Manas


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Manas

(mänäs`), town and oasis, central Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, on the Manas River, in the Dzungarian basin. It is the center of a large mechanized-farm area. Wheat, millet, sugar beets, melons, and cotton are grown. Since 1952 an extensive irrigation project, directed by the Chinese army, has reclaimed much acreage for cultivation. Oil deposits are in the area. The name sometimes appears as Ma-na-ssu.

Manas

 

a river in northeastern India and Bhutan, with its sources in China. A right-bank tributary of the Brahmaputra. Length, about 400 km. The Manas rises in the Himalayas, which it crosses in a longitudinal valley; it then enters an alluvial lowland and flows along a broad valley in an undulating riverbed. High water occurs in the spring and summer, owing to snow and glacial meltwaters and monsoonal rains. There is frequent flooding. The river is used for irrigation.


Manas

 

the epic of the Kirghiz people.

Manas contains more than 500,000 lines in verse. Over the course of centuries, the Kirghiz people preserved the epic in oral form. The first prerevolutionary written records of Manas date to 1856, when the Kazakh scholar and ethnographer Ch. Ch. Valikhanov set down the excerpt “The Funeral Banquet in Commemoration of Koketei.” In 1862 and 1869, the Russian scholar Academician V. V. Radlov also wrote down episodes from the epic. A complete written version of Manas became possible only after the October Revolution of 1917. In the archives of the Academy of Sciences of the Kirghiz SSR, there are more than 18 variants collected from different reciters of the epic, who are called manaschi.

Scholars have still not arrived at a single opinion concerning the chronological origin of the epic. Manas recounts the heroic deeds of Manas in his defense of the Kirghiz land from foreign invaders. The parts “Semetei” (Manas’ son) and “Seitek” (Semetei’s son) are links in a single epic trilogy.

TEXTS

Manas: Kïskartïlïp-birik-tirilgen variant, vols. 1-3. Frunze, 1958-60.
Kirgizskii geroicheskii epos “Manas.” Moscow, 1961.

REFERENCES

Auezov, M. “Kirgizskii geroicheskii epos ‘Manas.’” In Mysli raznykh let. Alma-Ata, 1959.
Kerimzhanova, B. ”Semetei” i “Seitek.” Frunze, 1961.
Kydyrbaeva, R. Z. K probleme traditsionnogo i indrndual’nogo v epose “Manas.” Frunze, 1967.
Mamïirov, M. Sayakbay Karalaevdin “Manas” ëposunun ideyal ïk-körkörmduk dzgdchulugu. Frunze, 1962.
Mamitbekov, Z., and Ë. Abdïldaev. “Manas” ëposunun izildïïnön këë bir maseleleri. Frunze, 1966.

R. Z. KYDYRBAEVA

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