Shokan Valikhanov – scientist, historian, ethnographer and folklorist, traveler, educator. Father: Chinghis Valikhanov. Mother: Zeynep Chormanova. Wife: Aysary Valikhanova. He was born in 1835 in the fortress Kusmurun (Kushmurun). At birth he was named Muhammad-Kanapiya and his mother called him Shokan. In private elementary school of aul Kushmurun, Shokan learned the basics of Arabic, Persian, medieval Turkic languages. His upbringing was influenced by his grandmother Aiganym.
Since childhood Shokan was attracted to science.
Since 1847 Shokan began to study in Omsk Siberian Cadet Corpus, which was considered the best educational institution in Siberia.
Much attention there was paid to the geography of Kazakhstan, as well as the history of the Kazakh people. 1853 – Shokan Valikhanov finished military school in Omsk with poet S.F. Durov. 1855 – First trip to Semirechie.
1856 – Expedition in the Semirechie and Issyk-Kul. Trip to Ghulja. Acquaintance with the scientist-explorer Semenov-Tyan-Shansky. For Outstanding Service was promoted to lieutenant. 1857 – Elected as an active member of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. Trip to the Semirechie and Issyk-Kul to prepare an expedition to Kashgar.
1858, June 28 Looking as a merchant joined a caravan traveling from Semipalatinsk to Kashgar. 1859, April 12 – returned with a caravan to Vernyi.
1860 – In the beginning of the year came to Petersburg. Report to the Geographical Society, intensive scientific, social and literary activities. 1861, May – Returning home from St. Petersburg. 1862 – Was chosen to be Senior Sultan of Atbasar district, but has not been approved by the Governor General. 1863 – Participation in the committee to collect people’s views on judicial reform. Thus, in the years 1858-1859 Shokan went to Kashgar, which was a” blind spot” in European science, acquainted with the political and economic systems of East Turkestan, collected materials on the history and ethnography of the region, has acquired a number of important scientific collections, manuscripts , made sketches. His major work” About condition of Altyshar …” gave analysis of the history, geography and social life of the people of East Turkestan and was highly regarded in the scientific world.
Shokan Valikhanov was a friend of the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky. This friendship, that begun in Semipalatinsk, was continued in St. Petersburg. And in 1865 in the newspaper” Russian disabled” last work of Shokan Valikhanov about the rise of Dungan in the Qing Empire was published. Other studies of Valikhanov were also published in the works of the Russian Geographical Society, also published in Berlin (1862), London (1865) and were included in the 6th and 7th Volume of 19-volumes of French Universal geography by Elise Reclus .
Shokan Valikhanov left a great scientific heritage. His work” Ablai”,” Kazakh lineage”,” Islam in the desert”,” Traces of shamanism among the Kazakhs,”” About Kazakhs migrations” and others formed the basis of in-depth study of the history and ethnography of the Kazakh people. With his creativity Shokan Valikhanov made an enormous contribution to the study of a number of Central Asian nations. In addition, Shokan Valikhanov was the first Kazakh artist in the Western sense. He performed a large number of ethnographically accurate genre, portrait and landscape drawings, illustrating his research and travel diaries. Shokan died on April 10, 1865 in the Kochen-Togan, Altyn-Emel, Semirechie. Now all over Kazakhstan there are monuments of this famous scientist.