header Notes Collection

500 Som 2000, Kyrgyzstan

in Krause book Number: 22a
Years of issue: 28.08.2000
Signatures: Председатель (Тoрага) НБКР: Сарбанов Улан Кытайбекович (1999 - 2006)
Serie: 1997 - 2001 Issue
Specimen of: 2000
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 160 × 76
Printer: De la Rue currency,Loughton

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500 Som 2000




Sayakbay Karalaev and denomination 500.


500 Som 2000

It is made on white paper with the size of 160x76 mm. The predominant color of the banknote is purple. Red and light green fibers, as well as colorless fibers luminescing in UV light are embedded in the paper. Paper has a local watermark, repeating the portrait depicted on the front side of the banknote, as well as a watermark in the form of a digital denomination banknote. The banknote contains a window metallized security thread with microtext "500 soms" and ornament. The strip code is located on the left and right sides of the banknote.

On the front side of the banknote is the text "KYRGYZ BANKY", the signature of the Chairman (Törag) of the NBKR; four vertical strokes for people with impaired vision; the number "500", containing a micro-font in the form of continuous rows of numbers "500" with elevated relief; as well as the serial number of the banknote, made with red paint. Next to the serial number is a hologram in the form of a stylized image of a Golden Eagle and a digital denomination of "500". The plot of the hologram is a national ornament, the digital denomination "500" and the international code of the Kyrgyz national currency (KGS).

In the center of the interior there is an embossed image of the face value "500"; through register in the form of an ornament; a portrait of Sayakbay Karalayev, the great narrator of the epic Manas, from which he wrote full versions of the trilogy of the epic Manas, Semetey, Seitek), and the inscription "Sayakbay Karalayev (1894-1971)". On the white coupon field is a conventional mark with an elevated relief for people with impaired vision. At the bottom there is a number "500", containing a micro font in the form of continuous rows of numbers "500"; text "BESH ZHZ COM", which is underlined by the micro-font line "KYRGYZ BANK". On the right is the serial number, executed in black (the size of the figures increases from the top to the bottom), as well as the vertical ornamental strip. In the lower part is a rectangle containing a relief image of the national ornament. If you look at it from different angles, you can see a hidden image of the digital value "500".

Sayakbay Karalaev

Sayakbay Karalaev (Kyrgyz: Саяакбай Каралаев) (1894–1971) was a renowned manaschi - a reciter of the epic Kyrgyz poem Manas.

Sayakbay Karalayev was born in 1894, in the town of Ak-Olon, Issyk-Kul oblast to the poor family of Karal from the tribe of Aryk of the Bugu tribe. From a young age he worked as a hired worker. In 1916, he took part in the uprising of the Kyrgyz against the expansion of the Russian Empire. In 1918 he enlisted in the Red Army as a volunteer. Throughout the Civil War, until 1922, fought on the Turkestan front with the White Guards and Basmachi. After the war, he worked for about six years as chairman of the village council in the villages near the town of Przhevalsk.

Sayakbai's poetic abilities began to appear already in childhood. Excerpts from the Kyrgyz folk epic "Manas", first heard by him from his grandmother, Sayakbai performed while serving in the Red Army. The professional performer of "Manas" Karalaev became in the late 1920s after meeting with the famous manaschi Choiuke Omurov, who lived in the village of Maman, where Sayakbai served as chairman of the village council. For several years Sayakbai studied the art of manaschi in the house of Omurov. In 1930 he was invited to Frunze already as a professional manaschi.

Sayakbai Karalayev had an excellent memory, he was well acquainted with Kyrgyz national folklore. Manaschi himself performed his traditional epic stories from the trilogy of the epic "Manas", perfectly improvised. In the 30s and 40s of the XXth century, with the help of folklorists Ibraim Abdyrakhmanov, Dzhunusha Irasov, Kerim Dzhumabaev and Kurman Kydyrbaeva Karalaev, the works of Semetey and Seitek, as well as the fabulously heroic epic Teshtyuk were recorded. Chingiz Aitmatov called Sayakbai mānāschi "The 20th Century Homer".

He died on May 7, 1971 in Frunze.


