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Chokan Valikhanov (1835-1865)

The Great scientist-historian, ethnographer, geographer, economist, traveller. Officer of the Russian army, diplomat, the official of the Russian administration.

Chokan Chingisovich Valihanov (his full name Mohammed - Hanafiya, nickname was given by his mother) was born in November, 1835. The initial diploma was received in native village Kushmurune at one private Kazakh school, where he learned the Arabian language, received representation about east poetry and studied in drawing. The last employment was his genuine passion and Chokanís kept sketches demonstrate that the great talent of the remarkable artist lived in him. Since childhood Chokanís father involved him in gathering the materials concerning legends and national traditions, and involved him in a circle of highly educated Russian scientists, engineers, officers.

Chokanís further career was predetermined by family tradition and received education: he is the Russian officer, diplomat and official.

The most ancient and steady roots of the Kazakh mentality have found reflection in a number of his researches, in particular, in clauses "Traces of shamanism in Kirghiz (Kazakhs)" and "About Moslem in steppe".

Living for two years in Petersburg, Chokan worked in the general staff on the preparation for the edition of the map of Asia, he participated in editions of works of Russian geographical society. Here Chokan published the works devoted to history and culture of Central Asia and the foreign East; among them researches "Kirghiz" (Kazakhs), "Traces of shamanism in Kirghiz", "About Kirghiz nomads' camp" and others that contains the huge material about history, ethnographies of Kazakhs, their life, customs and culture. He wrote the national epic poem "Kozy-Korpesh and the Bayan-Sulu".

Nowadays nearby to natural boundary Kogen-Togan where was buried in 1865, tragically lonely Chokan Valihanov, in the Altyn-Emel district, in honor of the 150-anniversary from the date of his birth (1985) the memorial complex is constructed.

Chokanís tradition of careful gathering of a spiritual heritage of people has found worthy continuers, including Zataevich that has kept samples of Kazakh sing creativity for world musical culture. Chokanís idea about the cultural-historical communication of Kazakh and Russian people was developed by L.I.Gumilev in the concept.

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