One day his father saw a dream,
In his dream he saw his son
Standing on the slippery cliff.
“I saw this dream,” he said,
And asked from his kinsmen.
His kinsmen ridiculed him,
Saying he was an old fool.
One man said these words:
“This dream of yours, Karïpbay
Conveys your son is alive,” he said.
After his kinsmen said he was alive,
How can Karïpbay stay home?
He wanted to go after him,
“No matter where my only son will be
I’ll search for him and find him at the end,” he said.
Karïpbay set out on horseback,
He asked everyone on the way,
In Abletim and Çatkal,
Many people had seen him.
Looking for his son, Karïpbay
Slept in wilderness many times.
He kept asking everyone and
Kept looking everywhere and
Finally he found his son
On the Abletim cliff.
The reason he found him was
He was standing on the cliff side,
Karïpbay would not have seen him,
Kojojash had seen him first
When he was coming towards Abletim.
Knowing that he was indeed his father Karïp,
He had shouted first.
Karïpbay had heard a sound
“Karïpbay!” an echoed voice
Coming from the black rock.
Karïpbay stopped and looked back,
Thinking his only son
Had been found in that place.
His voice sounded like the hunter’s,
His old and weak eyes
Could not see the cliff clearly.
“Where are you, my only foal!?
I hear your voice, but can’t see you,
I’ve suffered so much from your tragedy.
Who are you, shouting in the cliff?
I’m, indeed, Karïpbay standing below.”
The hunter answered from the cliff:
“You’re, indeed, my father,” he said.
Not able to make a sense from his voice,
Karïpbay came closer to
The bottom of the cliff.
He became happy hearing
His word that said he called him father.
Karïpbay still could not understand
Who was speaking and where he was.
He came closer to the bottom
And looked up with hopeful eyes [Jaldirap, tiktep shikaalap].
At around the mid-section
Of the gleaming cliff,
Karïp now saw his only son.
Seeing his son’s silhouette clearly,
Karïpbay now recognized
His son he’d been looking for.
“It is indeed my fault that I lost you,
I had killed many [goats in the past],
You were a white falcon on my arm.
You should have lived among your people,
Instead of chasing Eçki stubbornly.
Not able to find you, Karïpbay
Had wandered around in sorrow.
My son, like an ular you’ve remained
On the side of the black rock [cliff].
“Oh, my dear son,” he said,
“If even the birds can’t reach up there,
How can I go up there?” he said.
“I thought that I had found you,
But you’re high up on the cliff.
My mind remains restless,” he said.
Kojojash, the hunter said these words:
“Don’t cry father," he said.
"Don’t cry because I’m on the cliff,
Father, don’t make your soul suffer.
It’s useless what you’re doing,
Even if you scream and cry
Your son can’t come down to you.
Attempting to chase and catch
Eçki with whom I sworn on oath,
I got stranded on the cliff.
I chased after her tirelessly,
As she was climbing up the cliff
I grabbed Eçki by the tail.
I went up for quite a distance
Clinging onto her tail.
Her tail slipped out of my hand,
And I don’t know where she went.
Dear father, instead [of standing here]
You should return to your people
And gather all of them.
My wife, Zulayka is indeed,
A person with intelligence.
Gather all the carpenters and
Have them built a ladder from ïrgay.
Please find the way to get me down
From the cliff safely.
I don’t want to die tragically
Hanging on the cliff.
Don’t cry a lot, dear father,
Don’t make your soul suffer.”
Karïpbay got up and said “All right.
My foal, you are right,” he said.
Sad and weak Karïpbay
Became energetic again.
Seeing his shadow he became happy
And set out to his people.
It had taken him many days coming
But now it took him few days back.
“I saw my only son," he said,
"I was very happy to see him
And talk to him face to face," he said,
"The dream I saw the other day
Came true exactly as I had seen," he said.
"Dismantle your yurts immediately," he said,
Load them [on horseback] by early morning
And move you all, kinsmen,” he said.
Listening to Karïpbay’s words,
Women dismantled their yurts
And all the people moved away.
No one remained in the jurt[1],
Not a single animal was left,
The hunter’s encampment moved away,
His beloved wife, Zulayka,
Stayed calm and hopeful.
