Әдебиет - ұлттың жаны. Ұлттық сана, тағдыр, жан жүйесі - көркемөнердің басты тақырыбы. Таптық жік арқылы әдебиет жасалмайды...
Жүсіпбек Аймауытұлы

19 наурыз 2015 1069

Musrepov Gabit «The ethnographic story»

Негізгі тіл: Этнографический рассказ

Бастапқы авторы: Musrepov Gabit

Аударма авторы: not specified

Дата: 19 наурыз 2015

The Secretary of the District Committee of the Communist Party reminded me for the second time:

- What about you?.. You'd better hurry up with the trip to the aul. I do not understand, what is there to pull!

His voice was anxious, and I did not make excuses. He had already known that I was busy with the classes at the Borovskoy Forest College. He knew and he still insisted.

About four months ago on the very edge of the area six or seven villages merged and became known as the collective farm. The word was new, and it was new. And our secretary didn't understand, why all of them there were against to take their neighbors from aul of Zhanbyrshi. Especially that "the aul" as we called it among themselves had the best lands.

According to the stories it appeared that its inhabitants also showed little impatient and were not going to increase the percentage of collectivization in the area. Maybe they got gossips about the farm, where all people have to wear the same clothes, have to sleep under the same blanket, go to bed and get up at the same time on the command... If they lived richly, it would be possible to understand it! But the instructor, who had gone to them, found there overt poverty and he achieved nothing. For all his arguments he heard in reply: "Let it be so that is destined by Allah".

Rely on Allah secretary of the District Committee of the Communist Party could not, so I had to interrupt the lectures.

From Borovoye to Zhanbyrshi the path was not close. I had decided that it would be more convenient to do it in a cart on the soft hay but not on horses. But there was a catch. Not long ago, I could not keep from buying a raven four-year gelding, the head as a sickle and hook-nosed. Under the saddle it came easily and quickly, and from the look – it had an elegance that without any words distinguishes a good horse from thepitiful ordinariness. It didn’t even stop, it had a scab. I was expecting to cure it.

The real prairie horse accustomed to the saddle, but when it was put to a harness, it immediately began to back away and managed to spin in the shafts in the place, as if it was ill on megrims. On the trip I hoped to wean it from this bad habit. It was hard to do it alone and I invited two guys, college students, with me.

We were on the rack a lot but still three young guys were smarter and stronger than the wayward gelding. The sun went on a sunset, when the land of Zhanbyrshi aul appeared and I made sure that the statement that this aul had the best lands is not just words...

Few well-trodden road led through the feather grass. After a hot day the moist breath of the feather grass nicely chill the face. Far awaycopses were blue semicircle, they took away the tract from dry winds. On the way there were lakes, and then the wind blowing in the back,fouled and died down in a solid wall of reeds. It seemed that this area had been created in order to emphasize the uniqueness, beauty and expanse of the steppe.

Ahead I saw a thinned birch copses. From a distance, it seemed that countless hordes of aphids close approached the trees. But it was enough to ride up close and it presented to a view that there really was: the squat mud huts, swollen by the rains and disturbed by the winds.

Wintering of aul Zhanbyrshi met us silently and we went on. Soon a wide valley opened before us. About fifteen yurts showed black in the lush greenery. On the road there were horses, they walked without a leash, cows grazed - two, three, small groups of sheep and goats scattered about. The first thing that caught eyes - how thin they were! Some living skeletons covered with skin... But the last winter was kind to the herders. Their herds, flocks and herds went out on spring grazing in good condition.

We rode in the small aul, still surprised and discussed different ideas about why the local cattle looked like barely survived after thesavage zhut1.


1Zhut (zhut) - massive livestock deaths from starvation.


Some girls, leaning against the felt walls of yurts, were lazy watching our approach. The one of them, which was a little older, yawned without interest and rubbed with her bare foot the ankle of the other leg. There was no boy here who certainly would try to hang on to the back of the cart and who would be threaten with the whip.

On the hill at the middle of the village about eight or ten men sat motionlessly. Not far from them I pulled on the reins and the gelding, tired of the struggle that lasted from the morning, stood duteously.

The day was really warm, but all the men were sitting, putting on their tymaki with earflaps. The tatters of wool stack out of the hats with earflaps.

