Dede Korkut English: Introduction to DEDE KORKUT
H. B. Paksoy, D. Phil.
"Introduction to DEDE KORKUT" (As Co-Editor) SOVIET
ANTHROPOLOGY AND ARCHEOLOGY Vol. 29, No. 1. Summer 1990.
"M. Dadashzade on the Ethnographic Information Concerning
Azerbaijan Contained in the DEDE KORKUT dastan." SOVIET
ANTHROPOLOGY AND ARCHEOLOGY Vol. 29, No. 1. Summer 1990.
H. B. Paksoy, Ed. CENTRAL ASIA READER: The Rediscovery
of History (New York/London: M. E. Sharpe, 1994) 201 Pp. +
Index. ISBN 1-56324-201-X (Hardcover); ISBN 1-56324-
202-8 (pbk.) LC CIP DK857.C45 1993 958-dc20]
Ethnographic Information Concerning Azerbaijan
Contained in the Dede Korkut Dastan
Dede Korkut, one of the historical treasures of a large
portion of Central Asia, is a dastan, ``the principal
repository of ethnic identity, history, customs and the value
systems of its owners and composers.... It commemorates ...
struggles for freedom.''1 Dede Korkut has been rendered into
a number of languages over the last two centuries, since it
caught the attention of H.F. Von Diez, who published a partial
German translation in 1815, based on a manuscript found in the
Royal Library of Dresden. The only other manuscript of Dede
Korkut was discovered in 1950 by Ettore Rossi in the Vatican
library. Until Dede Korkut was transcribed on paper, the
events depicted therein survived in the oral tradition, at
least from the ninth and tenth centuries.2 The ``Bamsi Beyrek''
chapter of Dede Korkut preserves almost verbatim the immensely
popular Central Asian dastan Alpamysh, dating from even an
Editio princeps of Dede Korkut was made by Kilisli Rifat
[Bilge] in 1916 in Istanbul, which was followed by that of
Orhan Saik Gokyay (Istanbul, 1938). The first full-text,
``Baku Edition'' of Dede Korkut was made by H. Arasli in 1939
(reprinted in 1962 with an annotated introduction and again in
1977). V.V. Bartold's Kniga moego dede Korkuta, on which he
probably began work in the 1890s, was posthumously issued in
1950.4 M. Fahrettin Kirzioglu's Dede Korkut Oguznameleri
appeared in Istanbul in 1952; Ettore Rossi's Kitab-i Dede
Qorqut was published in Italian in the same year, followed by
Joachim Hein's 1958 German edition. After Muharrem Ergin's
Dede Korkut Kitabi,5 there came two English versions, the first
of which was a collaborative effort among three well-known
scholars,6 and the second, a highly readable Book of Dede
Korkut by Geoffrey L. Lewis.7 In 1978 a Persian edition became
available in Tabriz.8 A Serbo-Croatian rendition, Knijka Dede
Korkuta was published in 1983 by Slavoljub Djindjich, who also
reported the ongoing work on a Czech translation.9 A Lithuanian
edition was evidently issued in Vilnius in 1978 under the
title Dede Korkudo sakmes.10
Dede Korkut is shared by a large assortment of Turkic groups,
including, but not limited to, the Oghuz/Turkmen11
confederations, whose origins are easily traceable to pre-
Islamic times, and their numerous current-day descendants,
also encompassing the Azerbaijan population. Oghuz literati of
the middle ages also composed numerous genealogies, many of
which were edited by a seventeenth-century ruler of the
Turkmen who collected them into two separate volumes. Since
the early eighteenth century, these have been translated into
French, English, and Russian.12 These genealogies are quite
apart from the dastan genre, and constitute yet another series
of reference markers on the identity map. Moreover, there is
another dastan connected with the Oghuz, named for the
eponymous Oghuz Khan.13
Memmed Dadashzade is an ethnographer-folklorist at the
Institute of History, Academy of Sciences, Baku, whose work on
the significance of dastans is pathbreaking. His
``Ethnographic Information Concerning Azerbaijan Contained in
the Dede Korkut Dastan,'' originally written in Azerbaijan
Turk, is a fine sample of the ongoing efforts by Azerbaijan
authors to reclaim their historical and cultural heritage. The
latest round of those efforts commenced almost ten years
before the ``openness'' and ``restructuring'' campaigns of
Gorbachev.14 Many a topic is broached here for the first time
since the previous generation of Turk scholars and literati
(who raised the same issues) were lost to the Stalinist
``liquidations''15 or to the ``ideological assault'' waged on
all dastans in 1950-52.16 After the publication of Dadashzade's
article in 1977, a series of similar works appeared in various
periodicals and volumes that were clearly intended for the
Azerbaijan audience.17 The tentativeness, careful wording, and
particular formulation of some arguments found in the
Dadashzade paper are directly attributable to the constraints
that were prevailing at the time18 and made this study a work
Despite the interest of the Azerbaijan intellectual
community, Dede Korkut was not widely available to the
population of Azerbaijan. As Professor Zemfira Verdiyava
observed in 1988: ``Beowulf is always waiting for its
purchasers in the shops of England. And in which shops have we
seen our own Dede Korkut?''19 That year, a full version of
Kitabi Dede Korkut was reissued in Azerbaijan Turk,20 with an
up-to-date bibliography and the following prehistory: ``Sent
for publication on July 11, 1985. Permission for printing
received February 2, 1988.''
1. See H. B. Paksoy, Alpamysh: Central Asian Identity under
Russian Rule (Hartford, CT: Association for the Advancement of
Central Asian Research, Monograph Series, 1989), p. 1.
2. These manuscripts were evidently copied during the
sixteenth century from separate originals, for they exhibit
variations. See the introduction by Geoffrey L. Lewis to his
translation of The Book of Dede Korkut (London, 1974, 1982).
3. See H.B. Paksoy, ``Alpamysh zhene Bamsi Beyrek: Eki At,
Bir Dastan'' [Alpamysh and Bamsi Beyrek: Two Names, One
Dastan], Kazak Edebiyati (Alma-Ata), no. 41, 10 October 1986
(rendered into Kazak by Fadli Aliev from Turk Dili, no. 403,
1985). The discussion pertaining to the dating of dastan
Alpamysh boiled over during the ``Trial of Alpamysh'' of 1952-
56, when all dastans of Central Asia were officially condemned
by the Soviet state apparatus. According to Borovkov, Hadi
Zarif and Zhirmunskii, as well as earlier writings by Bartold,
the dastan Alpamysh ``existed probably in the foothills of the
Altai as early as the sixth-eighth centuries at the time of
the Turk Kaghanate.'' For details, see H. B. Paksoy, Alpamysh,
4. Published by the USSR Academy of Sciences (1950, 1962).
Descendant of a German family settled in the Russian empire,
the celebrated historian Bartold (1869-1930) reportedly worked
on this translation from the 1890s, completing the work in the
late 1920s. Since Bartold had run afoul of the Bolshevik
notions of history and was banished, publication had to await
his ``rehabilitation'' by the Soviet authorities.
