Manas Statue - National Folk Hero - Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member CerealBoxMonsters
N 42° 52.652 E 074° 35.250
43T E 466311 N 4747297
Manas is the national folk hero of Kyrgyzstan. He is reported to have been born around 995AD, and is famed for uniting the forty clans of Kyrgyzstan against their enemies, the Uyghers, to build a Kyrgyz state.
Waymark Code: WM796C
Location: Kyrgyzstan
Date Posted: 09/21/2009
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Mark1962
Views: 6

The "Epic of Manas" is a traditional epic poem of the Kyrgyz people. Manas is the name of the epic's hero. Created, most historians believe, more than a millennia ago, it is one of the world's longest poems at more than half a million lines. The epic tells the story of Manas, his descendants and his followers. Battles against Kitay and Kalmak enemies form a central theme in the epic.

The poem begins with the ancestry and birth of the hero, which is first prophesized and surrounded by unusual portents. His father, an aging though wealthy and generous leader of his people, is without a son or heir. He visits a holy place, prays for a son and soon after his wife becomes pregnant. She develops cravings for tiger meat. The proud father-to-be spares no effort getting it and care is taken to keep it a secret from the Uyghers, indicating its importance to the Kyrgyz. All the while, wise men describe the deeds Manas will accomplish and the armies he will lead. When he is born, he leaps from the womb and lands on his feet, ready to fight.

Manas' strength is drawn from the animal spirits protecting him: there is a lion at his side, a giant hawk overhead, and a dragon leads his way.

Manas is the classic centerpiece of Kyrgyz literature, and parts of it are often recited at Kyrgyz festivities by specialists in the epic, called Manaschi. Manaschis are usually called to their profession in a dream. In this dream, they meet Manas or other characters from the epic, who tell them to become Manas narrators. If they do not obey, they believe they will fall ill or become crippled. Manaschis tell the tale in a melodic chant accompanied by musical instruments.

Manas is said to have been buried in the Ala-Too mountains in Talas Province, in northwestern Kyrgyzstan. A mausoleum some 40km east of the town of Talas is believed to house his remains and is a popular destination for Kyrgyz travellers. Traditional Kyrgyz horsemanship games are held there every summer. An inscription on the mausoleum states, however, that it is dedicated to "...the most famous of women, Kenizek-Khatun, the daughter of the emir Abuka". Legend has it that Kanikey, Manas' widow, ordered this inscription in an effort to confuse her husband's enemies and prevent a defiling of his grave. The building, known as "Manastin Khumbuzu" or "The Ghumbez of Manas", was probably erected in 1334. On the grounds is a museum dedicated to Manas and his legend.
URL of the statue: Not listed

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