Reviews

The last years have seen in Dushanbe the simultaneous publication of several leading collective works in Badakhshani studies, mostly with incentives coming from outside Tajikistan.  One year after the publication of an interesting History of the Higher Badakhshan Autonomous Region, with the support of the Agha Khan Foundation, the journal Rudaki published since 1999 by the Adviser for Culture of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Tajikistan proposes a special issue in modern literary history and religious ethnography of Badakhshan.  Curiously enough, if religion is omnipresent in this volume, no room has been let to the internationalist views conveyed since 1995 by Khuja missionaries from Bombay, Karachi, or London.  The result of such an ideological stance is an overall tentative revaluation of the Pamir’s vernacular traditions against current attempts for having them replaced by a more internationalist, and reformist version of the Isma‘ili faith.

Two young scholars from Khorog propose historical materials on rituals still performed not very long ago by the pirs of Tajikistani Badakhshan, for whom they used to constitute an attribute of authority (see my reviews of the papers by Hajjibikoff and Shahzade-Mohammad in supra 415 & 420).  The other contributions deal with aspects of modern literary history.  The volume notably contains a set of monographic studies on early modern poets from Darwaz and Badakhshan—see my reviews of the articles by Mirhasan (supra 419), ‘Ali-Mardan (infra 521), Mirganoff (infra 539), and Dawlatbikoff (infra 556).  The opening paper of the volume is an homage to a leading Badakhshani figure of Soviet Tajik literature, through an analysis of the place of varied forms of “popular” “oral creation”—both terms are not commented, as if taken for granted—in his poetical work (A. Charagh-Abdaloff, “Rabete-ye adabiyat-e harfeyi va folklor dar athar-e Mir Sa‘id Mir Shakar [The Relations between Oral Literature and Folklore in the Works by Mir Sa‘id Mir Shakar],” 9-22).  In a following paper, a leading figure of studies on regional oral traditions of the Pamir (see my review of another of his works in infra 561) gives overall considerations on various genres of oral tradition and on their study during the Soviet period (Nesar-Mohammad Shakar-Mohammad, “Folklor: ayina-ye tarikh va farhang-e mardom [Oral Tradition: a Mirror of the History and Culture of the People],” 53-64.  Another contribution draws on specific expressions by the Tajik poet of Pamirian origin Aman-Bik Shazhzada (active in the 1990s) that reflect beliefs of the people of Badakhshan (La‘l-Jobe Mirza-Hasanoff, “Baztab-e sonnatha va ‘aqayed-e mardomi dar she‘r-e Badakhshan [The Reflection of Popular Customs and Beliefs in the Poetry of Badakhshan],” 107-20).  Then comes a short overview of the data available on the life and work of the poet from Darwaz Mulla Muhammad-Yar Wanji (1841-1935)—on him, see my review of the monograph by A. Habibov in S. A. Dudoignon & Hisao Komatsu, eds.,, Research Trends in Modern Central Eurasian Studies (18th-20th Centuries), 2, A Selective and Critical Bibliography of works Published between 1985 and 2000, Tokyo: The Toyo Bunko, 2006, 273-4—(Salam Nuriyan Barawni, Seddiq Mobarakshah, “Adibi az molk-e kuhestan-e Tajikestan [A Man of Letters from the Realm of the Mountains of Tajikistan],” 135-8).  The last contribution of the volume is a study of the work of the Isma‘ili mystical poet Sayyid Zaman al-Din Adim Shughnani (b. 1904, self-exiled to Afghanistan from 1923 to 1990), through an edition of his verses by Khushnazar Pamirzad in Rawalpindi in 1380 sh./2001, under the title Ashk-i hasrat (Sardarbik Hazarabik, “Adim Shoghnani, sha‘er-e azorde [Adim Shughnani, a Tormented Poet],” 139-47).

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-6.2.A-518