Nature And Content Of Author Nuncupative Poetry In System Of International


Author nuncupative poetry, as a unique phenomenon in artistic literature, takes place in the history of culture of many peoples of the world. The unsurpassed masters of poetic words composed their compositions in it, usually improvising in front of the public and expressing in their compositions a personal world view and an ethical assessment of reality. Nuncupative professional poetry was well developed in ancient Sumerian, Chinese, Indian, pre-class Greek, ancient and medieval Western, Scandinavian, Arabic literature (poetry competitions of the Sumerians, Chinese yuefu, Indian experts on sacred traditions, Bharata and singers from deprived castes, etc.); among the Turkic and Caucasian peoples (azanes of Asian Turks; ashugs of the Azerbaijanis; illanchys of the Chechens; kedai of the Nogais; olonkhosuts of the Yakuts; ashiki, bakhshi, shairs, etc.). The authors of nuncupative poetry combined artistic art with great social activity. They had an unquestioned authority among people, felt free to interfere in the activities of chiefs and leaders, in some cases influenced them by their wise advice, they were excellent experts of folk epic narratives, significant historical events, the genealogies of the officials and, accordingly, used them in their speeches and improvisations. A common feature of the art of the nuncupative writers is touching on the most pressing problems of the time, relevant to the society at the time of public speaking in front of the people. Centuries-long Bashkir nuncupative poetry was similar to the works of related Turkic colleagues by the nature and content of the activities of the word masters.

Keywords: Author nuncupative literatureimprovisercreative personalityHomeric bardsasaenI'lli


There was a unique phenomenon called the author nuncupative literature in the history of culture of many peoples of the world, which, along with folklore and written literature, was a separate type of verbal art. Nuncupative literature as an individual work was written mostly in poetic form, spread in an oral way and expressed personal ideas of a particular author and their ethical evaluation of reality. What about this unique phenomenon in artistic literature? Since the 19th century, Belinsky (1994), Veselovsky A.N., Bertels, E.E., Steblin Kamensky M.I., Meletinsky E.M., Kramer Samuel N., Marr N.Y., Lisevich I.S., Bazanov V.G. and others., and from the Turkic and Caucasian scientists – Valikhanov Ch., Mardzhani S., Umetbayev M., Auezov M., Ismailov E., Mambetov K., Magauin M., Gabdullin M., Tursunov E., Korogly Kh. G., Munaev I. B., Prelovsky A.V., Khusainov G.B. and others.

Problem Statement

The above-mentioned scientists only laid the basis for future comprehensive research on this problem, which is reflected in the works on other problems of pre-revolutionary and modern literature of Russian peoples. For a long period of time, the majority of the author poetic improvisations were directly attributed to folklore, and some – to written monuments. Therefore, now there is an urgent need to restore the authorship of a number of outstanding masters of the past. Scientific evaluation of their work is needed not only for creating the most complete picture of the development of the history of verbal art in the close connection with its "divisions" – folklore, author poetry and written literature, but first of all – for returning to the scientific and cultural use of spiritual values, which previously were lost.

Research Questions

Author nuncupative literature is a special phenomenon of artistic literature; it does not apply to any folklore or written literature; it is often transmitted from generation to generation with the preservation of an original text and creative individuality of a writer. It has a number of genres and genre forms.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this article is to reveal the conditions and forms of occurrence, existence and distribution, as well as the main thematic directions and content of the author nuncupative poetry, which has existed since ancient times in different parts of the world.

Research Methods

The historical-comparative and systematic methods of research are used in this article, as well as scientific-theoretical, methodological literary principles contained in the works of Russian and Turkic-speaking philologists.


The words “nuncupative literature” in Bashkir literary studies has been used as a scientific term since the 70s of 20th century. In some other Turkic, in Kazakh, Azerbaijani, as well as in Central Asian, Caucasian and other literatures - this term entered into scientific use a little earlier, in the first half of the century. The presence of Chinese, Indian, Persian, Arab, Western European, Scandinavian literature in certain historical stages of the author nuncupative art was noted in the studies of the 19th century. Nuncupative literature as an individual verbal art was composed and distributed by oral means and expressed the individual worldview of a particular author, his ethical assessment of reality. Oral means bring the assessment closer to folklore, and individuality – to written literature. But “this is not folklore, but not “written” literature yet, with all the ensuing features of it. This is the first historical form of fiction that we will find in all Nations” (Gadzhiev, 1978, p. 79). The duration of the existence of nuncupative literature, its share in the verbal art of a people depend on a number of factors, primarily: from the socio-historical conditions, a socio-political situation, geographical features, the presence of its audience and its requirements.

