Makhambet was a poet and a fighter for freedom

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Makhambet was a poet and a fighter for freedom

Western Kazakhstan is a land, where Makhambet, batyr and long-suffering poet-stormy petrel, was born. All his life unclouded childhood and his youth had passed. All his life “started with joy and ended in failure” passed on this land – on the shore of Edil and yaik, on sands of naryn, Beketai and Taisoigan.

For us and for the future generation these sand-hills, these “lakes and waters of the sandstone”, these delicate willows, even a lonely plane-tree, a lonely bush of wornwood, these eternally sleeping boulders are the sacred heritage of Makhambet’s time.

So long as Kazakh people “could not live independently” (A.Baitursynov), a land between Edil and Yaik had been under foreign possession since 1731 to 1801, when Abulkhair-khan adopted a Russian citizenship. Only in 1801 a white tsar of Russia gave Bokey a permission to use the samara steppe. The Decree of Tsar Paul I runs: “While accepting sultan Bokey Nuralykhanuly, governing the Khan Council of Small Orda, in our citizenship, I allow him to roam all over this land; as a token of accord I award him a golden medal with my portrait”.

In the beginning, all those events taking place aroud the khan seemed appropriate to Isatai and Makhambet. At that time they were the Elders of two districts. However, in the course of time, a capricious egoist Jangir started displaying unprecedented unlawful actions. A brave man, as well as a poet with a tender heart, Makhambet was a soul of the uprising, and he was the first who urged isatai on the way of resolute armed struggle.

“The gravest unlawful action was the fact that the land graned by the tsar to Kazakh people, was considered by Jangir as his wn property. He created a view, according to which, the land of common people had been the khan’s property. In 1836 he announced 400.000 acres of land, grated by the tsar to Kazakh people, as the khan’s share. The remaining land was distributed to his relatives and tore. He started taking lands away from tribes, villages he did not like. (K.Dosmukhamedov)

As a result, “In a fussy spring of 1836, people’s anger against the khan and the khodjas; against the tore and the tulengits, against their tsar-patron, turned into a general uprising. The people, with their own hand, sealed Isatai on a horse and hoisted his flag with horse-hair on the top of the lofty hill. A bloody fight against the tsar’s troops and khan’s yassak, which lasted one and half years, has started.” (B.Amanshin).


My favourite Kazakh writer

My favorite Kazakh writer, Mukhtar Auezov, was born in 1897. He is a man of encyclopedic knowledge and erudition. Mukhtar Auezov is a significant person both in his life and creative activity. He wrote more than twenty plays and many magnificent stories. The top of his activity was the epopee about Abai. The first 20 years of Auezov’s life resemble the childhood, youth and young years of his favourite poet and spiritual teacher- Abai. Later in his famous work he described the same steppe, the same aul, the same social atmosphere.
With his works, Mukhtar Auezov raised the Kazakh literature up to the highest level. Many works of different genres belong to him.

His brilliant translations of world literary classics confirm his great talent. He published many interesting articles, made reports, composed textbooks and read lectures in colleges and universities. His professional researches became basis for some new branches in studying folklore, epos, history and linguistics of the Turks. He was elected as a professor of the Moscow State University.

His main work is closely connected with the image of the great son of the Kazakh people Abai. He devoted more than 15 years of his life to writing this book. This book was the most significant for him. As the writer said, the process of writing the novels about Abai turned into the most fascinating business of all his life. This book was called the original encyclopedia of many-sided features of the Kazakh people mode of life. It opened a vivid variety of culture and history of the ancient land and showed the riches of its customs and traditions to the whole world.

The works written by Mukhtar Auezov are still popular even now and are considered the original classics of the Kazakh literature. His name remained eternally in the memory of many people.




Seyfullin Saken was the founder of the modern Kazakh literature. He was also a poet and a writer, a statesman and a prominent member of the Communist Party of (Bolsheviks). He was born in winter quarters named Karashilik of modern Shet area, Karagandy region. He received education at the Nildin Russian-Kazakh School (1905 — 1908) and primary parochial school (1908 −1910). Saken graduated from the Akmola College in 1913 and the Omsk Teachers Seminary in 1916. Saken Seyfullin published his first collection of poems in 1914 in the city of Kazan under the name "Otken Kunder" ("The Past Days"). Seyfullin worked as the teacher of Russian Language in the village of Silety-Bugyly, wrote poems in support of national liberation movement in 1916 in Kazakhstan. In 1917 after the February Revolution he moved to Akmolinsk (today the city of Astana), wrote poems, created an organization named "Zhas Kazakh" ("Young Kazakh"), participated in publishing a newspaper "Tirshilik" ("Life"). He was a member of youth organization "Birlik" ("Unity"). He wrote one of the first works about the destiny of Kazakh woman — narrative under the name "Zhubatu" ("Consolation", 1917). In December 1917 he was elected a member of the Akmola Council of Deputies and appointed Commissar of Education. In 1917 he published a play named "Bakyt Zholynda" ("The Path to Happiness", 1917). It was a work of drama calling people for revolutionary struggle.

