Hello, weapons!

According to the official website of capital akimat, Military history Museum hosts an exhibition of the artist and ethnographer-gunsmith Kaliolla Akhmetzhan.

Kaliolla Akhmetzhan is the most famous specialist in the history of Kazakh traditional weapons in the country. It is on his research that historians, reenactors, masters of traditional crafts, artists of cinema and theater rely.


 Exhibition "Myth. Epos. History " in the Military history Museum covers almost half a century of work of the artist and scientist. There is something to see: about a hundred ethnographic drawings, drawings, manuscripts, book illustrations, paintings.


And the most impressive exhibits are complete sets of weapons: Saka warrior of V-III centuries BC, ancient Turkic warrior of V-VIII centuries ad, Kazakh warrior of XIX century. The reconstruction, made according to the sketches of Kaliolla Akhmetzhan, is distinguished by a good authenticity: embossed leather, brass, felt, embroidery. Shields covered with real leather, quiver of birch bark.


...Kaliolla Akhmetzhan loved history since childhood. The historian was his uncle, the house had a large collection of books. And in the visual arts, he was most fascinated by the historical theme.

 "I wanted to study the history of our people and create works dedicated to it", - says the artist – ethnographer.


His ethnographic research Kaliolla Akhmetzhan began in the 70s of the last century a student of the Leningrad Institute of painting, sculpture and architecture named after Repin.

"Studies in Leningrad was given a great opportunity. There are very good museums, libraries, bookstores. I went on booksellers, collected old books on history", - the researcher tells.

During his work he discovered the world of military art of nomadic peoples.


 "Yes, in Soviet times we were taught that nomads had nothing, there were no serious weapons, developed technologies. But when I began to study the archives, Museum funds, it turned out that a huge number of weapons. At this time, Russian researchers came to this: there were works of Gorelik, Khudyakov, Solovyov, who began to study archaeological finds and showed that the level of armament of medieval nomads was very high. I especially want to mention the works of Mikhail Viktorovich Gorelik. He, in addition to archaeological materials, first began to use in their scientific works of monuments of fine art. I can relate, I myself in his writings constantly use fine materials: the petroglyphs of Eastern medieval miniatures, balbala", – said Akhmetzhan.


For several years Kaliolla Akhmetzhan worked at the Central state Museum in Almaty, exploring the Museum collections of traditional weapons of Kazakhs and other peoples. The work was exciting, and there were important discoveries.

"For example, I found the mirror armor of Sultan Arystan in the Museum funds. made about him scientific article, now the armor already presented in the exposition of the Central Museum. Found a chain mail of the Sultan of Arystan, his shield, the tip of his peak with a gold notch, - the weapons expert tells. - These relics were given to the Museum by the descendants of Sultan Arystan in Soviet times, but no one researched and exhibited them. Such memorial objects were many: for example, armor, Zhaugash-Batyr, a dagger Zhankozha Batyr. Many years they lay in the funds, but was not a specialist weapons expert who could determine what kind of items. The mirror armor lay like some boards with an erased ornament, and no one knew what it was. I did the attribution, defined an era and so forth, wrote about these subjects, articles and entered them into the scientific revolution".

Painter, member of the Union of artists of Kazakhstan, candidate of historical Sciences and cultural worker of Kazakhstan, Kaliolla Akhmetzhan published four monographs (three in the Kazakh language and one in Russian) on weapons, martial traditions and military art of the Kazakhs. These scientific works, as well as notes and sketches can also be seen at the exhibition "Myth. Epos. History»

To the question, what place in the researches of the historian still is a myth and epic, Kaliolla Akhmetzhan says:

"Epic, myth, history – they are so interrelated and intertwined, but they can find connecting, the basic, the real thread. This, of course, requires extensive knowledge. Myth is born from some real phenomena. Ancient people any subject revived, he anthropomorphically. Any weapon, if you take the ancient terminology, has a head, waist and so on. Here is the table – it has legs... People tend to mythologize everything around him. But if you try to get to the bottom of it, then you can see the real thing behind the myth. Therefore, both myth and epic are also sources of knowledge."

"For example, here at the exhibition there are three paintings related to the heroes of the epic. On one I depicted the Goats Korpesh and Bayan Sulu in the clothes of the Saka period. At the time, Margulan proved that on the waist plaques of Saka time, found in Eastern Kazakhstan, there are Goats Korpesh and Bayan Sulu, – the artist explains. – This epic is available in all Turkic peoples: the Altai, the Aleuts, even the Yakuts, who have long gone from the steppe to the tundra. The roots of this epic are much older, in the Kazakh version it is a bit modernized, but the ancient motifs remained in it".


"To my happiness, while I was preparing the exhibition, there was an article of the Head of state "Seven faces of the great steppe", which just says that historical reconstruction, promotion of the epic in art, popularization of history is necessary. This pleased me, it says that people still need my work, and I will be happy to continue it",-said Kaliolla Akhmetzhan.

The exhibition will last until March 25, admission is free.

Text: Vlada Guk

Photo: Bekzat Gali



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