They stayed overnight many times,
They suffered many days on the way,
They passed through high mountains,
Crossed through fast flowing rivers,
They helped each other and
Finally arrived in Çatkal.
When farmers were harvesting their crop
By piling the crop,
Which they had watered and ripened,
The Kïtay moved in now.
Like an object stuck onto a cliff,
They saw Kojoiash now
Stuck high up in the cliff.
His wife Zulayka,
Came up to the black cliff
Running in despair.
Whether or not he heard them,
His relatives and kinsmen
All exclaimed greeting him,
The Kïtay came and pitched their yurts
Occupying the entire Tegerek-Saz.
Only the head of the brave hunter
Is to be seen like a crow [black spot].
His beloved wife Zulayka,
Who had met him and told her sorrow
And his friend, who knows his value, said:
“Are you safe and sound, hunter?
I see, you’ve found a settlement
In a place called Abletim
Where no one can go up to you," she said.
"How can a human being reach up to you,
Other than transmitting the words to you
Through the strong wind and breeze?” she said.
“Oh, my dear hunter,
Whom I married when I was young,
I saw you today after a long search.
What kind of solution do they have
Your few Kïtay people?
I have no wings to fly, my hunter
I’m not strong enough to smash
Your cliff on which you are stranded.
I saw you alive today,
Please listen to my words, hunter.
You’re on the rock where no ulars can go,
You caused your own suffering,
At an early age you got involved
With the gun which has no use,
Now misfortune fell onto your head.
It is, indeed, a punishment,
My heart burned like an ember,
Seeing you in that situation.
Your soul has suffered and been squeezed,
It has been standing on the cliff.
Is there any way,
To get you down from the cliff?”
Zulayka went on to lament,
"You’ve got no brave son,
Who would come looking for you.
You’ve got no older brother of your own[2]
Who would not sleep but take care of you.
There is no kinsman to be concerned
About your whereabouts.
Oh, my dear, only one,
You’ve no strong younger brother close to you.
If he loses you, hunter,
Your father will have no future.
I, your faithful wife Zulayka,
Burn like an ember every day.
Wearing a black scarf instead of white,
Scratching my moon-like face,
Leaving my people behind I wandered off
To find you and traveled a long way.
Leaving scars on my wide face,
Not able to find you after many days,
I’d wandered in wilderness in despair.
Since I’ve become your bride,
We’ve never enjoyed our life
Walking together without worries.
By getting you fooled by the sly Eçki,
We limped from your sorrow.
Not only we limped, our feet got slashed,
We’ve suffered your sorrow so much.
Oh, my only love, [kurmaning],
On the side of the shiny cliff
Oh, hunter, you stand clinging to your life.
There’re lots of pine trees, archas, and badals,
What will your kinsmen do?”
Then the hunter said these words:
“Near [the pasture] Tegerek-Saz,
On the cliff with a waterfall,
Zulayka, don’t cry, it’s no good.
Build a bridge on the ground,
If you’re people who care about me,
Each of you take an animal
And go in different directions.
Cut down fir trees and archas
Which are grown tall and straight.
Zulayka, don’t wail in vein,
Instead, do something about it.
Attach the poles to one another,
Tie them tightly with a rope,
Check your ladder whether it’s long enough
By lifting it from the head side
Extend it towards the cliff.”
By pitching their yurts in circle
They settled in Tegerek-Saz,
And listened to the words of
Kojojash stranded in the cliff.
Filling with rocks and sand,
They built a dirt bridge,
Donning their axes and çots,
Men and women all together,
Without any pause,
Began cutting down fir trees.
They had their cattle pull them,
Instead of nailing them together
They attached the poles with one another
By tying tightly with a rope.
Now they had to check it
And they tried their best.
They carried it to the cliff
And extended it towards the hunter.
It wouldn’t reach when they did so,
It wouldn’t stand straight when tied with a rope.
Two of the pine tree poles
Fell back on the ground.
It’s not a place to be reached by any ladder,
It was just a quick advice of his.
