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10. This receipt-seal is mine.11. AsaÈ n TughmõÈ sh-Tu, myself, wrote this.Processional performances remain a very popular part of Uyghur folk literaturetoday and, as in the past, are performed as a kind of ritual drama. Theseoccur during religious festivals, at great ceremonies of renewal, or sometimes inabbreviated from on other occasions. Drama is an important part of theprocession, for which the participants dress up, carry artistic images, and act outa story to entertain their audience. These performances can be classi® ed as ritualbecause the form and content are stereotyped, repetitive, condensed and conventionalized.The performances are offered both for divine as well as humanenjoyment, and vary little as the troupes parade from temple to temple or frommosque to mosque. Most people who watch these say that it is all just fun, alocal tradition without special meaning. Ethnographers have acknowledged thereligious signi® cance of the procession without suggesting systematic interpretationof its various components, but the standardization of the processionalelements suggests a de® nite set of conventions; moreover, taboos and obligatoryritual greetings at the gods’ temples visited indicate that what goes on is morethan entertainment. Even taking into account the fact that some of theseperformances have lost their meaning and others have always been pureentertainment, ritual procession drama may nonetheless be seen as a fundamentalform of cultural expression in which both the participants and the observers saysomething about themselves.(C) Manichaean manuscriptsManichaeism was an important component in medieval Uyghur cultural development.This ancient religious belief originated with the Persian, Mani (216±274?CE), under the in¯ uence of Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Christianity. Dualistin nature, Manichaeism postulates the struggle between Light (Good) and Dark(Evil). It came under the protection of Shapur I (r. 241±272 CE) of the SassanianEmpire, but it was banished by his successor, Bahram I [r. 273±293 CE] asheresy and, as a result, Mani himself was executed. During Mani’ s lifetime andsoon after his death, his religion spread to Egypt, Syria, and North Africa andlater reached Europe.4 According to a single reference in Chinese records,Manichaeism spread to the Uyghurs of the Orkhun River area in 762 CE. But theUyghur Manichaean documents discovered in the Turpan Basin date from aperiod earlier than this, to approximately the middle of the 6th century CE. In the7th century CE Manichaeism extended into China from Uyghuristan, speci® callyin the ® rst year of the reign of Empress Wu Zetian of the Tang dynasty.Manichaean beliefs were spread by a strati® ed clergy, called in Uyghur dintar,a term that originated from the Sogdian, meaning `the elect’ . The dintar wererequired to observe celibacy, to fast, abstain from alcohol and to be strictvegetarians. Laymen, or auditors, were allowed to marry and eat as they wished,295DOLKUN KAMBERIbut they were also supposed to be fairly abstemious and to be generous in givingalms.The basic teachings of the Manichaeans lent themselves to dramatization. Thetwo opposing principals of Light and Dark each had their own nature. Darknesswas assisted by the material world and, especially, the human body. Mani taughtthat time should be viewed in three phases: in the ® rst, good and evil wereseparated; in the second, the two mingled; and in the third, each was againdistinct. The human existed as a physical body and spirit only in the middlephase, and it was therefore each person’ s duty to separate from all physicalmatter. This would bring on a cleansing process, which Mani believed wouldthen usher in the third phase. When that time arrived, those who had succeededin freeing themselves from the material world would live on in the realm oflight, while those who failed were doomed to the realm of darkness.5 This beliefin dualities suggests a foundation for characterizing good and bad as antagonisticforces and lends itself to vivid portrayals of theatrical con¯ ict.In addition to the Uyghur Manichaean manuscript translated in this article,there are other such documents which have been published, including Iki YiltizNom, Huastwanivt,6 and Manichaean Poems (Le Coq 1911, 1919, 1922). Anewly discovered Manichaean document was recently published by ProfessorGeng Shimin as Notes on an Ancient Uyghur Of® cial Decree Issued to aManichaean Monastery. Huang Wenbi acquired this document during his® eldwork in the Uyghur region.7 The ® rst part, unfortunately, is missing, butsome 125 lines remain. The extant part is 270 cm long and 29.5 cm wide. Owingto damage and mistakes in mounting, some of the lines are now hard to decipher.However, the meaning as a whole is clear enough for this study. It is a decreeissued to a Manichaean monastery by the Uyghur government of the Qochoregion. Eleven red seals with Chinese characters are af® xed to the document.They are all of the same size, namely 10 cm 3 9.5 cm. The Chinese charactersare arranged in four lines. Huang Wenbi has not been successful in decipheringthe third line, but the whole of the seal text can be read as follows: Seal of thecabinet minister and of the Il UgaÈ si ministers of the great, fortunate Uyghurgovernment. The document itself is de® nitely written in the early Uyghur script.Judging from the form of the letters and the characteristics of the language, thisManichaean decree belongs to approximately the 9th century (Geng, 1991).A new addition