5. Published in two volumes (Ankara, 1958, 1963).
6. Dede Korkut, tr. Faruk Sumer, Ahmet Edip Uysal and Warren
S. Walker (Austin, 1972).
7. See the introduction by Geoffrey L. Lewis to his
translation of The Book of Dede Korkut.
8. See E. Seferli and H. Yusifov, Gadim ve Orta Asirlar
Azerbaijan Edebiyati [Ancient and Middle Ages Azerbaijan
Literature] (Baku, 1982). Introduction. This is a ``textbook
for university students.''
9. Djindjich's translation was published in Belgrade in 1981.
On the Czech translation see Hamdi Hasan, ``Kitaplar,'' Turk
Dili, Mayis, 1983.
10. Cited in the bibliography in Kitabi Dede Korkut (Baku,
11. On the Oghuz, see Faruk Sumer, Oguzlar (Turkmenler),
Expanded Third Edition, 688 pp. (Istanbul, 1980); O. Pritsak,
``The Decline of the Empire of the Oghuz Yabgu,'' The Annals
of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the US, II
(1952); Z.V. Togan, Turkili Turkistan, 2d ed. (Istanbul,
1981); V.V. Barthold, Four Studies on the History of Central
Asia: A History of the Turkman People, Vol. III (Leiden,
1962); Kashgarli Mahmut's DLT contains contemporary
information on the Oghuz, also making the identification that
the Oghuz and the Turkmen are one and the same group.
Moreover, C.E. Bosworth, in his The Ghaznavids, 2d ed.
(Beirut, 1973), provides details of the Oghuz/Turkmen activity
in the tenth-eleventh centuries. Additional information on the
Oghuz are found in the works cited by Sumer and Bosworth.
12. Abul-Ghazi Bahadur Khan (1603-1663), ruler of Khiva, was
asked by his Turkmen subjects to compile the authoritative
genealogy of their common lineage from many extant variants at
the time. He prepared two, under the titles Secere-i Terakime
(probably completed in 1659) and Secere-i Turk. According to
Y. Bregel, in his introduction to the facsimile of Munis and
Agahi's Firdaws al-Ikbal: History of Khorezm (Leiden, 1988),
the latter was completed c. 1665 by another person. Secere-i
Turk is rather difficult to locate, making a determination of
the sources for the translated works tenuous. This is
especially true with respect to the early French and English
translations: [Bentinck], Histoire Genealogique des Tatars, 2
vols. (Leiden, 1726); and Abu Al Ghazi Bahadur, A History of
the Turks, Moguls, and Tatars, Vulgarly called Tartars,
Together with a Description of the Countries They Inhabit, 2
vols. (London, 1730); [Miles], Genealogical Tree of the Turks
and Tatars (London, 1838). The Imperial Russian Academy at
St. Petersburg published a facsimile of Terakime in 1871,
edited by Desmaisons, who later prepared a French translation.
A modern-day translation is long overdue. See H. F. Hofman
Turkish Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey (Utrecht,
1969) for additional comments. See also Turk Seceresi, ed. R.
Nur (Istanbul, 1343/1925). One of the earlier Russian
translations prepared is Rodoslovnoe drevo tiurkov, (Kazan,
1906), with an afterword by N. Katanov (1862-1922). Apparently
this 1906 version was not published until 1914, minus
Katanov's name from the title page and his afterword from the
body of the book. See A.N. Kononov, Rodoslovnaia Turkmen
(Moscow-Leningrad, 1958), p. 181. In order to understand the
reason, one must turn to Z.V. Togan's memoirs, Hatiralar
(Istanbul, 1969), where Togan relates an incident (which took
place prior to 1917) when Katanov poured his heart to Togan.
13. Z. V. Togan compiled his version, Oguz Destani:
Residettin Oguznamesi, Tercume ve Tahlili (Istanbul, 1972)
(published posthumously), from twelve manuscripts. Though
originally composed and later put down on paper in a Turk
dialect prior to the thirteenth century, it was widely
rendered into Persian. Known translations include Oughouz-
name, epopee turque, tr. Riza Nur (Alexandria: Societe des
publications Egyptienne, 1928); Die Legende von Oghuz Qaghan,
eds. W. Bang and R. Arat (Berlin: Phil.-Histr. K1. XXV, Sitzb.
d. Preuss. Akad. D. Wiss., 1932). To my knowledge, there is no
English rendition as yet. See also Denis Sinor, ``Oguz Kagan
Destani Uzerine Bazi Mulahazalar,'' Turk Dili ve Edebiyati
Dergisi (tr. from French by A. Ates, 1952); Faruk Sumer's
book-length article, ``Oguzlar'a Ait Destani Mahiyetde
Eserler,'' Ankara Universitesi DTC Fakultesi Dergisi (1959);
and the introduction by Geoffrey L. Lewis to his translation
of The Book of Dede Korkut.
14. See examples cited by Audrey L. Altstadt, ``Issues in
National Identity in Soviet Azerbaijan'' (The New Hampshire
International Seminar, Center for International Perspectives,
University of New Hampshire, April 7, 1989); idem, The
Azerbaijani Turks: Power and Identity under Russian Rule
(Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1992) Studies of
Nationalities series, pp. 188-91, 208-10.
15. See Altstadt, The Azerbaijani Turks, especially pp. 112,
122-25, 131-50, for a listing of the scholars and literati
liquidated during the ``great terror'' and the particular
methods used for the purpose.
16. See Alexandre Bennigsen, ``The Crisis of the Turkic
National Epics, 1951-1952: Local Nationalism or
Internationalism?'' Canadian Slavonic Papers, vol. 17 (1975).
