An ancient Central Asian epic, passed down through generations, carries the reader into a world of nomads, warriors and horselords
A Penguin Classic
This tale from the Manas epic gives the reader startling, brilliantly colored access to the world of the horse-based nomad cultures of Central Asia. Written down in the early twentieth century but drawing on sources of antiquity, The Memorial Feast for Kökötöy Khan is the bravura telling of the story of a new and uncertain khan, Boqmurun, and his decision to hold a great gathering to commemorate the life and death of Kökötoy, his already legendary predecessor. From the Muslim lands to the west to China in the east, great warriors and their turbulent retinues gather in the high grasslands to feast, compete and quarrel. Beautifully translated by Daniel Prior, The Memorial Feast allows the reader to get closer than any other source to a sense of the values, glamour and oddities of the peoples who shaped so much of Eurasia.
About the Author
Sagimbay Orozbaq uulu (1867-1930) was a traditional Kirghiz bard who lived long enough to have his extempore performances written down by Soviet folklorists in the early 1920s.
Daniel Prior is Associate Professor of History at Miami University, Ohio. He has written extensively on the Kirghiz epic tradition.