Mankurt is an unthinking slave in Epic of Manas. According to Chinghiz Aitmatov, there was a Kyrgyz legend that mankurts were prisoners of war who were turned into slaves by being exposed in the hot sun with their heads wrapped in camel skin. These skins dried tight, like a steel band, thus damaging their brains and enslaving them forever. This, he likens to a ring of rockets around the earth keeping out humankind's higher civilisation. A mankurt did not recognise his name, family or tribe — "a mankurt did not recognise himself as a human being".

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  • Mankurt is an unthinking slave in Epic of Manas. According to Chinghiz Aitmatov, there was a Kyrgyz legend that mankurts were prisoners of war who were turned into slaves by being exposed in the hot sun with their heads wrapped in camel skin. These skins dried tight, like a steel band, thus damaging their brains and enslaving them forever. This, he likens to a ring of rockets around the earth keeping out humankind's higher civilisation. A mankurt did not recognise his name, family or tribe — "a mankurt did not recognise himself as a human being". "Mankurt" was first used by Aitmatov and he is said to have taken the word from the Epic of Manas. "Mankurt" may be derived from the Mongolian term "мангуурах" (manguurakh, meaning "stupid"), Turkic mengirt (one who was deprived memory) or (less probably) man kort (bad tribe). In the figurative sense, the word "mankurt" is used to refer to a person who has lost touch with his historical, national roots, who has forgotten about his kinship. In this sense, the word "mankurt" has become a term in common parlance and is already used in journalism . In the Russian language appeared neologisms "mankurtizm" , "mankurtizatsiya" (meaning “mankurtization”), "demankurtizatsiya" (meaning “demankurtization”). (en)
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  • Mankurt is an unthinking slave in Epic of Manas. According to Chinghiz Aitmatov, there was a Kyrgyz legend that mankurts were prisoners of war who were turned into slaves by being exposed in the hot sun with their heads wrapped in camel skin. These skins dried tight, like a steel band, thus damaging their brains and enslaving them forever. This, he likens to a ring of rockets around the earth keeping out humankind's higher civilisation. A mankurt did not recognise his name, family or tribe — "a mankurt did not recognise himself as a human being". (en)
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  • Mankurt (en)
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