1

This tweet kicked off my interest in this topic.

AFAIK, "The Legend of Oghuz Khagan" is one of the classics in Uyghur literature and it has been called one of the great poetic epics of Uyghur history.

I've seen a translation into Chinese by Geng Shimin.

Does an English translation exist of "The Legend of Oghuz Khagan"? The work doesn't seem to be very long, but I can't seem to find much info on it.

  • Have you tried searching for Oghuznameh/-nama? (the Uyghur cover title). 乌古斯可汗传说/The Legend of Oghuz Khagan is probably a "custom" Chinese translation and is probably not used by Western authors. – Drunken Master Aug 5 at 10:31
  • 1
    @DrunkenMaster I was able to find something based off of your comment. I posted an answer below. Thanks. – user3306356 Aug 7 at 5:53
3

Harun Doğruyol has written on the topic and has found similar issues:

During my research I did not come across any English version of this epic,

but thankfully he also says:

so I have translated the first and pagan version and have attached it to my article.


The Legendary Turkish Warrior (Alp) Oguz Khan and His Epic

The Birth of Oguz Khan

  1. ……They said let it be.
    Here is his image:
  2. After that they also got in happy and joyful mood
    One day
  3. Their eyes brightened up, became colorful, filled in light
    That day Moon Khan gave birth to a boy
  4. Bluish, sky-blue was his face
    Redd*ish was his mouth, like a fire was his color of face
  5. Crimson were his eyes, dark was his face
    His eyebrows were more beautiful than fairies’, how black!
  6. He came to his mother’s breast he took it and sucked milk
    He did not want to suck milk anymore
  7. He wanted raw meat, meal and, food
    He wanted wine from his surroundings and, wanted to have fun
  8. Immediately, he started to talk, utter and say
    After forty days he started to walk and play
  9. His feet were as if they were ox’s feet
    His ankles were as if they were wolf’s ankles
  10. His shoulders were similar to that of sable’s
    His chest is identical to that of a big bear’s
  11. He was a human but full of hairs
    His body was covered with hairs
  12. He herded the flocks of the horses he caught and rode them
    Days passed, so many years passed
  13. Oguz also grew up and became a handsome hero
    The youth of Oguz Khan
    In that age! In that place!
  14. There was a big forest inside Oguz’s homeland
    Lots of rivers and streams flowed through this forest
  15. Lots of game animals live in the forest
    Lots of game birds also flew over it
  16. In the forest did a big rhinoceros live
    It ate and didn’t let either animal or human live
  17. It attacked herds and always ate horses
    It troubled people, took their lives
  18. It never granted humans their lives
    Such a monster was it, it was that much frightful
  19. There was a person who was very “Alp” (heroic, sublime, frightful, sacred Turkish warrior) called Oguz Khan
    In order to kill that rhinoceros he went to that spot
  20. He took a spear and a sword with a shield and arrows
    He challenged the rhinoceros that it would die soon
  21. He hunted a deer while hunting in the forest
    He tied it to a tree with a willow branch
  22. He returned to his house before the morning broke
    When it was dawn he checked the deer
  23. He realized that the rhinoceros had already swallowed the deer
    He caught a bear also instead of a deer
  24. Taking off his golden belt of kingship
    He hanged the bear downstairs
  25. It was morning again, it began to dawn
    He came and realized that the rhinoceros had taken his bear
  26. Finally this case annoyed him extremely
    He approached the tree himself and stayed under it
  27. When the rhinoceros came, it saw Oguz and stopped
    It hit Oguz’s shield with its head
  28. Oguz hit its head with his spear
    Killing the rhinoceros Oguz saved his homeland
  29. Beheading it with his sword he took its head
    e returned his home and delivered the news to his country
  30. One day he saw a white falcon
    It perched on the rhinoceros and eating its intestine
  31. He shot an arrow with his bow, the arrow killed the falcon
    He beheaded it then, he murmured himself:
  32. “The rhinoceros ate both the deer and the bear”
    “My spear killed it, because it was made of iron”
  33. “A little white falcon ate the huge rhinoceros”
    “The arrow and the bow killed it because it was made of copper”
  34. One day
    Oguz’s marriage with the daughter of the sky
    While Oguz was begging of the God
  35. The darkness fell suddenly, a light descended from the sky
    Such a light was it, brighter than the moon and the sun
  36. Oguz Khan walked and approached the light
    He saw a girl sitting in the middle of the light
  37. There was a beauty spot was on her head, as bright as a fire
    She was so beautiful, as if she was the North Star
  38. Such a beautiful girl was she, the sky smiles with her when she similes When she wants to cry, the sky cries with her
  39. The time Oguz saw the girl, he was overwhelmed He fell in love with her; he loved her whole heartily He entered the bride’s chamber, got what he wanted
  40. She became pregnant, after days and nights passed Her eyes brightened up when her three sons were born
  41. They named the first son “Sun“ They found the name “Moon” for the second son
    They were glad that third one’s name was “Star”
    Oguz’s marriage with the daughter of the ground
  42. Oguz Khan went to the forest to hunt one day
    There was a tree standing in the middle of the lake
  43. A girl was sitting in the cavity of the tree
    Her eyes were bluer than the sky, she was a God’s daughter
    Her hair was wavy as if a river wave
    Her tooth was like a pearl shining in her mouth
  44. Anybody living in the world would say that
    Ah! Ah! We are dying! My God! We are dying!
  45. They would say and shout and shout
    Like sweet milk’s becoming kumiss (traditional drink)
  46. When Oguz saw the girl, he was out of mind
    An ember of fire entered his heart whatsoever
  47. He loved her whole heartily, he took her hand
    He entered the bride’s chamber, got what he wanted
  48. They named the first son “Sky“
    They found the name “ Mountain” for the second son
  49. They were glad that third one’s name was “Sea” When Oguz heard this, he had his lineage praised with songs in his homeland
  50. He gave a big feast
    He provided wealth to his homeland

