Karasakal necropolis

Name of the monument: Karasakal necropolis

Typological affiliation: sacred object

Dating of the monument: XVII (XVIII?) – early XX century

Location of the monument: Aktobe region, Bayganinsky district, 61 km south-west of the village of Zharkamys.

Historical Background: Details of the eponym among the population are vague and conflicting. According to the modern “restorative” epitaph, he is Baktybai Tolesuly – a Kazakh batyr from the tribe alim clan shekty (tavern), nicknamed “Karasakal”, who, according to some sources, lived in the 1720s – 1780s. Burial “Karasakala”, marked with a wooden pole with an inscription, is located in the northwestern end of the burial ground.

However, some informants believe that Karasakal was of Bashkir origin. This seems to be evidenced by aitys Kerderi Abubakira with one “leg” at a fair in Temir, when Abubakir reproaches him for not looking for the grave of his ancestor, who lies in the Kazakh land. In this regard, it is interesting to note information about the Bashkir batyr Karasakal, who in 1740 raised an uprising against tsarism in Bashkiria and subsequently fled for Yaik to the Kazakh steppes. Calling himself the brother of Galdan-Tseren, however, he and the Kazakhs who supported him were persecuted. Karasakal died, according to the testimony of the Cossack Matvey Arapov, in the spring of 1749. But he did not indicate the exact place of burial. This attribution of the monument also raises doubts in connection with the legend cited by M. Levanevsky, from which it allegedly follows, that the cemetery “Karasakal awliye” on the eastern bank of the Emba already existed in the second quarter of the 18th century. [Along with this, it should be noted that there are currently other versions on the problem of the eponym of the necropolis (T. Tleukabylyuly)]. It is characteristic that the Kalmyk batyr Kara is also mentioned in the epic about Koblandy; Karasakal is also recorded in the Altai epic “Al-Toychi”.

Description and characteristics of the monument: The necropolis is divided into two parts: the southern (earlier) and the northern, dating back to the middle of the 19th – early 20th centuries. The central part of the complex is poorly saturated with gravestones. The southern half is mainly represented by enclosures, enclosures with kulpytas made of flagstone. The northern part of the necropolis (especially the northeastern end) is more saturated with various (architectural and artistic) types of monuments. The necropolis is distinguished by a variety of types of mausoleums and saganatams, among which there are magnificent examples of architecture and stone-cutting art. The most significant monument of the complex is the Indibay mausoleum, built in 1886–1887. (1304 h.). The composition of the mausoleum, built of sawn limestone blocks, consists of a rectangular frame and a helmet-shaped dome. The surfaces of the monument were originally richly decorated with flat-relief (outside) and contour (in the interior) decor with painted ornament. Saganatams made from sawn blocks make up a significant group of structures. It is characteristic that for them their possible prototypes are found here – archaic fences made of mud brick and limestone. Many of them, like the saganatams, have an entrance framed with slabs in the southern wall. Small forms of burial and cult architecture are very diverse and numerous in Karasakal-auliye. Judging by the epigraphy and tamga signs on the kulpytas at the necropolis, representatives of various clans of the Younger Zhuz were buried: adai, tabyn, ozhyrai, kete, shekty, etc.