Scholarly article on topic 'The Possibilities of Inheritance of Great Silk Way to Prosper Cultural Personality'

The Possibilities of Inheritance of Great Silk Way to Prosper Cultural Personality Academic research paper on "History and archaeology"

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{"cultural tourism" / "cross-cultural dialogue" / "East and West" / "globalization and localization" / chronotopos / "Kazakh culture" / "cultural area."}

Abstract of research paper on History and archaeology, author of scientific article — Totykyz Mantayeva, Amangeldy Kuzeubay, Farida Zhumazhanova, Moldir Komekova, Zhahan Moldabekov, et al.

Abstract In the world a certain interest to the Great Silk way is observed: communication, transport, power. Unique transcontinental, serving many centuries as a flying bridge between Europe and Asia, the Silk way answered for the development and exchange of not only material values (trade relations, development of crafts, creation of new settlements), but also for interaction of the whole cultural complexes. Passing on the territory of the country last centuries of the Great Silk way gives special mysteriousness to the shape of Kazakhstan that causes considerable interest among foreign guests. It is as a matter of fact the reference monument, which bears important historical and cultural loading and is a sign for genetic memory of the Kazakh people.

Academic research paper on topic "The Possibilities of Inheritance of Great Silk Way to Prosper Cultural Personality"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 197 (2015) 537 - 542

7th World Conference on Educational Sciences, (WCES-2015), 05-07 February 2015, Novotel

Athens Convention Center, Athens, Greece

The Possibilities Of Inheritance Of Great Silk Way To Prosper

Cultural Personality

Totykyz Mantayevaa*, Amangeldy Kuzeubaya, Farida Zhumazhanovaa, Moldir Komekovaa, Zhahan Moldabekova, Tursun Gabitova

aKazakh National University named after al-Farabi, Kazakhstan


In the world a certain interest to the Great Silk way is observed: communication, transport, power. Unique transcontinental, serving many centuries as a flying bridge between Europe and Asia, the Silk way answered for the development and exchange of not only material values (trade relations, development of crafts, creation of new settlements), but also for interaction of the whole cultural complexes. Passing on the territory of the country last centuries of the Great Silk way gives special mysteriousness to the shape of Kazakhstan that causes considerable interest among foreign guests. It is as a matter of fact the reference monument, which bears important historical and cultural loading and is a sign for genetic memory of the Kazakh people. © 2015TheAuthors.Published by ElsevierLtd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Education and Research Center.

Keywords: cultural tourism, cross-cultural dialogue, East and West, globalization and localization, chronotopos, Kazakh culture, cultural area.


Experience of many tourist regions showed that the thought-over approach to development of branch of tourism represents unique opportunity for mutually advantageous enrichment and distribution of cultural values. Analyzing the capacity of Kazakhstan in the field of tourism development, the majority of scientists and practicing agree in opinion that economic advantages from development of tourism are obvious, but the results reached for today aren't full as the Silk way not sufficiently acts as an operated potential tourist resource which should be transformed to the large integrated tourist product.

The scientific purpose of this article is development of problems of sociocultural transformation of the Great Silk way in short-term, medium-term and long-term prospect on the basis of an assessment of today's situation and

* Totykyz Mantayeva. Tel +77073767935. E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Education and Research Center. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.07.185

examination of the basic tendencies, allowing to consider variety of regional changes. Studying the problem of the Great Silk way helps to realize wide economic prospects, both for Kazakhstan, and for development of the international relations as a whole. This project gives a chance to Kazakhstan to realize with maximum efficiency the advantage of the geographical position, to build modern infrastructure, to modernize available industrial potential taking into account requirements of world economy, to create new workplaces and to raise a population standard of living.

