Summary of “Alpamish”

Summary of “Alpamish”

Part one

Alpamish and Barchin are engaged from the cradle. Their fathers, the brothers Bayburi and Baisary, noble beks of the “sixteen-tribe Kongrat tribe,” had long been childless, until they prayed to the god of children. Baisara had a daughter, and Baiburi had a twins: a son and a daughter. Having quarreled with his brother, Baisary migrated to the country of the Kalmyks. Here the beautiful Barchin evokes the love of the heroes of the Kalmyk Shah Taicha-khan. To avoid forcible marriage with the hated suitors, Barchin declares that he will give his hand to the one who will be the winner of four competitions. These competitions are horse jumps (“baiga”), competition in the art of bow possession, shooting at the target and fighting. Barchin secretly hopes that

the winner will be her betrothed – Alpamish, the son of Bayburi, for which she sends ambassadors to her homeland. Assistant Alpamysh in this difficult matchmaking is one of the Kalmyk warriors Karadzhan, who becomes a friend of the hero from the rival and the enemy. Karajan on the horse of Alpamys Baychibar is ahead of all his opponents, despite the cunning of Kalmyks, who tie their rival and mutilate his horse, driving nails into his hooves. Karadzhan enters into single combat with the Kalmyk heroes, after which Alpamysh finishes the victory, the most powerful of them – Kokaldash.

Together with Barchin, now the wife of Alpamysh, the winners return to Kongrat. In the Kalmyk country, only Baisary remains, who still does not want to reconcile with his elder brother.

Part two

In the second part of the poem, Alpamish, having learned about the oppressions committed by his father-in-law Taicha Khan, again goes to the Kalmyks country and, through imprudence, falls into captivity to his cunning enemies. He spent seven years in the zindana (underground dungeon) of the Kalmyk shah. The food is delivered to him by Kaikubat, the shepherd who accidentally opened the place of his stay. The daughter of a Kalmyk king visits him in prison, falls in love with him and helps him escape from captivity. The liberated Alpamish

defeats Taicha Khan, kills him and puts him on the throne of the Kaikubat shepherd.

During the seven-year absence of Alpamysh, the head of the Kongrat tribe is his younger brother Ulntaz. The new ruler cruelly oppresses the people, dishonours the old father of Alpamysh and persecutes his young son Yadgar, and Barchin forces him to marry him. Alpamysh, having exchanged clothes with his old slave, herder Kultais, unrecognized, comes to the wedding banquet of Udtantaz, releases his wife and relatives and kills the rapist.


Summary of “Alpamish”