Saturday, 12 May 2007

Chinggiz Khaan's Legacy

Чингис Хаан. Genghis Khan. Some still see him as the epitome of evil (common in Muslim historiography), some revere him as a founding father (the Mongols, naturally, and plenty of Central Asian peoples), and some exotize him as a mighty barbarian warlord, both horrifying and romantic (Europe and its Anglo-Saxon colonial offshoots).

As a historian, I prefer to leave the moral judgements aside (curiously the spelling manager marks both "exotize" and "judgements" as suspicious words). I'm merely interested in the images of the great Khan that are produced and reproduced in the world. For the purpose of this article, I will take a look on Central Asian men taking on the role as Genghis Khan, masquerading or mimicking a common image of him (we don't know what he really looked like!).

Reenactment in 2006, celebrating the 800th anniversary of Genghis Khan's establishment of the Mongol Empire.

Mobile communication is of vital importance for a nomad army!

To be continued on the same theme.


Tinet said...

There is a Genghis Khan movie coming soon, directed by Sergei Bodrov, and with Tadanobu Asano in the title role - (o_O); ...

Some Mongolians (and others) on the IMDB message board hate it for various reasons - certainly historical incorrectness, but probably also because it's made by non-Mongolians (more specifically, those detestable Russians), and because it seems to be very much based on the Russian historian Gumilev's views on Mongolian history, which differ from the official Mongolian view. Argh, but I've forgotten too much of what I've read by Gumilev to even sum up those differences.

ainur said...

I thought there was a Japanese production coming up soon, too? And what about the posters I saw around the theatres in Nara, with an unmistakable Genghis in a white battle outfit surrounded by yelling warriors? (When I told Juho that I wanted to see it, he just told me to download it... I should turn him in to the authorities!)

It would be an interesting subject to explore, this Japanese craze about the Mongol Empire.

Tuguldur said...

I am a Mongolian, his name is Чингис, not Чингэс.

Tinet said...

Thank you, Tuguldur! We stand corrected. :o)

Kennan said...


I'm a middle school student doing research on Genghis Khan. May I use your photo? The one with the cell phone? Thanks.


Tinet said...

Dear Kennan,

The photos in this entry aren't mine, but from the BBC. (Click the photos to go to the BBC page where they're from.)
You'd have to contact the BBC if you want to use the photo outside of the "quotation" rule ("quotation" applies when you discuss a picture and analyze it, and in that case you are allowed to publish it wihout asking for permission).

Ainur, who wrote this entry, was a bad example and didn't cite her sources properly. Shame on her! And to think that she'll be finishing her Ph.D. any time now ...

Good luck!


Maikol said...

Que estupendo estoy haciendo recreación de mongol y esta información me sirve gracias