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YES For The Global Peace Movement, YES Loving & Caring Each Other, YES Greatness in Humanity, YES Saving Our Unique Mother Earth,
YES Great Dreams For Better Tomorrows, YES Emerging Positive Global Energy, YES National and Global Transparency, and YES Lighting Our Souls & Minds.

KELOGLAN: The Bald Boy and
The Most
Beautiful Girl in the World

by H.B. PAKSOY

Preface

This work may be read at random, for the pleasure they provide and the humor they contain, since the stories are self contained. Classroom usage may benefit from perusing the Introduction, specifically written for the purpose.

The narratives contained in this volume were tape-recorded by Professors Uysal and Walker in the Turkish Republic between 1960s and 1990s, and translated by Turkish students studying at Texas Tech University. These English drafts were then edited by Warren Walker, who also paid for them out of his own pocket.

The ultimate translation products were typed by Warren Walker, and bound into the original 73 'green volumes' that formed the kernel of the growing ATON  collection at Texas Tech.

The details of the Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative, and the biographies of founders, may be read by accessing http://aton.ttu.edu

I chose to bring together all the popular 'Bald Boy' Narratives together as this Popular archetype is virtually unknown outside the boundaries of the Turkish Republic.

Please enjoy the narratives.


Introduction

This work is intended to explore Keloglan, an archetype in Turkish Oral Narrative. All archetypes are created by people from the intellectual wealth of their environment. The process may be akin to crystals forming in nature. Upon a seed character, structurally kindred layers may be deposited, over time, to enlarge the entity until it reaches the heights of international renown. Many an archetype is known and loved around the world. In West Texas, where the Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative is located in the bosom of Texas Tech University, some archetypes are more immediately recognizable: Maverick (of San Antonio), Judge Roy Bean (of Pecos), Thomas Lubbock (the Colonel of Texas Rangers during the Civil War, brother of Francis Lubbock, the Governor of Texas), all of the well known Texans pre- and post-Alamo, Will Rogers (a satirist from the neighborhood of South Plains), The Masked Rider (mascot of Texas Tech) immediately come to mind. All of the South
Plains archetypes listed above are all drawn from real flesh-and- bones type of individuals. Moreover, all were men of action. The archetypes of the Turkish Oral Narrative generally have a longer historical background, and, as their tales attest, are compelled to take action against real or perceived injustices. In most cases, the Turkish archetypes primarily function as teachers or teaching tools, continually adapting to changing conditions and periods. Before we ascend to the thoughts and deeds of Keloglan, it may be desirable to explore the foundations of Turkish oral literature, which enjoys its share of archetypes. One such internationally known character is Nasreddin Hoja (or, Hoca), representing the voice of reason in a witty manner. On one occasion, Nasreddin borrows a kazan (large cauldron) from his neighbor. When Nasreddin returns the kazan, the neighbor sees that there is a small cooking pot in the bottom. He asks Nasreddin: "What is this?" Nasreddin replies:

"Apparently the kazan had been pregnant and it has given birth to this small pot." The neighbor unquestioningly accepts the kazan and the pot. Some weeks later, Nasreddin wishes to borrow the same kazan. The neighbor is only too happy to oblige.

This time, a month passes. The neighbor calls on Nasreddin to inquire about his kazan. Nasreddin, with a concerned look, announces: "I am sorry, but your kazan died." The neighbor is puzzled. Then becoming angry, he demands: "How could it die?"

"You believed that it gave birth, why do you not believe that it died?" On another celebrated occasion, which took place over some eight centuries ago, Nasreddin again demonstrates the necessity of experimental science and reasoning: One day Nasreddin brings home three pounds of meat, expecting his wife to cook it for dinner. At dinner-time, Nasreddin finds no meat on the table. He asks his wife, "What happened to the meat?"