17. The following constitutes a partial list: T.I. Hajiyev
and K.N. Veliyev Azarbaijan dili tarikhi: Ocherklar va
materiallar [History of the Azerbaijan Language] (Baku:
Maarif, 1983). Fully 130 of the 180 pages in this college-
level textbook are devoted to the discussion of oral
literature and the literature of the thirteenth-seventeenth
centuries, including Dede Korkut; Azarbaijan filologiya
masalalari [Matters of Azerbaijan Philology], II (Baku:
Institute of Philology, Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences, 1984)
contains papers dedicated to Dede Korkut. Periodic journals
began providing space to the debate as well: Azamat Rustamov,
``Dada Gorkut'la bagli yer adlari'' [Place Names Connected
with Dede Korkut], Alm va Hayat, 1987, no. 9; Mirali Sayidov,
``Dada Gorgut gahramanlaryning kokunu dusunurken'' [Thinking
About the Origins of the Dede Korkut Heroes] Alm va Hayat,
1987, no. 10; Penah Halilov, ``Kitabi Dede Gorgud'un
jografiyasi'' [Geography of Dede Korkut], Alm va Hayat, 1988,
no. 8; Kemal Veliyev, ``Bir daha Dada Gorgut Seirlari
hakkinda'' [Once Again on the Poems of the Dede Korkut],
Azarbaijan, 1981, no. 11; Bakir Nabiyev, ``Epik zhanr va
muasir hayat'' [Epic Genre and Contemporary Life], Azarbaijan,
1986, no. 7; Akif Huseyinov, ``Nasrimiz va kechmishimiz'' [Our
Prose and Our Past], Azarbaijan, 1982, no. 10; [Round Table]
``Mevzumuz: Tarihimiz, abidalarimiz, darsliklerimiz'' [Our
Topic: Our History, Monuments, and Textbooks], Azarbaijan,
1988-89; this series included discussion of Dede Korkut by
contributors including Zemfira Verdiyeva (Doctor of Philology,
Professor) and Arif Hajiyev (Doctor of Philology and
18. See L. Branson, ``How Kremlin Keeps Editors in Line,''
The Times, (London), January 5, 1986, p. 1; Martin Dewhurst
and Robert Farrell, The Soviet Censorship (Metuchen, NJ,
1973). Further, see Mariana Tax Choldin, A Fence Around the
Empire: Censorship of Western Ideas under the Tsars (Durham:
Duke University Press, 1985).
19. Azerbaijan, 1988, no. 6. Cf. Altstadt, ``Issues in
National Identity in Soviet Azerbaijan,'' p. 28. A Russian
version appeared the same year, approved for publication in a
record-breaking seven days: Dede Korkut (Baku, 1988). It was
translated by Anar, a well known Azerbaijan author and poet
who does not sign his family name: Resul Oglu Rizaev. A
significant work that appeared not long afterward is Kamal
Abdullayev, Gizli Dede Korkut [The Secret Dede Korkut] (Baku:
20. Kitabi Dede Korkut (Baku, 1988).
ETHNOGRAPHIC INFORMATION CONCERNING AZERBAIJAN
CONTAINED IN THE DEDE KORKUT DASTAN
The Dede Korkut dastan, orally recited since the ninth-
eleventh centuries, is the most precious written document of
our mother tongue. It is a wealth of sources reflecting the
true spiritual world, way of life, traditions, and customs of
our people. From this perspective, the information contained
in the Dede Korkut dastan is important to our learning about
Azerbaijan's ethnography during the Middle Ages.
The Dede Korkut epos is connected with the Oghuz tribes
arriving in Azerbaijan. From the dastan we learn that the
Oghuz reached Azerbaijan long before it was set down on paper.
Turkish-speaking tribes, Khazars,a Kipchaks,b and Oghuz,
beginning with the sixth-seventh centuries, settled within
Azerbaijan, mixing and merging with the populations there.1
Despite the Khaliphate's exempting the tribes from taxes and
other tolls in the vicinity of Derbend,c and other efforts2 to
stem the Turkish-speaking tribes, they continued to arrive in
Azerbaijan. Especially during the ninth to eleventh centuries,
large numbers of Oghuz reached Azerbaijan.3 Speaking of these
Oghuz, the great poet of the eleventh century, Getran Tebrizi
Emir Shamsaddin [1012-1088]d wrote:e
These Turks arriving from Turkistan
Accepted you as their ruler
Separated from their relatives and relations
Began living under your rule
Now they are everywhere
Prepared to serve you4
It is an accepted fact that the Oghuz arriving in Azerbaijan
in both the sixth-seventh and the ninth-eleventh centuries
settled there and merged with the Azerbaijan populations.
Academician W. W. Barthold, in his last work on Dede Korkut,
stated: ``it is not possible to surmise that this dastan could
have been written anywhere but in the Caucasus''5--the latest
researcher confirming this commentary on the dastan Dede
Although it could be said that the dastan Dede Korkut
reflects the history of the Turkmen, Azerbaijan, and Turkish
peoples in literary form, and this work's language is close to
that of other Turkish-speaking people, its vocabulary,
phraseologic expressions, and grammatical structure is closer
to Azerbaijan [Turkish] than the others.6
In addition to the milieu and the language7 in which the
dastans were created, expression characteristics, composition
of vocabulary, and grammatic structure, this dastan reflects
today's Azerbaijan people's lifestyle, customs, and
traditions. These customs and traditions are connected with
the name of the Oghuz who have arrived and settled in
Azerbaijan over the centuries, intermixing with the existing
It is well known that, especially in the past, when different
groups of people came into contact, they regarded each others'
lifestyles, politics, and customs as worthy of emulation.
Accordingly, each group, and later, tribes and neighboring
peoples gradually learned each others' way of life. When
neighboring tribes live in the same area over a prolonged
period, mixing and merging with each other, they acquire an
affinity for each others' customs. Consequently it is always
the local [first-arrived] tribe that has superiority in the
process of the resulting amalgamation. The arriving Oghuz, who
melded with the Azerbaijan tribes, thus joined the existing
way of life.
The Book of Dede Korkut comprises twelve sections, or
dastans, which reflect the details of tribal life. Because a
person named Dede Korkut participates in the events of all
twelve dastans, some critics regard him as the author of these
dastans. However, since they are not the product of a single
era8 they could not have been authored by one individual, but
are the works of different ozans-ashiks [poet-bards]f of
In the dastans, Dede Korkut appears as the aksakal,g the
advisor or sage, solving the difficulties faced by tribal
members. Within the tribe, ``Let Dede Korkut name this boy.
Dede Korkut arrived; `the name of your son ought to be Bogach.