2.Cultural centers along the Great Silk way

The cultural products along the Great Silk way are changed not only among the settled civilization. It is a mistake to think that the culture of the nomadic society doesn't develop. In general nomads among them especially Turks, Indian-Aryans, Arabs invented as inseparable from the human life things a great amount of goods which are used in everyday's life of all people. Not only their descendants but also western and Russian scientists with objective view very often mention about it. For instance, Gumilev highly evaluates the achievements in material culture of Turks and Mongols: "If we speak of the modern European males the Nomads invented trousers as an item of clothes which is easy to present even in ancient time. Stirrup appeared for the first time in the Central Asia between 200 and 400 years. First transfer truck with wooden wheel changed into a carriage with big wheels, then yourt took its stand, it created conditions for nomads to go down without difficulties from the woody mountains. They were the people who invented a very long built-up bow which shot to the distance of 700 m, which substituted arrow invented by the nomads with the sabre with a curved blade that took the stand of heavy and straight sword. After all yurt was considered the most developed type of the shelter of that time" (Gumilev, 1992).

The centers of exchanging the goods of nomad tribes from Saryarka and agriculturalists and handicraftsmen from Central Asia were situated in the towns along the Great Silk way. For instance, there were high fortress, gate, magnificent medrese-mosque, tower, the building of library, the establishment of the town administrator and others in Otrar. Weapons, gold and silver, jewellery, glassware, warehouses found there shows that jewellers and blacksmiths, glass and ceramics craftsmen lived in the city. According to the Cuveyni's writings Yangikent (Zhanakent) which was ruined by Mongols in 1219 may be its exact demonstration. It is shown in the written data the city was situated near the place of flowing of Syr into Aral Sea, was an ancient capital of Oguzs. The city had a high fence, tower and gates. The merchants of ancient Rus, Novgorod, Khazar, Bulgar khanates used to exchange the goods with the tradespeople of Khoresm, India, China. An Arabian traveler of the X century Ibn Khaukal says that it is possible to reach Yangikent from Urgenish in 10 days, from Farab in 20 days (Margulan, 1950).

3.Architectural heritage of the

XVI-XVII centuries are saved relatively well near Syrdarya, in the gorges of Karatau, Talas, Shu, in the field of Torgai. Monuments build of stone are met mostly in Mangystau, in the valleys of Sagyz, Zhem, in Central Kazakhstan, Zhetysu, in the mountains of Altai, Tarbagatai. The foundation of Barshakent was laid by the settlers near the cemetery of the wife of Great Mamash Bek (Alpamys) Barshyn sylu. The travelers like Jamal Karshi, Plano Karpini, Getum, Kerikos, etc. had a chance of visiting these places. It is one of the cultural, economic capitals of Ogyz khanate along Syr. There were bazaar, mosque, medrese, hotel, coaching inns, high-rise towers, high wall, firm gates. Poets and writers following worldview ways of Korkyt and al-Farabi, as Kysameddin Barshynlygi lived in the city.

An Arab historian Makdisi remembers about this place as: "Sauran is a city fenced in seven walls, which has a mosque, rabad" (Mashchuk, 1967). In some data it is said about its "swaying minaret", magnificent buildings, karez water coming from the underground. The tower of Sauran that is ruined nowadays deserves attention from the side of historical art quality. It is a fundamental heritage of the height of 16 meter build as people's towers. Both Bogim tower and building of Sunak-ata in Syganak city are like this towers. The monuments of Kazakh khans as Zhanibek and Kasym in Saraishyk, Esim and Zhangir in Turkistan are also unusually remarkable monuments. Balasagyn was the capital of the countries like Western Turik, Karlyk, Karakhan, Karakytai. As annals of the VIII century showed it was situated in 20 kilometers in the east from Suyab, on the northern coast of Shu. Zhusup Balasagyn wrote his dastan (poem) "Kudatku bilig" (the basis of blessing is knowledge) in 1069-1070 here. In this dastan in the Turkic language which consists of 13 thousand lines philosophical treatises about politics, country, government, soldiery, wisdom, mind, justice, conscience, tradition, etc. are given. There is a supposition about that Aktobe where

archeological expedition under the direction of professor U. Shalekenov is carrying out an excavation may be ancient Balasagyn. Because 6000 bronze tenge, the place of manufacturing money and others were found there and it proves that the city was divided into shakhristan and rabid, it was a big political, economic, cultural centre (Shalekenov, 1985).

