)  for bringing this fact to
my attention. 
25. V.  M.  Zhirmunskii and  Kh. T.  Zarifov, Uzbekskii 
narodnyi geroicheskii epos  (Tashkent, 1947), 69-70, citing
in  part A. A. Semonov,  whom Hadi  Zarif  thanks for 
providing information  on Uzbek historical documents of 
the 16th-17th centuries.  Mirzaev, 18 also cites Kh. T.
Zarifov, "Osnovnye motivy eposa 'Alpamysh'," in Tezisy, 28
on this topic. 
26. Grousset, 421. 
27. Togan, Turkistan, 104. 
ALPAMYSH:               Chapter Three                79 
28.  Grousset, 479;  also discussed  in Zhirmunskii  and
Zarifov, 70-71. 
29. Togan, Turkistan, 171. 
30.  Grousset,  522. Also  Togan,  Turkistan,  157-176 on 
Kalmak migrations from 15th to 20th centuries.  
31. Togan, Turkistan, 163-167. Also Muhammed Haidar, A
History of the Moghuls of Central  Asia, translated by E.
Denison  Ross (New York, 1970), 73-121. 
32. Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 71. 
33. Zhirmunskii and Zarifov, 69. 
34. See Togan, Turkistan, 61. 
35. See Chadwick and Zhirmunsky, 293.  
36.  L.  S.  Tolstova,  Istoricheskie  traditsii  iuzhnogo 
Arala (Moscow, 1984),  131-134. This  passage and the 
translation were kindly provided  by Prof.  Hatto, private
communication  of 1985.  Spelling and punctuation are his. 
37. A. A. Divay,  Alpamysh Batir: Kirghiz Poem  (Tashkent,
1901), 41. Henceforth: Divay.  Divay's own Russian 
translation includes numerous explanatory notes which are
cited in this commentary. 
38. Private correspondence of 1985 with Remy Dor. 
39. Divay, note on 41. 
40. Private communication of 1984 from A. T. Hatto. 
41. Private communication of 1985 from Remy Dor. 
42. Divay, 42. 
43. Divay, 42, Note 1. 
44. Since  the early  Mamluk soldiers  were  largely
composed  of Kipchak  Turks who  had  come  or  were 
brought  to  the  Mamluk Sultanate  from the steppes  of
Central Asia  it may  be that the game came with them. See
also The Cambridge History of  Islam, P. M.  Holt, A.
Lambton, B. Lewis (eds), (Cambridge, 1970), Vol IIB, 
833; C.  E. Bosworth,  "Barbarian Incursions:  The coming
of  the Turks  into  the  Islamic  World," Islamic 
Civilization,  D.  S. Richards, Ed. (Oxford, 1973). 
80                        H. B. Paksoy 
45. Ibn Taghribirdi, Al-Nudjum al-Zahira (ed. Cairo) VIII,
6, ll. 3-7,  cited in D. Ayalon,  "Notes on the  Furusiyya
Exercises and Games  in the Mamluk Sultanate," (Translated 
from Hebrew) in his The Mamluk Military Society (London,
46. Divay, 43, Note 1. 
47. See the entry on "Kalendar" in EI2, IV, 472. 
48. Divay, 43, Note 2. 
49. Divay, 44, Note  1. Explanations of terms in 
parenthesis and quotation marks are  from Sir  James W.
Redhouse,  A Turkish  and English Lexicon, New Edition
(Beirut, 1974). 
50.  See H. B. Paksoy, "Oglak Tartis," (Cited in Note 10,
Chapter Three).  In the  Persian speaking  areas of 
Central Asia,  i. e. portions of Afghanistan, Kk Br is
played under the designation of bozkashi. 
51. Aksakal: literally white beards, the respected elders 
of the tribe. Karasakal (black beards-able bodied adults)
are the middle generation who are  above the bola 
(Children) group. The  latter includes the youngsters still
in adolescence. Ibid, Note 8. 
52. In fact, in the  heat of the game,  the goat is often 
pulled apart.  It is a normal occurrence to stop the
contest momentarily to replace the totally obliterated
carcass. Ibid, Note 9. 
53. Sky Wolf, or Blue-White Wolf. Ibid, Note 11. 
54. See Togan, Oguz Destani (Istanbul, 1972). 
55. Mohammed Haidar,  A History  of the Moghuls  of Central

Asia (Translated by E. Denison Ross) (New York, 1970), 79. 
56. See James Hutton, Central Asia (London, 1875). 
57. Divay, 46, Note 1. 
58. Divay, 47, Note 1. 
59. Divay, 47, Note 2. 
60. For a catalogue of offices in a similar setting, see
Beatrice Manz,  "Politics and  Control Under  Tamerlane," 
Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Harvard, 1983. 
61. See also Lewis, 204, note 82. 
62. Divay, 48, Note 1. 
ALPAMYSH:             Chapter Three   81 
63. See W. Radloff,  Versuch Eines Worterbuches der
Turk-Dialecte ('s Gravenhage, 1960). V. 3, 793. 
64. Divay translates "taksir" as "O Ruler" on page 49. 
65. Divay,  49, Note 1. See also entry on Khidr-Ilyas in
EI2, vol 
V., and Lewis, 196, Note 11. 
66. Divay, 52, Note 1. 
67. Divay, 55, Note 1. 
68. Divay, 55, Note 2. 
69. Divay, 56, Note 1. 
70. Divay, 57, Note 1. 
See  Tekin; I. Kafesoglu, Turk  Milli Kulturu, P.  289; D.
Sinor, "'Umay,' a Mongol spirit honored by the Turks." in
Proceedings of International Conference on China  Border
Area Studies.  National Chengchi University. (Taipei,
1985), Pp. 1771-1781.  
72. Divay, 58, Note 1. 
73. Divay, 58, Note 2. 
 See A. T. Hatto, Kkty, P. 127. 
75. Divay, 58, Note 3. 
76. Divay, 58, Note 4. 
77. Divay, 62, Note 1. 
78.  Barthold, I:122.  Also  see Togan,  Turkistan,  49,
80;  and Muhammed Haidar, 80. 
79. Togan, Turkistan, 167. 
80. Grousset, 351-353. 
81. Ibid, 431. 
82. Islam Ansiklopedisi (Istanbul, 1971) 491-5. 
83. See the section on Divay. 
84.  See   H.  B.   Paksoy,  "Nationality  and   Religion: 
Three Observations from mer Seyfettin" CAS V. 3., N. 3,
82                       H. B. Paksoy 
85. See Abulgazi, Secere-i Turk. 
86. Divay, 71-72. 
87. Divay, 72, Note 1. 
88. Divay, 72, Note 2. 
89. Lewis, 170 and 204, Note 82. 
90. Divay, 74, Note 1. 
91. Divay, 74, Note 2. 
92. Divay, 76, Note 1. 
93. Divay, 78, Note 1. 
94. See DLT  PP. 74,  150, 173, 413;  Also Tekin,  KT N8,
N9  for early references. 
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