"Folklore is bloody memory of every nation"

The history of folklore, as oral poetic creativity of Azeri people, dates back to the time of first people settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has got one of the richest folklore wealth in the world.

One can still find rich and deeply meaningful folklore samples in Azerbaijan literature. The signs of mythological and belles-lettres experience have remained both in folklore and classical literature up to days. It is possible to find out the traces of Azerbaijan mythology in Azerbaijan folklore.

Common features with other Turkish people folklore are other peculiarities of those of Azerbaijan. Many coincidences in oral texts of these people prove that these samples were created in the same ethno-geographical area.

Azerbaijan folklore is rich in genres. Tales and epics, proverbs and sayings, reflecting the wisdom of the people, being the genres of epic folklore, greatly influenced the folklore and classical literature of the neighbours. Bayati - the specimen of lyrical genre - has multisided literary-emotional reflection of the lives of people.

To Professor Gazanfar Pashayev, doctor of philology, "Kitabi- Dada Gorgud" ("The Book of Old Gorgud") is an invaluable monument of Azerbaijan oral folk creation and written literature. He stated: “This epos influenced the literature of all Turkic-speaking peoples. It is a literary monument that joined us. Epos was not so widely popular in Turkey but in 1912-1915, the Azerbaijani eposes were published in Turkey. “Koroglu” epos belongs not only to Azerbaijani literature, but also to the literature of Turkmenistan, Turkey and other Turkic states.  Bayati occupies a special place in the literature of Turkey, Iraqi Turkmen, the Kagauz and other Turkic-speaking peoples.

Folklore is the product of an oral language. Turkic-speaking peoples have a common language – Turkic. And our folklore is based on this language.”

Professor Gazanfar Pashayev stated that the Azerbaijani folklore achieved great development nowadays: “We have established the Folklore Institute that has no analogy in the world. The Institute collects all kinds of folklore, studies and publishes them. Ashugs Union was established in XX century. We have special programs, such as ‘Ashig Peri’, devoted to ashug literature and ashug creation.  

The folklore of Azerbaijan compasses the folklore of the nation. All kinds of folklore are bloody memories of the nation; it protects the nation from getting shattered, guarantees its integrity. Unfortunately, epos tradition is slowly disappearing. Ashugs, in general, were the agitators of eposes. Nowadays ashugs are satisfied with performing saz melodies.”

Sevinj Fedai