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Identity, History And Genealogical Imagination: The Construction Of Relatedness

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Chapter Summary

Kinship is not only a biological account of ancestry, but also a description of relations established through social interaction. In Kyrgyzstan, one way relatedness is developed through two genealogical forms - jeti ata and sanjyra (a broader account of genealogy). Political ideologies permeate notions of the self, but this is separate from the political delineation of identity. Jeti ata represents a person's seven patrilineal ancestors, or literally their 'seven fathers'. In Kyrgyzstan, Marat Chanachev, former analyst at the International Institute of Strategic Studies under the President of the Kyrgy Republic and, later, manger of the Ak Jol party office, has attempted to create an 'Internet-Sanjyra' computer resource. Chingiz Aitmatov, one of the most famous Kyrgyz authors during the Soviet era, has described a person who does not know their family or origins as a mankurt. The importance of remembering social customs forms a central theme in Aitmatov's novel.

Keywords: Chingiz Aitmatov; genealogy; Internet-Sanjyra; jeti ata; Kinship; mankurt; Marat Chanachev; political ideologies; sanjyra



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