The ladder wasn’t helpful at all,
They collected all the ropes from people,
Losing their hope from the ladder,
They tried to make another attempt.
They climbed up to the cliff top
In order too throw the rope down.
No matter how thick the rope was,
No matter how many ropes they collected,
Their rope was still short when thrown,
They had no more attempts,
They soon lost all hope.
Not knowing what to do,
The Kïtay got together again,
Their world was getting gloomy.
The Kïtay people said these words:
“The lone hunter won’t die alone
He’ll take us with him,” they said.
“Instead of perishing with the hunter,
And suffering from this endeavor,
Why don’t we tell the hunter,
Who got stranded in the cliff,
And who has faced a misfortune
In his attempt to catch Eçki,
To throw himself from the cliff,” they said.
The Kïtay people got tired at the end
With no hope other than that.
Realizing that he can’t get down,
Losing the lights of his eyes,
His mind and wisdom,
After their attempts had failed,
His poor father, Karïpbay,
Realizing he was losing his son
Said his words of wisdom:
“Your few people had no solution,
Why do you have to die alone,
Not able to get down the cliff?
At the time when I got old,
You couldn’t bury me with your own hands,
Mourning and crying out loud, 'Oh, my father!'
Oh my dear hunter [son],
In the mist in which sheep can’t be seen,
I had hunted rabbits for you.
You’ll die on the cliff and
I’ll die suffering your loss.
I haven’t got the chance to see you fully [satisfied]
And kiss you hugging you in my arms.
Without you, my only [crow-like] one,
I’ve suffered the pain of the world.
You’re my support [öbök] when I go up,
And my support [jölök] when I go down.
You’re my hope which gives me strength,
When I die when my days end,
You would have been my heir [gift],
Who would cry out loud “Oh, my dear father!”
We have no choice and solution,
Don’t you want to get down the cliff?
My only born child, my foal,
You’re on the cliff, we’re on the ground,
I’ve suffered so much for my foal.
[God] has indeed placed a lasso of death
Around your neck, my son.
Since your early childhood,
You’ve become enemy to deer, my son,
Leaving me in mere misery.
How can I come to you?
I want to circle around your eyes[3]
My son, you remained in the high cliff
Where winged birds cannot reach!
You carried a barang gun with six carvings,
And hid yourself behind a rock as big an ayak,[4]
You carried a blue barang gun,
And hid yourself behind a rock as small as könök.[5]
You hunted leopards, tigers, and lions,
You killed in large numbers
Goats, male and female goats
At the time when I got old,
I still remember, my son,
All your service that you did.
Leaving your people in mourning,
How can you remain, my foal,
On the side of the black cliff?!
Making your wings like a bird,
Are you trying, Kojojash,
To leave for the dark place [to the next world]?
Say your testament if you have
To the poor orphan Sartkoshçu,
Whom I raised since he was little.
I get weak when I think of you,
My light, lighting up the two homes [yurts].
When your old father passes away,
Who will be the inheritor of
The cattle left without the owner?
To be together all the time,
To play when she is bored,
Who will be the husband, my son,
Of your wife like Zulayka?
You stubbornly chased Eçki
Unable to get down the cliff,
Your çarïks remained on your feet.
I’m an old and destitute man,
To whom will I tell my sorrow?
If good words are left behind, my son,
Those who heard and saw this,
Will remember and talk about
My son’s had such a fate.”
The old man, Karïpbay,
Screamed saying, “My foal!”
He was heard by the many.
Walking towards the red cliff on the sunny side
He fell down on the ground.
The old man passed out,
The people gathered around him.
His mother had died earlier,
No matter what, he is his father,
Standing on the cliff side,
Pitying his miserable and poor father,
Kojojash explaimed these words:
“Don’t wail saying that your son
Has no luck on his forehead.
I’ll tell to your Kïtay kinsmen
That they should take care of you.
Unable to come down to you,
I’m standing on the edge of the rock.
My extraordinary one, Zulayka,
You’re indeed a wise woman,
Don’t marry another man.
I rode a black stallion [kara boz] without wrapping [the rein onto the saddle pummel)
I befriended myself with the kayberen.
My beloved Zulayka,
You became a widow, farewell!