    Missing part

Oguz-Khan’s becoming the “Supreme Khan” of the Turks

  1. He gave orders to his inner homeland
    The people agreed to meet, went to Oguz
  2. Oguz had forty tables prepared
    He had different kinds of food cooked with lots of wine
  3. People sat at the tables drank so much kumiss
    So much wine was drunk and so much sweet was eaten
  4. After the feast he gave this order
    “O! My men! and my nation!”
  5. “I’m now your Khan”
    “Never let either the shield or the arrow fall from your hand”
  6. “A seal that would lead us should become our sign
    “The Alps should become like wolves howling”
  7. “With iron spears our country should become a forest”
    “Our hunting ground should be filled with the wild horses”
  8. “Our country should abound with rivers and seas”
    “The sun in the sky should become our nation’s flag”
  9. “The sky should become our tent”
    “The world should become my country and my nation should be plenty”
  10. He also delivered his order to all round his country
    He informed the ambassadors, everybody learned it
  11. In one of his messages, he addressed his nation as this:
    “Since I’m the supreme Khan of the Uighurs” (first settled Turkish tribe)
  12. “I’m supposed to be the Khan of the world”
    “Every part of the world is under my rule”
  13. “My wish is that you would obey me”
    “My request is that you should be ready for my order”
  14. “Whoever submits to me will be rewarded”
    “He will be my comrade, he could always ask for my help”
  15. “Anyone who does not obey me and rebels against me”
    “I will prepare my army, he is my enemy”
  16. “I declare that I will attack and run over and suppress him”
    “I will destroy him, run over and hang him”
  17. It was also in that age:
  18. There was another Khan called Golden Khan
    He sent his messenger to Oguz Khan
  19. He presented the rare rubies and gold and silver
    He sent diamonds and showed respect
  20. Presenting the best gift, he made friends with him
    He surrendered himself to Oguz and also made him happy
    Oguz Khan’s raids in the west along the Idil River
  21. There was a great and majestic Khan called Urum Khan
    He was dwelling on the left side of Oguz, he was Oguz’s neighbor
  22. He had lots of cities and innumerable armies
    He ignored Oguz’s orders
  23. He never followed Oguz’s orders and resisted him
    He said that “I would never obey you”
  24. Oguz sent him a command, he ignored
    Oguz decided to destroy him
  25. Oguz set off and raised a flag
    He crossed the skirts of the Ice Mountain in forty days
  26. He had the tents set up, he fell asleep
    When the morning was about to break, a light entered his tent
  27. A male wolf appeared, breathing
    A wolf with a blue mane, such a wolf with a bluish furry
  28. He addressed Oguz as if it was a human being
    He began to utter some words as if it was a language
  29. He said “O! Oguz, I know what your wish is”
    “You wanted to start a war in Urum’s province”
  30. “O! Oguz I will lead your army”
    “I will walk in front of your army”
  31. Hearing this Oguz had his tent rolled up
    When he went to his army, he was surprised to see this:
  32. A big male wolf
  33. lf like an advance guard
    With its blue mane, and blue hair, like a scout making way
  34. He was walking in front of them
    Finally he stopped one day, after many days
  35. Oguz’s army stopped, behind him
    There was a river called Idil-Müren
  36. The war started suddenly, by the river bank
    With spears and arrows on the skirts of the Black-Mountain
  37. There were lots of fights among the soldiers
    The people’s minds were confused, they were worried
  38. Such a hard fight was it that
    The color of the water of Idil-Müren became full of red blood
  39. Oguz Khan became successful and Urum Khan escaped
    He took his kingdom and his nation
  40. Oguz’s tent was full of loot
    Whether dead or alive everything became his slave
    Oguz Khan’s raid to Kıpçak
  41. Urum Kağan had a brother called Uruz
    Chief Uruz’s son survived too
  42. Chief Uruz sent his son to a city
    A city set up on the mountain, by a secret river
  43. Chief Uruz told him “the city should be protected”
    “Until the fight is over, the city should be preserved”
  44. He said “Bring your people back after the war”
    Hearing this, Oguz stopped eating and drinking anything
  45. Oguz moved his army, and reached the city
    Uruz sent a messenger to Oguz
  46. He sent a lot of gold, silver, and pearl as gifts
  47. He declared: “O! Oguz Khan you are my Khan”
