"Good" or "Saint" Janibek Khan (1342–1357) in the Oral Historical Memory of the Nomads-Kazakhs
«Добрый» или «святой» Джанибек-хан (1342–1357) в устной исторической памяти кочевников-казахов

Irina V. Erofeeva, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
2021 Zolotoordynskoe Obozrenie  
Research objectives: To identify the main reasons for the formation of the cult of Janibek Khan of the Golden Horde in the oral historical memory of the nomadic steppe tribes which was embodied in the narrative tradition of Kazakhs from the fifteenth to eighteenth century. Research materials: The texts of the Kazakh folklore sources from the last quarter of the eighteenth to the beginning of twentieth century, published in different genres (tales, epics, legends, fairy tales) and dedicated to
more » ... nibek Khan or characters of the oral narratives closely related to him. Results and novelty of the research: The historiography of the Golden Horde and the medieval history of Kazakhstan considers it conventional wisdom that Uzbek Khan (r. 1313–1342) played the decisive role in the Islamization of the tribal population of the Ulus of Jochi during the fourteenth century. However, none of the Kazakh folklore sources recorded from the last quarter of eighteenth to beginning of twentieth century mentions his name. Rather, this role is given to the son and successor of Uzbek, Janibek Khan, who is the most popular character of oral narratives of Kazakhs dedicated to the Eurasian Middle Ages. This fact leads to the conclusion that the innovative activities of Uzbek in the field of religion covered mainly the western part of the Ulus of Jochi but had a limited impact on the steppe nomads of the Eastern Dasht-i Kipchak. The main role in the spread of Islam and Islamic culture to the east of the Ural River valley, in the territory of the ethnic nomadic ancestors of the Kazakh tribes, was played by Janibek Khan, which was reflected in the popular historical consciousness of Kazakhs. This article demonstrates the influence of Sufism's cult of the "saints" borrowed by Muslim communities of the steppe in the process of sacralization of the historical Janibek Khan in the Kazakh narrative tradition and highlights the most characteristic features of his mythologized image. The scholarly novelty consists in the statement of the abovementioned theme of research and the structural analysis of the revealed folklore texts, which allows one to solve the long-standing problem of the association of the folk literature Janibek Khan of the Golden Horde and the historical Kazakh Khan of the same name who ruled in the eastern part of the former Ulus of Jochi in the later period.
doi:10.22378/2313-6197.2021-9-1.149-165 fatcat:yigceiscuzaarotb7ex2pgpbqm