Unable to do anything,
I stand stranded in the cliff.
I’m holding the Ak barang,
My gun which I’ve carried with me.
Even if I cry, it doesn’t let me go down,
I can’t do anything to the cliff.
In my youth I grew up in wilds,
Not even the ten full days,
I lived among you, my kinsmen!
I encountered Eçki, the misfortune.
Separated from your partner,
My beloved wife, Zulayka,
Don’t burry yourself in sorrow.
Don’t let your old father[-in-law] grieve,
Please wait patiently for your son
With whom you’re six-months pregnant.”
Sartkoshçu, who grew up with him,
Thought to himself for a while,
And uttered these words to him:
“I want to say something to you,
My sibling, older brother, the hunter.
If I don’t speak while he is alive,
After the hunter passes away,
I don’t want to wander alone
In wilds where no people live.”
Sartkoshçu thus spoke these words,
Which he had kept inside.
The orphan tells now in lament:
“Oh, my dear who shared the same nest with me,
We were brothers, Kojojash.
The rocky cliff where you stand
Has indeed held you tight.
I had heard from the people before. . . .
We were unable to save you from death.
You spoke a lot to your kinsmen,
If I’m indeed your brother,
Why did you forget about me?
I’m feeling hurt and upset,
For not remembering me at all.
Hunter, you stand on the cliff and
Didn’t see me crying before you,
Am I not your brother, but a stranger?
You stand clinging onto the cliff,
Until this very time, you never said
A word about your younger brother,
Are my parents different from yours?
Please tell me, hunter, who are my parents,
I can’t fit myself in another tribe.
If I’m indeed your brother from the same womb,
Would it not be right for me
To wed my sister-in-law next to me?
Tell me, hunter, who is my father,
I can’t fit myself in your tribe.
Erase my hurt feeling, then die.
You completely forgot me, hunter,
I can’t wait to learn about my roots,
I want to ask from you, my brother.
I grew up by following you,
Now you forgot the orphan like me.
If I’m a stranger from different parents,
Let me go to my own kinsmen.
Although many people say so,
I’m not your sibling, I learned.
If I have no sibling here,
I won’t stay here, I’ll leave.
My brother, you gave me the sense
That I’m a stranger from another father.
Say openly, hunter, then die,
That I’m indeed a stranger to you.”
Kojojash heard him and realized
That he would not stay, and leave.
Then the hunter said these words:
“I’m sitting alone feeling sad,
On the cliff where no crows can fly up,
Until I calm down my old father
And until your turn comes
My little brother, Sartkoshçu,
Please don’t be upset, be patient,
Don’t take it personally, my brother.
[? ...]
Until I calmed your old father
And mention you at the end,
You, the young kid,
I see, I got your feelings hurt.
We’re siblings from the same mother,
Don’t listen to others, my brother,
It is a lie what people say.
Your father has became old now,
Going over the age sixty.
Until I spoke to those on top,
The childish Sartkoshçu,
Took it personally, I see.
Geese and ducks return and land
On the lake in a black wetland.
But I stayed not a day with my people,
I wandered off for my people’s sake.
People don’t pity me saying
That I am a poor and lonely hunter!
I regret that [God] made me,
I face real solitude now.
For the sake of lovely Zulayka,
Don’t act childish, Sartkoshçu,
She might estrange you, my brother
That you’re not my brother, but a stranger.
Don’t listen to people’s words,
I haven’t told this to anyone.
You’re indeed my younger brother,
Don’t take it personally.
Your brother has kept some words
To tell you, Sartkoshçu.
I’m dying on the cliff side,
Your brother is wise and kind.
My brother, marry your sorrowful sister-in-law [yourself]
Who puts a black scarf on her head
And wails screaming out of despair.
After I fly away from this world,
Those who don’t know, won’t listen to my words.
I flew away from you, my people,
On this tragic day today.
My hunting skill perished,
I want to say with my tongue.
Kojojash is on the cliff, people are on the ground,
He can’t take his own life
By throwing himself down the cliff.”
The livestock made noise from hunger and thirst,
His kinsmen also got tired of
Staying in an unsuitable settlement.