Men noticed the appearance of someone’s cart, a long time ago, but they still kept a proud, independent silence, and only some heads turned in our direction.

Despite on their arrogance, we had to get acquainted. I came up and lent a hand his hand to the first man at the edge.

- No, no, Ainalaiyn2! - He protested and even deeper thrust his hands into the sleeves of ragged robe - not with me ... First, say hello to our aksakal3! - And he nodded toward the old man, who silently moved his sunken mouth, and it seemed, the words stuck in his beard, half gray and half - red.

The old man, full of dignity, raised his head towards me: 
- Uagalyaikum ashshalyam!..

And he fell silent again. It seemed that the old man didn’t understand that his haughty posture didn’t fit with the helpless lisping "uagalyaikum ashshalyam", with leaky yurts, with skinny cattle that we had met approaching their aul.


2Ainalaiyn - dearnice.

3Aksakal (literally) - bearded, respected, venerable old man, the eldest in the group.


I had to say hello farther and I turned to the left, but my outstretched hand hung in the air.

- No, say hello to the person sitting to the right of the respected Ateke...

Realizing that the red-bearded was Ateke, I shook hands with the bearded man - bearded, but beardless. He answered me with the voice rumbling like a mullah’s voice what is used in a singsong shout prayers:

- Ua-ga-lyai-kum as-sa-lyam!

I wanted to continue in the same direction, but I was at random again.

- Not there, not there, - the disposer corrected me. - Now - seniority – you should offer a hand to someone who is sitting on the left of Ateke...

I crossed the circle following a strict sequence in greetings, and while I was doing it, it took so much time that it would be quite enough for the whole aul to come in a distant migration. 
Finally, all hands were reaped, and Ateke mumbled:

- Korash, you will make the room... It will be the right place for the younger guest.

Korash frowned, but he couldn’t dare to disobey and he moved a little - just enough so I could squeeze next to him.

- Oh, Allah Omnipotent! It was funny and sad to see these inflated arrogance of people who even here, under a free spring sky, were swagger and didn’t allow themselves or others to sit freely. I knew about such strict compliance of ancient customs only from the stories, but I had never met it - neither before nor after.

- Let your way be happy, young man, your way and your mates’ way – aksakal addressed me.

- Let your wishes come true - I respectfully bowed my head, put my hand to my heart and began timidly: - We came into your aul to...

But Ateke didn’t let me finish:

- It is enough that you have said: "Let your wishes come true". The rest you will tell us when the time will come.

I only had to tilt my head and put a hand to my heart again.

Ateke sat back and began ask questions from which any acquaintance usually starts in the steppes.

- Tell us – from what family you are?

- I am Kerey.

- From what Kereyev?

- From Kzyl-Zharskikh, Ateke.

- Is anything well with you? Don’t suffer from a disaster or need anything?

- When we went away, everything was well.

- Praise to Allahomnipotent and merciful - he added instead of me. - And where have you left today from?

- From Borovoye.

- Oh, of Burabaya - he corrected. - Where does your way come to an end?

- Here in your aul, Ateke.

The old man slowly looked around at all assembled men, none of them was missed. He consulted with them what to do, and he read the agreement in their responses views.

- Yesengeldy! - He turned to the person whom I wanted to say hello at the first time by mistake. - Take the young men to the big yurt for the important guests. Their place is there... 
He was supported by a beardless bearded man, the one who was sitting on the right:

- Our Ateke is right... If they were riding to us, their place is in the large yurt.

But Yesengeldy didn’t stand up after his words. It was believed that someone else had to say something. I was not wrong.

- Our Ateke is right. Take the young men to the big yurt... Their place is there.

The man with bushy eyebrows repeated the order of the old man, his eyes were so wide apart that it seemed as if they were watching from the temples. He said it again and stood like a statue. 
But probably, his voice was crucial because Yesengeldy immediately stood up and solemnly said:

- Young friends! Come on, I'll see you to the big yurt, where we take our important guests.

We followed him, all three of us. My fun-loving young boys barely restrained to keep from laughing out loudly. And I had more difficultthan they did. If I smile - at least a little bit, at least the corners of the lips, and they would disperse in all, and our business would have been hopelessly spoiled.