to translated Manichaean documents appears below. I discoveredthis text at Bezeklik, Turpan, in the early 1980s. The manuscript is writtenon paper sheets 25 cm 3 11 cm and consists of ® ve leaves written on both sides,for a total of 10 pages of text. Each page has 20 lines written in beautifulmedieval Uyghur calligraphy. The ® rst two leaves (four sides) have 80 completelines of writing. The other three leaves are fragmented. At the beginning of eachpage is a title, written in different coloured ink, but unfortunately some parts ofthe titles are indiscernible. Today the manuscript, number 80 T.B. I, 542, is inthe Turpan Museum.I deciphered this document and have translated it into modern Uyghur,Chinese and English. The story tells of how Mani presented his teachings to a296A SURVEY OF UYGHUR DOCUMENTS FROM TURPANprince, Hormizd, and although the plot is simple, it is nonetheless conveyedthrough dialogue which adds dramatic tension. Mani advises the Prince that heshould worship the Lord every day, regardless of where he is or what he isdoing. He should always keep four words in mind: lord, light, strength, andwisdom. When Prince Hormizd asks what kind of bene® ts this might bring,Mani explains, but the Prince nonetheless decides to challenge Mani’ s power,providing the story with its dramatic moment. The following is my translationfrom the original medieval Uyghur manuscript of the dialogue between Maniand Prince Hormizd:`Now you should worship and praise the LordÐ the sun and the Moon every day. Youshould respect the ® ve Lords. No matter where you are walking, travelling, entering, orexiting, you should always keep these four words in your mouth (mind): they are Lord,Light, Strength, and Wisdom.’ Then the hostile Hormizd said to the Lord Mani Burkhan,`What kind of bene® t can one get if one keeps saying these four words?’ And then the LordMani Burkhan said to the Prince, `The way should be like thatÐ do not mix any otherwords into these four words. Valiancy and virtue, a special personal tethered horse, solidknowledge, a brave army, (and) the powerful value of you (yourself) (are yours) only whenyou keep these four words in your mouth (mind). Then (can) you deliver all of them fromthe abyss of misery.’ Since then, the hostile Hormizd Prince kept these four words in hismind. Wherever he travelled back and forth on the routes, or entered, exited, sat, stood, hekept these four words in his mouth. The Bagh, Rosn, Zawr, Zirivt, TaÈ ngri, Yaruq, KuÈ chluÈ k,and BilgaÈ .8 One day, the hostile Horzmid said to the Lord Mani Burkhan, `My Lord, youare so attractive and handsome. You are also lovely, pure and sweet. I know, you arepowerful, too. So, I want to compete for power between us. Let us see who is the strongerof the two of us.’ Then the Lord Mani Burkhan said to the hostile Hormizd, `You originatedfrom the root of the crowned Kings. All people think that their leader is powerful andmerciful. They hold great respect for you. I am a messenger of God. Hostility is notnecessary between us. You ask why? If I throw you down, or despise you, you will losethe respect of numerous people and you will become worthless. People will say it was aperson without drinking wine, without eating meat, who caused the hostile Hormizd Princeto fall on the ground. But if you throw me down, all people will say that the messenger ofGod, Mani Burkhan, is defeated by a man. He has become powerless and worthless. If youagree, we do not have to compete. There is no necessity to be hostile to each other.’ Afterthe hostile Hormizd heard these words, he was not happy in his mind. He still boasted andshowed off. The Lord Mani Burkhan said, `If you are not happy in your mind, we shouldgo to the place of tigers and elephants. We should go to the top of where an arrow canreach. We two shall go there without company. We can compete there.’ After the hostileHormizd heard these words, he was glad from his heart. The messenger of God, ManiBurkhan, took the hand of the hostile Hormizd. The two went to the place which has tigersand elephants.9The Manichaean story translated above is one of the most important medievalUyghur documents dating from the end of the 6th century. Such a manuscript,written in dialogue form and full of dramatic elements, provides ® rst-handmaterial for studying medieval Uyghur literature and history. In addition to thevarious manuscripts discussed here, many other documents unearthed fromBezeklik survive, but unfortunately the majority are only in fragments making it297DOLKUN KAMBERImost dif® cult to understand their complete content. Nonetheless, even thesefragments can be categorized, and today we know that these include suchdocuments as contracts, receipts for loans, of® cial orders, government documentsand the like. Together, they attest to the rich cultural life of the TurpanUyghurs’ medieval society.ConclusionAt the beginning of the 20th century, European explorers on the Silk Road madesome of the ® rst discoveries of artefacts and ancient texts from the Turpan area.German archaeologist Albert von Le Coq discovered numerous Uyghurmanuscripts, and even cut away important Buddhist frescoes, several hundredcases of which were shipped back to Berlin. The British archaeologist, M. AurelStein, visited Bezeklik and, as a result, came to believe that no other ® nds fromsimilar sites in the Turpan Basin could match these, which he considered parallelto the rich ancient paintings of the Dunhuang `Thousand Buddha Caves’ (Stein,1912). Professor Albert GruÈ nwedel (1856±1935) wrote in a letter dated 2 April1906: `For years, I have been endeavouring to ® nd a credible thesis for thedevelopment of Buddhist art and primarily to trace the ancient route by whichthe art of imperial Rome, etc., reached the Far East (Turpan and Kucha). WhatI have seen here goes beyond my wildest dream.’ (Along the Ancient Silk Routes,1982). As a result of these discoveries, the world was surprised by the aestheticsof Uyghur Buddhist civilization. The consensus was that the literary art of theTurpan Basin is the most representative and the best preserved of medievalUyghur Buddhist culture.The discoveries from TurpanÐartefacts, texts, and extensive remains ofancient towns and Buddhist sitesÐhave re-ignited discussion of cultural evolutionismand diffusionist theories (Taylor, 1924; Rogers, 1926). In fact, neithertheory can essentially solve the theoretical problem of national cultural developmentin Central Asia. This is because neither adequately explains the developmentof both traditional culture and cultural traditions of a nation. The researchpresented above suggests another theory, one concerned with the mixture ofdifferent cultures and with the many levels of national cultural development.This theory arises from my many years of study and includes the following basictenets: All national culture consists of traditional culture and also culturaltraditions and is therefore not `pure’ . In any space/region the cultural structureis always plural, mixed; over time, a structure exists on many levels, and thusthe development of traditional culture is steady, slow and sometimes resistant toexternal in¯ uence, depending on internal cultural structural development. Thedevelopment of a cultural tradition, on the other hand, is active, rapid andabsorbing. It depends on the processes of external environmental development.Regardless of the level or the rate of natural (environmental) development anation undergoes, all nations have the potential to develop as a national cultureand may also become a universal in¯ uence affecting many other cultures.Scholars cannot divide humankind into `civilizing’ nationsÐthose who seek to298A SURVEY OF UYGHUR DOCUMENTS FROM TURPANspread their culture across continentsÐand `natural’ nations that simply absorboutside in¯ uences, as suggested in diffusionist theory. Such theories are still inneed of reliable evidence and cannot adequately explain developments in CentralAsian history.To conclude, I staunchly believe that early in the next century Central Asiawill once more become one of the most exciting sites for research in archaeologyand cultural anthropology. However, I also feel a growing urgency to carry outsuch research as the lands of the ancientÐand modernÐUyghurs are rapidlychanging. Oil production in the Tarim Basin will soon have an impact on theinternational economy but may also hinder future excavations; and issues raisedby Chinese minority policy objectives and environmental problems resultingfrom nuclear testing in the Kroran (Lop Nor) area are other matters of growingconcern in the region. Further exploration of the Uyghur past must not whither,for I deeply believe that without Uyghur history there can be no Central Asianhistory; without Central Asian history, there can be no Asian history; andwithout Asian history there can be no true history of the world.Notes and references1. Kalp originated from the Sanskrit word used for measuring time.2. The term idqut means `happy king’ or `happy lord’ . This is translated into Chinese as gaochang. After the11th century, the word appears as õ È duq-qut, which is still used to refer to a Uyghur governor. But the wordalso means `once we were happy’ . The kingdom of Idqut was occupied by the Ling dynasty in 327 CE, andlater became the seat of the QuÈ family kingdom in 460 CE. From the time of the Idqut Uyghur Khanateonwards, Buddhist culture ¯ ourished there.3. See A. von Gabain, Maitrisimit II, Berlin, 1961.4. Ren Ju Yu. Zong jiao zidian (A Dictionary of Religions). Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe, 1981, 1140.5. Ibid.6. The original Uyghur title is NihussaÈ klaÈ rning Suyõ È n Yazuqõ È n oÈ kuÈ nguÈ Haustuanivt. This is one of the mostimportant and longest Uyghur Manichaen texts. It has attracted worldwide scholarly attention since ® rsttranslated in 1911; the text, 221 lines long, has been translated into German, English, French, Russian andChinese.7. This document was reproduced in the 1954 edition of Turpan kaogu diaocha (Explorations in theArchaeology of Turpan) (plates 89±94). The original, in the form of a scroll, is in the collection of theBeijing History Museum (Serial No. Zong 8782 T, 82).8. The original Uyghur document presents the four words ® rst in their Persian form and then in Uyghur. Thisdocument shows us that scholars who believed that the Turkic or Uyghur word baÈ g originated from thePersian word bagh are correct.9. In line 71 of the original text, the origin of the word aÈ sbir is unknown. From the context, it seems it couldbe translated as `a place which has tigers and elephants’ , but it is not clear why Mani would suggest thatthe two go to such a place. The translation of the term is made more problematic by Mani’ s statement thatthey should go to the highest point which an arrow can reach. The latter is suggestive of other stories ofthe period which tell of shooting an arrow to decide borders. The phrase might also refer to determiningthe limit of power between Manichaeism and secular kingship; alternatively it could also mean to gowithout any precondition. 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