Manas is a legendary hero of the famous Kyrgyz epic story of the same name. Epos Manas is written in poetic form and as big as one million lines or more. This fact makes this epos to be recognized as the longest poem in the world. It is 20 times bigger then Odyssey and 5 times as famous Indian Mahabatkharta.
Despite the fact that Manas story is more then 1000 years old it was written down only in 19 century. Before this moment it was preserved by the art of Manaschi – professional storytellers that managed to remember huge parts of the epos. They preserved and enriched tis epic by passing it by a word of mouth through generations. Most of the Manas story that we know now was written down from the words of Sayakbai Karalaev, whose picture you can find on 500 som banknote and a monument in front of Bishkek concert hall.
All Kyrgyzstan history is reflected in this unique poem. Nearly every battle described in the story originally happened in real life. In the beginning of the epic Manas was a heathen and worshiped many different gods when suddenly he falls into Namaz. This line shows the moment when Karakhanids brought Islam to the region in about X century.
According to the story that describes the life of Manas he was born to unite kyrgyz people to stand different disasters and invasions of various nations. In our days The Great Hero is a great example of bravery, honesty and patriotism for younger generations. Many villages, streets, university and Bishkek airport are named after this legendary hero while there were no proofs found that he ever existed.