Genre composition of Kazakh epic

Kazakh folklore is rich and diverse. It includes almost all kinds of oral folklore: myths, tales, legends, stories, songs, riddles, proverbs, etc. Among them epic takes special place. It has several internal genre varieties and forms. They are archaic epic, classic heroic epic, romantic (love) epic, historical epic and dastan epic with its varieties (heroic, love, adventure, religious, social- everyday life, tale).

Archaic epic is characterized by mythological and syncretic features and it has many ancient religious ideas of animistic and totemic character. Main content of the archaic epics is the struggle with all sorts of monsters and free people from them, cleaning the land from different evil. Therefore, the main character of the epic is not an ordinary man, but a hero who has a mighty force. This kind of epic goes back to ancient period of human life, to primitive clan system.

Classic heroic epic differs in colorful artistic feature, poly-stage and multi-functional features. It has played a major role in the spiritual life of the people as the art of word and poetic history of ethnicity. It reflects ethical and aesthetic values and philosophy of Kazakh people, and therefore the hero is depicted as the ideal hero and he is romantic character. This epic combines ancient and recent plots and motifs, concepts and ideas, and it gives a certain anachronism i.e. so-called cyclization of various type (historical, genealogical, biographical, geographical).

Historical epic was formed during the epoch of feudal State- Kazakh Khanate. The main topic – is the protection of the State, preservation of its independence. The heroes of this epic - historical persons who lead the people's struggle against the invaders and showed miracles of heroism and bravery. Mainly this epic is historical, but it has incorporated many elements of art form and poetics, former heroic epic. There are very little, almost no ancient features of mythological features of the hero and wonderful assistants of the hero. Historical epic – is also a sample of poetic art, and therefore it describes a historical figure in the epic spirit.

Romantic epic - one of the most popular epic genre. It is as old as other forms of folklore, and it is genetically related to the family- ritual poetry of antiquity. The main content of these epics - the love of young people and their struggle for their happiness. The most popular works among people are the epic "Kozy- Korpesh and Bayan Sulu" and "Kyz- Zhibek". The first of them dates back to the Turkic Khanate (YI-YIII centuries), and the second has appeared during the Kazakh Khanate (XY-HҮІІІ centuries). Both these works have many options that testify about their wide spread among the people.

They served as a basis of the plays, opera and films. This fact testifies that Kazakh epic is not just folklore heritage, but it is also a source and integral part of contemporary artistic culture of Kazakhstan and plays an important role in spiritual development of society. This is confirmed by the fact that at the present time, epic works are very popular among people, especially young people who are involved in epic performances both in special schools and individually.