A true Kazakh is a dombra

National instruments are an inseparable part of the nation's history. They have absorbed the joys and sorrows of our people, the triumphs and tragic days of freedom-loving souls, dreams and aspirations. Our ancestors have long been close to nature. The most popular and historically rich instrument among the Kazakhs, which has been in use for decades, is the dombra.


Kazakh culture is very rich in musical instruments which promote Kazakh art. One of the unique instruments is the dombra. There are different opinions as to in which century the dombra appeared. The history of the sacred dombra, whose first mission began with accompanying songs and poems, meditations and the terme, is very deep.

According to one source, the name of the dombra means "little bow" in the ancient Sumerian language, while academician Akhmet Zhubanov has suggested that it comes from the word "chambra" when the two Arabic words "dunbah, burra" are translated.

According to archeological data, the history of dombra originates from the most ancient times. During the excavations of Khorezm were found images of a two-stringed instrument, played by warriors-saks, which is the prototype of the modern dombra. On the body of the dombra found in the Mongolian-Altaic mountain range, made 1500 years ago, Turkic scholars read the inscription "The fragrant melodies of the kyu make us fall in love. This is the proof that the ancient Turks at that time had a concept of kyuy, which they performed on the dombra.

As Mukhtar Auezov, a prominent writer, assessed, "If music in general symbolizes the inner wealth of people, then the most exciting, the most intimate of it is the cue". Thus, cues played on the dombra are an immense ocean, an abyss and the peak of the Kazakh people's cultural heritage.

The genre of cue reveals in full measure all the power of the dombra. Not only the dombra performs cues, but also songs.

Not many people know that creating a sacred instrument, which should hang in a place of honor of every Kazakh, is a complicated work that consists of 64 steps. Virtuoso musicians and folk singers immediately recognize an instrument made by a true master.

The verses of the poet Kadyr Myrza-Ali "A real Kazakh is not a Kazakh, a real Kazakh is a dombra" have become the motto of our people. In fact, there are very few Kazakh families without a dombra and a whip. Traditionally, "July 1 - Dombra Day" is celebrated in the country every year. It is an important step to popularize our national values and strengthen our culture.


Author: Moldir Adamzhan

Photo: from the press service archive

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