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The Genealogy Of Kyrgyz History And Identity

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Chapter Summary

The struggle by manashchi, Kyrgyz academics, politicians and others to establish Manas as a central figure of 'Kyrgyz' identity is a point of confrontation between Soviet ideology on the construction of nations and the local conceptions of the 'Kyrgyz' people. Askar Akaev's official support for monuments to ancestors carried with it the sanctioning of governmental disciplining practices. The monuments to historical figures are part of the government's presentation of a 'Kyrgyz' history, which is created through the establishment of dominant official meanings in the organization of public space and also in the imagination of time. One example, similar to Akaev's view and echoed in public discourse, is found in the dedication of the statue of Atake baatyr. The statue of Atake stands next to the museum of Shabdan baatyr, the great-grandson of Atake. Descendents of Shabdan and local citizens contributed to the construction of the museum.

Keywords: Askar Akaev; Atake baatyr; Kyrgyz history; Kyrgyz identity; monuments; Shabdan baatyr



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