Abstract

This essay interprets the Chechen ballad (illi) of the social bandit Gekha (d. 1898) in the context of Chechnya’s encounter with colonial modernity. Gekha’s illi elucidates the interface between anticolonial resistance and masculine identity in late nineteenth-century mountainous Chechnya. Through a close reading of this work, I demonstrate how the poverty of the paradigmatic Chechen hero informs an aesthetics of defeat that motivates much Chechen folklore. An analysis of the illi in terms of the Chechen folkloric tradition is followed by a translation of a Russian transcription of this narrative made by the Chechen Bolshevik revolutionary and intellectual Aslanbek Sheripov in 1918.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0413
Print ISSN
0737-7037
Pages
pp. 199-222
Launched on MUSE
2014-10-31
Open Access
No
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