Home » Spirited performance: the Manas epic and society in Kyrgyzstan by Nienke van der Heide
Spirited performance: the Manas epic and society in Kyrgyzstan Nienke van der Heide

Spirited performance: the Manas epic and society in Kyrgyzstan

Nienke van der Heide

Published 2008
ISBN : 9789051708332
Paperback
334 pages
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 About the Book 

In the heart of Asia, straddling the western Tien Shan mountain range, lies the former Soviet republic Kyrgyzstan. The country prides itself in an age old oral epic tradition that recounts the mighty deeds of the hero Manas.When explorers firstMoreIn the heart of Asia, straddling the western Tien Shan mountain range, lies the former Soviet republic Kyrgyzstan. The country prides itself in an age old oral epic tradition that recounts the mighty deeds of the hero Manas.When explorers first encountered Manas performers in the late nineteenth century, they hailed their art as a true representation of the heroic age, and compared it to masterpieces such as the Kalevala and the Iliad. Today there are still many excellent performers who can keep their audiences spellbound. They are believed to draw their inspiration from the spirit of Manas himself.This book portrays the meaning of this huge work of art in Kyrzyg society. Based on extended periods of anthropological fieldwork between 1996 and 2000, it explores the calling of its performers, describes the transformations of the oral tradition in printed media and other forms of art, and examines its use as a key symbol for identity politics.