Academician Marr (1934) was the first to introduce the term “nuncupative literature” in the meaning of a product of the author's specific professional improvisatory creativity into scientific use in the 30-s of 20th century, noting, however, that nuncupative literature requires “the same research techniques as written literature”. After him, Kazakh researcher, Smirnova (1972), called it "oral-poetic professional poetic art". However, in Russian philology this term has received uneven distribution. In literary dictionaries and encyclopedias the term “nuncupative literature” was absent until the beginning of the 21st century. Researchers Veselovsky A.I., Meletinsky E.M., Steblin-Kamensky M.I. Lisevich I.S., Grinzer N.A, Filyntinsky I.M., and others researchers writing about this phenomenon in the world of verbal art managed to work without it, often using the word “oral” – “oral literature”, “oral poetry”. In Turkic literatures, where the share of professional nuncupative poetry was very noticeable for centuries, the national terms strengthened, which literally meant the concept of “author nuncupative literature”. But this term also had several shades of meaning: a) the most original author’s texts of folklore, because, according to Belinsky (1994):

of course, every single folk work was due to one person, who suddenly sang it with grief or joy; but, secondly, the person who composed it, told it in his own language or formed a song, had not known that it was a poet, and looked at his work not as a matter, but rather as idleness from nothing to do; secondly, the song, moving from mouth to mouth, has undergone many changes, being added, then decreased, then improved, then distorted, depending on the degree of presence or absence of poetic feeling of the one sang it. (Belinsky, 1994, p. 237)

b) the creative activity of a word master, who continues to improve the monuments that have already become a public property; c) professional nuncupative compositions of an author, who knows all the secrets of improvisatory art. As a rule, his name is much more popular in comparison with other types of nuncupative authors, his/her works are much more durable., only The latter of these three shades of meaning fully corresponds to the concept of “nuncupative literature”, generally accepted in literary criticism. Thus, nuncupative literature is a verbal improvisatory work of professional writers, in the works of which their worldview, aesthetic ideals, individual style and means of image are expressed; it is distributed by oral means, transmitted from generation to generation with the preservation of the original author's text. Literary nuncupative works can be imprinted on paper over time, but before that they must necessarily exist for a certain time in the oral speech of the author or performers. Improvised, but recorded immediately on paper, dictated or not, the works does not belong to the nuncupative literature.

It is believed that at the dawn of mankind the first poetic texts were born in the process of labor or performance of rituals, accompanied by choral singing. It may seem that verbal art originally emerged as a product of collective creativity. But here a directing singer played the main role – he began, the others picked him up; he was the author of rhythmic phrases. Over time the functions of directing singers and differentiated from the choir ones, “with the appearance of coherent texts, the role of a directing singer-luminary was to increase, and participation of the choir was to decrease” (Veselovsky, 1989a, p. 112). And the words and melody existed together for a long time, almost until the appearance of writing. The representatives of nuncupative literature of the Turkic peoples often performed their works accompanied by musical instruments, which lead to a longer preservation of the authenticity of the author's text in memory. It was the text that served as the main expression of the ideas - the views and the outlook of a writer. The content of the work depended on the degree of the skills of an author. The author of the artistic word was gradually improving their skills. From a simple imitator, “unconscious authorship,” as Steblin-Kamensky (1984) called it, the author has passed the way to universal popular recognition. The names of the authors, consciously recorded in the texts of works, are found in Sumerian literature. For example, in the poetic dispute Summer and Winter, or Enlil chooses the gods - the patron of farmers the brothers Enesh and Enten arguing with each other turn to father Enlil for the decisive word, and in his poetic answer the names of all three were mentioned (Kramer, 1991). In Western Europe, for example, the concepts of skald - “the author of poems” and yrkia - “to write poetry” were used for a long time before the appearance of writing (Steblin-Kamensky, 1984). Conscious of his work, the author took care of himself, fixed his name in the text of the work (in the nuncupative poetry of the Turkic peoples, usually at the end, in the so-called colophon). Ismailov (1957) traces four stages of achievement the peak of perfection by the Kazakh akyn: 1) knowledge by heart of improvisations of other akyns; 2) approval of a professional writer; 3) achievement of mastery of entry into the oral poetic competition; 4) comprehensive creative maturation as a professional improviser. Over time, the author's awareness has been gained more new qualities, manifested in the language and style peculiar only to this writer, means of image, taste, interests, worldview, etc. (Idelbaev, 2013).

