To the 225th anniversary of Jantay Khan and the 180th anniversary of Shabdan Baatyr

This article was written by the great-granddaughter of Shabdan-Baatyr.

Janyl Ablyldabek kyzy. Photo from

Janyl Abdyldabek kyzy was born in 1947 in the Kyrgyz SSR, in the family of the grandson of Shabdan-Baatyr Abdyldabek Taiguronov. In 1969, she graduated from the Frunze Polytechnic Institute with a degree in automation and telemechanic and became one of the first Kyrgyz women information technology engineers.
She worked as the Chairman of the state Commission on family and women’s Affairs under the government of the Kyrgyz REPUBLIC. As Deputy Director of Kyrgyzpatent, she contributed to the formation of the legislative framework of Kyrgyzstan in the field of copyright and related rights.  For many years, as a gender expert, she worked on the protection of women’s rights and empowerment, participating in projects of UNDP and UN women.

Currently on a well-deserved rest, receives a pension for special services to the Kyrgyz Republic. He has two sons, five grandsons and two granddaughters.
Janyl Abdyldabek kyzy wrote a book about Shabdan-Baatyr, the book is expected to be out of print in 2020.

About the dates of life of Jantay-khan and Shabdan-baatyr

Many publications indicate that Jantay-Khan was born in 1794, and his son Shabdan-Baatyr – in 1839. There are no Metric records of birth, and both dates are set by calculation. They are made based on information considered reliable: the year of death and age at this time.

On the burial place of Jantay Khan is a stone stele on which is engraved: “1283 (1867) Gilda Anti Baator Karabuk Baator corner 73 yasinda BU the gift of Albanian of Caravaca rihlat ALADI”. This means: “Jantay-Baatyr, son of Karabek-Baatyr, died in 1867 at the age of 73.” Based on the given record we get 1867-73 = 1794, which is defined as the year of birth of Jantay-Khan.

From left to right: Shabdan uulu Aman, Kemel uulu Ajykabyl (grandson of Shabdan-baatyr), Jantay uulu Shabdan, Shabdan’s granddaughter, Estebes uulu Abdrakhman, volost administrator, Abdrakhman’s guard

There is more information about Shabdan-Baatyr. At the place of his burial, a stone stele with writings was also installed; in addition, information about the death of Shabdan Baatyr was also published in a number of publications of that time. For example, obituaries were published in the Newspapers “Turkestan Vedomosti” and “Semirechenskiye Vedomosti”, and the publications stated that Shabdan-Baatyr died in 1912 at the age of 73 years, from which we can conclude that the year of his birth – 1839 (1912-73).

However, in N. A. Aristov’s book «Western Tian-Shan. Usuni and Kyrgyz or Kara-Kyrgyz” (Part 2. – St. Petersburg, 1893) on page 512, the researcher writes that he introduced «… compiled by his [Aristov’s] desire autobiography Shabdan…» and further on the text: “… I, Shabdan, was born, on Tuyuk-Bulun [the source of the rivers Chon-Kemin and Chon-AK-Suu], near Kungei-Aksu on Issyk-Kul in May 1840”. Thus, the statement that 1840 is the year of birth of Shabdan-Baatyr comes from his own lips. This coincides with the entry in the 1888 «Service record…» where it is stated that Shabdan «… is 48 years old…» i.e. 1888-48 = 1840, so we get the year of birth of Shabdan-Baatyr-1840.

It would be wrong to ignore other records, according to which the year of birth of Shabdan-Baatyr is named 1839, and we need to find the reason for the discrepancy.

In our opinion, it is necessary to take into account the well-known peculiarity of burial according to Kyrgyz tradition, which have survived to this day, namely – at burial, one year of fetal life in the mother’s womb, is added to the actual age of the deceased. In accordance with this, we can conclude that both Jantay-Khan and Shabdan-Baatyr lived for 72 years after their birth, although 73 years were announced at the burial (72 + 1). Thus, taking into account the above, we get the real birth years of JantayKhan-1795 and Shabdan-Baatyr-1840.

Shabdan’s madrasah

There are also discrepancies in determining the date of death of the latter. For example, the obituaries indicate that Shabdan-Baatyr died on April 6, 1912. With the help of modern date converters, we determine that this day was Saturday.

Meanwhile, on a stone stele on the grave of Shabdan-Baatyr, it is written that he died in the spring of 1330, on the 17th, on Friday [i.e., for Muslims on a blessed day]: “1330 Hijri 17 Rabi as-Sani (month) – day of the week-Yaum al-Jum’a”. The same thing is said in the book of Osmonaly Sydykov “Tarihi Shadmani”.

It follows that the actual day of Shabdan-Baatyr’s death is April 5, 1912 (Friday).

To draw conclusions:

  • Jantay-Khan was born in 1795 and died in 1867.
  • Shabdan-Baatyr was born in May 1840 on Tuyuk-Bulun, near Kungei-Aksu on Issyk-Kul and died on April 5, 1912 in Chon-Kemin, in the present village of tar-Suu.

In our opinion, these dates should be used in future reference publications.



Janyl Abdyldabek kyzy

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