According to Lewis (160), the story of Bugach Khan is amongst the various collections of customary oral narratives and poems that form Dede Korkut which is a foundational classic for the Turkish. It generally talks about the way of life in Oghuz society, one of the tribes found among the Turkish.
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Basically, the tale revolves around Bugach Khan who was a legendry born out of hate and desperations. His parents were despised for not giving birth to any male child. In fact, the male children were highly valued in this society. After extraordinary prayers and treatment by the people, Dirse Khan together with his wife, Bugach was born. Ideally, Bugach Khan was a symbol of good values, cultural beliefs as well as behaviors that knitted the people of Oghuz.
Among the Oghuz people, male children were highly valued and thus, they were treated with specialty. This was clearly depicted in the kind of welcoming that was given to Bugach when he was born (Lewis pp.160). Besides, those who had male children were equally given high status in Oghuz society whereas those without male siblings were given stumpy treatment and sometimes cursed. Essentially, in a monarch society like Oghuz where sovereignty is hierarchical, a male child was a symbol of dignity and continuity.
The Oghuz people further valued animals which were not only deemed as a source of their livelihood, but also considered as a cultural symbol. All sorts of animals were slaughtered in various occasions and each symbolized the importance of an occasion. For instance, a black sheep was slaughtered for the cursed people or during special rituals to drive away bad omens (Bentley and Ziegler pp.1024). However, young male animals were slaughtered during feasts and important occasions.
Good behavior was also valued among the Oghuz people and this was eminent in the fact that individuals were expected to respect each other as well as the elderly. Just like any other society among the Turkish, anything that could cause social disorder was highly discouraged. For example, sexual Morality was highly valued in the society, and people were not allowed to misbehave with women. Moreover, sex was not allowed among young people and those who engaged in sexual acts were punished by death.
Equanimity was in addition considered imperative in the Oghuz society as people with high status were expected to show humility and kindness. In fact, they were expected to be considerate and act in ways that do not show signs of temperaments. Those in leadership positions were expected to act in restrain so as to show good examples to the rest of the society.
Any good quality that was expected of a person especially a leader was often recited in poems and phrases. Khans were expected to show humility, kindness, and considerate to their subjects (Lewis pp.160). Khans ought to be understanding and caring especially for the sick and the old.
Finally, the phrase that was recited by Dirse Khan’s wife brought about the contrasting characters of the prince and the princes. The wife of the prince showed kindness, humility and care for the people. The princess was also forgiving and this was a trait she considered essential for her son.
Thus, the story of Bugach Khan reflects the Oghuz ways of life as all the values that were upheld by Bugach reflected those endorsed by the Oghuz society (Lewis pp.160). This story traces the origin of the Oghuz and equally teaches the good behaviors, the societal expectations, and cultural practices.
Bentley, Jerry and Ziegler, Herbert. Traditions & encounters: a global perspective on the past. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011.
Lewis, Geoffrey. The book of Dede Korkut. New York, NY: Penguin. 1974.