Manaschi Zhusup Mamai Tells about Himself

Key words
folklore, oral folk creativity, Manas epic, manaschi, Manas studies, Zhusup Mamai
Cholpon T. Subakozhoeva
About the Author
E-mail: Tel.: +996 (312) 30-09-95
51a, Razzakov str., Bishkek, 720000, Kyrgyz Republic
PhD in History, Institute of Manas Studies, the I. Arabaev Kyrgyz State University
Date of publication

This publication comprises a short introduction plus translation of an article entitled “How I Began to Narrate ‘Manas’” by the leading modern performer of this Kyrgyz heroic epic, Zhusup Mamai. The introduction notes the uniqueness of the epic, its significance for world folklore, as well as the important role of storytellers (“manaschi”) in its preservation. The author highlights Zhusup Mamai’s exceptional personality and his great contribution to the “Manas” tradition, as he left behind our most complete version of the epic. The publication of this autobiographical article by the famous storyteller fills a gap in the field of “Manas” studies and provides interesting material for thinking about the techniques of memorization and oral performance of the epic. 


Lord A. B. (1994) Skazitel’ [The Storyteller]. Moscow: Vost. literatura. In Russian.

Vinogradov V. S. (1980) Epos “Manas”, ego stil’ i napev [The Manas Epic, its Style and Melody]. In: Muzyka narodov Azii i Afriki [Music of the Peoples of Asia and Africa]. Moscow: Sov. kompozitor. Pp. 158–212. In Russian.

Duishebek Sydyk uulu (2016) Zhusup Mamai varianty boyuncha Manas eposundagy kirgiz emchiliginen uchkai bayan [Narration about Folk Medicine in Zhusup Mamai’s Version of the Manas Epic]. In: Zhusup Mamai zhana kirgiz elinin manaschi salty [Zhusup Mamai and the Manaschi Customs of the Kyrgyz People]. Bishkek: MaxPrint basmasy. Pp. 239–244. In Kyrgyz.

For citation

Subakozhoeva C. T. Manaschi Zhusup Mamai Tells about Himself. Traditio- nal Culture. 2020. Vol. 21. No. 1. Pp. 167–173. In Russian.