To avoid this, I made a serious conversation with our escort.

- Yeseke! It is early. We would like to talk about the case today, that led us to you, to Zhanbyrshi. When do you think we are able to do this?

- There is the right order - he answered –Here, in Zhanbyrshi, Ateke will take care of your affairs himself. He will ask you about your affairs and then you will tell him.

There was only one thing: to obey these rules and obediently follow Yesengeldy. His appearance was very important, as if he was theenvoy of the Sultan! Yesengeldy and his other relatives didn’t confuse that he was not suit for this role. Camel hair stuck tatters out of his old hats - for the wind’s fun, and the black yurt, towards he led us, was covered with shabby felts.

He was going to open the door in front of us. But the door was hanging on the top loop and served with stringy scratch, undermining the ground at the entrance.

- Welcome - Yesengeldy said staring at me with unblinking eyes. 
A mixture of an old greatness and extreme poverty - that's what I saw inside. Starting with the fact that the entire yurt was shining. I had never met such yurt even at the last shepherd. His wife would leave patches to all of these gaping holes long ago.

Five or six uykov4 of thickness of the palm, were still covered with intricate carvings. And all the rest were handmade: some thick, others - like twigs and a few pieces – straight as spears pierced in shanyrak.



4Uyki - curved poles, forming a dome of the yurt (shanyrak) and connecting it with the wooden wall bars (kerege).


The patchwork blanket lay about on a wooden bed with intricately curved back strewn and pitiful rags were on the top of it.

Yesengeldy showed us with grand gesture to take places of honor. Badly tanned hides were squirming in the center of the bed - one goat’s, two calves’ and other - horse’s, but a small shot was skinned from a foal.

- Relax - said our guide and went out.

And the three of us, unable to hold back any longer, with bulging eyes were rolling on the floor, clamped our mouths with hands, and we had tears from laugh and our stomach muscles were ill but we couldn’t stop.

When this irresistible attack ended, my guys went to unhitch the gelding. I had nothing to do again and began to examine the yurt.

The first impression wasn’t misleading: the former assured prosperity gave the way to the most destitute poverty. To the right of the entrance anold iron-bound chest stood on the low wooden stand. Next to it there was "kebezhe" - a big box for storing dishes and other utensils. Kebezhe was too old, it had traces of bone inlay.

I could not resist and looked inside. The box was empty.

On the latticed wall there was a saddle. It’s pommel, covered with dark varnish in silver divorces, reminded the duck's head. Such saddle cost a lot some time ago. And now… If someone, God forbid, got into his head to tighten the girth or stick his feet in the massive stirrups, half-rotted belts crawled off of the slightest touch.

The students came back. They brought our things. We had lay a black blanket, which we had brought with us from the hostel, on tough skins.

- Well... Will we be alone? Where are the owners of this house? - one of them asked.

The other replied:

- But... Do you see?

A shaggy spotted dog ​​ cheekily stuck his snout in one of the holes, and not paying attention to our presence, was about to squeeze in here.

- Ket! - I chased it.

We agreed with the guys: less talk and try not to show our attitude to what is happening before our eyes. Only in this way it would be able to find out what aul Zhanbyrshi is.

A voice of  Yesengeldy came from outside. He shouted to someone:

- Karashash! Oh, Karashash!.. We have guests today in a large yurt. Do you hear me? Ateke told you to service them!

- What guests? Where did they come from? – a deep female voice was heard back.

We looked at each other warily. What else do we have to bear?.. But there was nothing else to do - just to wait.

The steps approached to the yurt, the door creaked. But this was Yesengeldy again.

- In the aul, where your road has led you to - he said didactically - is not accepted that the guests unharnessed their horses themselves. It is the owner's care.

- Thank you. Don’t worry - I said almost obsequiously, trying to adapt myself to their morals.-We are young, as you can see, we look after our gelding ourselves.

Yesengeldy, with the tone that brooked no objections, repeated:

- In this aul, which is called Zhanbyrshi, is not accepted, that the guests unharnessed their horses themselves and looked after them.

He went away, and we would burst into laughter again, but the emergence of an old woman restrained us. She crossed the threshold immediately, when Yesengeldy left the yurt.