Seeing that situation, the hunter,
Kojojash thought to himself,
That he should end his own life.
Instead of seeing this misery,
The hunter prepared himself
To throw his body down the cliff.
Zulayka then said these words:
“Your kinsmen came together,
Pine trees all over the place
Had been cut down [for you].
Your old father, who became insane,
Is been falling on the ground a lot.
You were the hunter from birth
Destined to die on a tragic day.
We all have tried our best
To get you down from the cliff,
And take you home with us.
You remained on the cliff, hunter,
I wish I could help, please don’t be mad at me!
You hurt me when I was a new bride,
By leaving me alone for two years,
I suffered longing for you, hunter.
I have no more hope left,
I’m six-months pregnant, Kojojash,
It is the only hope from you.
No matter how strong I was,
I put on a black scarf on my head,
And grieved your tragedy.
Your drinking water is indeed finished,
There is no hope at all, I see,
From the cliff onto which stand clinging.
Losing you at my young age,
I’m burning in flames
To have a normal life again.
You’ve got no close brother.
You got Sartkoshçu, who
is like a baby bird, in tears.
Among the returning geese and ducks
There is a white one with a dappled neck,
I, your beloved Zulayka,
Only want you and I’m faithful to you.
Take me with you to the dark grave.
Among the ducks flying over the slopes
There is a one with a red neck,
I, your wife, Zulayka, whom you married virgin,
Only think of you and I’m faithful to you,
Take me with you to the next world!
Who said that you’re stranded on the cliff,
And that you should throw yourself;
That you faced in the false [world]
The evil which doesn’t spare your soul.”
Then the hunter said these words:
“Don’t grieve, my beloved [wife],
I die with lament inside me,
Due to this one Eçki’s malice,
Suddenly I got stranded on the cliff.
By crying out for this one hunter,
It became clear now, Zulayka
That you mourn wearing black,
Living the life as a widow.
I don’t want to torment you all,
Don’t want to destroy your livestock either,
Take him back carefully to the land,
Your old man [father-in-law] Karïp.
Always remember, Zulayka,
Your partner, the late hunter.
I died on the cliff chasing Eçki,
To whom can I tell my sorrow?
My life became short for I die,
Farewell, my people, old and young!
Now I’ll throw my soul down.
If you’re six months pregnant,
What thought do you have,
In your mind, Zulayka?
Unable to find the way down,
The death rope is around my neck.
The crows and ravens
Are circling on the cliff top
To feast on my red flesh.
If you give birth to a girl, Zulayka
Have her to be named Kanïsh.
Since she’s the only child left from the hunter.
Offer a feast and put her in a cradle.
If you give birth to a son, Zulayka,
You should name him Moldojash,
Considering him a gift from me,
If he is the soul born from me,
He’ll come looking for my bones.
I’ve never thought in my life
That I would die on the cliff.
I’ll throw the Ak barang down,
If it’s iron pieces fall on the ground,
Gather them and save them in a cloth,
For they’ll be needed in the future.
Death is indeed merciless,
My kinsmen, I’m separated from you.
Always remember and honor
Your late hunter, your husband!”
When Kojojash said thus,
His kinsmen all screamed [chuuldap]
“Now the hunter will fall,” they thought,
Everyone who heard and saw him,
Old and young all growled [duuldap].
He provoked all his people,
Not knowing what to do,
His beloved wife Zulayka,
Became distressed and anguished.
Her heart burned like an ember,
She was not able to walk.
The soul is too precious to kill,
For two or three times,
Kojojash attempted to throw himself
By standing up straight as an arrow.
Drinking cold water constantly,
Anguish is difficult to deal with,
Zulayka burned like a fire,
Women and men were all afraid
To see how he will throw himself,
They all gathered and watched.
He is too young to die,
It’s very hard for him,
To give his soul to death.
The great sorrow and misfortune
Fell upon the young woman, Zulay.
When a man stands screaming
On the side of a black cliff,
Only a very courageous man,
Can watch without shying away.
All of them stood across him
And watched him standing, they say.
In the hope to catch his bones,
His wife, poor Zulayka,
Came closer to the cliff’s foothill.
