«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

Aytys between Suyunbay and Katagan

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Aytys between Suyunbay and Katagan
Since ancient times aytys was considered one of the main forms of oral folk song poetry of Kazakhs, and the names of aytyskers (aytys performers) are written in golden letters in the history of the people.

One of the akyns who glorified the art of aytys was Suyunbay Aronuly. Qazaqstan Tarihy recalls one of the most famous aytys, where then very young Suyunbay and Kyrgyz akyn Katagan joined together.  

In 1847, an influential Kyrgyz manap Ormankhan arranged a memorial service for his mother. From akyns to these memorials was invited twenty-year-old Suyunbay, from Batyrs - Suranshi Batyrs and more than one dozen of the most famous Kazakhs of that time. Sixty Kazakhs and the same number of Kyrgyz gathered at dastarkhan. Ormankhan entrusted the management of the wake to the royal official Kara-Baitik. When the guests sat down at the table, Kara-Baitik paid attention to a young man sitting next to Boltirik sheshen. He asked Tezek tore, "Isn't Suyunbay that man over there?" On hearing his name, Suyunbay stood up and introduced himself to the crowd with the dombra in his hands:  

Assalaýmaǵaleıkúm, sálem berdіk,

Múbárák júzderіńdі jańa kórdіk.

Ataqty as jıynyn quttyqtaýǵa,

Baýyrlas qyrǵyz elі, saǵan keldіk.

Jaqsylary qosylmaıdy qaıta shańǵa,

Jetedі arystandar qashqan ańǵa.

Following Suyunbai's welcome speech, Kara-Baitik himself spoke. He also announced that the Kyrgyz akyn Katagan had been invited to the meeting. Having said that, he asked Suyunbay again took part in the lighthouse. Suyunbay, as was customary at the time, took the dombra and started playing - the challenge is accepted.

Han Jantaı, Qara Bátіk, Átekeńmen

Kelіp qaldyq amandasyp Ormanhanǵa.

Arǵy atań er Átkek, batyr Jantaı,

Basyńa kıgen bórkіń qazal altaı.

Aq qalpaq aǵaıyndy kórmek úshіn,

Bolaryn osy astyń kúttіk alty aı.

Bas qosqan ekі halyq uly jıyn,

Kelgen soń sóıleý kerek sózden qaıtpaı.

Han Orman bolmas іske burylmaıdy,

Han Jantaı aq suńqardaı qarandaıdy

Shynar aǵash Qara Baıtіk

San butaǵynda shyryldaıdy

Qamshysyn Qara Baıtіk qaptyq ustasa,

Qalaısha kúllі qyrǵyz qyrylmaıdy.

 

When Suyunbay finished the performance, another dark and skinny man - the same Katagan, Suyunbay's rival - jumped from its place near Kara-Baitik. He set up his coma and could not hide his emotions with a piercing voice, not so much began to respond to Suyunbay as to insult him.

In the first part of his performance, Katagan asked Suyunbay do not call himself akyn in his presence («Aqynmyn dep oılaısyń men turǵanda ózіńdі»), called him to go back home («Dombyrańdy qoltyqtap, qaıt aýlyńa salpaqtap, topyraq saǵan buıyrmaı. Kelіp qapsyń ordama, Qataǵan baryn baıqamaı») and was happy that they had opportunity to have battle in aytys («Syrtyńnan іzdep, júrshі em, keltіrdі Qudaı kezіńdі»). He was sure in his victory and these lines witness it: «Súıіnbaıdy jeńbesem, kіrmeımіn qaıtyp jıynǵa-aı»/ «Súıіnbaıdan jeńіlsem Qataǵan bolmaı qataıyn, kók sheshekten jataıyn».

In second part Katagan started boasting his wealth («Bes júz jylqy mataǵam») and what is important, the role of Kyrgyz people in the death of Kenesary Khan:  

«Qoınyńdaǵy jarlaryń, Atqa mіngen jastaryń. Kenesary tóreńnіń, Basyn kesіp alǵanmyn» Finished Katagan with words that foretold the imminent end to the craft of the improviser poet Suyunbay:

«Súıіnbaı aqyn, jyrlashy, menen búgіn jeńіlseń, kіrgіzermіn ákeńnіń, daıyn turǵan kórіne» and «Dalada qalar ıt mújіp, kómýge kelmes óleksіń».