Karashash warmly greeted us - the young people, each of us was suited to her sons.

- Praise to Allah, I do not complain about my life - she said and then added, - I have to get used to it... And then, complain or not complain, nothing will change for me. But what has you brought to this cemetery?

As it could be seen, Karashash, unlike us, was not going to hide her attitude to the people of aul Zhanbyrshi, to their way of life. And I realized that she was the only woman, who could find out all the detail, for what this not close trip was undertaken.

We didn’t have to insinuate her about facts that we were interested. Karashashs irritation had been saving for a long time, and she had to say it.

- I do not know, have you heard it or not?.. – she began. – From ancient time tore5 lived in Zhanbyrshi... It's their land. But they do not lift a hand for clawing it with plow. They believe that happiness, prosperity, good luck are their from the God! Before then tolengity6 lived with them. Thirty families of tolengity. They did everything. And then, soon after the power had change, they all went away. They began to live separately. They had the collective farm... Yesterday I went to drive cows and saw: they had plowed the fields, and began to sow. Is it bad for them? And ours!.. – She hopeless waved. – Among ten men there is no one who will saddle his own horse! I don’t talk about bringing firewood for the winter or mowing hay... Do not raise a hand to kill a lousy goat. Even if the belly of hunger just let them down! I'm doing everything. I am the daughter of tolengit. Well, I have stayed with them, these living dead.

Telling this Karashash went out few times, she set the samovar - and came back again. I had heard about zhanbyrshis tore, but I could not imagine what's going on here now.


5Tore - noble familythe origin of the Mongolstore occupied the privileged position in the steppes.

6Tolengity lived with the tore and served them (tolengity could belong to different families).


A lot of land around belonged to them. If someone of their family was born or didn’t die at home - and this tract in the steppes belonged to the tore. That was the law. But on those lands none peg was hammered by their hands. Nobles were not befitting to work. Tolengity did all work. They herded cattle, mowed hay, planted wheat and oats. And they saddled horses, when someone of owners had the idea to go on the hunt, for a visit or on business. Only the tattered pelt was left from former well-being. But hereditary pride is in their blood...

Karashash brought a fire-breathing samovar.

- It has boiled... - she said. She tried not to make eye contact with us and warned: - Only you have to drink whitened boiling water. I will find milk. But tea... You have to believe me, there is no tea all over the aul.

We had tea. On hearing this, Karashash cheered and went to look for a teapot.

The teapot was very old, black cracks have spread on the porcelain, it was pulled with tin strips and a tin tube was fastened at the top of chipped spout. Ten cups of different colors and sizes. Clearly, they were collected by yurts.

Karashash spread a patched tablecloth, and on it we threw our towel. It's good that we brought bread, butter and sugar with us.

And as soon as we were going to have lunch or dinner, the door moved, and the men went into the yurt. They came 
in sequence observing priority. Ateke was the first of them. He stopped in front of me with his head held high, and from the expression of his face, I realized that didn’t occupy the right place.

I immediately got up to change seats, but the old man moved his blue-gray beard and stopped me:

- It is not necessary... The seat next to me belongs to the eldest of the guests.

I stayed. But my guys after all movements found themselves quite far from me. And, what was more important, they were far away from bread and butter.

Missing teeth didn’t disturb Ateke: butter doesn’t need to chew, and he broke off pieces of bread and quickly sent them into the mouth. All other aksakals didn’t  concede the nimbleness, trying get ahead of each other.

The three of us drank three cups of tea and there was not a piece on the tablecloth. And when all was gone as if a cow licked with its rough tongue, Ateke broke the silence:

- I have to say that the butter was fresh… You can eat it.

And again the same confirmations, word in word, were said as if none of them had his own thought and all of them were waiting the worlds of aksakal.

- Ateke said correctly – the beardless man said, who sat next to me only from another side – The butter was fresh. You can eat it.

I thought that I and my guys were the only ones who didn’t make sure of that. And I thought: what would happen next, but somehow did not realize that the pieces of lump sugar wandered forlornly on the tablecloth.