In June 1918 after the military coup he was arrested and thrown into "the carriage of death" of Ataman Annenkov. He was sent to a prison in the city of Omsk from which he escaped on April 3, 1919. After that he returned to his native village and then moved to Aulie-Ata (today the city of Taraz). In 1920 Saken Seyfullin came back to Akmolinsk where he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee and Head of the Administrative Division. At the first Founding Congress of Soviets of Kazakhstan (on October 4, 1920 in the city of Orenburg) Seyfullin was elected member of the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee of the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In the 1920s Seyfullin became editor at the Yenbekshi Kazakh (Working Kazakh) Newspaper, at the Kyzyl Kazakhstan (Red Kazakhstan) Journal. He was also appointed Deputy People’s Commissar for Education. In 1920 his play under the name "Kyzyl Sunkarlar" ("Red Eagles") was issued. In 1922 at the third congress of Soviets of Kazakhstan Seyfullin was elected Chairman of Committee of Soviet Commissars of the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. He also became a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and of the Presidium of the Kazakh Central Executive Committee. In 1925 Seyfullin was appointed Chairman of the Research Centre under the People’s Commissariat of Education of the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

He worked as editor at the Adebiet Maydany (Literary Front) Journal. He also taught student at the Kyzylorda Institute of People’s Education, Institute of Journalism in Tashkent and Kazakh Pedagogical Institute in Alma-Ata. In the 1920s Saken Seyfullin wrote several articles, related to world and Kazakh literature, which are still popular and interesting for readers. In 1922 a collection of poems under the name "Asau Tulpar" ("Indomitable Horse") was issued in Orenburg. The poems "Dombyra" ("Dombra", 1924), "Sovetstan" (1924) and "Express" (1926) were published in separate books. Saken Seyfullin was an innovator in poetry. Having analyzed poetic traditions of Kazakh people, he renovated form and character of Kazakh poetry, introduced new themes and images in it. The poet also changed structure of strophes, rhythmic, syntax and intonation of Kazak poems. His historical and memoir novel "Tar Zhol, Taygak Keshu" ("Thorny Path") was published in 1927. In this work, Seyfullin showed the struggle of Kazakh nation against the Tsarism, participation of Kazakhs in revolution and their fight for establishment of Soviet power in Kazakhstan. Throughout his creative work Saken Seyfullin paid much attention to collection, analysis, classification and publication of monuments of Kazakh folklore.

The writer made a significant contribution to preparation of several works, including "Kazakhtyn Yeski Adebiety Nuskalary" ("Samples of Ancient Kazakh Literature", 1931), Kazakh version of the poem "Leyli and Majnun", book "Kazakh Adebiety" ("Kazakh Literature", 1932), and so on. Written in the 1930s poems "Albatros" ("Albatross", 1933) and "Kyzyl At" ("Red Horse", 1934) demonstrated Seyfullin’s position concerning occurred social phenomena. In his poem named "Kyzyl At" Seyfullin assessed all excesses committed during agricultural collectivization in Kazakhstan in the 1930s. In the 1930s Saken Seyfullin took part in discussions on the current problems of literature life. He even gave a report at the First Congress of Writers of Kazakhstan (1934) and the First All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers (1934). In 1935 he issued the prose "Aysha" and narrative "Zhemister" ("Fruitage"). The writer also participated in preparation of school textbook on Kazakh literature. Seyfullin played a crucial role in education of literary men. He supported such writers as B. Maylin, S. Mukanov, G. Musrepov, G. Mustafin, T. Zharokov, and to name but a few. He assisted them in publishing their first works. Seyfullin edited and wrote prefaces for their books. M. Karataev, K. Bekkhozhin, Zh. Sain and many others took lessons from Saken Seyfullin. Seyfullin’s works were published in many languages. He was the first Kazakh writer who was awarded the Order of Red Banner of Labor. Unfortunately, he didn’t finished his novels "Bizdin Turmys" ("Our Life") and "Sol Zhyldarda" ("At that time") which told about the life of his contemporaries. In 1938 Saken Seyfullin was repressed. The writer was executed by shooting in Almaty.

