Category Archives: Documents

A Turkmen Verse Hagiography of the Niyazov Era, by Allen J. Frank

The period following the collapse of the Soviet Union can in many respects be viewed as a golden age for the composition and circulation of Islamic hagiographies. While as a compositional genre hagiography above all must be viewed as an oral genre, connected to shrines, they can also be also closely associated with the genealogies (Ar. shajaras, Turk. shejeres) of both sacred and ‘commoner lineages’. This is particularly the case with formerly nomadic groups, most prominently Kazakhs, but Turkmens as well. It has been since 1991 that we have seen an explosion of publishing of hagiographies in Central Asia likely surpassing the production of hagiographical manuscripts and printed texts before and during the Soviet era. As evidence of the importance of continuity in this genre, the compilers of hagiographies commonly compile their narratives and shrine catalogues based on oral traditions during or after the Soviet era.

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Autobiography of Ibn-i Qari Makhdum Pulad-Khan Gharmi, 2004, by Stéphane Dudoignon

Figures 1 & 2: Verso of the printed one-sheet Persian-language autobiography in prose and verse of Hajji Pulad-Khan b. Qari Khwaja, collected by his pupil Asrar al-Din Bakhtari, Qurghan-Teppa, 2004, with portraits of the author at two different ages and a poem by Sa‘di; photographic portrait of the same with a calligraphy textbook of his, in his study of ‘Adilabad (Odilobod), Qurghan-Teppa area, 4 August 2004, photo S. A. Dudoignon.

 


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