The information about Taraz was given for the first time in the travel notes of the ambassador of Byzantium Zemarkh. M.Kashkari showed that residents of Taraz spoke Turkic and Sogdian languages. It was situated in the intersection of Great Silk Way and caravan routes to kimak and kypshak. Arab geographer Makdisi wrote that: "Taraz is a fortified city where gardens, houses are built densely. There is a deep well, four gates around it, and a river flowing through the centre of the city, near it there are small towns like Sus, Kyl, Takabat, Shelzhi" (Volin, 1960), p. 81]. Chinese traveller Chan Chun who was in Zhetisu in 1221 reported that "The people of Taraz engage not only in agriculture but also know how to deal with silk-spinning and wine-making (Volin, 1960)". At the time of karakhans wonderful modules of visual arts as Karakhan's monument, mausoleums of Aisha bibi, Babasha khatun were constructed. The Bathhouse of Taraz the walls of which were illustrated with the pictures of myths and fairytales characters of Turkic people is well-known. The bathhouse was heated with heating system passing under a floor. The checkrooms and shower rooms were built in a form of dome. Water was supplied through the pipe 0.7 m long and with a diameter 0.25 m. In XI-XII centuries tenge was created in this city.

It was situated in the cloughs of Talgar Ile Alatau. There were gates on the north and south sides, and the height of ramparts was 5-6 m. There were watchtowers, a mosque, a bazaar, and it was founded in the 8th - 9th centuries. According to the discovery of bronze utensils and crockery, popular majority of the city might be craftsmen. 2 bronze plates were found in the place of the city where a man with a crown on his head and with a winged lion depicted on his crown was portrayed. It is known as a symbol of Karakhan rulers. (Gorodetsky, 1928), p.39. It was situated on the banks of the Koilyk, Kayalyk Lepsy Rivers. There was a palace of Khan Arslan of Karluks before Mongol occupation. Missionary William of Rubruck visited the dried up Koilyk in autumn of 1253. Crockery, pottery jar, drinking bowls, bronze utensils and bronze coins were found in the place of the city. The city extremely flourished in the 9th - 11th centuries according to the calculations of archeologists (Baypakov, 1968).

Above considered medieval cities were connected with each other by caravan tracks. Especially, along the bank of the Syr from Yangikent to the Edil, from Itil city up the Volga to Bulgar khanate, turning to the south, from the Caucasus to Byzantium, and further there was a branch of the way to Kievan Rus that got from Itil. The merchant travellers of ancient Kiev, Novgorod, Smolensk, Ryazan, the Caucasus, Khazar and Bulgar peoples crossed the Edil River and they travelled around Kipchak Khanate, then along the Syr River in Yangikent, Otrar, Taraz, Balasagun cities. Here they swapped their goods for Isphahani steel sward, tea, silk, precious stones of Persian, Indian, and Chinese merchants. They bought leather set of horse-riding belongings, armaments, pedigreed quarter horses from the Turks. When the ancient places of Kiev and Novgorod were dug, 144 coins made in Taraz, Shash, and Samarkhand were found (Khasenov, 1988, p.97). According to this, it seems that barter transactions with Russian lands existed from the ancient times. Chinese, Indian, Khorasan merchants used to come to Taraz from East Turkestan through Bedel, Aksu heights and Aspara, Merke, Kulan, and Baryskhan cities since Taraz was one of the branches of the Silk Way. There was a caravan way from Taraz to the lands of Kimaks, further to Enisei which was the land of the Kyrgyz people. The way that ran from Ispijab to the north went along Karatau, Katikent, Baba-ata, Sozak, Kengir, Zhezdi, Nura, Yrgyz, Ertis till the lands of Kimaks and Kipchaks and up to Bogra, Yagma, and reached the Kyrgyzs and the Teles in Altai-Sayan Mountains. These were the rich veins of barter transactions between Kazakhstani tribes and the whole world in the Middle Ages.