    “My father gave me this city and said: “You are my son”
  48. “Spare this city for me, it should be protected”
    “The city should be preserved until the fight is over”
  49. “After the war, return back with the city under your rule”
    Chief Uruz said more
  50. “If my father is an enemy of Oguz Khan”
    “Do not blame me, if my ancestor is guilty”
  51. “I’m always with you under your rule”
    “I obey your command, I’m devoted to you”
  52. “My state is your state”
    “Our generation is your descendant”
  53. “God ordered you to rule the earth”
    “I submit to you my head and my country”
  54. “I’m going to sent you my gifts and taxes”
    “I will always be your friend”
  55. Oguz became happy with this brave man’s words
    Smiling, he bestowed him an authority to rule
  56. He said “you gave me lots of gold and gifts”
    “You preserved your city so well”
  57. “For protecting your city so well”
    “I gave you the name Saklap” (the preserver)
  58. Oguz became friend with him, he moved his army
    He came to Idil River and stayed by the banks
  59. The river called Idil was a big river Looking at the river, Oguz asked his chiefs:
  60. “How could we pass this river?” There was a chief, he bowed to Oguz
  61. He was a very clever chief called Uruğ :army chief He gave Oguz Khan advice
  62. Searching the surrounding, he saw lots of trees and branches He cut and shaped the branches, he made a raft
  63. Lying on the raft, he passed the Idil River Oguz became very happy and gave this order:
  64. “Stay here, and be a sanjak (province) chief” “I declare that you will be called Kıpçak (trunk) from now on”
  65. Oguz returned to his army and they set off again
    When they began to march, the wolf appeared
    Emergence of Turkish tribes “Karluk”
  66. Such a wolf, a male wolf With blue hair and blue mane
  67. This wolf said to Oguz “O! Oguz move your army now” “Take your people and your army with their horses” “I will lead you to the right way”
  68. Oguz saw the wolf walking in front The advance guards of the army were following him
  69. Seeing this scene, Oguz became happy He rode his multi-colored horse happily
  70. Oguz Loved his multi-colored horse whole heartily But the horse ran away to the mountain and disappeared
  71. It was a big mountain covered with ice Its summit is too white because of the severe cold
  72. There was a very brave very Alp chief in the army He was neither afraid of God nor Satan
  73. He was not bothered with fatigue and cold He went to the mountain and after nine days
  74. He caught the stallion, and pleased Oguz He was covered with snow
  75. He looked like a snowman Seeing him, Oguz smiled at him
  76. Declared “Stay here and be a chief of the chiefs here” Your name will be Karluk (snowy) forever
  77. He gave him lots of diamonds and gifts
    He went on his way bestowing him presents
    Emergence of the Turkish tribes “Kalaç”
  78. While Oguz was moving forward, He was surprised too much He saw a big house, its windows were made up of silver
  79. The walls were made up of gold, the roof made up of iron There was no key, the door was locked
  80. There was a soldier called Tömürdü Kagul in the army He was very skilful, Oguz ordered him
  81. “You will stay here and you will open the door” “After you have entered the house, join the army later”
  82. Oguz told this soldier to stay and open (kal! aç!)
    Therefore he named him Kalaç
    Curcet raid and emergence of Turkish tribes “Kanglı”
    One day
  83. The wolf with blue hair and with mane disappeared Oguz realized this and stopped
  84. He decided to have his tent set up there This was a barren area without fields, good enough to beat the enemy
  85. The province called Curcet which had vast pastures And lots of wealth, lots of cattle, lots of horses
  86. Curcet Khan had lots of gold and silver
  87. He had lots of diamonds
  88. Curcet Kagan with his army and people Rebelled against Oguz Khan
  89. Oguz spilled the enemy’s blood with spear and sword Oguz suppressed and overcame him
  90. Oguz killed him beheading He divided the loots among his men and made the nation submit to him
  91. Oguz’s officials and soldiers and nation Took and gathered all the countless goods
  92. The horses, and oxen and mules were not enough To carry the goods taken in the war
  93. There was a soldier clever and, experienced in the army His name was Barmaklıg Cosun Billig a very capable man
  94. He designed an oxcart, this skillful man of Oguz Put everything in taken during the war