The time and duration of the author nuncupative stage in different historical and geographical regions were different in the history of world literature. Millennial Sumerian literature was a “process of transition from oral literature to written literature”, and the oldest Akkadian (Babylonian-Assyrian) monuments created in writing (Afanasyev, 1983). The nuncupative period of literature of the peoples with early or finished writing can be very short and imperceptible, “pressed” between folklore and written literature. Egyptian literature of “ancient Kingdom”, with a wide spread of folklore, was only of authorship and was known only in writing. From the distant nuncupative period of Chinese literature there were traces in the form of original genres and genre forms. “The poetry that preceded the literary one in China – yuefu (song poetry) and the works close to it, where the text is associated with music, – were still oral rather than written literature,” (p. 78) – writes Lisevich (1969). Baimov (1999) notes the similarity of the main stages of evolution of Eastern literatures, that have ancient roots (Indian, Chinese, Iranian) and the “young” literatures (Japanese, Arabic, Turkish, etc.): “a nationwide folklore; the art of speakers-improvisers (the works of sasaens, bakhshi, shairs, storytellers and others); copyright (professional) creative writing” (Baimov, 1999, p. 23). The pre-class Greek, medieval Scandinavian, Western European and other literatures also went through the nuncupative stage. Depending on the conditions, the creators and performers of the nuncupative literature had a certain predominant creative direction in different historical and geographical regions. For example, in ancient India, the singers were divided into three groups: 1) experts in sacred Hindu legends; 2) bharats, who sang about the feats of war, knew the “genealogy and family history of the local ruler”; 3) singers from the deprived castes of India. The Celtic druids, bards, fili, Greek aedas were the bearers of epic traditions, they sang about the deeds of the ancestors on holidays and festive feasts at princely courts, religious celebrations; the druids “did not state in writing their teachings ...they were soothsayers, healers, doctors, priests, mentors.; they were released from military service and were surrounded by honor; the druid was next to the king, at the head of society” (Veselovsky, 1989b, p. 160). Medieval Burgundian cantors, the African griots, old German shpops – troop singers – praised the military exploits, victories. The jugglers from France, Germany wandering minstrels, merry-andrews from Bulgaria and Russia have mostly lead a vagrant life with the musical or comedic entertaining repertoire. Minstrels – English and French wandering singers of 14-18th centuries, unlike above mentioned ones, were not necessarily the creators of their own improvisations, they often performed the works of other authors. Approximately the same functions performed by the Greek rhapsodists – the reciters of epic poems of aedas, the Arabian ravii – performers of the works of the Bedouin poets. The Turkic and Caucasian peoples nuncupative professional creators with a wide range is called differently: azan (ancient Turks), kedai (Nogai), olonkhosut (Yakuts), ashig (Azeris), ashik, bakhshi, baksy, shair, manassians (Uzbeks, Turkmen , Kyrgyz), yyrau, akyn, sasaen (Kazakhs, Bashkirs), Illanchi (Chechens). Although the nuncupative stages of literature of different peoples were separated by time – by millennia, by place - by continents, there is a stable pattern in the trends of development of the world author nuncupative art of the word.

As you can see, the masters of words were called differently in a number of nations in different stages. Consequently, the purposes of their work and the content of it, depending on a period of time, were slightly different from each other. It can be seen in the example of Turkic-speaking authors of nuncupative poetry, beginning with the baksy (bakhshi, bakhsh) and yyrau (yyragu, zhyrau) to sasaen (akyn).

The meaning of the word "baksy" in the Turkic languages was interpreted in different ways: the Uzbeks simultaneously had this term with the meaning of a storyteller of the epic, and a doctor-shaman, as in the past these professions were sometimes combined; the Turkmen had only a folk singer; the Kazakhs – only a doctor-shaman. The Bashkirs now use the term only in the original sense, implying an ancient nuncupative master of words with diverse abilities (the soothsayer, voodoo doctor, wisewoman, fortune-teller). The era of yyrau accounted for 14-16th centuries. However, the word "yyrau" in the meaning of nuncupative poetry of a creator was mentioned in Turkic written sources much earlier. In particular, in the monument Diwanu lugat-at nurk by al-Kashgari (2005) it is interpreted as "a player on a musical instrument", "a singer". The term remained its main significance (the Bashkirs have "folk singer") during the Millennium: the same interpretation is found in the work of Radlov (1905): "the singer (der Singer, Troubadour)". The art of yyrau of the 14-16th centuries is characterized by the fact that it was the common heritage of the Bashkirs, the Kazakhs, the Karakalpaks and the Nogais. “So, it will be correct, – the Karakalpak researcher Mambetov (1976) noted – "if the yyrau of this era are called Kazakh, Karakalpak, Bashkir poets” (p. 33). Unlike the backsy, the main profession of yyrau were song and poetry, and their role in society increased a lot:

The word “zhyrau” comes from the word “zhyr” – it is a poem, a song, and a zhyrau is, first of all, a creator. But in the conditions of nomadic life zhyrau had many social functions. Many zhyrau, who lived in the 15-18th centuries, were not only poets, but also leaders of tribes, ulus, tribal unions, as well as batyrs, leaders of tribal troops. (Magauin, 1978, p. 90)

The most prominent of them – Habrau yyrau (Sypyra, Sypra, Sapra, Sabra, Supra) – was truly famous in the entire Turkic world, and, as noted by a number of scholars of the 20th century, had his own school (Daukayev, 1959; Sagitov, 1963). The era of sasaens in the historical conditions is dramatically different from the previous two; it existed in the Russian period of the Bashkir literature. In the Turkic world only the Bashkir masters of nuncupative word are called "sasaens", but this word in the related sounds can be found in other literatures, not necessarily in the Turkic one: the Buryats -- "chechen", the Uzbeks -- "chechan", the Kazakhs -- "sheshen", the Karakalpaks – "shishin", the Tatars – "chichen", the Mongols – "sechen", "tcitcen", the Chinese -- "shenzhen", etc. In all these cases, it is equivalent to "sage", "creator", "witty," "an improviser". Most likely, close neighbors of Bashkirs – the Kazakhs, the Uzbeks, the Karakalpaks, the Tatars - meant by these words a true sesen, i.e. a native of the Bashkirs.

The original creations of the author nuncupative poetry were made in tribal conditions with the assistance of rites and rituals. Connoisseurs who appreciate the magical power of words, poetic lamentations used in various ritual (and, hence, in life too) purposes - for conspiracies, spells, divination, sortilege, prediction, healing, etc. Further from these “genres” associated with the use of the magical power of words, to the fore came improvisational artistic creativity. Its thematic and genre repertoire is also typologically identical for different historical and geographical regions. At all stages of development of the nuncupative literature praise has a prominent place, it is praise of someone or something: divine power, Holy spirits, rulers, leaders, commanders, warriors, victorious campaigns, high morale... Authors are usually fine experts of religious and secular legends, significant historical events, the genealogy of high-ranking officials, they use them in public performances or for creation of big epic works. The nuncupative creators are always in the midst of social and political events, enjoy the universal respect of people, boldly interfere in the activity of the leaders, and, where it is necessary, influence them with their wise advice. The main feature of the work of nuncupative writers is touching on the most pressing problems of the time, relevant to this society at the time of public statement. Alarming social and political problems raised a wide range of subjects and a range of genres from heroic and social epics to historical, lyrical, aphoristic songs, hymns. Arab redges – the improvised folk hymns later were found and spread among the Turks; an ancient phenomenon of nuncupative literature – a poetic dispute between two wordsmiths contributed to the emergence of the genre of agon in the 8-5th centuries BC in Greece, and in ancient and medieval East – Nazirs, in the 10-9th centuries in Europe -- tentcony and pastourelles, and a long-term existence of the aitysh in the Turkish literature. In the middle ages in the countries of Eastern Europe there were wandering poets-improvisers – German wandering minstrels, French trouveurs contributed to the further prosperity of the heroic epic; the art of Russian merry-andrews was aimed at raising the spirit of the masses by their entertainment content, often it included elements of oral folk drama. The prose existed in the nuncupative literature too. It became widespread among the ancient Persians and Arabs. In the 17-18th centuries in the Russia the so-called “folk books” were known, the concept of which includes “an elementary imitation of folk samples, mechanical borrowings in popular prints, and literary works created on the basis of artistic and ideological rethinking of folklore of various genres” (Bazanov, 1973, p. 40). As you can see, in the nuncupative field there were elements of all three literary classes, but certainly the poetic form dominated, contributing to a longer preservation of the author's “original”.