As soon as Katagan finished playing he sat down in his seat and looked towards Kara-Baytik, looking for praise and approval in his eyes. However, Kara-Baitik did not give him such pleasure and only gave a quick look at Suyunbay, who was still silent. Not for a joke frightened by the passionate impulse of Katagan and strongly pale Tezek tore also looked at Suyunbay with fear. Boltirik sheshen who noticed it said to Tezek: "Hey Tore, raise your head! You think Suyunbay didn't come up with an answer?" and said to Suyunbay: "Suyunzhan, talk!" Suyunbay didn't answer right away. Eyewitnesses told us that Suyunbay's breath was failing, words could not escape from his throat, so the only thing he could do was scream. Barely noticing the problem, Boltirik slammed Suyunbay's palm on his back with a strong blow, talking: "Hey, Louder!" A voice has returned to Suyunbay.

In his response, Suyunbay Aronuly several times wittily ridiculed the wealth of Katagan («Maqtanyp júrsіń Qataǵan bes-alty bіtken tanaǵa»/ «Baılyǵyń senіń belgіlі, butyńdy otqa qaqtaısyń. Jazdaı egіn aıdaısyń, jalǵyz buzaý baılaısyń»/ «Kók shoqaıyń bultyldap, kómekeıіń jyltyldap, az qonaqqa aq surap, kóp qonaqqa et surap, qazaq jaqyn qonǵanda, kelýshі edіń mal surap»), mentioned the military campaigns of Kenesary and Nauryzbay («Kenesary, Naýryzbaı qyrǵyzdy kelіp bes shaýyp, keltіrgen aýyzyn tobaǵa. Manaptaryn kergіlep, aparyp tyqqan molaǵa»), and also laughed at Katagan himself («Qaıta týsań jaqsy edі, kúnádan pák bop anadan. Ár nársenі bіr sóılep, árkіmdі bіr dattaısyń. Aljyp aqyn bolǵansha, úıde nege jatpaısyń»).

But this aytys of Suyunbay and Katagan was famous not for the bumps in each other's faces, but for the way masterfully Suyunbay reacted to Katagan's remarks, dedicating most of his response to stories about Kazakh births. Thus, Suyunbay ridiculed the words of Katagan that the latter is rich in relatives, which was only a drop in the sea compared to the relatives of the Kazakh people. He started with the Shapyrashty family:  

Shapyrashty elіm bar,

Asqar taýdaı belіm bar,

Baıtaq jatqan elіmnen,

Shapyrashtyǵa senіm bar.

Tulpar mіnіp jaratqan,

Jaýdy jeńіp qaratqan.

Maǵan qandaı teńіń bar? …

Shapyrashty qalyń el,

Jaýdy kórse qaptaǵan.

Kóptіgіnen qoryqpaı, Sabyr qylyp saspaǵan. … Shapyrashty іshіnde, Shybyl menen Aıqynym, Mańdaıdaǵy aıbynym. Ekeı degen aqyn el, Óleń tappaı qınalsań, Kómek surap bіzge kel.  

In this direction he also spoke about tribes of the Senior Zhuz: Esqoja («Esqoja degen batyr el, uly júzdіń іshіnde, oǵan erlіk jetpegen»), Oshakty («Qalyń jatqan Oshaqty, atamyz qoıǵan osy atty. Batyrlary kóp shyǵyp, altynnan saýyt jasatty»), Ysty («Onan berі Ystym bar, Alataýdaı kúshtіm bar. Ystylar atqa qonǵanda, artyńnan senіń jel shyǵar»), Oıyk («Sol Ystynyń іshіnde, Oıyq penen Tіlіgіm. Barlyǵy túgel qozǵalsa, syrqyrar senіń jіlіgіń»), Saryýısyn («Onan berі Saryúısіn, uly júzdіń bárі Úısіn. Osylardy qaptatsam, eseńgіrep eldespeı, qaıta kóshіp ketersіń, jer túbіne jetersіń, Súıіnnіń kіm ekenіn, Qataǵan sonda bіlersіń»), Kanly («Qańlylardy qaptatsam, aýyzy basyń qan bolar»), Shanyshkyly («Qatar jatqan qaıratty el, Shanyshqylyny qaptatsam, ne bolady jaǵdaıyń, tasqa tıer mańdaıyń»), Hodja («Arasynda olardyń, Qoja menen Tobashyq, sáldelerі bіr qushaq»), Sırgelı («Odan berі Sіrgelі, ol da bіr jurt іrgelі. Jіgіtі de, qyzy da, teke jáýmіt mіngenі»), Jalaıyr («On ekі ata Jalaıyr, arshynǵa qolyn sermegen, mańyna dushpan kelmegen. Batyr degen sol elde, Naızamen shanshyp et jegen. Ajaldan buryn óledі, yńǵaıyna kónbegen»), Dýlat («Onan árі Dýlatty, batyrlary kóp shyǵyp, talaı jerdі shýlatty. Sadaq tartyp naızamen, Qylyshpen kesіp týrapty»), Sıkym («Sıqymymdy qozǵasam, basyńa salar qıqýyn»), Janys («Janysymdy qozǵasam, aıaǵyńdy serіppeı, tarylar senіń tynysyń»), Botpaı («Botpaıymdy qozǵasam, ketersіń janyp ottaıyn»), Shymyr («Shymyrymdy qozǵasam, keýdeńnen shyǵar shybynyń»), Alban («Albanymdy qozǵasam, saǵan túser salmaǵym»), Sýan («Onan árі Sýanym, azda bolsa jýanym. Tyrp etkіzbeı qyrǵyzdy, shógіp jatqan munarym»).

