A Comparison of Motifs found in the Uygur Oğuz-namä with the Motifs of other Oğuz-namä Variants
(55th Meeting, 2012)
The so-called Oğuz-namäs have several known variants. These can be divided into two groups. The first group consists of only one manuscript, which is written in uygur script, and the text has no trace of Islam, thus considered as the most archaic one. All the other variants belong to the second group: these texts show a strong Islamic influence. The earliest datable variant of this latter group is the Oğuz-namä Rašid ad-Din’s Persian work, _amä _al-tawarik. During the edition of his work šä_ärä-i tärakimä, Abu’l Gazi Bahadur Khan complemented Rašid ad-Din’s Oğuz-namä from other seventeen historical chronicles and from the contemporary Turkic oral tradition. Abu’l Gazi’s other work, the šä_ärä-i türk, and Ali Yazıcıoglu’s tarih-i al-i selcuk from the 15th century also belong to this group, as well as the Oğuz-namä of Uzunköprü, whose exact time and place of creation is unknown. The subject of my present work is the ’pagan’ Oğuz-namä in uygur script, the other variants will be used only for comparison. The aim of the presentation is to examine which motifs found in the ’pagan’ Oğuz-namä match to those of the Islam group, which are similar, and which are different. After subtracting the Islamic traits, the matches between the individual variants will draw out the prototypic core of plot of the Oğuz-namä tradition, while being similar, but in details different motifs will show the variation of the tradition through time and/or space. Hopefully, such an examination will provide information about the motifs which should be considered general Turkic ones, and those which are common with the traditions of other peoples of the steppe.