Once upon a time, there had been a legend about Alasha Khan recorded by Sultan-Gazin who lived along the Tokrau River. It tells that an extraordinary son was born a long time ago. He had the uniqueness of being a brindled person. Khan was ashamed to have such a child, and he requested to take him somewhere far away. The seigniors executed his request. A child was abandoned in the steppe, where some old woman found him, collecting kizyak (the dung, horse droppings, pressed as fuel), and began to educate him as well. While the child was growing, the old woman became rich due to his loneliness. Having become a young man, the foundling was distinguished by his fairness and dexterity, the art of riding, strength and a special mind. The rumor about him quickly spread across the steppe and reached his real father, who guessed that this child was his son. Then, he wished to bring his son back to his house and sent the hundred people to fetch him. When the emissary people saw the young man, they were so amazed by his virtues that they did not want to return home anymore and stayed with him. A year later, the khan sent a hundred people there again, who did the same as the first people. Finally, the khan sent the third out of hundred. And, they didn't come back. Three hundred people put the young man on thick felt and lifted him into the air as a sign of his election as a khan and called him as Alasha Khan. He placed these people across the steppe. Their descendants formed three hundred (zhuz) of the Kazakh people. Hence, the uranium (ancestral clarion) of all Cossacks appear as “Alash”. There is a saying about Kazakhs: “Alash's child did not have such an act because he was Kazakh and Alasha was khan” (since Cossacks became the Cossacks and Alash became the khan, Alash’s descendants have not acted like this).
Kazakh legends about Alasha Khan were recorded by Levshin and had been presented in his work “Description of the Kirghiz-Kaisak hordes and steppes” (1832). There were given five variants in total, including the recorded one by Rychkov. According to him, the seven sons of the younger wife of Kundugur khan, offended by their elders, shifted to the steppe and joined here with 33 other exiles. The concept of “Kyryk kazak” (fourty Kazakhs) has been derived from here.
In the Bayan-Aul version, recorded by Potanin in the Volume IV of the Essays on Northwestern Mongolia, the khan's son was sent to the steppe during the leprosy that raged in those years, consequences of which also appeared on the body of the czar`s son. The similarity of this plot is found in the Slavic legend of Nebuchadnezzar, who was thrown into the field, when he had a leprosy as a child. Three hundred in the Bayan-Aul version are given to the czar`s son, when he is sent to the steppe: one hundred is given by his father, one is by his mother and another one is by his grandmother. According to the Russian epic, when Ivan Godinovich goes from Kiev to Chernigov for a bride, he receives the comrades: a feudal lord Vladimir gives the hundred, a princess gives the hundred; and, the third hundred is made up by his own people. An old woman who found a child in the steppe and began to educate him, had become rich from the mere presence of the child. Obviously, the child possessed a property attributed by popular belief in the horde to ongons, that are inanimate and animate.
Potanin's collection included a manuscript by an unnamed author of the book “A reason for the Origin of the Cossack-Kyrgyz”. It tells that around 780, some say around 790 in accordance with Muslim chronology (i.e. around 1362 according to the Christian chronology), the Kazakh population, consisting of 500-600 yurt owners, roamed under the control of unknown Turkestan khan.
This khan had no children from his first wife. Therefore, he married a beautiful girl that was taken as the prisoner in the war, from whom one son was born with the distinctive sign “Ala”, which means “Skewbald”.
Baibishe, the eldest wife of the khan, envious person the younger wife, told the khan that it would be better to get rid of this “Skewbald child”, otherwise, he would rebel against his khanate upon reaching the age of majority. Khan believed in her and gave the order to take the child to a place where his orders did not reach, and leave him there. According to the Khan's order, the child was taken across the Syr Darya River and was left there in the steppe, by the possessions of the Kara-Nogai people. There this child was found by a poor man and raised as a son. Having reached a young age, the child began to engage in all sorts of exercises, gathered horsemen to himself, hunted with them, letting dogs go after animals, exterminating birds with the hawks, falcons and rode horses. The fame of his exploits became known to different peoples and even reached his own father. Having learned where his son was, the father arrived with his retinue to the imperative persons of his people, Kotan bi and Maiky bi, in order to discuss how to find his son and return him to the people. Kotan bi and Maiky bi gave the khan an advice not to go himself, but to send people. Khan just listened to them.
Kotan bi had three sons. The eldest son was named Uysun, the middle one was Bulat, and the youngest one was Alshyn. Uysun was sent to the search for the khan's son, accompanied by a hundred people. Having moved across the Syr-Darya river, Uysun-batyr found the khan's son. After his horsemen and he himself became friends with the company of the Khan's son, they could no longer part and stayed there. Two years later, the khan came to Kotan-bai again and said: “The people who left for the search did not come. What should we do?”. Kotan sent his second son Bulat, accompanied by a hundred people, but he also remained there with his people. The next year after this, the khan came to Kotan bi again. Both of them, Khan and Kotan bi, wanted to return their sons. Therefore, Kotan sent the youngest son Alshyn, accompanied by a hundred people, but the last person remained there as well.
