The Aali Tokombaev Museum

The great poet Aali Tokombaev was born in 1904. At 18 he attended illiteracy classes at the Central Asia Communist University. In 1927 he graduated and soon after was appointed editor of the republican newspaper Kizil Uchkun. In the same year he organized a literary society of the same name.

The first intelligentsia, the founders of Kirgyz professional literature, grew out of this society. In 1932 together with the’Uchkunovs’, Aali established the Chaabul journal and became its editor then two years later he became the first chairman of the Kirghiz Writers’ Association.

Between 1927 and 1935 several of his poetry collections were published, and the next year his poetic novel Bloody Years came out, dedicated to the horrible events that occurred during the revolt in Kyrgyzstan in 1916.

In 1937-1939, he was accused of wrongly portraying Lenin in the Weeping for Lenin poem, of nationalism, spying for Japan and being a member of the STP party. He was arrested. In prison he continued to write on cigarette papers and embroider on pillow case scraps. When he was discharged, it was written: “The accused Aali Tokombaev did not plead guilty, in his prejudicial evidence no one was slandered… “

Though the books of Aali Tokombaev were repeatedly obstructed, he was awarded Lenin’s order, the Star of Hero of Socialistic Work, the Medal of Honor and many others. He devoted enormous effort to the Manas, Semetey, Seytek trilogy. On 16 June, two days before his death, the last two-volume edition was published.
Even after his death a connection with this great poet continues: his home is now the museum and has become a daily meeting place for students, scientists, intellectuals and all those interested in literature.

11.12.2008
Central Asia Discovery
# 25

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