The hunter pulled out, they say,
The Ak barang on his shoulder,
And tied with a loose string, they say.
He threw his barang down, they say,
Hitting on each rock down the way,
His barang broke into tiny pieces, they say.
After a long search, Zulayka
Found its iron piece small as a shibege
As a valuable gift from the hunter,
She tied it tightly in a piece of cloth, they say.
The hunter wasn’t afraid to die,
He wailed and screamed,
“I’m indeed dying, my people!” He said,
And threw himself down the cliff.
The people screamed in anguish,
Zulayka, wailing in torment,
Ran around shouting “Oh people! What I will do now?!”
Somewhere on the ground lies Karïpbay
With his leg folded , broken? [Kayiship, sinip, bugulup]
Like the meat sliced by a butcher,
Onto the big jagged cliff,
His bones remained hanging, they say.
Those vultures eating red flesh,
All came flying in a group.
Life usually goes on after one dies,
His kinsmen cried in anguish
Their hope got extinguished like fire.
At the bottom of the black cliff,
His beloved Zulayka
Wept mourning his death.
Upon losing their hunter,
Early next morning they dismantled [their yurts]
And loaded them [onto camels],
All his relatives and kinsmen
Began moving back to their old place.
By harnessing atans[6] and loading the yurts onto them.
His kinsmen moved back to their land.
His beloved Zulayka,
Wept in sorrow and mourned,
Replacing her white scarf with a black one,
And tearing her moon-like face.
When he was still alive,
For many days, the Kïtay people
Had waited for the hunter.
They had built a “ground bridge”,
Their livestock had been starving,
Now they returned to their place,
Upon “killing” the hunter.
Wrapping her head with a black scarf,
His beloved Zulayka,
Wailed and wept in sorrow:
“Unable to defeat the cliff,
We all tried to save the hunter.
Unable to get him, we let him die,
Now we’re leaving without him,
To our fatherland-settlement.
We suffered a lot for the hunter,
Even if he’d lived just for six days,
I should have taken him to Talas,
Back then when I’d come looking for him.
We suffered a lot for the hunter,
Even if he’d lived just for five days,
I should have taken him with me,
When I’d come on foot from my people.
I look and I don’t see the hunter among the people,
Separated from the brave man,
We are going back now
To the places where my people lived.
That plain was a wetland, indeed
My only one, your young life short, indeed.
From die on the place where you were
Was that cliff the rock which took your life?
Your kinsmen had come looking for you,
Your birthplace was Karakol,
Your life was among the Kïtay people.
To be separated from you, my hawk,
Was I a miserable [widow] left with a tul[7]?
Your kinsmen came, but couldn’t save you,
From death on the place where you stood.
Was that high and shiny rocky cliff,
The place which replaced your soil?!
Your father had come looking for you,
It did not work,
When he had built a ladder from lath (irgay),
Your share (iriski) is less than that of others,
We came back feeling sad from the cliff,
You couldn’t rejoin your people,
Hunter, were you a man with a short life?”
Wearing black and mourning,
Crying in great anguish, Zulayka,
Had been returning home,
Having been separated from her partner.
“When my mother gave birth to me,
[God] had created me in this way,
Ill-fated and miserable person.”
Zulayka who is dressed in black,
Wept in sorrow and mourned.
With her five fingernails,
Zulayka scratched off her face.
If she hadn’t scarred her face,
People would’ve said she wasn’t mourning,
Her husband who passed away.
“Kojojash, you did not rejoin,
Your many Kïtay kinsmen.
One whose time is up dies, they say,
I’m filled with lament and sorrow,
For I’ve no child in my arms,
Who can keep me amused,
We’ve let you be entrapped, hunter,
In the net snare spread by death.”
Making stops and traveling again,
After traveling for a long way,
People arrived and settled
In their own fatherland.
Embers of sorrow fell upon
The mind of Zulayka.
“This woman should have remained a single,
Instead of marrying the hunter,
I should have lived a normal life!
There is no one to count on,
I’ve no son who is strong,
My dear, only one,
How can stay among your people?”
Zulayka has little respect for
Sartkoshçu, half brother [of Kojojash]
From a different father.