Good conditions for the centuries-old flowering of author nuncupative poetry were in most of the Turkic-language literatures. Prints of oral literature are still in the earliest Turkic runic written texts (5–7th centuries). In the Great Inscription of Kyul-Tegin, the mother of the ruler is like a bird Humay, which is as a symbol of the ancient Turkic mythology – the goddess of the earth and the beginning of fertility. This image in the same meaning took place in the ancient Bashkir epic Ural Batyr. Large and Small inscriptions of Kyul-Tegin attract attention to them by the fact that their words are carved by masters by the oral dictation of the author Yolyg-Tegin, the brother of the hero of these two texts. As the researcher Murzagulova (2014) notes it correctly: "The similarity of this text to the nuncupative literature is manifested in its appeal to the audience" (p. 49). The monuments of runic and Uighur letters of the 8-10th centuries were also created, such as Book of Divination ("Yrk bitig") and The Legend of the Prince and the Tiger in the nuncupative traditions. And the legendary Korkut is now, perhaps, the first known representative of the Turkic nuncupative literature. Legends, epic stories under his authorship began to appear in the Oguz Turks in the 7-11th centuries; they were recorded around the middle of the second Millennium; that is, from 5 to 8 centuries they existed in the nuncupative environment. At the end of each of the 12 stories published at the present time, on behalf of Korkut, their oral distribution is blessed with words like: “My grandfather Korkut came, made up a song, he said... after I let him take over and tell the singers”. In the monument we find a capacious characteristic of the oral singer: “With kobza in hand, from a people to a people, from beck to beck is the singer goes; who of the husbands is brave, who is not fit, knows the singer...” (The book of my grandfather Korkut: Oguz heroic epos, 1962). Stories attributed to Korkut, legends and stories about him are now found in many Turkic peoples, including the Bashkirs (Idelbaev, 2014). In the middle of the 20th century an outstanding Kazakh writer and researcher Auezov (1959) noted the wide existence of legends and stories about Korkut, as well as plots of his own works among the Turkmens, the Azerbaijanis and the Bashkirs. A poetic composition by Ahmet Yugnaky “Hibat al-haqaiq” (“Gift of truth” was fFounded in the 12–13th centuries in Fergana, it can be called anecdotal: first, the author, like the ancient poet Homer, was born blind and was able to do it just with the help of his memory; secondly, being a representative of the Sufi literature emerging in the medieval Turkic environment, he addressed his work to the people - to simple illiterate listeners.

In the colophon of the monument, the author himself spoke about his nuncupative character: “The poet expressed [it's all] in all the grace of the language, if anyone knows the Kashgar language, he will understand everything that is said” (Malov, 1951, p. 320). A literary critic Yanbaev (2013) in a recent publication introduced into scientific use the translations of the medieval Turkic-speaking monuments of the minor genres, made by a Bashkir enlightener of the 19th century – Haribasara Utaki. Among the texts there are the texts common to manuscripts and nuncupative literature of the times as " hikmet, kissa, tradition, latif, fable, tamsil, etc.” (Yanbaev, 2013). Thus, the author's nuncupative monuments in ancient and medieval Turkic literatures existed along with written ones. And further on their traditions the oral poetry functioned long and steadily in the majority of the literatures of the Turkic people. In our opinion, the reasons for its special vitality in the Turkic world should be sought in the following circumstances. 1) Verbal art, as we know, can serve as a powerful ideological weapon of the ruling classes. Depending on the changes in the relationship of social forces in society, the forms of existence of literature as a means of ideology are changing. The process of class differentiation in the Turks, due to a number of objective historical circumstances, proceeded slowly and lasted for several centuries. 2) Their main mode of production was cattle breeding, which also had an effect on the slow progress of social differentiation, and on more peaceful relations between the various social forces; in any case, it did not allow slavery and serfdom among the tribesmen exist. 3) Cattle breeding itself created favorable conditions for the prosperity of the nuncupative poetic word, the birth of its new genres. Suffice it to recall the appearance of ancient bucolic, idyll, eclogue, medieval French pastoral, etc., the appearance of which was associated with nature. 4) Paradoxically, the written literature of the Turks, in contrast to other similar fields, contributed to the parallel sustainable existence of the oral. The thing is that the Turks usually created written, artistic monuments in an unavailable language, even for more or less literate group of the population, the language with liberally borrowed arabisms and parismony. Such literature met the needs of only the highly educated part of society. And the rest of the people put forward the masters of the word from their ranks, who worked on a live spoken language. They often translated book stories to the national language. These circumstances were typical for the majority of Turkic-speaking peoples, and the functioning of the nuncupative literature is estimated at them for several centuries.