Feeling numerous, these people began to act decisively, stealing horses from different places, capturing and taking away the Nogai girls, so that the Nogai people involuntarily had to leave their places and escape. As a result of this, the Nogai people have a hostile feeling towards the Kazakhs. According to the legend, the Kazakh batyr Edige killed the Nogai Khan Toktamysh and plundered his people. Since that time there has been a saying:
Edige's grave is located in the Ulutau mountains and it is quite well known.
All three hundred people gathered together, and their number have been increased years later. Then they consulted and decided to elect one of them as a commander, and another one as a khan. The first person who arrived there with a hundred people was Uysun-batyr and settled upstream the river. The second one who arrived with a hundred military trick riders and settled below Uysun in the middle reaches of the same river was Bulat. The third person was Alshyn-Murzu who also came with a hundred people - below the first two at the lower end of the river.
Spreading a white felt, arranging the striped bed (that`s called “Alasha tosek”), the former striped son was elevated to the khan and named him “Alasha”. So, they said: “We united from different places and were the people, and laid uranium: Alash!”. This is where the Kazakhs got the division into three hundred: The Senior zhuz, the Middle zhuz and the Junior zhuz.
So, according to the legend, some descendants of these three zhuzs multiplied, became peoples, and others were killed in battles, so that many of the descendants did not remain. So that, in the Great Hundred, the descendants remained from Uysun, in the Middle Hundred – from Bulat, in the Lesser Hundred – from Alshyn. According to the manuscript, the rest of them were fugitives and rogues from Kara-Kalpak, Kyrgyz (Kara-Kyrgyz), Kyzyl-ayak.
The Senior zhuz (Great Horde) Uysun was located in the Semirechensk region near Pishpek, Tokmak and in the Turkestan region. In this horde, there were aliens (kerme) Kanly and Chanshkly, who were also called Uysuns along with others. The Junior zhuz (Small Horde) of Alshyn consisted of Jabbas and Alim-Chomen. There were also aliens among them, namely Tama, Tabyn, Tleu, Ramadan and Jagalbaily. All of them were called the Small Horde. Most of this horde, Jabbas and Jagalbaily, was in the Orenburg steppe. The rest of them – Tama, Alchin and Jagalbaily – wandered in the administrative-territorial division of Akmola region. And, there was one district, called “Tama” located in Turkestan region. The sons of Bulat from the Middle Horde were called Ak-kozha and Kara-kozha. The sons of Ak-kozha were called Naiman and Kongrat. The kongrats lived in the Turkestan district and in the mountains of Karatau. The naimans were located in the Semirechensk region and in the Ust-Kamenogorsk district. There were also Kyzai-Naiman and Sadyr-Naiman, and some of them lived in China. Five more districts of Baganali-Naiman were registered in the administrative-territorial division of Atbasar region. The sons of Kara-kozha are Argyn and Kypchak. There are the descendants of Kypchak near Kokan, Tashkent, Turkestan, Perovsk, Turgay, the Orenburg steppe and the administrative-territorial division of Akmola region.
The families of Kerei and Uak were called the aliens of the Middle Horde. At the time when three hundred people formed three separate tribes out of themselves, there was someone named Asan Kaigy from the descendants of Khasen Khan. Wishing to move to the land where there is no winter, Asan Kaigy scouted about the lands and having moved to Dzhiydeli-Baisyn, a place beyond Bukhara, stayed there and sent seven people to the three hundred people to invite them (to roam). But the three peoples did not have the opportunity to move to Asan Kaigy on Dzhiydeli-Baisyn, because of the war with the enemies. As a result, they kept these seven people, distributing them as follows: Uysun (the Senior zhuz) took Kanly and Chanshkly, Bulat (the Middle zhuz) took Kerei and Uak, Alshyn (the Junior zhuz) took Tabyn and Tleu, and the seventh man Tama remained the same. Then, three hundred people agreed to arrange a race. Whose horse came first, that tribe won “Tama”. The first came from Savrasaya tribe with a bald horse of the Small Hundred, which received “Tama” in the end. Therefore, sometimes “Tama” is called as “Kula-gaska” (which means “Saurian-haired”).
Furthermore, the legend tells about the history of the creation of childbirth.
