Sanzhyra is an ancient spiritual heritage of the Kyrgyz people, oral history and ancient science. The word “Sanzhyra” comes from the Arabic word “shajara” – “tree”.
Sanzhyra answers questions such as: Who are you? who is your father? who is your grandfather? What tribe and what nationality are you from?
Sanjira (Genealogy) is an oral art form that provides information about the origin, distribution, division and history of a tribe, clan or people. This sometimes happens in written form.
There is a strong mythical and legendary orientation in the Kyrgyz genealogy, which is expressed in the form of poetry in the form of prose. In “Sanzhyra” the genealogy of a nation, tribe and man is told, and the origin of famous people in history is questioned.
The sanzhyra of the Kyrgyz is close to history, but it cannot be understood as a real thing – a historical fact. Its artistic structure includes legends, myths, lamentations, dreams, etc.
Although almost all the peoples of the world speak this genre, it is especially widespread and flourishing among the Kyrgyz. The 16th century manuscript of Saif-ad-Din Aksykenti Majmu at-Tavarikh lists 20 to 23 Kyrgyz fathers from Ak Uul to Analhak. In the epic Manas, one can observe the genealogical chain already in the trilogy of the epic itself as a continuation of the family of the hero Manas by his son Semetey and grandson Seytek.
Thus, the knowledge of Sanzhyra since ancient times served as a positive and unifying factor for the people as a whole. In this regard, there is an expression that “the Kyrgyz are not divided into tribes, but consist of tribes”
The Kyrgyz tribes consist of three main branches such as:
Ak uul – Ong Kanat (Right wing)
Kuu uul – Sol Kanat (Left wing)
Kyzyl uul – Ichkilik (Others)