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The regional interactive encyclopedic portal «Bashkortostan»
Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Bashkortostan State autonomous institution of science of the Republic of Bashkortostan Bashkir encyclopedia


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BASHKIR  FOLKLORE  includes  many genres:  epics,  fairytales,  riddles,  proverbs, idioms etc. Ethnic songs is an integral part of B.f. The majority of them are performed in uzun-kuy style. Bashkir ethnic songs are accompanied by kuray, squeezebox and other ethnic musical instruments. Folklore songs include bayts, takmaks (see Chastushka), Lamentations, munazhats, etc. (see Ethnic music). Main spiritual ideas of Bashkir people are reflected in rich calendar­ritual, family­ household culture (see Raven’s porridge, Cuckoo’s tea, Children folklore, Earth-Water, Ethnic games, Sabantuy etc. Oral Bashkir ethnic art is shown by art of sesens and storytellers. The Center of ethnic art hold different holidays, contests and festivals to make B.f. more popular. Folklore collectives, historical and cultural centers, ethnic and cultural centers, etc. participate in them.

There are certain mentions and information about Bashkir folklore in the diary notes of Ibn Fadlan, Plano Karpini, V.Rubruk, etc. The most complete information about spiritual Bashkir life and their folklore appeared in 19th c. in the papers of M.M. Biksurin, I.I. Georgi, M.I. Ivanov, I.I. Lepyekhin, P.S. Pallas, P.I. Rychkov, V.N. Tatishchev, etc. Pieces of oral ethnic art are published translated into Russian and interpreted by T.S. Belyayev, V.I. Dal, P.M. Kudryashyev, etc. Folklore­ethnographic papers of A.G. Bassonov, R.G. Ignatyev, M.V. Los­ siyevskiy, F.D. Nefyedov, I.K. Pokrovkiy, S.G. Rybakov have been published. Bashkir intellec­ tuals, such as M.A. Kuvatov, M.I. Umetbayev, B.G. Yuluyev, M. Baishev, etc. collected folklore. In the beginning of the 20th c. the papers of M.A. Burangulov, D.K. Zelenin, M. Sultanov, F.K. Tuykina, Z. Ummati and other scientists have been published. Studying Bashkiria society was founded in 1922. S.G. Mryasov, K.G. Gabitov, G.F. Vildanov, S. Salimov and others are its members. “New way”, “Sesen” (“Agidel”), “Knowledge” magazines, “Bashkir aymak” edition publish articles about folklore, samples of ethnic art. The collections of folklore materials, such as “Words of ancestors” (1924). “Bashkir riddles” (1927). “Proverbs and riddles from ethnic literature” (1930) have been pub­ lished. The attitude towards folklore was controversial in the 1920’s and early 1930’s. People were discussing the most relevant issues of those days (publications of Burangulov, S.Kulibay, M.Marat, I. Nasyri etc.) The collec­ tion of folklore materials is regularly organized. Folklore is taught at universities and colleges after Bashkir RI of national culture was founded (see Institute of history, language and literature). G. Amantay published an instruction manual for folklore collectors called “Short guide to collecting folklore materials”. The folklore sector was founded in the institute in 1938. Activities of G. Amiri, Barangulov, G. Salyam, M. Khay, K.K. Khammatov, etc. are connected with it. Epics, such as Akbuzat, Idukay and Muradym, Yulay and Salauatare published in the periodical press; “Bashkir proverbs” collection (1936), “Bashkir soviet ethnic songs”, “Bashkir ethnic  fairytales” (both – 1939), “Bashkir ethnic fairytales” (1941) have been published. During the Great Patriotic War, the authorities promoted patriotism, appealed to defend the Motherland; collections of Bashkir folklore samples, such as “Epic about batyrs” (1943), “Bashkir riders in the Patriotic was of 1812” (1944), “Salavat­batyr” (1945), etc. were published. In 1951 the Bashkir branch of AS USSR was founded, and it was the new stage for development of collecting and publishing oral ethnic art and science research. One of the significant achievements of the science­textual work is the compilation and publication of Bashkort khalyk izhady, Bashkir ethnic artcollections. Bashkir state university founded a folklore collection based on the Bashkir literature and folklore chair (see Folklore archives). Research about folklore collecting made by students and professors of IHLL helped to make studies of relevant Bashkir folklore problems more profound and led to preparing new fundamental research. The monograph by Kirey Mergen called “Epic monuments of Bashkir people” (1961) was published, folklore was studied from a different perspective by A.I. Kharisov, who published his book called “Literary heritage of Bashkir people (18–19 c.)” (1965).

The volume called “Bashkir ethnic epic” was included into the “Epics of the USSR people” (1977) academic series and became the first experience of publishing folklore testaments translated into Russian. Folklorists of A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of USSR AS A.S. Mirbadaleva and N.B. Kidaysh­Pokrovskaya provided their scientific and practical help to the project. In the late 1990’s B.f. became a part of international heritage, it was translated and published into English, Turkish, Hungarian and other languages (see Translation of folklore texts).

F.A. Nadrshina managed publication of the following works translated into Russian, English: Bashkir ethnic songs, song-lore, Bashkir ethnic lore and legends; “Ural batyr. Bashkort khalyl kobayiry=Ural batyr. Bashkort Folk Epic” (2003, 2005) “Salauat bashkort folklorynda: 2 tomda. 2­se t.: Epos, yir hem beyetter=Salawat in Bash­ kir folklore, in Volume Two: Epic, Songs and Baejets” (2008); “Bashkort khalyk kobayir­irtek­ tere=Bashkir folk epic stories” (2010); “Sal Ural khazinalary=The Treasures of the Ancient Urals” (2019), etc. In the late 20th c. – early 21st c. following monographs dedicated to epic (Galin, Sagitov), fairytales (A.M. Suleymanov, N.T. Zaripov, G.R. Khusainova), non­fairytale prose and aphoristic genres (B.G. Akhmetshin, Nadrshina, Suleymanov), soviet folklore (B.S. Baimov, Zari­ pov, Mambetov, Sagitov, Suleymanov), bayts and munazhats (G.S. Galina, Saitov, Shunkarov), songs (Galin), ceremonial poetry (R.A. Sultangareyeva), “Bashkir ethnic art” chrestomathy (2005; compiled by Khusainova), etc. were published; the following bibliographical indexes were compiled: “Bibliographical index of Bash­ kir oral poetic art with annotation” (1967; compiled by Galin, Nadrshina), “Bashkir folklo­ ristics (1967–1985)” (1993; Galin). Galin also published a dictionary of Bashkir folklore called “Source of ethnic wisdom” (1993, 2nd edition in 1999; translated and published in Russian – 2007). The findings are published in the series of articles such as “Folkloristics in Soviet Bashkiria” (1974), “Bashkir folkloristic issues” (1978), “Bashkir folklore: re­search of recent years” (1986) and in the serial records, such as Bashkir folklore, Folklore of peoples of Russia, etc. IHLL has continued folklore expeditions since 2003. The collected materials are in Scientific archive of URC RAS, they have been being published since 2006 in separate books (9 col­ lections by 2010). Bashkir ethnic epics, such as “Akbuzat”, Akkhak-kola, Ural-batyr, etc., samples of ceremonial poetry, fairytales, kulyamases, legends and other genres are published in the Turkish language (“Anthology of Turkic literature. Bashkir literature”. V.29, Ankara, 2004), etc.

G.R. Khusainova

Publication date: 06.04.2021
Last updated: 06.04.2021