His wife replies, "The cat ate it." Nasreddin breezes into the kitchen, puts the cat on the scales, and discovers the cat to be weighing three pounds. Nasreddin quizzically questions the result, "If the meat I brought home weighed three pounds, then, where is the cat? And, if this happens to be the cat, then what happened to the meat?" Some tales placed Nasreddin in the same time period with Timur (d. 1405), which is likely to be chronologically too late. On the other hand, the environment sustaining the memory of Nasreddin chose to attribute the following events to him as a tribute-as the population obviously needed a person of Nasreddin's caliber to deal with Timur: According to one story, Timur had ordered his battle elephants to be quartered in the vicinity of his field quarters. Accordingly, one elephant was assigned to each nearby village. Since the elephants consume large amounts of food and are fond of tree bark, they began to inflict considerable damage to the crops, orchards and vineyards. The elders of a village, deciding that they could no longer withstand the ruination, sought out Nasreddin and asked him to be their spokesman, to relay their wish to Timur that their elephant be withdrawn. Nasreddin agreed on one condition. The entire delegation was to accompany him to Timur's throne. Members of the delegation agree. Nasreddin takes the lead, with the elders in tow, and they begin their trek to the encampment. As the delegation approaches the multitudes of guards, some of which are mounted, others on foot, in full battle gear and colorful attires, the members of the delegation begin to have second thoughts. One by one they begin deserting the procession. As Nasreddin approaches Timur's resplendent throne, he realizes that he is alone. Feeling betrayed and becoming furious, he proceeds nonetheless. The Chamberlain announces Nasreddin. Timur queries majestically: "State your business." After due and proper salutation, Nasreddin begins: "Your Highness, the residents of this village asked me to relay their highest respects to you. They are quartering one of your battle elephants, but they have a small worry." "May they be blessed. What is their worry?" "Your Highness, they have noticed that the elephant in their charge appears to be unhappy with his lot. He may be suffering from loneliness. They desire a companion for him." "Let it be." Timur seems pleased and orders a pouch of gold coins be given to Nasreddin. along with a new suit of clothes. Nasreddin leaves the Presence of Timur and on the way back, the delegation reassembles the way it dispersed. They are very curious of the outcome and wish to share in the good fortune of their Chief-Emissary. Nasreddin observes wryly: "You harvest what you sow." (Turkish Proverb) As Nasreddin becomes more known to Timur, he is invited to the Presence more often. At one point, Timur wishes to examine the tax records of the nearest town. The official in charge of the collection is brought before the throne and is asked to reconcile the revenues with the written record. The official is unable to please the sovereign. Timur orders:

"Let him eat the tax books." The Chamberlains tear the books and present it to the (now ex-official) for his culinary consumption. Timur gives another order: "Nasreddin, I hereby appoint you the new Tax Collector." Timur's word is law, permits no choice. Time passes. Timur is desirous of investigating the performance of the newly appointed tax-officer. Nasreddin is sent for and enters the Presence with a stack of pide (flat bread) in his arms, with slender lines of accounts scribbled on them. Timur, recognizing the local staple food, thunders: "What insolence! You were ordered to appear with the tax books!"

Nasreddin Responds: "Your Highness, these are the tax books. Might I not have to eat  them?1 Another Nasreddin story, and motif that later found its way into the literatures of neighboring peoples, involves Nasreddin entering into a bet with another person. Nasreddin accepts a challenge to spend a cold winter night outdoors with minimal clothing on. If he can stand the harsh conditions until daybreak without a fire, he will win. The loser will have to treat the winner to a feast.

Nasreddin manages to survive, and he so informs the other betting party. But his protagonist is not willing to accede. "Nasreddin, were the stars out during the night?" "Yes, the stars were out during the night." "In that case, you were warmed by the lights of the stars. That was against the conditions we agreed. Therefore you forfeit, and must provide the feast." Nasreddin invites the other man to dinner.

