Sunday, 26 April 2009

Dede Korkut

The Book of Dede Korkut, also spelled as Dada Gorgud, Dede Qorqut or Korkut-ata (Turkish: Dede Korkut Kitabı, Azerbaijani: Kitabi Dədə Qorqud, Russian: Китаби деде Коркуд, Turkmen: Gorkut-ata), is the most famous epic story of the Oghuz Turks (also known as Turkmens or Turcomans). The book's mythic narrative is part of the cultural heritage of Turkic states some of those are Turkiye, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, as well as to a lesser degree Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Various dates have been proposed for the epic. Geoffery Lewis dates it fairly early in the 15th century with an older substratum of these oral traditions dating to conflicts between the ancient Oghuz and their Turkish rivals in Central Asia (the Pecheneks and the Kipchaks). However, according to him, this substratum has been clothed in references to the 14th-century campaigns of the Akkoyunlu Confederation. Cemal Kafadar mentions that it was no earlier than the 15th century based on the fact that the author is buttering up both the Akkoyunlu and Ottoman ruler. Stanford Jay Shaw (1977) in his history of the Ottoman empire dates it in the 14th century. Professor Michael E. Meeker believes that the stories and songs have emerged no earlier than the beginning of the 13th century and were written down no later tha the beginning of the 15th century. Some scholars in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan place it in the eighth century. A precise determination is impossible to come by due to the nomadic lifestyle of the early Turkic people, where epics such as Dede Korkut were passing from generation to generation in an oral form. This is especially true of an epic book such as this, which is a product of a long series of narrators, any of whom could have made alterations and additions, right down to the two sixteenth-century scribes who authored the oldest extant manuscripts.The majority of scholars of ancient Turkic epics and folk tales, such as Russian-Soviet academician Vasily Bartold and British scholar Geoffrey Lewis, believe that the Dede Korkut text "exhibits a number of features characteristic of Azeri, the Turkish dialect of Azerbaijan".
The epic tales of Dede Korkut is one of the best known Turkic dastans from among a total of well over 1,000 recorded epics among the Mongolian and Turkic language families by international scholars.

from wikipedia...

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