The tribe of Argyn had five sons. From the elder wife were born Miiryam-Sopy and Momun, from the younger wife - Ak-Sopa, Kara-Sopa and Sary-Sopa, and from the third wife, taken by Argyn in old age, the son named Tenbis-Sopa was born. The last son in the family had sons named Chekti, Shar-Jetim and Chakchak. By the way, the son of Chakchak was the khan of Janibek, who was famous during the time of Abylai Khan.
The sons of Ak-Sopa are Tobukty and Kanjigaly. The sons of Kara-Sopa - Karaul and Basen-tiin. The Karaul people lived in the Petropavlovsk, Kokchetau and Atbasar districts and a little in Omsk, and the Basentians lived in Pavlodar. The Tobukty people were assigned to the Karkaraly bridle, and the Kanjigalins (two districts) – to the Akmola bridle. Tarakty was born from a girl, Argyn's sister. One district of Tarakta residents is listed in the administrative-territorial division of Akmola region and a little in Atbasar.
The sons of Miiryam-Sopa from the elder wife are Kuandyk and Syundik. From the second wife: Begendik and Chegendik. From Chegendik, there is a son named Kozgan and from Begendik named Kaksal. These last two sons, Kozgan and Kaksal, lived in the Atbasar and Pavlodar districts. Chuburtpaly and Toktaul were born from the wife, inherited by Miiryam-Sopa after the death of his brother. The people from Toktaul clan lived in the Atbasar district. Chuburtpalins lived in the Karkaraly district. From a slave who married Miiryam, the clan of Kara-kisek was born.
Uraz-keldi and Sugunush were born from Syundik. There were no large descendants from Uraz-keldi. The entire Syundik clan comes from Sugunush. Majik and Chumanak were born from Sugunush, Kul-boldy, Dzhan-boldy and Ormancha were born from Chumanak. Ai-dabul, Ak-bura, Tulpar, Maily-ton and Chegir were born from Kul-bolda. Dzhan-kozy was born from Ai-Dabul. Eleman was born from Dzhan-kozy, from him was born Tursun-bai, from Tursun-bai was born Boshtay, and from him Khusain. All of them lived in the administrative-territorial division of Pavlodar region.
Malay and Jadyger were born from Majik. Tini-bek was born from Malay, from Tini-bek was born Ait-khozha, then Dzhaugash was born from him, from Dzhugash was born Orun-bai, from him – Dzhanaidar, and then Meiram was born from Dzhanaidar. All of them lived at the Atbasar district. Kosan and Tyuke were born from Jadyger, the four seniorities in the Nurinskiy administrative-territorial division of Akmola district had come from them.
Six children were born from Kuandyk, namely Yessen, Kart, Altai, Karpyk, Borshi and Temesh. Agysevtsy came from Yessen, Kalkamanovtsy came from Kart, six districts of the Altaev`s race came from Altai, from which five are in Akmola district and one is in Atbasar district. From Borshi There are two seniorities that came from Borshi`s race. Temesh gave birth to Koshkor, Jumak and Baltar. Josh, Jadyger and Bori were born from Baltar. The whole seniority had been come from these three races.
Utegul and Chungul were born from Koshkor, from Chungul was born Dauley. Daulovtsy made up a whole seniority. The street or folk name of the Daul people is Bai-Temesh. Andagul and Uraz were born from Utegul, and Bazar-keldi, Kazymbet, Bopy and Manash were born from Uraz. Ali-bek, Jani-bek and Sarshi were born from Manash. Kozhan was born from Ali-bek, from Kozhan was born Yes-pergen, from him – Begaly, and Damish and Kyz-kara were born from Begaly. Bai-teka and Toktas were born from Jumak, Soyulgash was born from Baiteki. Tyubet was born from Toktas. Tyubet had six sons Dzhang-geldi, Kan-geldi. Tokay, Kara-Buzhur, Kendzhe and Malbay. Malbay gave birth to Alda-berli and Maily. Joinek was born from Maily, from him was born Yernazar, and Tyulegen was born from him, Buzhi was born from Yernazar, then Uteu from him, and Abdi-Karim from Uteu. There are only eighteen tribes from Kotan-bay to Abdi-Karim.
The Russian ethnographer of the 19th century Grigory Potanin once recorded the following interesting legends from the inhabitants of the Kokshetau district:
1) Five divisions of the Naimans, who roamed in the Atbasar district, are considered relatives of the Naimans from Semey region. When the Naimans were bacheling their horses and eating offal, two brothers-boys were deprived by other brothers. The offended ones separated and departed to the west part. There is a saying about them in Kazakh language: “Kyrzhanga okpelegen қyngyr naiman” (the stubborn Naimans got angry at the rejects).
