The Uzbek public heroic epos “Alpomish”: genesis, epic evolution and modern variants
Affiliation: Institute of literature and Language, Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan

1) As is known, dastan “Alpomish” which subject fundamental principle is connected with archaic motives ancient Turkic mythologies is original product of the Uzbek national heroic epos. Remarkable and its original variants have been written down in execution of such talented Uzbek national storytellers, as Fozil the son of Yuldash, Ergash the son of Jumanbulbul, poet Pulkan, Berdi bahshi, Mardanaqul the son of Avliyoqul and others. “Alpomish” widely occurs in an epic area of Southern Uzbekistan, including in epic repertoire of storytellers-bahshi dastan schools of the Surkhan-Darya area, the live which performing tradition continues to develop and be enriched today. The Surkhan-Darya variants of dastan differ an originality of a plot, composite structure and art interpretation of traditional motives, and also poetry of the epic text and distribution in the form of a cycle dastans, including some epic products about “Alpomish”

2) The Archaic layer of a plot dastan “Alpomish” has developed in VI-VIII centuries among Turkic tribes of mountain Altai in a kind of “a powerful fairy tale”, i.e. a fairy tale on the athlete and formed a basis for creation of Altay heroic epos “Alyp-Manash”. In connection with historic-ethnic processes IX-X centuries, i.e. with resettlement ogus -the tribes living in foothills of Altai on lower reaches of Syr-Darya, this epic plot has reached extensive territory and began to develop as the epos reflecting socially-household way and is art-aesthetic views Kungrads. Thus, with resettlement of numerous Turkic tribes and nationalities to Central Asia in Krakhanids an epoch there was a mixture of their epos to the epos of the radical Turkic population and with the rests of the ancient epos therefore there was in X-XI centuries an Uzbek heroic epos “Alpomish”.

3) We will notice, that with resettlement of the Uzbek tribes to Southern Uzbekistan “Kungrad” the version of dastan “Alpomish” has extended among storytellers-bahshi of the Surkhan-Darya oasis that has caused addition in XVI century of the Surkhan-Darya variants of the given epic product. The history of addition and occurrence of modern variants of dastan “Alpomish”, fixed in “postfolklore” epic tradition of the Surkhan-Darya oasis, is closely connected with the historic-folklore process which has begun with XVI century when the talented storytellers-bahshi living in area Bajsuna and in kishlaks of vicinities of Termez, created the cores dastans Uzbek novel the epos, and also new variants of the heroic epos “Alpomish”.

4) With an establishment of independence of Republic Uzbekistan the Uzbek specialists in folklore have started complex studying and records of the folklore materials, national storytellers-bahshi of the Surkhan-Darya oasis concerning epic creativity. Original variants of the epos “Alpomish” and dastan “Yadgar” from this epic cycle have been written down in execution Hushvak bahshi the son of Mardonaqul, Chorshanba bahshi the son of Rahmatulla (Sherabad area), Boborakhim bahshi Mamatmurodov (Denav area), Abdunazar bahshi Poyonov (Kiziriks area), Qora bahshi Umirov (Muzrabad area). Thanks to folkloristic researches and numerous expeditions are revealed and written down traditional national dastans from a cycle “Alpomish” “Beva Barchin” (“Widow Barchin”), “Oytavka” (“Moon girl Tovka”), “Yolchiboy” (“Hudoyor”). The scientific importance of these records consists that these dastans which plot is closely connected with powerful feats and heroic histories about Alpomish, do not meet in others fairy tale schools and have remained only in the Surkhan-Darya oasis.

5) The Basic originality of dastan “Alpomish”, executed by the Surkhan-Darya storytellers-bahshi, consists that in epic creativity fairy tale schools of the Surkhan-Darya oasis this epos was formed and extended in the form of a cycle dastans, including some products singing of the main ideas and heroic feats Alpomish, its children and grandsons. Cycle dastan the Uzbek national heroic epos occurred at later steps of development of epic consciousness, there, where dastan art continued to exist. More precisely – in Southern Uzbekistan where till now develop not only ancient traditions of epic creativity, but also very original and original folklore. Thanks to the original creative approach of local storytellers-bahshi, in repertoire Surkhan-Darya dastan schools put some kind of «a biographic cycle» dastan “Alpomish”, including dastans “Alpomish”, “Yadgar”, “Beva Barchin”, “Yolchiboy” and “Shomurod”.

6) Fairy Tale art of the Surkhan-Darya oasis, including tradition of execution of a cycle dastan "Alpomish" remains and develops, thanks to stability of epic knowledge and epic memory of national storytellers-bahshi. Today dastan “Alpomish” is executed by such known and talented storytellers as Shoberdi Bahshi Boltayev, Ismoil bahshi Anvarov (Bajsun area), Boborahim bahshi Mamatmurodov (Denau area), Abdunazar bahshi Poyonov (Kizirik area), Ilhom bahshi Norov (Termez) etc. Its execution in wedding ceremonies, on festive occasions and national holidays is considered a symbol happiness, the world and well-being. Dastan the ideologically-art orientation enriches a traditional national holiday “Navruz” and to serve spiritually-aesthetic formation of harmoniously developed generation.