I hereby name him ... ,' he said.''10 In Azerbaijan dastans and
recitations, there is a prominent tradition of aksakals, the
elders, naming young men. Gurban, who gained fame as a
sixteenth-century ashik poet, says: ``Then they wished to name
the boy. A wise old man said: `I named the boy Gurbani,
because I found this through a sacrifice.' ''11 Among the
population, respected aksakals are wise and know how to solve
problems; among ashiks they are generally called dede
[grandfather]. In the past, this term designated respected
tribal elders, and now is used within families; in many
localities of Azerbaijan, it replaces ata [ancestor or
The dastans reflect the life of the tribes occupied with
animal husbandry, living in the northwest regions of
Azerbaijan from Derbend to Tumanisi, around the mountain
foothills; ``even in the summer, the snow and ice does not
melt on the Kazilik mountain.''12 Among these tribes were also
those who settled and engaged in farming. In the dastans we
The buds of our mountains are large
On those mountains, we have vineyards
Those vineyards bear bunches of dark grapes
When crushed, those grapes become scarlet wine
Whoever partakes of that wine becomes intoxicated13
.... .... .... .... ... 14
I caused the dry rivers to be filled with water15
The ornament of the vineyard and the orchard is water.16
Although there are references to farming, viticulture, and
orchards, identified with settled life, in the dastans, they
occupy a small place; what is primarily reflected is the life
connected with nomadic animal husbandry.
These tribes live in kishlak [winter quarters] and yaylak
[summer pastures]. The summer pastures were in the vicinity of
Derbend.17 There the heroes receive as a reward ``The yaylaks
on the opposite mountains.''18 Rewards of this sort were
requested on behalf of those demonstrating their bravery:
``Give him a long-necked white horse19 to ride--he is talented.
Let this boy have plenty20 of sheep from your white sheepfold,
so he may grow up intelligent--he is virtuous. Give this boy
a red camel from your herds,21 so he may transport loads--he is
The principal wealth of these nomadic tribes comprised sheep,
cattle, horses, and camels, which are discussed at length in
Ey mother, in a place where there are horses,
Ought there not be a colt?23
Where there are white sheep,
Should there not be a single lamb?
At a place where there are red camels,
Would not a baby camel24 be found?25
As noted above, there is much discussion pertaining to
horses, cattle and red camels in the dastan Dede Korkut. It is
sometimes surmised that, given the natural setting, they have
not widely utilized camels for transportation in Azerbaijan.
This may be incorrect, since from the sixth-fifth centuries
B.C. until the first half of the twentieth century, camels
were extensively used for transportation. The red camels
encountered in Dede Korkut are also referenced in many written
documents,26 recitations, and dastans. Ashik Abbas includes
camels among the most desirable items to give his beloved:
Almighty God, this is my wish
Let me see my beloved live to be a hundred
With increased wealth and success
Sixty camels forming a train.27
The primary means of transportation for the nomadic tribes
depicted in Dede Korkut was the camel. Just as ``stables of
horses'' were important for riding, ``trains of camels'' were
necessary for ``loading,'' to transport goods. These tribes
also utilized other means of conveyance, such as carts, to a
The heroes of the dastans lived in chadir [tents] made from
fine cloth, and in the alachik and chardak.h There is
information regarding some of these dwellings in ``How Salur
Kazan's House Was Pillaged'':
How did the enemy rend you, my beautiful home
There where the white pavilions stood the traces stay
The field remains where the Oghuz nobles galloped
The hearth remains where the dark kitchen stood.29
Son, pillar of my great tent with its golden smoke-hole,
Whom I swaddled in the gold-framed cradle.30
In these works, the barren campsite is depicted. From these
verses it can be gathered that these tribes also possessed and
lived in structures other than tents. The white, gold, and
yellow pavilions mentioned in the dastan constituted the
partitions inside a home.i In addition, the dastans speak of
roofed and trellis-type dwellings; these were not universally
utilized by all members of the tribe. Bayindir, Salur, and the
Beysj lived in graceful pavilions with embroidered silk
decorations and carpets, while the ordinary members of the
tribe occupied light-roofed and trellis structures.
Concerning the food consumed by protagonists in the dastans,
mention is made of meat, kimiz,k yoghurt,31 kavurma,l komech,m
etc. Their clothing--woven by girls and women--comprised the
kaftan, cubbe [robe?], cuha [broadcloth], chirgab
[underwear?], fur and leather hats, capug [coarse cloth],
shalvar [loose trousers] and tulbend [muslin, gauze]. All
these articles of clothing, with the exception of the iron
armor32 worn in battle, were produced from the crops grown by
the tribes. The cubbe was sleeve-less and put on over the
head. The kaftan, as depicted in the dastan, was long-sleeved
and long-skirted, worn under the cubbe; it was made by an
engaged girl for her fiance. As it was embroidered, it was
regarded as a precious gift. In the section ``When the Inner
Oghuz rebelled against the Outer Oghuz and Beyrek Died'' many
a bey confronted Kazan Khan and attempted to persuade Beyrek
to join them. Beyrek declined, citing Kazan's munificence to
him. He listed the presents he received: ``Many a time I wore
magnificent kaftans,''32 given him by Kazan.33
The Dede Korkut mentions implements used in working and
farming, principally related to animal husbandry. Some are in
common use today: cilav-yuyen [reins, bridle], yeher [saddle],
uzengi [stirrup], nal [horseshoe], kendir [hemp], sicim
[cord], bichak-chahmak [knife], dagarcik [pouch], kamchi
[whip], badja [milkpail]. Many terms for weapons are also
found in the dastans, because the population of Azerbaijan had
to defend themselves against invaders during the ninth-
eleventh centuries. The heros of Dede Korkut dastans make use
of various weapons. In ``How Salur Kazan's House Was
Pillaged,'' shepherd Karaja, depicted as a people's hero,n
recites them in the following verses:
Don't talk rubbish, there's a good infidel dog!
Rabid infidel, who shares with my dog
a dog dish of my slops,34
Why boast of the dappled horse you ride?
I wouldn't swap my goat with the spotted head for it.
Why boast of the helmet35 you wear?
I wouldn't swap my cap for it.
Why boast of your sixty-span lance?
I wouldn't swap my dogwood36 stick for it.
Why boast of your quiver with your ninety arrows?
I wouldn't swap my colored-handled sling for it.
