Ballad of Forgotten Years
Here is a tale or tribal vendetta on the steppes of central Asia - the seemingly interminable cycle of atrocity and revenge - between the Turkmen and Adai Kazakhs of yesteryear.
It is a tale, ritually told, of all-but-ritual barbarity: how the 'warrior Zhoneyut' of the Turkmen is driven, despite deeper, gender instincts, to avenge the dreadful retribution wreaked by the Kazakh hero Dyuimkara on his beloved brother Kekbor, and the fateful consequence of his musician son Daulet's attempt at counter-retribution. Yet there is an under-running moral of this prose 'ballad' by the modern master of an ancient Kazakh genre serving to cleanse today's reader with a message for our own times. That message is one of 'eliminating' (in the author's words) 'from our lives the cruelty, evil and mistrust which afflict us, and of giving inspiration to the hardest of hearts, as did the legendary heroes of Kazakhstan'.
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Adai Anadurdy animals Argamak horse Ballad began black camel brother burial mound buried campaign cattle chapan chest dark Daulet death Degen-akhun dismounted dombra player dust dutar players Dyuimkara dzhida dzhigits earth elders enemy eyes face father felt fetters fingers forked beard forty days gaze glance grave graze grey Argamak ground hair hands head heard heart herds hide Holy hooves Kazakh language Kazakh prisoners Kazakhstan Kekbor Kekilbayev Khorezm Kiuishi kiuiy kizyak Kurban listening look Mambetpana Manghistau mankurti miracle maker mother camel mound mourning moved mullah musician neighbouring night old batyr old warrior old Zhoneyut once papakhas piebald stallion pity protruding pulled raid returned riders rode sacred saddle seemed shaitan Shopan-ata side silence sleep soul sound spear stare steppe fighters stone stood sword tears Temirbaba tethered thought tombstone tribe tugai Turkmen voice wailing warrior Zhoneyut watchman women young camel yurt Zhoneyut turned