Aghkilsa, Qajar Iran
|Died||July 1926 (aged 1922–1923)|
Goycha district, Soviet Union
Ashig Alasgar (Azerbaijani: Aşıq Ələsgər; 1821–1926) was an Azeri mystic troubadour (Ashik) and highly regarded poet of Azeri folk songs. He was born in the village of Aghkilsa in the Goycha district of the Erivan Khanate administrative division within Qajar Iran.
Ashig Alasgar was born in 1821 in the village of Aghkilse in the Goycha region. His father Almammad worked as carpenter. At the same time, he was also known as with his intelligence in literature. Almammad was fairly good at poetry genres such as Gerayly, Qoshma and Bayati. It is predicted that Almammad had a huge impact on Ashiq Alasgar.
Ashiq Alasgar grew up in big and poor family with three brothers and 2 sisters. He was the eldest son of the family. Due to the financial difficulties in his family, Alasgar was obliged to work the in the farm of a rich landowner, Karbalayi Gurban when he was 14. While working here, Alasgar fell in love with 12 years old daughter of Karbalayi Gurban. But due to his social background he was refused to have such a relationship with agha’s daughter and after some time Alasgar was fired.
Ashig Alasgar spent his childhood in the village of Aghkilse and was uneducated. But despite of the fact he was able to learn the secrets of ashiq art from the elderly ashiqs in his village. From his childhood, Alasgar was a careful listener and he was very passionately participated in most events in his village due to his strong memory and story-telling ability, he could manage to memorize almost all ashiq stories (dastans) of that time and. He was playing saz with using his left hand.
Ashiq Alasgar is considered one of the great representatives of Azerbaijani folk poetry. His poetries in Gerayly, Qoshma, Mukhammas, Cighali Tecnis, Giphilbend genres have influenced to ashigs of next generation after him. Ashig Alasgar was almost a master in branches of ashug art and contributed a lot to Azerbaijani literature. Alasgar wrote his first poetries in his adolescence period. Shortly after, his father encouraged him to learn ashig art from one of the famous ashigs in Goycha district, Ashig Ali. After a long term preparation, Alasgar had a chance to participate in a wedding ceremony in his village with Ashig Ali. In that event everyone appreciated the intelligence of Alasgar as he was able to defeat his instructor Ashiq Ali in a debate (kind of competition between two ashigs) and that event made Alasgar very famous in Goycha region and neighboring districts. He actively participated in several wedding ceremonies important events in Iravan, Nakhchivan, Gazakh, Garabagh, Javanshir, Ganja, Kalbajar other regions.
Due to concussion from his first love, Alasgar did not married anyone until he was 40 and then married a girl named Anakhanima from the village Yanshaq in Kalbajar district. In this period of time, Ashig Alasgar was busy with different activities in order to take care of his family. In spring and summer time, he was engaged in agriculture, small construction works and carpentry. But despite of all of the above activities, he spent most of his time to the ashig art and wrote several poems. Alasgar was known not only in Azerbaijan, but also as a master of ashig art in Turkey, Iran and Dagestan.
Alasgar completed his later life in misery and suffering. In 1915, he lost his brother’s son and also his son-in-law in a very young age. After a year, his son Basir murdered the reeve of the village and could escaped but instead several people were arrested from Alasgar’s family. During the period of 1918-1919 conflict between Azerbaijanis and Armenians Alasger was forced to leave his mother land and migrated to live in Kalbajar and then to Tartar districts. In 1921, he returned to Aghkilse and resided here till the end of his life. Ashig Alasgar died in Aghkilse on March 7, 1926.
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