Come over here from far and near,
See the beating your men will get; and then be off.37
Give me your chestnut horse,
Give me your shield of many colors,
Give me your pure sword of black steel,
Give me the eighty arrows in your quiver,
Give me your strong bow with its white grip.38
In addition to the tugulga [tolga--iron helmet], altmis tutam
gonder [sixty-span lance], ok [arrow], yay [bow], and kalkan
[shield] in these verses are weapons such as the gurz [iron-
mace], chomak [wood-mace], and sungu [short-lance]. In
addition to weapons of iron the shepherd's sapan [slingshot]
is mentioned. In ``How Salur Kazan's House Was Pillaged,'' how
the shepherd Karaja joined the fighting with the sapan he
carried in his belt is related as follows: ``the pouch39 of the
shepherd's slingshot was made of a three-year-old calf-hide.
The rope of his slingshot was made of hair from three goats.
Every time he swung, he released a twelve-batmano stone.40 The
first time he released a projectile, he downed two
[adversaries]. The second time he swung, three and four
The sapan is still used, as the ``weapon'' carried by most
shepherds in their belts for self-defense. It is usually woven
from goat-hair,42 although a sapan made of wool is also
encountered in some places. The width at the widest part is
15-20 centimeters, and the length of each arm, depending on
the user's height, is 40-50 centimeters, woven in a single
piece. The center piece is the palm or pouch (now called tas
yeri--place for the stone), sometimes made of leather.
In the dastans, there is also mention of making taragga.43
From the context it is clear that this weapon was utilized to
produce a powerful noise. The word taragga is in use today,
for a folded-paper toy made by children, which when moved
quickly produces a noise reminiscent of a pistol report.
In Dede Korkut dastans, issues pertaining to family and way
of life occupy a special place. As is known, the ninth-
eleventh centuries in Azerbaijan constituted a complex era.
From a political point of view, this complexity was not
confined to the unending struggles for sovereignty, battles,
and turmoil, but extended to social relations. Islam attempted
to influence the way of life of these mobile tribes by every
In the dastans, relations among family members are
principally based on tribal customs and traditions. Women,
just like men, participate in the social and agricultural life
of the tribe. In addition to running the home, they manage an
important part of livestock raising, the primary tribal
activity. Men are occupied with planting and hunting. At first
it seems as if women are excluded from farming.p On closer
reading, the women are portrayed to be as brave as the warrior
men. They hunt and enter battles with weapons in hand. This
bravery of the women is reflected in the first dastans. In
``Bogach Khan Son of Dirse Khan,'' Dirse Khan's wife goes
after her son who has not returned from the hunt. It says:
``Dirse Khan's lady turned away. She could not bear it; she
called her forty slender maidens to her side, she mounted her
white horse and went in quest of her dear son''44 In the
section ``Bamsi Beyrek Son of Baybora,'' one of the heroines,
Lady Chichek, enters into a contest of skill with Baybora,
equalling him in archery, wrestling, and horse racing.45 In the
fight against an adversary, Kazan's wife wields her sword
alongside him.46 Kanturali's fiancee contests with him. Among
these tribes, when describing girls and women, it is stated:
``They could draw [their bows] to their right and left, the
arrows they discharged would not fall on the ground.''47 There
was great respect for women.
Come here, luck of my head, throne of my house,
Like a cypress when you go out walking.
Your black hair entwines itself round your heels,
Your meeting eyebrows are like a drawn bow,
Your red cheeks are like autumn apples,
My woman, my support, my dignity.48
Thus women were described within the tribe. There are no
references to bigamy in the dastan. In ``Bogach Son of Dirse
Khan,'' despite Dirse Khan being goaded: ``Him who has no son
or daughter God most High humiliated, and we shall humiliate
him too,''49 and though Dirse Khan is angered and blames his
wife, he does not consider taking a second wife.
We do not encounter in the dastans instances of girls or
young men being forced to marry. Both parties had to agree; if
they saw and did not like each other, ``if the heart was not
filled with love,'' they did not marry. In one of the dastans,
when a young man wished to marry, his father said:
`` `Son, finding the girl is up to you; I'll see that you're
fed and provided for.'
Thereupon, Kanturali, that dragon of heroes, rose from his
place and took his forty young men with him. He searched the
Inner Oghuz, but could not find a girl; he turned around and
came home again. His father said:
`Have you found a girl, son?'
`May the Oghuz lands be devastated; I could not find a girl
to suit me, father.' ''
It can be seen from this exchange that men did not marry
until they found a girl to their liking. In another dastan,
despite the fact that Lady Chichek and Bamsi Beyrek were
betrothed in the cradle by their fathers, Bay Bijan and
Baybora, Chichek did not marry Beyrek before testing him.51
However free the young were to exercise their wishes in
matters of marriage, they did not ignore the customs of their
families and tribe. After Beyrek and Chichek agreed to marry,
Beyrek went home and informed his father, Baybora, of his
decision. His father answered thus:
``Son, let us invite the nobles of the teeming Oghuz to our
hearth-fire and let us act as they think advisable.''52
Those invited to the council agreed to the marriage and
resolved the matter of the envoy. Since the task of
representation was carried out by the revered aksakal, the
Oghuz Beys said:
``Let Dede Korkut request her hand.''53 Dede Korkut,
designated as the emissary by the gathering, is greeted on his
return with the query:
``Dede! Are you a boy, or a girl?''
``I am a boy.''
``The bearer of good tidings came to Beyrek and his mother
and sisters and they rejoiced and were glad.''54
This example of sending an emissary is reminiscent of the
present-day tradition. In the same dastan, there are also
references to baslik [presents or money given to bride's
family from the groom's side] and cheyiz [bride's dowry]. The
brother of Lady Chichek demands a baslik for his sister thus:
``Bring me a thousand horses that have never mounted a mare,
a thousand male camels that have never seen a female camel, a
thousand rams that have never seen a ewe, a thousand dogs with
no tails or ears. . . .''55 After Beyrek's father provides what
was demanded, consent is received and the kichik toy is held.56
The term kichik toy found in Dede Korkut is encountered today
in some regions, meaning a feast to commemorate the
engagement. After the kichik toy, the young couple are
nishanli [engaged, intended]. In the dastans, the word
nishanli also has variants such as yavuklu [token of
betrothal] and adakli [promised]. At the time the dastans were
written, among Azerbaijan tribes there was also the tradition
of beshikkertme, yavuklu etme57 [betrothal at the cradle,
token of betrothal] from childhood.58
In the dastans, as we noted, the term kichik toy was utilized
for engagement, and the ulu toy was reserved for the grand
feast [marriage ceremony]. ``Yaltajuk, son of Yalanji held the
kichik toy.'' He promised the ulu toy.''59 After the ulu toy,
they repaired to the bey otagi [nuptial chamber], still called
by this name), a distance from the bride's in-laws.60 In the
``Bamsi Beyrek Son of Baybora'' it is noted: ``At the time of
the Oghuz, upon marrying, a young man would shoot an arrow.
