Khamza Khakimzade Niiazi

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Khamza Khakimzade Niiazi


Born Feb. 22 (Mar. 6), 1889, in the city of Kokand; died Mar. 28, 1929, in the kishlak (hamlet) of Shakhimardan, now the kishlak of Khamzaabad, Fergana Oblast. Soviet Uzbek poet, playwright, and social figure. People’s Poet of the Uzbek SSR (1926). Member of the CPSU from 1920.

The son of a physician, Khamza studied first at a maktab (Muslim primary school) and then at a madrasa. He taught in a tuition-free school that he had organized for the poor. He began writing poetry in 1899; his initial works were influenced by the Uzbek Enlightenment figures Mukimi and Furkat.

Khamza’s most important prerevolutionary poetic work, Divan (1905–14), was written in Uzbek and Tadzhik; it was not published until after his death. In some ghazals of the work traditional images of unrequited love are combined with a denunciation of social inequality or a defense of science and education. Such social themes also occur in Khamza’s earliest published works: the poem “Ramadan” (1914), the novella New Happiness (1915), and the play A Poisoned Life (1916).

Between 1916 and 1919, Khamza published seven books of poetry. These volumes reflect his evolution from a revolutionary democratic Enlightenment point of view to an advocacy of revolutionary struggle. The poems collected in The Fragrant Rose (1919) constitute the earliest examples of proletarian poetry in the Uzbek language.

After the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917, Khamza taught school in Kokand and Fergana. He organized an itinerant theatrical troupe that performed for Red Army units on the Turkestan Front. He also served in the political department of the Turkestan Front and on the staff of the oblast political education committee.

In 1918, Khamza wrote the first work of Soviet Uzbek drama, Landowner and Farmhand. His plays The Escapades of Maisara (1926) and The Secrets of the Yashmak (1927), which depict the hard lot of Uzbek women before the revolution, enjoyed great popularity.

Khamza composed dozens of songs. He also collected folksongs from various parts of Uzbekistan and performed them to the accompaniment of national instruments. Not all of Khamza’s music has survived, but some of his melodies are preserved in the collection Songs of Fergana, Bukhara, and Khiva (1931). Some of the songs in the collection were transcribed from the renditions of prominent Uzbek singers.

Khamza’s public activities were diverse. He fought for the emancipation of women and exposed the misdeeds of the nationalists and the reactionary clergy. He was killed by an angry mob of religious fanatics.

Khamza founded the socialist realist school of literature in the Uzbek language. He enriched the classical poetic system of the aruz with forms taken from the barmok system of folk verse. Khamza made important contributions to the development of the socialist culture of Uzbekistan not only as a poet and playwright but also as a theatrical figure, composer, and musician. The Uzbek State Academic Drama Theater now bears Khamza’s name.


Äsärlär, vols. 1–2. Tashkent, 1969–71.
In Russian translation:
Soch., vols. 1–2. Tashkent, 1960.
Izbr. proizvedeniia. Leningrad, 1970.


Sultanov, Iu. S. Khamza: Ocherk zhizni i tvorchestva, 2nd ed. Tashkent, 1973.
Bazarov, U. B. Ideinye osnovy tvorchestva Khamzy Khakim-zade Niiazi. Tashkent, 1960.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.