Epic art of Gorogly

Inscribed in 2015 (10.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© The Secretariat of the Turkmenistan National Commission for UNESCO, 2013
The epic art of Gorogly is an oral performing tradition describing the achievements of the legendary hero Gorogly and his forty cavalrymen. The epic incorporates narration, singing, composition, prose, poetry and vocal improvisation, and also functions as an oral encyclopaedia of traditional customs and knowledge (including stock breeding, traditional healing, etc.). Its transmission plays an important role in the upbringing of children by helping them to better understand their cultural identity. The tradition nurtures character, creative capacity and artistic skills, and provides bearer communities with a strong sense of social and cultural identity. The epic reflects the aspirations of the Turkmen people for a happy life, freedom and justice, and promotes values such as bravery, honesty, friendship, tolerance and fairness. Its bearers and practitioners are individual male and female epic performers in Turkmenistan who specialize in the Gorogly epic. The epic is traditionally performed seated to the accompaniment of stringed musical instruments, such as the ''dutar'' or ''gyjak''. Bearers and practitioners of the Gorogly epic art take an active part in all national celebrations, cultural festivals and social gatherings, as well as annual competitions between Gorogly epic performers. Practice of the epic art is considered a vocation with masters combining informal teaching of pupils with transmission of knowledge and skills during public performances.
A group of practitioners of the Gorogly epic art at the national festival in Turkmenistan
Traditional musical instrumens for the Gorogly epic art performance: a dutar (at the left and right) and gyjak (at the centre)
Traditional performing of the musical and singing parts of the Gorogly epos by dessanchy bagshy and their national dressing
Competition of epic performers-dessanchy bagshys
Polishing of mastership of a young epic performer by the master-dessanchy bagshy before the audience
Traditional composition of the epic performers group with involving of a younger generation in the study of Gorogly epic art
At the festival of the Gorogly epic performers in Turkmenistan
The turkmen epic art listeners in national dressing
Joint gathering of the Gorogly epic art performers and listeners
A tradition of the ending of epic art performance by making good wishes
Top