Where the arrow landed, there they erected the nuptial
chamber.''61 This tradition, the establishment of the nuptial
chamber some distance from the parents' home, was symbolic of
the growth of the tribe, constituting a natural increase of
population, leaving behind its limited scope.
The bride and young women wore simple ornaments and jewelry.
``Her hair braided, wearing buttons of red, hands dyed with
henna to the wrists,62 ornate gold rings on her fingers, the
girl was married.''63 The bride wore a scarlet veil. The groom
would wear the ``scarlet kaftan,'' which the bride had made
and sent to him, for forty days. Afterward, it would be
presented to a dervish.64
As we gather from the Dede Korkut dastan, divorce among the
nomadic tribes was almost nonexistent during the ninth-
eleventh centuries. In the twelve dastans comprising the book,
we do not encounter a single divorce. Husband and wife are
separated only by chance, when battles and conflicts
necessitated a man's absence from his family. In such cases
the men would say to their wives or fiancees: ``Woman [girl],
allow me a year! If I do not return by then, give me two
years! If I am not back by then, allow me three years!''65
Relations among family members are characterized by an even
higher degree of loyalty and sacrifice. The love between
husband and wife is placed above parents' affection for their
offspring. In ``Wild Dumrul Son of Dukha Koja,'' the principal
character is defeated in a battle with Azrael. Azrael wants to
take his life. He pleads, and Azrael gives him the option of
substituting another soul. The young man asks his parents, but
they do not want to die in their son's place. The young man
loses all hope, and prepares to bid farewell to his wife, who
says: ``Your embalmed mother and father, what is in a life
that they declined? ... May my life be sacrificed to yours,''66
and declares her readiness to accept death in her husband's
stead. A reading of the dastans reveals the wife to be the
supportive, honored, and devoted friend of her husband.
During the ninth-eleventh centuries in Azerbaijan, Islam had
still not attained a dominant position among nomadic tribes.67
Religion was very weak. Even though there were references to
Islam in the language, we do not encounter compliance with
such precepts in deeds. In ``Wild Dumrul Son of Dukha Koja,''
belief in God is reluctant. The character defies God. He does
not entertain any thoughts of Azrael; he battles with and
attempts to destroy him. Here, the character is presented as
being much more powerful than Azrael in many respects. While
their belief in God was weak, the heroes of the dastans often
concluded compacts based on earthly objects. For example, they
took oaths with the words: ``May you be pared by my sword,''
``perforated by my arrow,'' ``water the earth.'' Their prayers
were not religious, but, like their oaths, consisted of
elements from daily life.r
There was no compliance with the Islamic ``precepts.'' Wine,
prohibited by religion, was not absent from their tables.
Statements such as ``If there is a shadow on your pure heart,
wine will clear it,''68 ``they drank wine in golden goblets,''69
are often encountered in the dastans. The gatherings depicted
in the dastans are not without ``wine-filled cups.'' In these
social occasions, one cannot escape a line of ``golden-stemmed
pitchers.'' Infidel girls fill the cups of the Oghuz Beys.70
The names introduced by Islam, such as Mohammed, Ali, Hasan,
and Huseyin, had not found acceptance within this society.
Music and dance, forbidden by Islam, were intertwined with the
daily life of the ninth-eleventh century Azerbaijan people.
The nomadic tribes in particular could not live their lives
silently. Instruments and singers were not condemned, but on
the contrary, the famed ashiks of the era were the respected
ozans among the people. To be an ozan, to play the kopuz was
the aspiration of every tribal member, to the extent that
tribal leaders, too, learned these skills. The son of famed
Baybora, Beyrek, after obtaining his freedom, returns home in
the guise of an ozan, in order to take stock of his friends
and foes. This event is depicted thus:
Beyrek came to the Oghuz land and saw a minstrel [ozan]
journeying. ``Wither away, minstrel?'' said he. ``To the
wedding, young lord,'' the minstrel replied. ``Whose is the
wedding?'' ``Yaltajuk's, son of Yalanji.'' ``And who is the
girl he is marrying?'' ``The betrothed of the lord Beyrek,''
said the minstrel. ``Minstrel,'' said Beyrek, ``give me your
lute [kopuz] and I shall give you my horse. Keep him till I
come and bring you his price and take him. . . .'' The
minstrel gave his lute to Beyrek.... Beyrek took it.71
Kazan Khan, depicted as the principal character of the Dede
Korkut dastans, also played the kopuz, composing poems.72
Kopuz-players traveled widely, becoming a witness to people's
sorrows and happiness. They discerned people's friends and
foes, and were well acquainted with the brave and the
contemptible. In the introduction to the fifteenth-century
Dede Korkut dastans, it says: ``Kopuz-bearing ozans traveled
from land to land, tribe to tribe; it is the ozan who knows
the brave and the coward.''73 To have your daughter marry an
ozan, becoming related with the ozans, was also regarded as an
honor. In popular poetry, this is summarized as:
My daughter, my daughter
May my daughter be resplendent74
May the ozan earn silver
I betrothed my daughter to an ozan.
According to the Turkish scholar M. F. Kopruluzade, as found
in the eighteenth-century music book Zubdetul Advar, the
kopuz-saz has three strings, is made of wood, and played with
the plectrum.75 In addition to the kopuz, nagharalar [kettle
drums] and burmasi altin borular [golden knotted (?) horns]76
were among the musical instruments of the nomadic tribes in
this era. The kettle drums and horns were largely used in
battle.t The drummers would be accompanied by a group of zurna-
playersu at feasts.77
The information contained in the Dede Korkut dastans is very
interesting for the study of the spiritual civilization of the
Azerbaijan people in the ninth-eleventh centuries. In these
dastans, we also encounter information on feast days,
childrens' games, and entertainments. As we begin to study the
dastans from an ethnographic point of view, it will be
possible to obtain more knowledge about these matters.
a. See Peter B. Golden, Khazar Studies (Budapest: Akademiai
Kiado, 1980); D.M. Dunlop, The History of the Jewish Khazars
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954); N. Golb and O.
