Cultural Landscape of Safid Bulan

2019-5-22 11:14| Editor: IICC| view: 139| comment: 0

Summaryuuuuuu: The sites making these series, are located on the northeastern end of Safid-Bulan village (Ak-Korgon administration of Ala-Buka district of Djalal-Abad oblast), on the border with the Namangan area of Uzbekistan, at the foot of Archa-Mazar mountain. These
The sites making these series, are located on the northeastern end of  Safid-Bulan village (Ak-Korgon administration of Ala-Buka district of Djalal-Abad oblast), on the border with the Namangan area of Uzbekistan, at the foot of Archa-Mazar mountain. These sites are connected with the branch of the Silk Road serving the northeast of Fergana in antiquity and the Middle Ages; includes sacral complex consisting of constructions of various chronological periods standing on a medieval Mazar site, natural sacral components and rich intangible heritage in the form of legends, rituals and practice of sacrifices. Historically these monuments are connected with the time of distribution of Islam to the northeast of Fergana valley where it entrenched in IX-X centuries.  Existing ancient sanctuary was adapted for new religion. The first mentioning of this Mazar was made by Djamal Karshi in the end of XIII century, who spoke about two tombs. The central complex is protected by a wall with a main entrance from village street. The mausoleum of Shah-Fazil occupies its southeastern corner. It is a dome centered building with the corners oriented to the cardinal points, with rich carved ganch interior, which includes wide strips of epigraphics. Adobe mausoleums of XVIII-XIX centuries AD with a traditional name of Safid-Bulan and Keldekhana (Kellahana) were erected on a place of earlier structures. In the northeastern corner of a court yard, near Shah-Fazil a phallic shaped stone so-called "fertility stone" or Tash-Mazar is located.  Gravestones - sagona, are connected by local people with characters of the legendary events which entailed emrgence of this complex, i.e. with Shah Fazil, son of the Arabian military leader who falled in batle here, girl-servant Bulan who collected, washed and buried heads of 2700 soldiers-martyrs. The collection of gravestones - kairaks from the medieval necropolis, containing valuable information on a composition and a religious status of the buried is presented here. To the north from this Mazar complex there are: new mosque constructed on a place of old, hauz and small constructions, making a service infrastructure for pilgrims. There is one more complex (closer to the floodplain terrace of Chanach-Sai river), which centre is ruins of the Kyrgyn-mosque standing at Mazar on a place of burial of 2700 soldiers. To the southeast, on a slope of Archa-Mazar, there is one more adobe construction attributed to a standard-bearer of Arabs. Natural components are : sacred trees, a stone plate, a path on Archa-Mazar slope, considered to provide longevity, the mountain, abovementioned "fertility stone". Intangible heritage makes a whole cycle of legends connected with occurrence of sacral functions of this place, rituals and practice of sacrifices which along with Islamic traditions of honouring Mazar, contain also elements of archaic cults. Preservation of Ethnic, language and cultural variety are remarkable in this district, with prevailing Turkic language component - Kyrgyz and Uzbek, the Tadjik community which has not lost ethnic identification lives here. Families - descendants of sheikhs who remember traditions of teaching of this profession and ethics of behaviour in similar places have remained too.

Part of components of this complex - the Mazar site, the mausoleum of Shah-Fazil, etc. are in the State list of monuments of national importance. Local administrations are in charge of legal and physical protection at the local level, Agency for Culture on national level, but basically the local community which established "Safid-Bulan" fund is in charge of day-to-day maintenance. The order of the Government of the KR on establishment of a national historical and cultural museum complex is being prepared. Restoration works with considerable breaks took place from the end of 1970s years to the beginning of this century. Safid-Bulan and Keldekana mausoleums are in satisfactory condition. Dome and ganch decoration of the interior of Shah-Fazil mausoleum needs in restoration. However, the overall condition is stable, without deterioration. There are projects for restoration of the main mausoleum and other structures of the complex, for protective zoning which will be developed within the framework of the new National Program on Cultural Heritage Preservation.

Comparison of the Silk Roads component with other similar properties, whether on the Silk Roads or not, and the reasons that make the property stand out: Unlike the branch of the Silk Road across East and Southeast Fergana, the branch where Safid-Bulan is located was functioning actively only during Middle Ages. At this particular time the political and cultural centres of the valley moved to the north, and new settlements were established. As a cult site, it can be compared to other mazars of Fergana which are composed of man-made and natural components, however, two elements, so-called "fertility stone" and the mausoleum of Shah-Fazil differ it from them. Shah-Fazil mausoleum is known of its monumental epigraphics which exact analogies are not present in Central Asian stucco decoration of XI-XII centuries AD. Comparison of style of inscriptions is possible only with some monuments, in particular, with mausoleums of XI-XII centuries in Old Merv, in Seraxs etc.