The most significant representatives of oral poetry among the Turkic and Caucasian peoples that emerged on the traditions of the Turkic literature of the era were: Turkish-Yusuf Amre (13–14th centuries), Pir Soltan Abdal (16th century) and modern ashiki; the Azerbaijanis - Gurbani, Ashug-Abbas, Sary-Ashug, Ashug-Valeh (15–16th centuries) and the galaxy of famous troubadours of the 19—20th centuries; -- the Turkmen Shires Bairam Khan, Karaj-oglan, Barhudar Turkmen, bakhshy Andalib, Shabende, Shaidan, Gurbanly, Magrupi (16–18th centuries); the Kirghiz – the famous manassys Saginbay Orazbekov and Sayakbay Karalaev and their students (19–20th centuries.); Kazakh – cohort yyrau of the 14-16th centuries and original poets Dospambet, Bukhar, Ambati, Tati-Kare, Shal, Kutush, Koblan, Zhankisi, Makhambet (17–19th centuries), the Chechen – Mikail Abdurzakov, Sayd-Magomed Betilgireev, Sangari Ibragimov, Daud Mekhtiyev, Mokhmad, Nasuha Ortsuev, Ahmed Timerkaev, Askhab Albertov (19–20th CC.). Common uniting principles in their improvisations are the closeness of the ideological and thematic areas, the similarity of the genres and genre forms, the unity of the formative indicators. Moreover, the works of the authors of the nuncupative fundamentally different from folklore monuments, which was incredibly rich in each of these regions. Between the masters of the spoken word of different generations - mentors and their students – the centuries-old traditions of relationships were established. Professional creators of new generations treated the improvisations of their senior colleagues as something sacred, and never dared to make significant changes in them. “Their “interference” into the text of their predecessors, as Keroglo (1988) notes, – was nothing more than “interference” of the manuscript scribes of the classical poets” (p. 23).

Improvisation is not necessarily an instant composition when performing live in front of an audience. Professional improviser - a great creative person, constantly busy with the problems of his time. He certainly works on public speaking in advance, and many of his most important thoughts, such as ready-made poetic lines, could have been born earlier, before communicating with the audience. But this does not exclude an active creative process during the speech: depending on the audience, their mood, location, place, time and circumstances of the speech, something is added, removed, emphasized - otherwise there would be no real improvisation. For a great master making the necessary adjustments to the finished text was not difficult. As a result, a great masterpiece was born –an improvisation, carefully considered from beginning to end (whether it was kubair, tolgau, aitysh, appeal, epic narrative) acquired a unique figurative and poetic form, no longer subject to change its author's individual features. And every genuine improviser had its own unique voice.

The nuncupative literature is in the center, between folklore and written literature, and serves as a support, the base for the development of these two literatures. Initially, all oral works are born in its environment and over time, when the authors are forgotten, become the property of folklore. And written literature, as we know, feeds on the best traditions of both folklore and oral poetry. In addition, the author's nuncupative works at the last stage of existence of this literature are often brought to readers in writing. It turns out that the richest folk repertoire of the Bashkir people (the last edition - in 36 volumes) also testifies the duration and richness of the ancient stage of Bashkir literature. According to numerous facts, writing in the region also appeared early; the first Turkic written literary monuments or samples of inscriptions, starting with the runic, were distributed among the Bashkirs from the 7–8th centuries. Hence, we can talk about the long history of relations between the nuncupative, written literature and folklore. Bashkir yyrau and sasaens – representatives of the nuncupative poetry of the 14–19th centuries – mostly had a very good education, although they chose oral speech as the only means of communication with the public. They were aware of the historical events of the country, usually by written sources, read art monuments in the original or in full versions. For all that, Sasaens preferred nuncupative presentation of their works.