They begin making small talk. Nasreddin excuses himself several times to supervise the kitchen preparations. Hours pass, but no food arrives. Finally, the protagonist cannot stand it any longer, and wishes to inspect the dinner that is taking so long to cook. To his amazement, he finds a large kettle with a sheep in it and a solitary candle flickering underneath where a hot fire is usually found. In exasperation, the man shouts: "A candle to boil this kettle?" Nasreddin responds with, "If I can be warmed by the light of stars, then why could not a candle provide the heat to boil the kettle?" Another story has even more interesting twists. "Nasreddin and his son were traveling towards a market town, with an ass which they had to sell. The road was bad, and the old man therefore rode, but the son went afoot. The first passenger they met asked Nasreddin if he was not ashamed to ride by himself and suffer the poor lad to wade along through the mire; this induced him to take up his son behind him. He had not traveled far when he met others, who said they were two unmerciful lubbers to get both on the back of that poor ass, in such a deep road. Upon this the old man gets off and let his son ride alone. The next they met called the lad a graceless, rascally young jacka-naphs to ride in that manner through the dirt while his aged father trudged along on foot. And they said, the old man was a fool for suffering it. He then bid his son come down and walk with him, and they traveled on leading the ass by the halter; till they met another company, who called them a couple of senseless blockheads for going both on foot in such a dirty way when they had an empty ass with them, which they might ride upon. The old man could bear no longer. My son, it grieves me such that we cannot please all these people. Let us throw the ass over the next bridge, and be no further troubled with him." This is the story I collected a few years before sitting down to compose this Introduction. Except the narration above belongs to Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), and he does not use Nasreddin's name (he calls the primary character, 'Old Man'). The story appears here as Franklin published it in his Pennsylvania Gazette (c. 1731), in his own defense that a man cannot possibly appease everyone.2 Now, how did Franklin know about this Nasreddin story? Or, is it not a Nasreddin story at all, created by Franklin, translated from English, crossed the Atlantic, arrived in Asia Minor and shouldered Nasreddin's mantle? Or, can there be other possibilities? In June 1731, Franklin published the well-known "Apology for Printers" in his Pennsylvania Gazette:

"....Hence arises the peculiar unhappiness of that business, which other callings are no way liable to; they who follow printing very scarce able to do only thing in their way of getting a living which shall not probably give offence to some, and perhaps to many, whereas the smith, the shoemaker, the carpenter, or the man of any other trade may work indifferently for people of all persuasions without offending them, any of them; and the merchant may buy and sell with Jews, Turks, heretics and infidels of all sorts, and get money by every one of them, without giving offence to the most orthodox...."3 Apparently, Franklin knew more than he disclosed. For example, on another occasion, when Franklin was working to establish the "New House" in Philadelphia for the purpose of taking care of disenfranchised, itinerant or newly arrived preachers, he is said to have stated: "If the mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mahometanism to us he would find a pulpit at his service..."4 (After recording this quotation, Brands adds: 'for all the uproar the Great Awakening caused among Protestants, they retained sufficient composure to band together against such irretrievably lost souls as Moslems, Catholics and Jews') So, Franklin was acquainted with the lay of the land in Asia Minor. Did his stay in London, a city in close commercial and diplomatic relations with the Ottoman port cities, especially Istanbul and Izmir, help him acquire his information? Franklin must have either had amassed quite a bit of information, or had easy access to it, both from the books he personally owned, and through the Library Company he pioneered in Philadelphia. Franklin began drawing on all that accumulated information when he began the Poor Richard's Almanack. Brands again observes: "Every Almanack offered pearls of wisdom on personal conduct and related matters of daily life, that the pearls had been retrieved from other oysters bothered no one except perhaps the owners of those other oysters, who in any event had no recourse in the absence of applicable copyright laws.

The trick for writers like Franklin was to polish the pearls and set them distinctively."5 The reader may decide. Nasreddin's didactic messages, in the disguise of tales, moved far and wide over time and space.

In fact, his name and teachings are familiar bright spots in many geographic and cultural terrains, stretching from the Mediterranean into the Eastern reaches of the Asian Continent. Even Mark Twain was moved to include an episode from Nasreddin in one of his volumes, which he encountered on one of his own peregrinations.6 Until rather recently, Nasreddin has been treated solely as an oral literature archetype, a creation of the collective minds of the Turkish heritage. Recently a debate has been raging on his 'real' identity, based on information harvested (or not) from the 13th century literary sources.