- The soul of the one is sin who, feasting, forget about the children and grandchildren, flesh of his flesh - Ateke said. – I’ll spoil the child... - He grabbed with his black knotty fingers, three or four pieces of sugar from the tablecloth and put them in his pocket,

- Ateke is always right, - the beardless man agreed with him and reached for the sugar too.

Their example was followed by all the others: Yesengeldy and Korash, and the one whose eyes dropped to the most whiskey did the same.

The tablecloth was empty. Holding the cups on the tips of fingers, the tore began to drink empty tea. Only one Karashash, who was sitting at the door, felt uneasy because the guests were hungry. 
Several times I wanted to go to my horse, but I was stopped by the connoisseur and the keeper of traditions -Yesengeldy, he repeated that the care of the guests’ horses in their aul always belonged to the owners. And I had to sit back, even though my black horse was still standing hungry as we were. And Ateke, who had to ask me, why I came to the aul, was silent too, listening to the growling stomach.

Karashash lit the lamp. There was no glass and the wick smoked. The breeze wafting into the yurt through countless holes from time to time weighed down the flames, and then it was completely dark. The twinkle straightened up again and threw reflections on the troubled faces of the owners. They seemed to me lifeless.

Yes, they could be takeover for dead, because no one said anything and there was a grave silence in the yurt. I wasn’t at ease, as if I was in the terrible fairy tale.

But here Ateke raised his head and cleared his throat.

- Time is running - he said - It is necessary to slaughter a sheep to the guests whom we are hosting today in a big yurt.

- As always, the wise Ateke is right, and he is the most faithful keeper of the laws of hospitality we have inherited from the glorious ancestors, - the beardless man supported. - It is necessary to slaughter a sheep to the guests whom we are hosting today in a big yurt.

The same idea was repeated by the man with the eyes on the temples, whose words sounded like a call to action.

I tried to argue - why they had the extra cost... But no one thought it was necessary to pay attention to my timid protest. I paused, trying to think about that to eat meat wasn’t bad at all. In the morning, going on the road, we had breakfast in haste.

But dinner was as far as Borovoye. All of them froze again, filled with a sense of dignity. They were full of this sense of dignity as korzhun was full with rancid meat.

But if we - the guests - had no choice but to endure it, Karashash was just boiling and finally broke.

- If they have already decided to slaughter a goat, what are they waiting for? She said, no one speaking directly to – They have said, but they themselves sit, as if rooted to the ground with their backsides. Oh, Allah! Allah is merciful! Do you see?.. Will you save them from the cursed habits? They are still alive, not dead!

She jumped up and left the yurt. Following Karashash jumped out the spotted dog, who was in the yurt with no hope to profit of anything.

But incontinence of the woman could not shake the quiet of the men. Ateke waited for some time before uttered his decision.

- I see the sense of the words of Karashash, though she said them temper. Time is running... If we think about slaughtering sheep up prick, we have to do it.

How echo in the mountains, two of the most respected aksakals, responded. But no one thought of moving to do it.

Karashash knew what to do: she brought an armful of firewood and threw it
 near the center, for the second time she brought blackened cauldron, in the third time she brought a tripod. And she continued to bother her owners.

- Well, how soon?.. Whose sheep will prick? We must to bring it - she said, and when she came out we could hear her wailing and abuse.

But to solve - whose was not so easy.

- Yesengeldy! - Ateke said imperiously. – Why do you keep silent? Your grandmother has a gray sheep... In my opinion, we have to put this gray sheep in a large caldron.

His words were repeated twice - on the right and on the left, - and Yesengeldy silently rose from his seat and left. And there was silence again, the silence of waiting. From the street the snores of my poor black horse came, who didn’t get a handful of hay or a sack of oats.

Yesengeldy returned. He sat in his place, and only he turned to Ateke:

- Aisha-kelin says: the gray sheep is about to bring a lamb... And anyone who raises a knife on a sheep at that time will make a sin.

-Aisha-kelin knows – Ateke agreed. - This is a sin really. If not today, but tomorrow, the gray sheep will bring a lamb.

A nice opportunity to eat fresh meat revived the ancient keepers of traditions. Clearly, Ateke reduced the time of wise thinking.

- Lets bring the black lamb of the house of Kanshi-Zhengei. That lamb is one of the earliest, it is quite possible to put it under the knife.