The principal difference between nuncupative and written transmission of an artistic material lies in the addressee of its purpose and efficiency of content. All that is spoken about by the nuncupative author refers to the "today" of his/her time, most often urgent at the time of their speeches. His listener stands nearby (or maybe sits on the throne), directly perceives, immediately draws conclusions, makes decisions. Written literature tells about the past. Even if it raises the most pressing issues, it still takes some time between fixation on paper and the reader's perception. Meanwhile, very often the previous operational works of nuncupative literature serve as a base, a source for writing. The contents of the great cycle of the Eastern medieval dastans were originally composed by the nuncupative authors. Thus, written literature from the very birth of it, as we can say it, was influenced by the nuncupative one. In the Large and Small Orkhon inscriptions, for example, the main thematic directions of the nuncupative poetry were reflected, as in a mirror. In addition to them, in miniature parables Yrk bitig and the compilation Hibat al-hakaik Yugnaky by A., created in the form of an appeal to the listener, common for nuncupative poetry, touched the casual everyday issues, codes of conduct, ethical standards. Even in the epitaph poetic sayings of the Ural-Volga region and Bashkortostan of the 12—18th centuries. philosophical thought of the impermanence of the world, about life and death, was recorded, sometimes literally coinciding with aphoristic lines of the Bashkir Kubiirs. In the ancient Turkic monuments "Kotadgu Bilik" by Balasaguni Y., " Balasagunly Yu" by Kashghari M. and medieval Kipchak sofas and dastans "Muhabbatname" by Khorezmi, "Gulistan bit-Turki" by Sarai, “Zhumzhuma Sultan” by Katib, "Khosrou and Shirin” by Kutba were found the same signs of proximity with the Bashkir nuncupative monuments. In particular, special attention is attracted by " Khosrou and Shirin" by Kutba. First, in the dastan there are images of nuncupative singers – Barbed and Nikisi, borrowed as a basic plot outline, from the same Persian-speaking dastans of Firdausi and Nizami.

In Kutba’s work they are close to the ruler of Khosrou and in the most critical situations, their poetic word plays a decisive role in the fate of the heroes. Secondly, judging by the content of the dastan, the author is also imbued with the spirit of these characters, appreciates the power of oral poetic speech, compares it with the will of a man sitting on the throne. Moreover, the dastan has a lot of apt figurative expressions, Proverbs and sayings, phraseological units, some of them call the readers to use words correctly, for their purpose: “The word is a word, when expressed carefully; he proverb says that a bad word is a burden for an donkey” (Zaiaczkowski, 1958, p. 40). We have to believe that the author of "Khosrou and Shirin" could be familiar with the epic work of yyrau and sasaens. Breaking the chronology, we have to come back to later written monument of the Bashkir literature – to kissa Bagayi called Buzyeget. Created in the middle of the 19th century in Ufa, it is famous because it contains the features of both written and nuncupative works. Buzyeget has other written versions among the Bashkirs, the Kazakhs, the Tatars, the Karakalpaks, the Nogais, and in Bashkortostan and are also similar folklore options. In the content of the Ufa text, many elements of the plot of “Khosrou and Shirin” by Kutba are clearly found. Similar episodes are present in different places (the main characters learn about each other and occur as a result of dreams; both Khosrou and Buzyeget when searching for their beloved ones, appeal to the service's closest friend; the couples are the children of the rulers; the main female character is always accompanied by her girlfriend; there are samples of nuncupative singers performing at crucial moments with practical advice; a tragic ending: the main characters die in almost identical circumstances, etc.). The author's narration in the kissa, as in "Khosrou and Shirin", is given by 11-complex verse lines, and the speeches of the characters are built on 7-complex size of kubair, which is observed in all the folklore versions of the kissa.

The first original Bashkir written records, which are known now, began to appear in the 15-16th centuries. Up to the 18th the process of formation and development of the written Bashkir literature took place, characterized by the diversity of the genre and stylistic forms. During the Russian era in the Bashkir environment new versions of the Eastern dastans were created, anonymous or author's poetic works in the spirit of hagiographic and Sufi content, shezhere, as well as historical and artistic (tavarihi), artistic and travel (sajahtname); artistic and journalistic recordings of syncretic content. The degree of their proximity to the nuncupative literature is not the same It is more prominent in shezhere and journalism. Especially – in the unique monument of the 15th century The Last of the Sartaev Clan. This small prose work of 6-7 book pages tells about the devastating fighting of the Golden Horde Khan Timur in the territory of Bashkortostan at the end of the 14th century. Its author, Yalik Burnak uly, was a noble biy, who got his education, according to the text, in one of the Central Asian cities, he is a smart captain who knows the ancient military customs and rituals, the head of the clan, is respected by eminent contemporaries, a great connoisseur of history, a talented master of words, skilled in the traditions of nucupative and written literature.