Cultural, Societal and Historical Background In order to appreciate the discovery, a briefest glance at the historical events and the shortest possible overview, as far as the latest scholarship allows, may provide requisite and suitable signposts. Due to historical economic and political reasons, Turk polities live in a sizable area that covers most of Eurasia. Not all corners of the Asian continent is lush with tropical forests, nor is all land arable or suitable for agriculture. Large areas, especially in the center of Asia, are designated bozkir, arid regions supporting limited vegetation. Rainfall is limited, and benefits mostly small irrigated patches where cities are located. All are separated with sizeable deserts such as Karakum, Kizilkum, Gobi, Taklamakan.

In these conditions, family units must depend on each other for survival. This historically they did largely by engaging in animal husbandry, primarily horses and sheep. These species provided the basic necessities of life in the bozkir, including the fibers to produce clothing and shelter (not to mention food and drink). Anyone attempting to live alone could hardly see the next spring in the harsh continental climate. Similarly, a single family, regardless of how large it might be, could not survive without other kinsmen. The Central Asians, as one consequence, have a highly developed vocabulary to define social relations and familial ties. Thus, we observe that a pyramidal structure constitutes the bases of the broad community under these circumstances. It has a defined set of steps. An uruk is comprised of oymak, which are made up of aris, a composition of soy, itself a subdivided into tire, constituted by ara. Therefore schematically uruk is the highest level-short of a confederation: uruk > oymak > aris > soy > tire > ara There are hardly any English language or 'western' cultural equivalents for these terms. The closest we can come is at the lowest levels, progressively, are 'family' and 'village.' At the higher levels, the organizations and their definitions are heavily culture-bound. For example, a certain level of grouping (such as soy) and its definition exists in commemoration of a past leader reared by that specific sub-section. Even the oymak and aris levels may compete for the same honor. In the end, the biological competition determines the outcome: whichever grows fast (and increases its base sub-divisions) becomes the higher level. In any event, the structure has the shape of a pyramid, with the baseline comprised of ara. Except, it must be constantly borne in mind that the ultimate monolithic structure only solidifies under conditions that give birth to a confederation. Rest of the time, the lines are quite fluid. In times of political strain, when war clouds are visible, various uruk enter into coalitions and establish the ultimate political and economic union: the confederation. The Central Asians termed this process "tug baglamak," tying the horse-tail standard. The leader of a polity or unit had the traditional right to tie a tug to his lance. As the tug would be more visible than a naked lance, this tug was used to identify the polity and, when needed, to signal various messages over considerable distances. When the leader in question attracted more of his kinsmen to his tug standard, he would be in a position to add additional tug to his own lance.

This was necessary because he now had more divisions to command, each with a designated lieutenant, called tugbay. For example, in the very late 15th and very early 16th centuries, the Özbeks and the Kazaks formed their confederations in this time-honored fashion, neither of which existed earlier. In the 14th century, after the Mongol irruption subsided, Timur's domains provides another example. The population of the Timur empire, which was not an example of the traditional confederation format, comprised primarily of urug, oymak, aris and so on, that arrived from the Nogay confederation (situated to the north of Timurid domains) which was beginning to dissolve. Even though the Nogay confederation finally ceased to be, the population and the structure comprising it did not. They simply moved over to another domain, to start anew. This process has been repeated many times over, due to climactic change, political winds, or economic necessity.