Impatience was probably overwhelmed Yesengeldy. He got up without waiting for the beardless man and the man with eyes dropped to the most whiskey confirm the wisdom of Ateke, and their words were heard, when he crossed the threshold of the yurt. And he came back - much faster than at the first time.

But now, his hike was unsuccessful. Yesengeldy said grimly:

- Aizhan-kelin met me... She says on Friday it will be exactly one year since the death of Kanshi-Zhengei. Aizhan protects the lamb that there will be something to remember a decent woman.

- Yes, yes - Ateke said contritely. - Aizhan is right... He thought again, but an empty stomach made him think more clearly and work faster. Ateke immediately realized who could be sacrificed hospitality.

- Enough small talks! – he said flatly. - From our conversations cauldron isn’t full! Yesengeldy, bring us a gray goat, which is owned by Kareke.

It was after midnight, when the abutted goat shouted with bad voice from outside. But Yesengeldy was determined - and, it seemed, our dinner turned out of a dream into reality.

This goat, which I couldn’t see with its thick heavy smell let us know of the approach of it. So it wasn’t emasculate... It was a sireAn ordinary person could suffocate that almost happened with me. Another thing - the descendants of the Khans. Their nostrils, I thought, had been arranged differently. They didn’t pay any attention on the smell. Their eyes were burning, they noisily swallowed saliva. Now let each of them had a goat, and they would swallow it alive, didn’t remain any bones.

There was another trouble. No one had a quite sharp, reliable knife. Ateke remembered well in what house there was such knife, but Yesengeldy came back empty-handed.

One of my friends in misfortune, exasperated by the long sitting, by hunger, by stench from the goat quickly jumped up, pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the side of Yesengeldy.

- Here you are, - he said politely, though I saw in his eyes, with what pleasure he would send all the tore to the Shaitan, and he would quickly disappear from the aul Zhanbyrshi.

Only early in the morning the gray goat came to us again, but in the form of a  boiled dish, in the trough. And after that women came in - there were no less than ten.

Each of them led a girl. Yes, almost all the children were girls. I noticed only two boys. Awakened at night, the children were yawning, rubbing their eyes. They looked frail. The same old law, which was so strict in Zhanbyrshi, commanded to keep the purity of noble birth, and marriages were between close relatives. It was a pity to look at the children.

Women smelled about the meat lustily. But the goat was known for its size was considerably inferior to the bull... It was unlikely that a single goat could feed such horde.

Because of his seniority, Ateke took the head, cut off one ear and gave it to me, and put the whole head in front of him. The beardlessman cut off a small piece of meat from the pelvic bone - for me and the whole bone left himself too. The others - also grabbed pieces by their rightful position. Leftover meat crumbled over the tub, but somehow didn’t get there. They were picked up by someone on the fly and then disappeared forever.

Feast was held very quickly and it didn’t take much time. Our owners drank broth after the goat meat, gave gnawed bones to the children, wished us good night and went home.

The yurt was empty.

We had a little talk with Karashash. A kind woman was pity that we went to bed hungry.

But we were not going to go to bed. Without waiting when Ateke found it possible to talk to us about the case, and breaking the tradition in which a guest to Zhanbyrshi could not engaged in the horses themselves, we went to harness the black gelding.

We didn’t just leave. We were running. We ran into the open steppes out of this aul, which had turned into a living cemetery, ran away from the arrogance and stupidity of these people.

- Oibai! - One of my guys exclaimed. - And how much time is needed in this aul to say a single sensible word?

- What's that? - The second added - How much time will pass before a word spoken with such importance, become a thing?..

I listened to them silently. I resented with the injustice of history. How many centuries, how many infertile centuries had we lost, the Kazakhs, until such tore ruled us?

…The report that I did the next day to the Secretary of the District Committee of the Communist Party, was very brief.

I said:

- Aul Zhanbyrshi owns the land on which ten collective farms can settle easily. But in the aul Zhanbyrshi there is only one person who can work on the collective farm. This is a woman by the name Karashash, the daughter of  tolengit.

- Really? And where can we send others? I was young at that time and said:

- I don’t know. But they can’t live there. The secretary of the District Committee of the Communist Party thought.

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