Zheti Ana — Synergy of Great Women of Your Lineage

  A woman's nature is unique, as she is the one who gives new life: all things beautiful and wonderful start with a woman. We dedicate our magazine to women from ancient times to the present. Our goal is to show the importance and value of women in the world, based on the lives of great women, whose names have left their mark on humanity's history.

The name In the Footsteps of Great Women was not chosen randomly. Our heroines are not only steppe women, warriors, rulers, and mothers but also modern personalities who continue their legacy: leading masses, serving society, creating new, and preserving the sacred heritage of their ancestors. The main event of this issue is a collaboration that gave birth to the idea of Zheti ana (“Seven mothers” in Kazakh).

Madina Kurbanali and Dilyara Sadu, on a business trip to Italy, learned about the history of the world-renowned brand Damiani. Zhanna Kan, who is actively working in this jewelry house's Kazakhstani branch, often brings together the brightest and most active women. She gathers strong personalities and kindred spirits, thus creating a community. This time, her love for women and her team's interest in serving society inspired two friends. After all, Madina and Dilyara have also worked and created various women-centric projects for many years. Thus, the meeting of creative individuals with a common goal and mission became more significant: domestic brands, such as Nomadmoon, Zardozi, and 1st Showroom, joined forces to create a unique capsule collection of women's t-shirts called Zheti ana.

The idea and mission of this collaboration are to help every woman feel the power of her lineage synergy. After all, our ancestors were not only Zheti ata (“Seven fathers” in Kazakh) but also mothers who gave birth to heirs to continue their lineage.

Zheti ata is a unique genealogy to the Kazakh people: they remember and honor the memory of their ancestors up to the seventh generation. However, it is difficult to say exactly when the tradition of compiling one's genealogy began. Nevertheless, we know that in the 16th-17th centuries, one of the great rulers of the Kazakh Khanate, Esim Khan, issued a decree that strictly prohibited marriage of close relatives under pain of death.

Thus, he contributed to preserving the Kazakh people's gene pool. His decree, prohibiting marriages up to the seventh generation, was enshrined in Esim Khannyn Eski Zholy codes (“Esim's True Path”) and also reflected in Zheti Zhargy (“Seven Charters”) code of laws by Tauke Khan.

It is truly unknown how people who lived many centuries ago determined that one should rely on the seventh generation guideline. Still, the rule of Zheti ata has been absolute and remains a law to this day. 

Shakarim Kudayberdiyev (incidentally, Abai's nephew by genealogy) made the significance of this rule evident in his poem, based on the folk legend of Kalkaman and Mamyr.

A girl named Mamyr tragically perished at the hands of her brother. Perhaps you, too, reading this, were shocked by what could cause a brother to murder his own sister. The poem tells of the love of a warrior named Kalkaman for Mamyr. Their love was mutual. But, as it turned out, it was strictly forbidden. They belonged to the same tribe and were distant relatives.

In a surge of passion and love, the young couple decides to run away together to a distant village and start a new life. Mamyr's brother finds out about this, which enrages him. Time passes, and it seems that everything has calmed down. One day, Mamyr's brother decides to visit his relatives with Kalkaman — to ask for forgiveness and receive their blessing. On the way to the village, the brother kills her with his bow and declares that he will not rest until Mamyr's betrothed is also dead. The council of elders decides that Kalkaman will be released if he passes a test: he must ride past Mamyr's brother on a horse while the latter shoots arrows at him. If none of the arrows hit the warrior, he will be free. The girl's relative misses and Kalkaman leaves his homeland. What became of him afterward is unknown.

Mamyr's death literally sealed the law of the steppe — “marriages between relatives up to the seventh generation are prohibited.” To this day, Kazakhs adhere to this rule and honor their ancestors. 

Understanding the importance of the Zheti ata theme, we were curious to know why Zheti ana were not equally revered in history. After all, they also contribute to the creation and continuation of the lineage. This became the reason for establishing the Zheti ana collaboration, because every woman is essential in making us and our contemporaries. It is worth acknowledging that Zheti ata and Zheti ana differ in ideology. Zheti ata is the line through which the lineage continues. In our opinion, Zheti ana shapes you and gives you the chance to become part of a great history. After all, every woman in your lineage was different. Some had the heroism and strength of Tomyris, the wisdom and character of Rabiya Sultan, the spirituality and power of Hoelun and Borte, the wisdom of Gaukhar Ana, Domalak Ana, Zere, and Ulzhan, the patriotism of Aliya and Manshuk. And so on endlessly. Every woman plays her role in creating you. You didn't come into this world for nothing — a part of these great women is in you.

We wrote about women's diversity in the article Great Women of the Steppe. We analyzed seven virtues, dividing our heroines into groups. Every woman has these facets within her; it's only important which ones she awakens in herself. 

Gentleness and charm are present in everyone, but that doesn't make women weak. At the right moment, they can rise from the ashes, be reborn, and conquer half the world.

The synergy of creative individuals has developed a unique product that should be a part of every woman's wardrobe. The capsule collection of t-shirts Zheti ana will serve as a point of convergence for all women in the CIS. After all, every woman is important simply because she exists. She doesn't need to try to earn love, recognition, or approval. She is always necessary and essential in any form.

We are pleased to share the news that the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan has signed a law criminalizing domestic violence. According to the UN, one in three women worldwide experiences violence. This directly affects the development of humanity and the global economy. After all, a happy person contributes best to society. And happiness begins with the well-being of the family. Children reflect the adults; their psyche and priorities originate from childhood, so it is paramount to raise them with love. A happy mother equals happy children. A person who receives a suitable role model from their family will never harm others. Aggression is only inherent in those who were not loved, understood, or listened to enough.

We aim to believe in and contribute to creating a society where people are safe and surrounded by love. And a woman is indeed the source of endless love.


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