The Memorial Feast for Kökötöy Khan
A Qirgiz Epic Poem in the Manas Cycle
An ancient Central Asian epic, passed down through generations, carries the reader into a world of nomads, warriors and horselords
'Manas the brave is arriving! One flash of rage by him, and this whole encamped multitude will surely be slaughtered!'
This tale from the Manas epic gives the reader startling, brilliantly coloured access to the world of the horse-based nomad cultures of Central Asia. Written down in the early twentieth century but drawing on sources of unguessable antiquity, The Memorial Feast for Kökötöy Khan is the bravura telling of the story of a new and uncertain khan, Boqmurun, and his decision to hold a great gathering to commemorate the life and death of Kökötoy, his already legendary predecessor. From the Muslim lands to the west to China in the east, great warriors and their turbulent retinues gather in the high grasslands to feast, compete and quarrel.
Beautifully translated by Daniel Prior, The Memorial Feast allows the reader to get closer than any other source to a sense of the values, glamour and sheer strangeness of the peoples who shaped so much of Eurasia.