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The Alpamysh, part 19: Karajan catches up to Dost Mohammed

Turkmen racing on tarlans (a breed of Akhal-Teke). Photograph from the blog, 'Teke Talk'.

Atop his incredible steed, Karajan manages to overtake the Kalmaks in a dramatic race. He soon begins to catch up to his treacherous son…

An interesting tidbit: this portion of the dastan makes reference to the “Karadag”. Kara or Qara+ Dag/Dağ/Dagh, occasionally Daq or Tagh is Turkic for “Black Mountain”, and it connotes several locations within the former Ottoman sphere, from Montenegro in the Balkans to municipalities in Azerbaijan and Iran.

Three days’ time passed chasing after the Kalmaks. When the dawn broke to the Kalmaks, who speak a language no one knows, God granted him [Karajan] his wish: he caught up, having run without stopping! Bats [at dawn] gathered and folded [their wings]. Chobar, who was [artificially] restrained, [at] morning prayer time passed the Kalmaks.

After four days, at dawn, upon looking back, Taysha’s tarlan spotted the spreading wings of Baychobar. [The horse's] wish was granted at noon prayer time: like the northern winds of Spring, at the heels of the tarlan [he] came close. [Then] Baychobar passed, [and] on the way bit [the tarlan]. The tarlan fell behind.

[Baychobar] ran all day, ran all night. After five days on the slopes of the Karadag, the only one left [ahead] was Dost Muhammed…

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