Turks were famous not only for the city culture but also for skills of stone pecking, ornament, and polished finish of stone in the history of human civilization. The art of stone sculptures originally began from tapping on the cliffs. However, they did not reach the stage of making human figures of stone at once. The first steps of this are seen from likening to the features of onguns (totems). According to the ideas of well-known scientist in this field Alkey Margulan, the oldest sculptures in Hun times began to appear in 2nd - 1st centuries BC and 1st - 5th centuries AD. They were very tall, ... and reached 8 m. Moreover, only their heads were decorated and other shapes were not presented... Stone statues of Huns appeared from respecting the spirits of their parents, and it was a prototype of worshipping the sky and the sun (Margulan, 1984).

One of the links of Great Silk Way culture is the perennity of cultural relationships. Not only domiciled people used to contribute to the development of the city culture but so did the nomads.

The dialogue between the East and the West found its continuation in the Mongolian States. For instance, when Guillaume de Rubrouck came to the capital of Mongols, Karakorum, he met Muslim merchants and craftsmen who

were employing one part of the city, there were two mosques and Christian church was situated on the other side of the city. Muslims and Nestorians, Buddhists and the representatives of traditional nomadic belief were arguing freely in the city.

Ethnic and religious diversity influenced on the exchange of styles in art, a great number of pieces of art were made in eclectical method. G. Rubrouck describes it in this way: "There was a model of a big tree made of silver by master Wilhelm at the entrance of khan's palace and its roots were shaped as a lion and it seemed that milk was running from it and a serpent coiled round this silver tree and a statue of an angel was put on the top of this tree..." (Gumilev, 1992). It is true that all the styles of the world were mixed in one piece of art.

4.Cultural interchanges in the areal of Great Silk Way

Great Silk Way highly influenced not only on the contingence of graphic art, architecture, and sculpture but also on the formation of first origins of nomadic people's theatre. In Byzantium where Great Silk Way ended the East and the West were in harmony. Different Central Asian saltimbancos, dancers, acrobats, and hangmen demonstrated their skills and made people stare during celebrations in Constantinople. In 1161 by order of the emperor the representatives of well-known nations of the world demonstrated their art in their national costumes. (Margulan, 1984).

Wandering minstrels and craftspeople travelled around Eurasia together with caravan and coffle all the time. They demonstrated their skills before the shahinshahs in Sasanian Iran (pictures on cliffs in Tagh-e-Bostan), in the feasts of Sogdian grain-growers (pictures in Penjikent), in the receptions of Umayyad caliphs (wall paintings in Syria), and in the celebrations of Turan emirs (pictures in Xinjiang) (Gumilev, 1992).

Great Silk Way highly influenced on the change of styles and contents in folklore as well. These epic phenomena were shown in other types of art. Cultural artefacts made by motives of Turkic epos that conquered the most parts of Eurasia are still being found in different places.

As mentioned above, along the Great Silk Way nomadic symbols did not lose their own marks in the change of artistic cultural products. This, for instance, is connected with describing a camel and a horse. Signs with a camel were widely spread in 6th - 8th centuries when Great Silk Way flourished and the representation of a camel played an essential role in the ideology of Kazakhstani and Central Asian population. Baipakov and Nurzhanov express their opinion about this case in such a way: "The representation of a camel from the mythological, dynastic, and delicate point of view underwent, to some extent, historical, meaningful and artistic way of development. Here the essential role is played by a dynastic character that mainly helps us to understand the ethno political contacts of Semirechye with neighboring cultural historical regions and, first of all, reveal the traditional relationship between Semirechye and Sogdiana. The oldest image of this animal was met among the signs on the cliffs left from the Bronze Era in Semirechye. Musky bowl of Saka, like a round plate with camels, which were butting, pictured on it and camels were on the camel blocks in the shape of a cone, takes its origin from Semirechye" (Darkevich, 1976)

When they speak about the exchange of artistic ideas in Great Silk Way culture as their evidences serve the models of runic inscriptions in Central Europe, art forms that lean on shamanism in Greek, ornate golden 7 closings where a man and a woman dressed in formal wear with a crown on their heads depicted on them that were found during the excavation of caitya in Ak-Beshim, and two golden finger-rings decorated with precious stones and with the pictures of lying camels on them that were found from the grave in Kargaly in the surroundings of Almaty that belongs to the 1st - 2nd centuries AD.

