chapter  14
21 Pages

Conceiving a people’s history: the 1920–1936 discourse on the Kazakh past: Zifa-Alua Auezova


After 1991, each of the former republics of the Soviet Union revised its national historiography. For the newly independent Central Asian states, including Kazakhstan, the search for new models of a national narrative led, among other things, to a reevaluation of two major types of sources that had previously been largely discarded by the Soviet discourse: the pre-Soviet Russian tradition of Oriental studies; and historical sources of local origin (such as genealogies, dynastic and tribal histories, biographies of prominent individuals and fragments of popular oral narratives). In general, one might describe the first decade of the post-1991 search for new contents in post-Soviet historiography as an attempt to overcome the distortions caused by Soviet ideology, and to rediscover what had been there before Soviet historiography introduced its ideologically adjusted paradigms.