This was the mechanics by which the Central Asians established their polities, which we might now call states, complete with their geographic domains and governance structures. The name adopted as the appellation of the confederation is chosen carefully, as it determines the character of the polity. For example, the Özbek confederation (established at the beginning of the 16th c.) named itself after Özbek Han who had lived a couple of centuries earlier. This took place after an earlier confederation was dissolved, and the components of that earlier confederation chose to join others to form a new confederation. Togan, in his "Origins of the Özbeks and the Kazaks" summarizes the process: The nomadic populace of the entire Desht-i Kipchak [Kipchak steppe], from the Tarbagatay mountains to the Syr Darya River, and from Khorezm to the Idil [Volga] basin and Crimea, were termed "Togmak'' during the era of the Mongols, prior to the spread of Islam. Among the Khiva Özbeks, the term (in Ebülgazi) known as "Togma''; Baskurts "Tuvma;'' Nogay (according to the Cevdet Pasha history), "Tokma'' designated individuals without a known lineage, or fugitives to be sold as slaves, being offenders of the law. The negative connotation ascribed to this term, generally referencing the Kipchaks and Altin Orda (Golden Horde) Tatars, must have occurred after the spread of Islam. It is not known that the Jochi Ulus utilized that appellation. It appears that this tribe, known as "Togmak,'' had been designated as "Özbek'' after "Özbek Khan'' (1312-1340). According to Bartold, the terms "Özbek'' and "Özbek Ulus'' have been utilized in Central Asia to distinguish this tribe and its entire military population from the "Chaghatay''; until the dissolution of the Altin Orda during the fifteenth century, and the dissemination of its uruk as Özbek, Kazak, and Nogay Ulus. Their identifying uran (battle cry) was the word alach. Each polity would choose an uran as a part of their membership kit.

The uran is the word shouted in the heat of the battle, to allow combatants to identify and gauge the whereabouts of their fellows without taking their eyes off the common adversary. The uran serves as the general password of the members of a polity, as seen for example, with the Nogay. The utterance of the uran (during the act of the strike, of the motion of the sword, to release the pressure on the diaphragm) marked the membership in a given polity as well as access to other members not personally acquainted in non-combat times. Thus, uran is an integral part of identity in Central Asia, forming a triad, along with tamga and dastan. The term tamga, originally referring to the "seal'' of a given group, was later borrowed by Russians to designate customs levies (as tamozhnia). The tamga was embroidered on Central Asian tents, incorporated into rugs, filigreed into jewelry, struck into coins, and used as a cattle brand. A list of early tamgas is found in Kashgarli Mahmut's eleventh century work the Diwan Lugat at Türk. It provides, in part, the visual identification component of the membership in the polity. A dastan, on the other hand is an ornate "oral history" of the origins, customs, practices, and exploits of ancestors. It was a shameful act on the part of any member who could not recite a portion of the designated dastan. The dastan contains the kernel of the events that gave birth to the polity. And the contents of dastans also provides the bases of many a folk tale in the same society. As one result, the triad uran, tamga, dastan comprise, if you will, the constitution, passport and national anthem of the confederation. Together, they form the emblems of a polity, or statehood. This triad was always used by Turk polities, even after large-scale Central Asian empires, city-states or other smaller entities, dissolved. The triad lay dormant for a period, until new conditions favorable for another confederation presented themselves. It happened in the fifth to seventh centuries A.D., when the Göktürk empire rose from its earlier roots, and even after the thirteenth century Mongol irruption as the Timurid empire demonstrates. In the twentieth century, this triad began to make itself felt once again. In the political party platforms of the proposed Turkistan independent republic, the traces of these elements are discernible. This is much like the Australian colonies confederating in 1901 to form Australia, or the American colonies in 1776 making use of earlier symbolisms and traditions, forming coalitions.7 It is natural, therefore, to observe these symbols appearing in folktales. Over time, there have been several overlapping Turk confederations, all established in the foregoing manner. For example, while the Karakhanids (10-12th c) were constituted in the Eastern reaches of Asia, the Ghaznavids (10th-11th c.) were their western neighbors.