Sacrificial plank bed which was found during the excavations in surroundings of Almaty belongs to the best models of cultural changes along the Great Silk Way. Worldwide artistic and religious perception seems to be gathered in this cultural artifact. We have to confess the celebration of world existence and the days of spiritual self-perfecting from this Turkic 'wild animal style'. The nature reached its own great joy for the first time among them, and the vitality attitude began to be a great phenomenon for the first time among them. According to the mythological base the diverse and disorganized world of these images is worth only to be accused; perhaps, the festivities in celebrations held along the Great Silk Way were in the same relaionship as well.

Dionysian cult that came with cultural changes spread in cities along the Ile via the Great Silk Way. Craftsmen who made pottery, armament, jewelry, and textile for the court of grand people, their families and their henchmen settled in the surroundings of ruler's palace. Neighboring countries used to bring here corn, fruits, vegetables, and wine for evening functions. Merchants from neighboring lands and distant countries used to come here. Moreover, monks and priests, who preached the religion and belief of Christ, Buddha, Zoroaster, and Muhammad used to come

here more often.

In general, strict dogma in religious changes that came via the Great Silk Way was not widely spread. Cultural artifacts that were found in the shrines in ancient Almaty confirm this fact. We can see not only the pictures connected with "wild animal style" on that plank bed but also of domestic animals. For instance, there is a winged leopard on the angles of a plate; the statues of seven lions are depicted on its rims, and there are two camels in the middle of it. Art, handicraft, architecture, the models and samples of rock art spread across the East and West countries and so did the art of music, dance, plays and medieval 'stages' via Great Silk Way. Outstanding plays, the skills of musicians, dancers, animal handlers, acrobats, 'magicians' (illusionists) began to spread rapidly. All people understood body language. Thus, we can see the high effort of a language that aspires to imitate the music in the poetic creation of folk songs; that's why together with a sad oriental melody and a nomadic poetry that contradicts it in its deep basis, and its full of joy new world pushed forward. So we described the only possible relationship between poetry and music, word and sound: word, image, notion search for any denotation similar to music and it undergoes its powerful influence. Now we can distinguish in this meaning a lot of trends according to what they imitated, the world of language phenomena and imiges or the world of music in the art history of peoples along the Great Silk Way.

Such kind of games was shown equally to a Greek basileus, Kievan knyaz, Turkish chagan, and Chinese emperor.

According to the researchers, the music of East Turkestan and Central Asian cities was listened to mostly by peoples who lived along the Great Silk Way. Music traditions of Kusha, Kashgar, Bukhara, Samarkhand, India and Korea due to the official care closely harmonized with Chinese music tradition. Iranian, Sogdian and Turkish actors greatly influenced on Chinese choreography (dance and ballet). The skills of dancing girls and boys were widely spread and exalted among all artists (Polo 1968).

Western scientist E. Schaefer, who deeply researched the culture of Great Silk Way told that he was amazed by Central Asian art: "'Western jumping dance' was danced by Tashkent children who usually wore loose shirts made by the Iranian model and high pointed headwear with beads. They coiled their lower backs with long belts with fringes when they danced. 'Chacha dance' was danced by two little girls who wore thin blue gowns with multicolored embroidery and silver belts. They also wore tight sleeved dresses, the pointed headwear with golden jingle, and glossy red fabric boots. Moreover, girls danced the dance 'Western beauties spinning like a whirlwind'. It was mainly danced by Sogdian girls who wore scarlet dress, green trousers, red wash-leather boots jumping, standing on the ball, and revolving about their axis" (Baypaov, 1992)

Kazakh scientists pay attention to such phenomena too: "For example, it's well-known that the Eastern artists very often "perform" in Constantinople. Funny clowns and equilibrists made a great impression on the Russian princess Olga who was a guest of the wife of Byzantine emperor, and on the holiday organized by Manuil I in honour of Selchuk sultan Arslan II a Turkish acrobat performed jumping and making a dangerous turn around in the air. They also performed wearing a mask. These traditions were kept for a long time in Muslim countries up to yesterday. It is proven that during the celebration of Nauryz in Bagdat even in caliph's presence people wearing masks had performed.

