Reviews

An initiative of the non-governmental organisation ACTED in order to encourage and advocate cultural projects among the so-called Pamir Kyrgyz of the Murghab district in eastern Tajikistan, the present book has been authored by a retired school teacher and amateur folklorist, Aydarali Saparbaev, and an employee of ACTED’s Murgab office, who was a that time in charge with cultural questions, Kubanïchbek Temirkulov.  A short introductory section (pp. 5-45) gives some raw ethnographic data on random aspects of local customs, the most, if not the only, valuable part of which being the one dedicated to hunting (pp. 20-5).  The remaining part of the volume (pp. 46-281) provides more than sixty texts of oral poetry and folklore from local bards and writers, most of which have been collected by A. Saparbaev himself.  The first of these texts is the Kyrgyz translation of Remy Dor’s “Un fragment pamirien de Manas” (Central Asiatic Journal 26/1-2 (1982): 1-55), which first appeared in Kyrgyz in Ala Too in 1991.  Surprisingly enough, the authors, or better to say, the editors (only the first forty pages have been indeed authored) did not mention neither Dor’s name nor the source of the translation.  Some few texts, like the versified memories (zamana qïsasï) of Abdisatar, have a strong historical and patrimonial value.  A last section offers a bunch of proverbs and riddles.  The volume ends with a nice legend.

François Ömer Akakça, Humboldt University, Berlin
CER: I-7.4.D-642