If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

Interest in studying Kazakhstan

Interest in studying Kazakhstan - e-history.kz
Researchers of the XIX-XX c. collected and introduced into the scientific circulation a huge amount of material on the history and economy of Kazakhstan, which became a source base for the future

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the scientific study of Kazakhstan was noticeably more active. Under the powerful influence of world civilization, deep interest in the eastern lands acquired by Russia has awakened. Its research involved representatives of the advanced Russian intelligentsia, exiles, as well as educated representatives of the Kazakh society. Their materials were left also by foreigners: Englishmen, Germans and Frenchmen.

Russian scientists and officers have great merit in studying the history, geography, ethnography and culture of Kazakhstan. They were people of different professions: poets and writers, historians and geographers, military and medical personnel. In part, they fulfilled the function of providing scientific support for the colonization of the region.

Through their researches, a significant contribution to the studied areas was made by P. Semenov-Tien-Shansky, N. A. Severtsov, I.V. Mushketov, V.V. Radlov and others.

The needs of capitalist Russia dictated the need for a deeper scientific study of the national suburbs. In the second half of the XIX century on the territory of Kazakhstan scientific institutions and branches of various scientific societies of Russia were established.

Kazakhstan became an object of study of the branches of the Russian Geographical Society. Cultural and educational institutions and statistical committees worked there: local history museums were opened, ancient monuments, oral folk art were studied; Russian-Kazakh schools and libraries were opened. Against the backdrop of a general upsurge and interest in knowledge, a cohort of Kazakh enlighteners headed by Chokan Valikhanov, Abai Qunanbayuli, and Ybyrai Altynsarin was formed.

The scientific institutions of the center of the country were engaged in the study of Kazakhstan. Kazakh problems occupy a prominent place, especially in the late XIX century in the activity of the Society of Lovers of Natural Science, Anthropology and Ethnography at the Moscow University. A great contribution to the study of culture, way of life and the origin of the Kazakhs was made by Russian orientalists who united in the middle of the 19th century to the Eastern Branch of the Russian Archaeological Society. Until now, many works of Russian orientalists on the history of Kazakhstan have not lost their significance.

Most researchers of Kazakhstan were concentrated in Orenburg, Omsk, Tashkent - administrative centers of the Orenburg region, Western Siberia and the Turkestan region.

In 1830, the pages of the journal “Otechestvennye Zapiski” published the work of a Russian officer, S.B. Bronevsky's “Notes on the Kirghiz-Kaisaks of the Middle Horde”, in which detailed information was provided from the history, life and way of life of the Kazakhs of Northeastern Kazakhstan.

The well-known historian A.I. Levshin (1799-1879) prepared and published the work "Description of Kirghiz-Cossack, or Kirghiz-Kaisaks hordes and steppes", consisting of three parts. For the preparation of unique and fundamental work, he was rightly called "Herodotus of Kazakh history". Here the author captures detailed information about the history, ethnography and geography of the region.

On the basis of a wide range of sources, the veterinarian of the Turgai region A.I. Dobrosmyslov prepared a three-volume capital work "Turgai region. Historical essay." Here the history of the Kazakh Khanate and political events in the Younger Zhuz are described in detail. The author describes in detail the course and implementation of administrative reforms of the 60s of the XIX century.

Military Governor of the Turgai Region L.F. Balluzek prepared a collection of customary laws of the Kazakhs "Folk customs, which had, and in part are now available in the Small Kyrgyz Horde." While serving in Kazakhstan, Balluzek instructed officials, Kazakh biys and sultans to collect materials on the customary law of the Kazakhs.

In the middle of the XIX century M.M. Krasovsky wrote a three-volume work, "The Region of Siberian Kirghiz", which gives detailed historical, statistical, geographical and ethnographic information from the life of Kazakhs of North-Eastern Kazakhstan.

By the middle of the XIX century, Kazakhstan became a place of political exile. Many participants of the Decembrist uprising and a circle of Petrashevists, members of a number of Polish uprisings, were exiled here.

For nine years served his exile the Russian poet A.N. Pleshcheev (1850-1859). While in Ak-Mosque, he, along with the Kazakhs, participated in campaigns against the Kokand people. With great respect and love, the poet speaks about the Kazakhs: "It was a pleasure to look at them. A glorious people, you have nothing to say, and you will involuntarily love them". Through his whole life he carried sincere love and respect to the Kazakh people.

In exile there was also the Polish revolutionary democrat Adolf Yanushkevich. In the 40s of the XIX century he took an active part in the expedition to Central Kazakhstan. During the trip, he kept a diary, which was subsequently published in Polish. In his diaries he described the history, way of life, customs and ceremonies of the inhabitants of the Steppe. In one of his letters, he spoke very warmly of the Kazakh people: "A people who is gifted by the Creator of such abilities can not remain alien to civilization .... The time will come when the nomad who roams today will take an honorable place among the peoples who look down on him".

In the XIX - early XX centuries, German, English and French scientists left their research work on Kazakhstan. South-East Kazakhstan was studied in detail by the English traveler and artist T. Atkinson (1799-1861). He was in the nomad camps of the Kazakhs of Semirechye. He managed to gather valuable information from the life of the local population. As an artist, he also made numerous sketches of everyday life scenes of nomads.

German geographer, ethnographer and historian F. von Hel-lvald (1842-1892) prepared the fundamental work "Central Asia. Landscapes and Peoples." He described the everyday life of the Kazakhs, their mutual relations with neighboring peoples.

In the second half of the XIX century there is a whole galaxy of educated Kazakhs, who are actively studying the history and ethnography of their native land.

The research of his son was actively continued by Ch. Valikhanov's father Chingis Valikhanov (1811-1895). He collected historical and ethnographic materials for the Siberian administration. In 1867, for the Moscow exhibition, he sent a whole convoy of exhibits from the everyday life of nomads.

Interesting ethnographic studies left a well-known Kazakh researcher Musa Shormanov (1819-1884). He graduated from the Omsk Cadet Corps. After graduation, he served as a parish governor, then - the senior sultan of the Bayanaul outer district, having risen to the rank of colonel of the Russian army. He wrote such articles as "On cattle breeding among the Kirghiz of Western Siberia", "Kyrgyz folk customs", "Notes on the Kirghiz of Pavlodar County".

Prominent public and state figures of Kazakhstan - A. Bukeikhanov, A. Baytursinuli, M. Dulatov, A. Yermekov, M. Zhumabayev, K. Kemengerov, A. Seitov and others engaged in active study of the history and ethnography of the Kazakhs. The connection to the study of the native land, the study of the history and culture of their people helped them better understand its plight. In the future it was they who began to fight for the improvement of the situation of their people.


Translated by Raushan MAKHMETZHANOVA