  95. In order to pull the oxcart, the living beings were harnessed in front The loots were put at the back of the oxcart
  96. Oguz’s chiefs and nation were surprised They designed oxcarts similar to his
  97. When the oxcarts were moving, they shouted: Kanga! Kanga! Therefore their names became “Kanga” (oxcart)
  98. Seeing this Oguz laughed at And ordered “The living beings should pull the lifeless”
  99. “Your name is now Kangalug, and the oxcart is your sign” He left them ad proceeded Oguz’ raids to the south
  100. The holy wolf with blue hair and blue mane appeared India, Tangut too became Oguz land
  101. Oguz marched towards Syria He fought, beheaded, added it to his country
  102. This should be known by everybody There was a province called Barkan in the south
  103. It was a wealthy area with lots of game bird The climate was hot; it was a region of the wild animals
  104. It had lots of gold and silver The People there were dark skinned by divine
  105. The Khan of the Region was called Masar (Egypt) Oguz went there, fought hard and dominated
  106. When he had a victory, Masar Khan escaped He took over the land and added it to his country
  107. He took countless properties and horses, his friends became happy He returned his homeland and his enemies became desperate Oguz granted the title of Khan to his six sons
  108. This should be mentioned, everybody should know There was an old man under Oguz’s service
  109. White bearded, gray haired, very experienced A very noble man, clever and considerate
  110. His title is “Tüşimel” in other words: the vizier of The Khan His name is Sublime Turk, Oguz’s distinguished man
  111. He had a dream during his sleep. He saw a golden bow, and three silver arrows
  112. The golden bow was extending from the east to the west Three silver arrows were flying to the north
  113. He told Oguz about his dream He interpreted his dream, with inspiration
  114. He said: “My dream should bring you peace and comfort” “I hope it will bring unity and security to my Khan”
  115. “What I had in my dream, should come to truth With the help of the God of Sky
  116. The earth should be filled with your tribe God should grant the earth to your linage
  117. Oguz was pleased with the Sublime Turk’s words Oguz took his advice and comforted to it
  118. When he woke up in the morning He had his younger and older sons called
  119. He said: “I want to hunt”
    “As I’m old now I do not have the courage”
  120. “Sun, Moon, Star go to the east”
    “Sky, Mountain and Sea go to the west”
  121. Hearing this order, three of his son went to the east
    Three of them went to the west
  122. Sun, Moon, Star hunted a lot of games and birds
    They found a golden bow
  123. They presented it to the Khan, he became happy and smiled
    He divided the bow into three parts
  124. He said: “O! my sons the bow is yours
    “Your arrows should reach the sky”
  125. Sky, Mountain, Sea hunted lots of games and birds
    They found three silver arrows
  126. They presented it to the Khan, he became happy and smiled
    He divided the arrows into three parts
  127. He said: “O! my sons this arrow is yours
    “Your arrows should reach the sky”
    Oguz gave a big feast
  128. After saying all these, Oguz organized a general meeting
    The chiefs and the people came and greeted each other
    Everybody came and be seated in Oguz tent

Missing part

  1. In Oguz’s own big tent

Missing part

  1. He had a forty fathom tall pole erected on the right side of his tent
    He put a golden chicken at the top of the pole
    He tied a white sheep at the bottom of the pole
  2. He had a forty fathom tall pole erected on the right left of his tent
    He put a silver chicken at the top of the pole
    He tied a black sheep at the bottom of the pole
  3. On his right side there were Grey Arrows, on the left Three Arrows
    They sat down and had fun more than forty days
  4. They ate and drank and attained their desire
    Oguz divided his country among his sons and gave it to his sons
  5. He said “O! my sons”
    “So many wars have I been through, so many borders have I crossed”
  6. “So many spears and arrows have I thrown”
    “So long distances have I traveled on horse, so many enemies did I make cry”
  7. “I have made happy most of my friends”
    “Thank God I have paid my debt”
    “To the God of Sky”
    “I give this country to you, this country is now yours”

Translated by Harun DOGRUYOL (Based on Togan Zeki Velidi, Oğuz Destanı, Enderun Kitapevi, 2. Basım, Istanbul, 1982

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