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Birzhan-Sal Kozhagul-uly (1834 – 1897) — Kazakh akyn, composer. He is best known for aitys (poetry competition) with Sara Tastanbek-kyzy. He came from the Nuraly family of the aksary Kerey group of the Orta Zhuz. Birzhan became widely known at an early age as a singer with outstanding vocal skills and masterfully accompanying himself on the dombra, but soon moved from performing to creating original musical and poetic works. Traveling around the villages, he participated in various folk festivals, in aitys. Combining talented young people, he created a kind of nomadic theater. The people added to his name the epithet “Sal”, the meaning of which is close to Western European concepts: bard, balagur.

The last years of Birzhan-Sal’s life were marred by inter-ru feuds, in which he was drawn against his will. Persecution and it’s resulting illness hastened his demise.

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