Thus the Kïtay returned
And settled in their camp,
Loosing their hope for Kojojash,
The Kïtay settled down quietly.
The ak örgöö[8] of Kojojash,
Was pitched away from the camp,
A tul was placed in the kapshït.[9]
Zulayka, dressed in mourning dress
Sat there weeping and singing laments.
Karïpbay who has become old,
Was losing his mind now.
On account of his only son,
Poor man was completely crushed.
A spear with a flag was placed on the yurt,[10]
Zulayka sat crying by the tul
And singing a mourning song.
  The hunter won’t come back [tirilip],
To the grieving and sad people.
At the time when he got old,
Karïpbay couldn’t get up,
Separated from his only son.
“You played with the barang gun,
His wife Zulayka cried,
Can I have you back, hunter, by grieving?
You didn’t wait for your son’s birth,
So that he would be a gift from you.
I’m miserable and have no luck,
I was born into a sad world.
You masterfully shot with the barang,
Can I have you back by lamenting?
My friend, the hunter, who is lost.
If I safely give birth to [him],
I’ll raise the child well,
Your child who is left from you
With whom I remain six-months pregnant.”
Not long afterwards she gave birth
To a boy with whom she was six-months pregnant.
Zulayka gave birth to a boy,
All her people became happy,
Saying that he was the hunter’s gift.
"If you give birth to a boy,
Name him Moldojash," he had said,
Her late husband, the hunter,
They celebrated by killing an animal,
They took the baby from the ground,
And ran up to Karïp, who had gone insane,
To tell that her daughter-in-law gave birth to a boy
And get a süyünçü[11] from him.
A child gives one energy, so
Karïpbay, because of happiness,
Was running around with the kids.
Karïpbay became filled with joy,
As if Kojojash had come to life,
He became strong and energetic.
The poor old man killed a horse [mal],
And received his people’s blessing.
They named the boy Moldojash.
Grief-stricken Zulayka
Let her sorrow go and became happy.
From the late hunter, the lone one,
If Moldojash grows up safe and sound,
He’ll be the only heir from him.
Zulayka, who remained a widow,
Destroyed the tul from the kapshït,
And broke the flag-pole into two parts.
Even if he is an orphan, he is an heir, she thought
And made peace with herself.

1. The English/Russian word “yurt” came from the Turkic word “yurt” (“jurt” in Kyrgyz). It means a homeland or encampment of a tribe/clan. Among the Kyrgyz and Kazakhs the word for father land is “Atajurt” whereas, the Uzbeks say “Onayurt” Motherland. Yurt also denotes the round shaped trace on the ground where a yurt has been erected. 
2. i.e., sharing the same womb
3. A traditional term of endearment.
4. Ayak is a big bowl.
5. Könök is a container made out of animal skin to keep yogurt and milk.
6. Atan is a castrated camel.
7. Tul is a “doll” made from wood. In the past it was the tradition among the nomadic Kyrgyz to dress the tul in the clothes of the deceased person and place it inside the men’s side of the yurt. The widow sat next to the tul and sang mourning song.
8. Ak örgöö is a large yurt with white felt coverings. Historically, ak örgöö was mostly used by khans and tribal leaders.
9. Kapshït is the place where two tuurduks (felt coverings) of the yurt (there are four separate pieces of felt coverings) join, marking the boundary between the right and left sides of the yurt. In this context, the tul is being placed in the men’s side, i.e., left side from the entrance.
10. In the past, when a man died among the nomadic Kyrgyz and Kazakhs, it was customary to place a spear with a piece of cloth tied on it on side of the yurt. The color of the cloth showed the age of the deceased. If the deceased was young, a red cloth was tied on the spear, if he was a middle aged man, a black color cloth was tied, it he was an old man, a white cloth was tied.
11. Süyünçü is a Central Asian Turkic custom of telling a good news. The word comes from the verb "süy"--to love, to kiss; "süyün"-- to be happy. When a child is born, people rush to inform the father, grandparents and other close relatives about the good news. In return, the person who informs them receives presents, sheep, goat, or money.

© 2004 Elmira Köçümkulkïzï