Pritsak, Khazarian Hebrew Documents (Ithaca: Cornell
University Press, 1982).
b. See Turks, Hungarians and Kipchaks: A Festschrift in Honor
of Tibor Halasi-Kun, P. Oberling, ed., Journal of Turkish
Studies, 1984, vol. 8.
c. According to sources, Derbend is the location of first
contacts between the Khazars and the Arabs, ca. A.D. 642-52.
See D.M. Dunlop, The History of the Jewish Khazars (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1954).
d. It is stressed that Getran Tebrizi is an Azerbaijan poet,
writing in Persian. His collected works have been translated
into Azerbaijan Turkish. See Getran Tebrizi, Divan [Collected
Poems], trans. by Gulamhuseyin Berdeli (Baku: Nizami Institute
of Literature and Language, Azerbaijan SSR Academy of
Sciences, 1967). The first eighteen pages of the introduction
in this volume is devoted to the arguments and documentation
that Getran Tebrizi was an Azerbaijan Turk and that he wrote
his works in Azerbaijan Turkish. Tebrizi's works have long
been available in the West, cited, inter alia, by E.G. Browne
in his Literary History of Persia (London, 1902) and
catalogued by Charles Rieu. See the Catalogue of the Persian
Manuscripts in the British Museum (London, 1895), vol. 4.
e. The original quotation is in Persian and written in Perso-
Arabic script, followed by its translation in Cyrillic
``designed'' for Azerbaijan Turkish in the Soviet era. See
Alpamysh for the ``language reforms'' leading to the formation
of the ``alphabets.''
f. For the terms ozan and ashik, the composers and reciters
of dastans, see Paksoy, Alpamysh, pp. 3-5, 14-15.
g. Literally ``white-beard,'' the respected elder. See H. B.
Paksoy, ``The Traditional Oglak Tartis among the Kirghiz of
the Pamirs,'' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (of Great
Britain & Ireland), 1985, no. 2.
h. Types of dwellings, with or without portable wooden
structures. For a detailed discussion of the dwellings or
homes of this type, see Z. V. Togan, Turkili Turki-stan,
p. 46. DLT also provides examples.
i. Dadashzade uses the architectural term agban, variant of
eyvan: a three-walled, vaulted structure, usually open at the
j. The principal characters of the dastan Dede Korkut.
k. Also known as qumiss, etc. See, inter alia, DLT (p. 184).
It is still an immensely popular drink containing natural
alcohol, due to the fermentation process in its preparation
(although it is not as strong as hard liquor). It is not
plentiful year round because of seasonal factors. Russians
became aware of the nourishing and rejuvenating qualities of
kimiz after their occupation of Kazakhstan. Several
sanatoriums are currently operating in the Kazakh steppe where
kimiz is the primary dietetic and therapeutic prescription,
especially against tuberculosis. This discovery of the
beneficial effects of kimiz against TB is probably what caused
Moscow to reconsider and relax sovhoz-kolhoz rules in the
area, in order to ensure the maintenance of large herds of
mares necessary to supply kimiz for the sanatoriums where
party officials are treated.
l. Meat that is deep-fried to prevent spoilage.
m. Where food in containers, usually in clay pots, is buried
in hot coals or ash for slow cooking.
n. The implication being that although he is not of noble
lineage, he is able to tell off the adversary courageously.
o. Clearly an exaggeration for emphasis, worthy of the
``pouch'' of the slingshot he had. One batman was equal to 5-
30 lbs., depending on the geographic location. As a weight-
measure, the batman was in use until 1930s in the region.
p. The word used here, chol, means both ``steppe-desert'' and
``farming,'' depending on context. While reading the next
passage, one must keep this in mind.
q. Toy is the term used for ceremonies, including but not
limited to weddings. For example, feasts of all manner found
in Dede Korkut are called toys.
r. What appears to be an argument in compliance with the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union's atheistic policies,
therefore assured a sympathetic reading from the official
censor, in actuality has a secondary agenda. According to I.
Kafesoglu, there was an indigenous religion, Tengri, among the
Turk groups before the arrival of Islam. See Turk Milli
Kulturu (Istanbul, 1984). Throughout the 1980s, Central Asians
began expressing similar thoughts, rejecting Islam as an
usurper that sapped the vitality of the Turks. For example, M.
Mahmudov, in his ``Olmez Kayalar'' (``Immortal Cliffs,''
serialized in the monthly Sark Yildizi [Tashkent], October and
November, 1981), underscores the struggle between the
indigenous religion and Islam. See H.B. Paksoy, ``Central
Asia's New Dastans,'' Central Asian Survey, 1987, vol. 6,
no. 1. That theme received attention even earlier in
Azerbaijan. For example, in 1927, Jafar Jabarli wrote a novel
with the title Od Gelini (Bride of Fire), which was reissued
in the original, in the collective works of Jafar Jabarli,
Eserler, vol. 1 (Baku: Azarbaijan Devlet Neshriyati, 1968).
One of the main themes of this novel is the battle between the
indigenous religion and Islam, introduced by Arab invaders in
the eighth-ninth centuries. It was also translated into
Russian, under the title Nevsta ognia, reference to which is
found in N.A. Pashaev, Pobeda kulturnoi revoliutsii v
sovetskom Azerbaidzhane (Moscow: Nauka, 1976), p. 118. See
also Ocherk istorii Azerbaidzhanskoi sovetskoi literatury
(Moscow: USSR Academy of Sciences, 1963), which contains a
synopsis (pp. 145-46). Nor is this movement confined to the
post-1917 period. Even earlier, Celil Memmedkuluzade began
outlining and expressing this conflict in his immensely
popular journal Molla Nasreddin during 1906. See H.B. Paksoy,
``Elements of Humor in Central Asia: The Example of the
Journal Molla Nasreddin in Azerbaijan,'' Turkestan: als
historischer Faktor und politische Idee, Baymirza Hayit
Festschrift, Erling von Mende, ed. (Cologne: Studienverlag,
1988). Moreover, this conflict has been receiving attention in
the writings of others throughout Central Asia.
s. Lute. A representative specimen may be found in the Pitt-
Rivers Museum (Oxford). In Asia Minor, a direct descendant of
this instrument, the saz and a slightly larger version, the
baglama, is still enormously popular. For a full description
with photo-graphs, see Bolat Saribaev, Kazaktin Muzikalik
Aspaptari (Alma-Ata, 1978); and G. Doerfer, ``Turkische und
Mongolische Elemente,'' Neupersichen 3 (Wiesbaden, 1967),
t. The main purpose was to transmit orders from the
commanders to the troops, over distances of up to three miles.
