The 19th century Central Asia was a region of turmoil. It was burdened heavily with cultural conflicts as well as it was threatened by the armies of Genghis Khan and then Tamerlane and other ethnic invaders. As a result of this, Kyrgyzstan’s territory was greatly reduced to its former borders and was populated by 40 various tribes that were forced to live on the high steppes and in the most remote mountainous ranges.
At that moment of constant tension a little girl named Kurmanjan was born. Her family was a very ordinary one from the Alai Highland Region. She was just like her contemporaries until the time when a fortuneteller singled her out for an extraordinary and mysterious destiny.
When Kurmanjan reached maturity she was forcibly married to a local tribesman. Her marriage didn’t last for long because one day she escaped the prison of her forced marriage and returned home. Being back with her family, she brought them too much shame according to the Muslim traditions.
Fortunately, Kurmanjan’s honour was restored by local leader (”Datka”) Alymbek. With Emir Muzzaffar’s help Datka married the young girl and they both relocated to his tribal camp and territory. Her brother also accompanied them in those new lands and he was declared the captain of the local guard.
Alymbek’s idea and ambition was to unite all of the local tribes under a joint leadership. Thus he wanted to restore the mighty of Kyrgyzstan and protect the borderlands threatened by invaders. Datka shared his thoughts with his wife and Kurmanjan accepted them passionately.
Unfortunately, Emir’s jealous son was against the unification of the territories and opposed those ideas. He wanted to keep his family’s power and he wanted it to be centralized. That’s the reason why he sent an assassin to murder Kurmanjan’s husband. The Emir himself felt the thread and pressure and appointed the young widow as the new Datka (local leader) and his act was unprecedented for those times.
At that time the Imperial Russian Army separated the Central Asian lands and the Alai Highland Region was just in their path. Kurmanjan Datka, the Queen of the mountains, was on a crossroad. She had to decide whether to make peace or declare war. The survival of her family and people were dependent on her hard decision.