Immediately to the West of the Ghaznavids were the Seljuks/Oghuz (11th-13th c.) and (after the Mongol irruption) the Timurids (15th-16th c.). The latter two aided (in one way or other) the rise and spread of the Ottomans (13th-20th c.) and the Golden Horde Khanates (14th-16th c.) to their West and the Northwest.8 The Ahi organization in Asia Minor Almost all of the Nasreddin and Keloglan stories take place in Asia Minor, where the Oghuz and Turkmen uruks, constituting the Seljuk empire (confederation), were already firmly established before the battle of Manzikert in 1071. By the thirteenth century, as the central administrative organization of the Seljuks loosened, on the way to giving birth to yet other, similar polities, it became necessary for the small businesses in their domains to regulate and protect themselves. For the purpose, they chose a guild system by which to accomplish their objectives. One of the outcomes was the Ahi lodges. The principles of the Ahi lodges were certainly influenced by a number of factors. These tenets were laid down by Shamanism, Melamism and and the existence of a similar regulatory agency on the Byzantian lands. Therefore, the picture unfolding before us, however distant, indicates that there were several pairs of diametrically opposing forces battling for supremacy in the hearts and minds of the population of the region in general. Confrontation between belief systems: Turk shamanism is the earliest known belief system, based on spirituality, courage, physical prowess, hospitality and generosity. It has two discernible basic branches: one of the earliest known montheisms, the Tengri; and the dual diety Erlik and Dirlik (Sky and Underground gods, respectively). Over time, the Turk shamanism came into contact with neighboring belief systems, such as Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Mithraism; and exchanged tokens or significant eschalatological aspects. The entry of Islam into this Shamanist territory created new traditions, and in some cases seriously eroded the basics of both belief systems. There are a myriad of poems and stories demonstrating theshamanist resistance to Islam, from all over Central Asia.9 For example: A Turkmen rider encounters a dismounted kinsman. The latter had stuck a twing in the ground, in the vast expanses of the bozkir (semi desert, arid-lands) to create a semblance of private space, and is performing namaz (ritual prayer) behind it. The rider chides the worshipper: Anan, atan isidür çarpmak, yikmak, talamak Kim kodu sana çöpe tapmak, toprak yalamak? It is the tradition of your forebearers to strike, to raid So, who induced you to worship the twig and lick the dirt? In another instance, precepts of Islam were being explained to a gathering of Kazaks. The preacher, attempting to review and reinforce his message, puts the question to the assembly:

"And, how will the Kazaks enter paradise?" To which an attendee responds without hesitation: "On horseback."10 Among some of the Turk groups, reverence is articulated towards the ancestral superstars in poetry. Sisenbay was the Baskurt orderly to Z.V. Togan (1890-1970) during the Turkistan National Liberation Movement of the 1920s and 1930s; 'Biy Temir' (or Temur Bey) is the correct spelling of what has been rendered as 'Tamarlane:' And the 'black stone' is the very large, very dark green jade marking Timur's burial location, inside the moseleum known as Kök kümbez 'Sky Blue Dome' ('sky blue' or 'Turquoise' has been the primary royal color among Turks). Kök kümbezin kürüldetip, Ürkütme bizni Biy Temir; Qaraqas tasin qimildatip, Qorkutma bizni Biy Temir Do not scare us Bey Temir By making your blue dome thunder; Do not frighten us Bey Temir By moving your black stone Haris Sisenbay, c. 192211 9 H. B. Paksoy, "Sun is also Fire" Central Asian Monuments (Istanbul: Isis, 1992). 10 With many thanks to Dr. Bugra Atsiz. 11 Z.V. Togan, Hatiralar (Istanbul, 1969)

_ . _

1 H. B. Paksoy, "Elements of Humor in Central Asia: The Example of Journal Molla Nasdreddin" Turkestan als historischer Faktor und politische Idee. Baymirza Hayit Festschrift, Prof. Dr. Erling von Mende, ed. (Koln: Studienverlag, 1988) [In H.B. Paksoy, Essays on Central Asia (Lawrence, KS: Carrie, 1999]
http://www.ukans.edu/~ibetext/texts/paksoy-6/cae09.html

2 H.W. Brands, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (Doubleday, 2000) P. 117. 3 Brands, Pp.115-116 4 Brands, P.149

5 Brands, P.130 6 Samuel Langhorne Clemens, William Dean Howells, Charles Hopkins Clark, Mark Twain's Library of Humor (New York, 1887).

http://aton.ttu.edu
pdf/The_Bald_Boy_Keloglan_and_the_Most_Beautiful_Girl_in_the_World.pdf

(Kilavuzlar Bolumu basinda)


© Copyright 2001 H.B. Paksoy, Lubbock, Texas 2003

   
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