These orders involved direction of attack, regrouping,
flanking, and specialized tactical ambush maneuvers. Later,
under the Ottomans, a full military band evolved.
u. The zurna is a double-reed woodwind instrument, probably
the grandfather of the modern-day oboe. It is still in wide
1. M. Rafili, Drevnaiaia Azerbaizhanskaia literatura (do
nachala XVI v.) (Baku, 1941), p. 16.
2. Dr. Mehmed Cevad, Tercume Tarih Tabari az abvali balgay
(Tahran, 1332 [1914/1915]), p. 327 [in Perso-Arabic script].
3. Materialy po istorii Azerbaidzhana iz Tarikh-al-Kamil
ibn al-Asira (Baku, 1940), p. 111.
4. Getran Tebrizi, Divan (Tabriz, 1333 [1916/1917]) p. 5
[in Perso-Arabic script]. [This is the volume from which the
above-cited Azerbaijan Turkish translation of the same work
5. Kniga moego Dede Korkuda: Oguzskii geroicheskii epos.
V.V. Bartold, trans. (Moscow-Leningrad, 1962), p. 120.
6. Ibid., p. 5.
7. Azerbaijan Edebiyati Tarihi [History of Azerbaijan
Literature], vol. 1 (Baku, 1960), p. 53.
8. For detailed information on the language of the dastans,
see E.M. Demircizade, Kitab-i Dede Korkut dastanlarinin Dili
(Baku, 1959) p. 6.
9. Azerbaijan Edebiyati Tarihi, vol. 1, p. 54.
10. Kitabi Dede Korkut (Baku, 1939), p. 22 [see The Book of
Dede Korkut, G. L. Lewis, trans., p. 31, ``The Story of
11. Azerbaijan Halk dastanlari, vol. 1 (Baku, 1961), p.
124. [The epithet Gurbani evokes images of ``sacrificial.'' On
the poet Gurbani, see P. Efendiev, Azerbaijan Sifahi Halk
Edebiyati (Baku, 1981), p. 168. This is a textbook for the
Institute of Pedagogy. It is not unusual for parents to
``pledge a vow, sacrifice'' when they desire offspring. See
Lewis, ``Bamsi Beyrek,'' in The Book of Dede Korkut].
12. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 26.
13. Esruk-sarhos. [Dadashzade is providing the current-use
equivalents for a number of words. In this case, the old
Turkish word esruk, also found in the eleventh-century DLT
(see above), is ``intoxicated.'']
14. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 87 [ellipsis by Dadashzade].
15. Ibid., p. 76.
16. Ibid., p. 35.
17. Ibid., p. 32.
18. Ibid., p. 130.
19. Beyaz at cins at [``white horse'' symbolizing a
20. Tuman-chok saydi [numerous].
21. Gaytaban--deve yatagi [specific place where the camel
herd stays or is sheltered].
22. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 22.
23. Kulun-at balasi [colt].
24. Koshek-deve balasi [camel-colt].
25. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 39.
26. Evliyayi seyahatnama, vol. 3, p. 13 [in Perso-Arabic
27. Ashiklar, vol. 2. (Baku, 1960), p. 23.
28. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 144. [See Togan, Oguz Destani,
for the earliest mention of ``cart.'']
29. Ibid., p. 34 [see the Lewis translation, p. 46].
30. Ibid., p. 36 [see the Lewis translation, p. 50].
31. Yoghurt--katik. In some places in Azerbaijan, the term
yoghurt is still used.
32. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 157. [The original has two
footnotes designated number 32 in the text, but only one
footnote 32 is referenced at the bottom of the page. The
second note 32 is not otherwise identified.]
33. The word kaftan was utilized in this context until the
34. Yal--it yali [dog slop].
35. Zogal [it appears that notes 35 and 36 were reversed
36. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 33.
37. Ibid., p. 36 [see the Lewis translation, p. 44].
38. Tugulga--demir bork [iron helmet] [see the Lewis
translation, p. 49. The order of the original footnotes was
scrambled, especially those pertaining to ``dogwood'' and
39. Aya--sapanin tas koyulan yeri.
40. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 40.
41. Ibid., p. 34.
42. Goat-hair [kechi tuku] is also called gezil.
43. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 129 [this word basically means
``noise.'' Another term for this toy is ``patlangach.'']
44. Ibid. (Baku, 1939), p. 26 [see Lewis, p. 35].
45. Ibid., pp. 48-49 [see Lewis].
46. Ibid., p. 84.
47. Ibid., p. 94.
48. Kitabi Dede Korkut (Baku, 1939), p. 20. [See Lewis, p.
28. There are slight variations between lines provided by
Dadashzade and the Lewis translation].
49. Ibid., p. 19 [Lewis, p. 28].
50. Ibid., p. 93 [Lewis, p. 117].
51. Ibid., p. 45.
52. Ibid., p. 49 [Lewis, p. 65].
53. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 51.
54. Ibid., p. 52 [Lewis, p. 67].
55. Ibid., pp. 49-51 [Lewis, p. 67].
56. Ibid., p. 55.
57. Ibid., p. 47.
58. This tradition was still alive until the revolution.
59. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 53.
60. The terms gaynata [kayin-ata: father-in-law] and
gaynana [kayin-ana: mother-in-law] are still in use.
61. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 53.
62. The tradition of decorating hands with henna began
during the Middle Ages.
63. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 137.
64. Ibid., p. 53.
65. Ibid., p. 137.
66. Ibid., pp. 90-91.
67. Said Nefisi, in his introduction to the Nizaminin
Kasideler ve Gazeller Divani, basing himself on the works of
the authors of the Middle Ages, states that even in the tenth
century in Azerbaijan, Moslems do not constitute a majority.
68. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 55.
69. Ibid., p. 126.
70. Ibid., p. 31.
71. Kitabi Dede Korkut, pp. 58-59 [Lewis, p. 75].
72. Ibid., p. 145.
73. Ibid., p. 162 [see also Lewis, p. 190].
74. E. M. Damircizade, Azerbaijan Edebi Dilinin Inkisaf
Yollari (Baku, 1958), p. 18.
75. Azerbaijan Incesanati, vol. 7 (Baku, 1962), p. 38.
76. Kitabi Dede Korkut, p. 42.
77. Ibid., p. 64.
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