Tengri Boy

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Almagul Menlibayeva

2010

Photography, 96.5 x 127 x 5.5 cm.
Materials: cibachrome

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. S0441_02).

Almagul Menlibayeva commonly employs references to her own nomadic heritage and the widespread Shamanistic traditions of Central Asia to construct a personal mythological world. In the mythology of the nomads of Kazakhstan, Tengri is one of the names of the chief deity, god of creation and of the sky. Tengri Boy portrays him as a young man, caringly holding a sheep. Menlibayeva's use of nomadic, pre-Soviet references shows her search for a national Kazakh identity. The revival of Tengri as a boy serves as an attempt to protect the humanist values of Kazakh nomadic culture.

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