There are all the reasons to believe that The Last of the Sartaev Clan, first in a verse form, was written nuncupatively and over time was recorded in writing. Firstly, the work begins with the words that attract the attention of the public: "Everyone, listen!". Such reception is often used by Yyrau and sasaens. This technique is repeated in the text several times: “...I will make my tongue tell you all that has happaned”; “Everyone, listen!”; “I will tell you about my children”; “I will tell”; (“Hey, my brothers!”; “listen!”; “I will speak till the end”; “I will tell you”; “know!”; “you know everything!”; “know, my people!”; but I will tell”). In addition, the narrator is a direct witness of all the described events. Some of the episodes occur at the moment of speech, right in front of the eyes of imaginary listeners. The main thing is that the language of the monument is fundamentally different from the style of written works of that era, it is very close to the speech of improvisers: simple, concise, imaginative, accurate. (“He is always brave and courageous, like a wounded golden eagle”; “Aksakal Kara-Abyz had a daughter who eclipsed even the summer moon with her beauty”; “Her hair was much blacker than the wing of kuzgun”; “In the height of the skies Eto-yondoz was sparkling, which is so like an overturned ladle for koumiss”; “There are as much of them (the army of the enemy) as there can be bad flies in the dry hot summer”; “the Fate of the born in the years of the panther is like a spring wind, it is changeable, as a woman who is warm and cold”, etc.). If there are book expressions, they are appropriate for an educated person. Finally, even when translated into Russian, the text has not lost its rhythm, in which, apparently, it was in the original poetic version. The main idea of the monument is in the following sentences, quite in tune with the ideological content of many of his improvisations, yyrau of the 14-16th centuries: “At the heart of each of us, courage and hatred boiled. We went to protect our forests, to protect our steppes. We didn’t want slavery” (The Last of the Sartaev Clan, 1987, p. 139).

An even more obvious connection with oral poetry can be traced in a large group of written monuments under the General name “shezhere”. This is a genealogical record of clans and tribes, often created by representatives of several generations. Written fixed stories of clans and tribes in the form of chronicles, historical tales, sagas, books, events, genealogies, etc., existed in Western and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and especially in the Eastern Nations. The history of the Bashkir shezhere can be divided into two stages. Until about the middle ages a shezhere was composed orally in a poetic form, in this form it is easier to memorize it and pass further from generation to generation. The authors of oral poetry -- yyrauand sasaens, were great scholars of genealogies of guiding figures, military leaders, leaders of clans and tribes, they magnified them and acted as advisers. It is possible that the oral shezhere was one of the genres of their work. Traces of the nuncurpative era has been preserved in the second writing stage of the shezhere (the 15th – the beginning of the 20th centuries). For example, two texts – shezhere of the Usergen and Kara Tabyn clans – are known in a poetic form, the first of them was composed of 7-complex size kubair. Some of the texts convey the genealogy of the epic stories, narratives, legends and stories. In the shezhere of the Karagay-Kypsak clan one of the variants of the epos “Kusiak biy” is fixed, and the shezhere of the Urmati clan begins with a description of the events associated with the mythical dragon. Excerpts from kubairs, songs, legends, baity, proverbs and sayings, in common with the improvisations of yyrau and sasaens, can be detected in medieval and later texts of shezhere (19th – the beginning of the 20th centuries). Many of them not only captured the pure history, the chain and the branch of generations of the clan, but they raised the topical problems of the time at the appropriate literary and artistic level, they drew the attention of leaders and all relatives. In fact, the shezhere reflected all those public and social problems that troubled the country's population and was reflected in the author's nuncupative poetry.


Thus, the nuncupative literature was the first conscious author's form of artistic representation of reality in the verbal art. Her birth is associated with early labor and everyday, festive ritual ceremonies. In the history of the world of nuncupative literature their own general trends have developed, due to the common social conditions. Their stability is provided by the appeal of the authors mainly to poetic speech; by simplicity of formative means, designed for ease of perception, memorization and recitation by heart; attracting the attention of the audience relevance and not outdated relevance of the content; indisputable authority of a writer. The existence of nuncupative literature does not depend on the presence of written literature, it is associated with the presence of its audience with its spiritual needs; the factors of the relationship of author's nuncupative poetry with folklore and written literature, or, conversely, the criteria for their independence are primarily found in the author's nature, objects of the image, the range of problems raised, the genre system. In certain historical conditions, professional nuncupative literature gradually merges with other types of verbal art, but also during its full functioning has a positive impact on the development of folklore and written literature. The rich traditions of the functioning of the author's oral poetry were formed from the Turkic and Caucasian peoples, who gave to the world Treasury of its unique monuments. In Bashkir literature the nuncupative form of its existence counts for centuries, with well-known names of authors and monuments in line with the best world traditions. Bashkir author's nuncupative poetry, written literature, folklore, mutually enriching each other, existed simultaneously for several centuries.


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Ianbaev, I., KHisamova, D., Murzagulova, Z., Abdullina, G., & Idelbaev*, M. (2019). Nature And Content Of Author Nuncupative Poetry In System Of International. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1267-1279). Future Academy.