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Amannsaxenim, Mälikäilocked

  • Sabine Trebinjac

Extract

(b Yarkand area, ?1533; d Yarkand, ?1567). Uighur musician. As much a mythical as a historical figure, she was the 17th and final musician discussed in the 1854 Tävarixi musiqiyun (Histories of musicians); the dozen pages devoted to her deserve summary here.

The sultan AbdurräÒid travelled to the desert anonymously accompanied by his escort to inspect his functionaries suspected of subversion. One day he lodged with a butcher in the Taklamakan desert, whose daughter, Mälikäi Amannsaxenim, then aged 13, transpired to be a fine musician, a singer, poet and composer with a perfect command of the drum. Charmed by the young musician, the sultan revealed his true identity, put on his royal turban, prepared ten sheep, as well as tea and silk, and accompanied by 40 of his functionaries returned to the house of the butcher formally to request the hand of his daughter....

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