In 1958 Seyfullin was rehabilitated (posthumously). In 1985 the Memorial Museum of Saken Seyfullin was opened in Tselinograd (today the city of Astana). In Kazakhstan there are theatres, schools, libraries and streets named after him. There is a monument in Akmola (Astana) created and placed in honour of the writer. The State Agrarian University, which situated in Astana, was named after Saken Seyfullin. Many artistic works were dedicated to him, including Mukanov’s play "Saken Seyfullin", Musrepov’s narrative "Kezdespey Ketken Bir Beyne" ("Once and Forever"), poems of A. Tazhibaev, A. Tokmagambetov, K. Bekkhozhin. Research papers of M. Karataev, B. Ismailov, S. Kirabaev, T. Kakishev, G. Serebryakova and others were focused on Seyfullin’s life and creative work.


Magzhan Zhumabayev

Magzhan Zhumabayev is the great Kazakh writer, poet, and publicist, one of the founders of new Kazakh literature. His poems, tales and stories are written with acute tragic element, which expresses the feeling of responsibility for the people and appeal to sources and crucial moments in history. At the same time, Magzhan accepted common to all mankind artistic and scientific heritage from Shakespeare, Pushkin, and Solovyev to symbolism, technocracy and Schpengler. Popular nowadays existential motifs can be clearly seen in his creating work. After so many years of concealment, we revealed Magzhan Zhumabayev anew.

Magzhan Bekenuly Zhumabayev was born on 25 June 1893 in Sassykkul Tract if Sary-Aigyr volost in Petropavlovsky uezd. He died on 19 March 1938 in Alma-Ata. Magzhan comes from a rich family; his father was bii, the head of the volost. When he was four, he started to learn oriental languages and literature. Magzhan’s early poems were not preserved. He continued mastering the Arabic, Persian and Turkish languages in Begishev madrasah in Kzyl-Orda having obtained there secondary Moslem education. In 1910, he entered Galiya madrasah, the higher Islamic educational institution in Ufa City. But following the advice of his teacher, Galymzhan Ibragimov, who became the classicist of Tatar literature, Magzhan started looking for other ways of education. With Ibragimov’s help, young Magzhan’s works were published for the first time in 1912 in Kazan. In the same period with the support of Mirzhakyp Dulatov and Akmet Baitursynov, he started learning Russian, getting acquainted with Russian and European literature, and cooperates with “Kazakh” newspaper. In 1913, Magzhan entered Omsk Pedagogic Seminary. During these years in Omsk Magzhan took part in the creation of “Birlik” (Unity) Society; he was the editor of the hand-written magazine “Balapan”.

With his first steps in poetry, Magzhan reveals his unique talent. He gained wide recognition thanks to his poetic collection “Sholpan” (1912). The first stage of the creating way covers the period from 1910 to February 1917. His poems based on the historical facts appealed to the national fight for liberty. In his poem “Past” Magzhan called the names of fight heroes against Zhungar conquerors. The real hero for him was the one who “remembered about his nation”.

He dealt with journalism; he worked in the area of enlightenment, published in 1922 the book named “Pedagogy”. For certain time Magzhan was the editor of the newspaper “Bostandyk Tuy” (“Freedom Flag”) published in Omsk and after 1921 in Petropavlovsk.

Intensive and fruitful life period of Zhumabayev is related to Tashkent where he moved in 1922 and where he created his tale “Batyr Bayan”, poems about Turkestan, articles about Akan Sery, Bukhar Zhyrau, and Abubakir Divayev. He cooperated with the newspaper “Ak Zhol” and the magazine “Sholpan”. Here, in Tashkent, and in Kazan in 1922-23 he published two collections of poems where he had revealed his gifts. Magzhan belonged to the generation of the poets, which for the first time in the regions Central Asia and Kazakhstan joined two directions of spiritual development of the nations in East and West.



My favourite Kazakh poet

Makataev Mukagali Kazakh Soviet poet, writer and translator was born on February 9, 1931, in the village of Karasaz, in Alma-Ata region, in the foothills of the Great Khan Tengri. He graduated from the Literary Institute named by Gorky.

He worked as a secretary and head of the red yurt, an employee of the Komsomol, the literary staff of the local newspaper. In 1954-1962 he worked as a radio announcer on Kazakh, a teacher, in the years 1962-1972 - head of department of newspapers "Sotsialistіk Kazakstan", "Kazakh әdebietі" magazines "Madeniet zhane turmys", "Zhuldyz", in the years 1972-1973 - the literature consultant of the Union of Writers of Kazakhstan.

He was a author of "Life is a legend," "Life is a river", "Mozart's Requiem", "Favorites." Song of his poem "Sarzhaylyau" became popular. He was translated into Kazakh Russian classics, foreign literature, including Walt Whitman, "The Divine Comedy" by Dante. His name is put in front of them, Abay Auezova and other classics of Kazakh literature. He was a laureate of the State Prize of Kazakhstan ... Mukagali and his peers have become the main labor force and replaced the adult men who had gone to the front. They grazed cattle and plowed land, harvest and threshing. Along with the women and old men they considered themselves to be responsible for a life in the rear and very proud of it.


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