2) Abylai khan brought a part of the Kyrgyz people (Kara-Kyrgyz) from the campaign to Dzungaria. The descendants of these prisoners of war were the Kyrgyz clan, who lived near the mountains of Kokshetau, on the Calguton river and elsewhere. Abylai led them in the hope of having support against the Cossack people. He wanted to have a guard of foreigners. It was said about the Kirghiz that they are the descendants of a red dog, descended from a woman who hid from the massacre and thus saved her life. So one of the legends says that all her fellow tribesmen were killed and the cattle were stolen too. Only she remained about a red dog. From this dog she became pregnant, went out to the people and gave birth to “The son of a red dog”. Other than this, there is a saying about the Kirghiz in mockery: “The son of a red dog”.
3) There is a genus Temesh in the environment of Kuandyk. According to the legend, it comes from the residence of a woman with a bay stallion. One clan was suffered by a pogrom from their enemies. The people fled from the pogrom. Only one hidden woman and a bay stallion remained on the spot. She got along with him. Instead of a nuptial bed, she served as a board, a tripod consisting of two short legs and one long leg with a notch, from which it was sticked and bent for the wooden lattice and yurt lattice.
4) There is saying about the Kipchaks: “Kypshak toksan eki bauly” (Kipchaks with ninety-two strings).
5) There is saying about the Tatars: “Nogaylynyn auyr zhurty”, (the Nogays have a difficult country).
6) There is a poem about tortouls by the popular Kazakh singer Bukhar zhyrau: “Tortuyldyn tort uly tauly zhailauy” (four sons of Tortoul climbed to the mountains).
7) Er-Kokshe was from the clan of Uak. There was a certain clan, called “Sary-Bayan”, from whom Er-Kokshe had descended among the Uak tribe.
In the notes to the legends and traditions described above, Potanin added that the name Kotan-bai was common not only among the Kazakhs, but also among other Turks. In the tales of the Siberian Turks there are names such as, Kodon Khan, Kiden Khan, Kitai Khan, Katai Khan (Radloff Proben, IV; Mélang. asiat, t. III). The plot of Kodon or Kiden (the betrayal of a woman, the killing of her former friend or patron) in the Mongolian tale is associated with the name Khadyn.
According to the official records, made in Bayan-aul, there were the names of Ak-Jol, Alchin and Yusun to the three sons of Kotan. The legend, originally from Bayan-aul, knows Bulat-Khoja, but it does not call him the son of Kotan. According to this record, Bulat-Khoja, better known by the nickname Kara-Kisek, was not the son of Kotan, but he was the son of his great-grandson Miiryam-sofa. Parallel to this, Maiky went down the genealogical ladder, in accordance with the Western records placed in this collection, Maiky is considered as a contemporary person of Alash Khan and Kotan. In Bayan-Aul, Maiky is the son of Kara-Kisek, i.e. sixth generation from Kotan.
In the same way, the Kazakh tradition does not mention the name of Kotan's father, but the Siberian-Turkic tales, which most likely refer to the same person, know the name of Kodon's father or Kiden. They call him Mangush. However, Mangysh is not the father, in the Polovtsian (Kipchak) legend, but the son of Kotan (Tizengauzen, Collection of materials, related to the sources of the Golden Horde, vol. I).
According to Potanin, Akmola and Kokshetau records have a common source. He believed that the original edition was compiled in Turkestan. At the very beginning, the list of generations of Uzbeks by Khanykov (Description of the Bukhara Khanate, 1843) also indicate the names Ming and Yuz (Myng and Zhuz). The jigits retired beyond the Syr region; when they began to be called to return home, they were sorry to part with the Kazakh steppe and its koumiss, and they remained to the north part of the Syr region, on the one where they still lived. Therefore, the expression “The Khan's son was taken beyond the Syr region” must be understood as being taken to the northern side of the Syr.
Uysun is ordered to bring the khan's son, “Luring him”. Potanin believed that this meant an order to bring the khan's youth, giving him a sniff of the grass of evshan.
The comrades of Alasha Khan were all the loners who were involved in raids. Interestingly, the Cossacks of the Zaporozhian Sich were also the loners. Being the loner was also a rule among the Ural Cossacks. According to the legend, they considered it as their duty, having lived with a woman, in order to kill her. This custom allegedly persisted until Ataman Gugni, who was so fascinated by the beauty of his wife, grandmother Gusnikha, that he did not dare to kill her. The song about the Don Cossack Stenka Razin and the Persian princess demonstrates the same view. A conqueror of Siberia, Ermak also demanded a sexual abstinence from his squad. The violators of this Cossack vow were placed in a bag with a stone and lowered into deep water. The Mongolian hero Geser had avoided intercourse with a woman and run away from the persecution of his wife as well. In the Kazakh legend, the hero Sartaktai was able to lift a stone mountain on his shoulders, while neither he nor his brother shared their lives with a woman, but the very first violation of this commandment had the consequence that the mountain just crushed them.