Safeguarding of the Art of the Akyns, Kyrgyz Epic Tellers

  • Project budget:
    • US$ 148,493
  • Source:
    • Japan Funds-in-Trust
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 01/02/2005 - 01/10/2009

Benefitting country(ies): Kyrgyzstan


The pre-eminent Kyrgyz epic, the Manas trilogy, is an oral encyclopaedia of Kyrgyz social values and history. Performed at seasonal ceremonies, national holidays and other social gatherings, the Manas epic continues to inspire contemporary Kyrgyz writers and composers.

Studios for young Akyns in various regions of Kyrgyzstan will be opened, and contests among those attending the studios will be organized. A concert tour consisting of both famous Akyns and the most talented youth from Akyn studios will also be staged in two regions. The compilation and publication of a representative, concise edition of the Manas, the pre-eminent Kyrgyz epic, and its translation into Russian will be undertaken.

The tradition of tutorship and the master-apprentice method of transmitting the art of the Akyns will be revitalized. Kyrgyz scholars of epic poetry and cultural workers will be trained in state-of-the-art methods of digitization and archival management, including digital archives. The project intends to renew and promote interest in the art of the Akyns in Kyrgyzstan and abroad and ultimately recover the prestige of being an Akyn.

Related document:

  • Summary description of the project (English)

01/05/2008 - 01/12/2009 – Safeguarding of the Sacred Songs of the Voodoo Cult of the lakou Dereal of the Community of Bizoton01/12/2006 - 01/09/2009 – Action plan for the Safeguarding of the Ahellil of Gourara