While excavating different monuments along Silk way a lot of real evidences proving that in the sphere of music and theatre they developed and enriched each other were found. The line of sculptured figures of male and female dancers, actors in mask, music groups placed between the humps of a sculptured camel made of burnt clay in the period of Tan may be a proof of it. The appearance of the majority of these artists shows that they are the representatives of Central Asian people. The pictures of musicians and actors in mask are reserved on the walls of cities as Pendzhikent, Varakhsha, Aphrasiab, Topyrakkala and Eastern Turkistan. A beautiful sculpture of dancer girl engraved from wood was also found in Pedzhikent. While excavating Keder city along Syrdaria a ceramic mask of an artist belonged to X-XI centuries was found" (Schaefer 1981).

During many centuries formed in the result of cultural changes ancient elements of decorative painting were reserved near Zhezkazgan. These pictures were drawn on the gravestone, on the inside walls of the monument. It depicts about hunting, nomadic existence, inside views of Kazakh houses, pictures of soldiers. If we talk about the drawing techniques, they hung the sketch of a picture on the wet wall and paint sank. Kazakh tribes didn't forget about cutting stones as a big sphere of culture of Turkic period. They also developed to place gravestone on the head of died person, build boulder, sandyktas, bestas ushtas. Art of cutting statues of sheep, ram, trunk, etc was widely spread in Mankystau, Ustirt, Zhem. They also wrote on the surface of gravestone, drew the pictures of sword, spear, battle-axe, leather belt, bow (for a man) on another side, but on the gravestone of a woman pictures of necklace, era-

rings, saukele, scissors. The people also made a grinder of stone.

Art of making stone figures along Great Silk way is divided into two periods. The first period covers VI-VIII centuries. The stone figures of this period are military people covered with weapons as chagan, beck, tytyk. The line of stone columns was built from stone fence to an open steppe here. The older stone statues stood leaning on a sword with the left hand, in the right hand they held a dish. Especially belts with hanging adornments are noticed clearly. In the monuments of Huns the picture of a man was drawn on the top of the tall column stones. One of the stone figures is a couple, man and woman who hold in both hands dishes.

Conclusion. the authors of the article pay attention to the next moments:

• tourism revival on the Kazakhstan piece of an ancient route of GSW; country promotion as tourist destination, its natural and cultural wealth, tourist product;

• drawing attention of the Kazakhstan and world community to the problems of preservation of cultural heritage, national ethnocultures, cultural originality, cultural diversity, and also to problems of interaction of tourism and culture, tourism and cross-cultural dialogue, tourism and development;

• giving a new mission to cultural tourism as to the tool of the world, development, rapprochement of the people, education of respect, tolerance, mutual understanding on the basis of humanitarian values of tourism; to draw attention to original history and culture of the people of Kazakhstan connected with a route of the Great Silk way;

• to investigate the reasons of interest of the world community in the idea of revival of the Great Silk way, stimulation of trade and transport cooperation with the countries through which it passes; to consider evolution of the project of revival of the Great Silk way from the point of view of continuity of productive historical traditions, modern marketing and branding, allowing to give the perspective direction of transport and trade cooperation of the countries of Asia and Europe the attractive name stimulating inflow of investments;

• to define potential opportunities and a real contribution of the separate international organizations and associations, and also world scientific community to the development and modernization of the new Silk way; to give a characteristic of positions of China, Russia, the West in connection with the implementation of the project of revival of the Great Silk way;

• to allocate civilization values of the Great Silk way and their influence on culture of other people, to reveal the most ancient roots of art and spirituality of the Kazakh people; to collect and analyse the examples of cross-cultural and interreligious dialogue and cooperation between cultural communities of the Great Silk way and the world as a whole.


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