The same he told separately about each tribe of Middle and Junior juzes, hinting at the small number of Kyrgyz people and the number of Kazakh people, which was one of the main claims of Katagan to Suyunbay. Towards the end of the fight, few people had any doubts about the final winner, and Syunbay himself emphasized his superiority in the following lines:   

Áı, Qataǵan, Qataǵan, kúnіń qandaı bolady qazaqty jınap alǵanda? Manaptary qyrǵyzdyń, Qataǵandy aqyn dep alyp keldіń uıalmaı, Qataǵan aqyn sóılese, kúlesіń ezý jııa almaı. Endі mіne otyrsyń, orynyńnan tura almaı. Myna otyrǵan Qataǵan qaıta-qaıta maqtanyp, Jantaıdyń shenіn qoımaıdy. Ańǵa shyqqan tazyǵa, oǵanda qarǵy baılaıdy. Emennen kúshtі aǵashpyn maıyssa da synbaıtyn. Aldaspanǵa jolyqtyń, basyńdy kespeı tynbaıtyn. Top bastaǵan bulbulmyn, sóz bastaǵan júırіkpіn, Sýdan shyqqan súırіkpіn, báıgeden ozǵan dúldіlmіn Shyǵarma Qataǵan únіńdі, esіńe saqta búgіngі, Qanatyń synǵan kúnіńdі. Jardaǵy ósken japalaq, buralqy ıtteı abalap, Keltіrme menіń jynymdy. Qyrǵyz, Qazaq qosylyp, endі topqa kіrgіzbe, Aqyn dep maqtap munyńdy!

However, it's known that Suyunbay himself wasn't going to end up like this, but he had to. The fact is that the audience was so amazed by the performance of akyn Suyunbay that they realized that every next word of akyn will be a nail in the lid of the coffin of akyn Katagan. Manap Ormanhan asked the akyn to stop. In particular, the manap said "Suyunbay, son, stop it. You win, Katagan loses." Zhantay, who was also present on this aytys, did not hide his resentment: "When were Kyrgyz more numerous than Kazakhs? But the Kazakhs are at war with each other. You couldn't say that, Katagan!"

When the competition was over and Suyunbay's victory became obvious to everyone, Kara-Baitik asked the akyn what he would like to receive as a reward. Suyunbay said that the sufficient reward for him would be a golden saddle, an argymak, a small yurt with a silver shore and a door jamb made of precious stones, a sword with golden sheath, the seventeen-year-old daughter of the master to marry, fifteen atans (camels) to carry all this goodness, several horses to bring to his village and gold to put in his chest:  

Aıtysta jeńgen Súıіnbaı kem berseń alar ma?!  

When they heard it, both Kyrgyz and Kazakhs laughed. But Kara-Baitik said "Suyunbay, my son, for the victory over Katagan in Aytys between two peoples we give you a beautiful daughter of the master Meyiz ("Ystyqkóldіń ak kóbіgіnen zharalgan askan sulý"), a large white yurt, a golden cradle, a white golden golden eagle, two dogs-tazy with gold collars and a herd of horses. Be happy, sweetie!" With these words, the masters went together with the twenty-year-old Suyunbay Aronuly back to his village.

 


Author: Ayan Aden