500 Som 2000

On the reverse side of the banknote is the text "KYRGYZ BANK" and the number "500", which contains a micro-font in the form of a digital denomination "500". On the right is a through register in the form of a triangle. In the ornament that forms the background grid, there is a micro-font "BESH ZHZ SOM", indicating the denomination of the banknote. On the vertical ornamental strip there is an inscription "BESH ZHAZ SOM". Below - the digital denomination "500" and the year of issue of the banknote "2000". In the left part of the banknote is a golden rectangle with national ornament and a digital denomination of "500", made with iridescent paint.

Sayakbay Karalaev

In the center there is a figure of the narrator (manaschi), Sayakbay Karalayev, and stylized fairy-tale images from the epic Manas.

The Epic of Manas (Kyrgyz: Манас дастаны, ماناس دستانی, Azerbaijani: Manas Dastanı, Turkish: Manas Destanı) is a traditional epic poem dating to the XVIII century but claimed by the Kyrgyz people to be much older. This opens the possibility of Manas having spoken a dialect of Turki similar to that of the Kazakhs and Nogay people today. The plot of Manas revolves around a series of events that coincide with the history of the region in the 17th century, primarily the interaction of the Turki-speaking people from the mountains to the south of the Dasht-i Qipchaq and the Oirat Mongols from the bordering area of Jungaria.

The government of Kyrgyzstan celebrated the 1,000th anniversary of Manas in 1995. The eponymous hero of Manas and his Oirat enemy Joloy were first found written in a Persian manuscript dated to 1792-3. In one of its dozens of iterations, the epic poem consists of approximately 500,000 lines, and while Kyrgyz historians consider it to be the longest epic poem in history, the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata and the Tibetan Epic of King Gesar are both longer. The distinction is in number of verses. Manas has more verses, though they are much shorter.

In 2009, a parliament member suggested its nomination for the "longest epic story in the world" because “the great heritage of Kyrgyz people should find its place in the world history.”

“The end of oral epics in Central Asia has been prophesied since the nineteenth century... Nevertheless, we can observe a surprising vitality of oral performance and oral traditions among the Kyrgyz.” Manas still plays "an important role in Kyrgyz cultural identity".

The epic tells the story of Manas, his descendants and his followers. Battles against Khitan and Oirat enemies form a central theme in the epic. The epic is divided into three parts, each consisting of a loose collection of episodic heroic events.

The Epic of Manas is divided into 3 books. The first is entitled "Manas", the second episode describes the deeds of his son Semetei, and the third of his grandson Seitek. The epic begins with the destruction and difficulties caused by the invasion of the Oirats. Zhakyp reaches maturity in this time as an owner of many herds without a single heir. His prayers are eventually answered, and on the day of his son's birth, he dedicates a colt, Toruchaar, born the same day to his son's service. The son is unique among his peers for strength, mischief, and generosity. The Oirat learn of this young warrior and warn their leader. A plan is hatched to capture the young Manas. They fail in this task, and Manas is able to rally his people and is eventually elected and proclaimed as khan.

Manas expands his reach to include that of the Uyghurs of Moghulistan on the southern border of Jungaria. One of the defeated Uighur rulers gives his daughter to Manas in marriage. At this point, the Kyrgyz people chose, with Manas' help, to return from the Altai mountains to their "ancestral lands" in the mountains of modern-day Kyrgyzstan. Manas begins his successful campaigns against his neighbors accompanied by his forty companions. Manas turns eventually to face the Afghan people to the south in battle, where after defeat the Afghans enter into an alliance with Manas. Manas then comes into a relationship with the people of mā warā' an-nār through marriage to the daughter of the ruler of Bukhara.

The epic continues in various forms, depending on the publication and whim of the manaschi, or reciter of the epic.

The epic poem's age is unknowable, as it was transmitted orally without being recorded. However, historians have doubted the age claimed for it since the turn of the 20th century. The primary reason is that the events portrayed occurred in the 16th and 17th centuries. Central Asian historian V. V. Bartol'd referred to Manas as an "absurd gallimaufry of pseudo-history," and Hatto remarks that Manas was "compiled to glorify the Sufi sheikhs of Shirkent and Kasan ... [and] circumstances make it highly probable that... [Manas] is a late eighteenth-century interpolation."

Changes were made in the delivery and textual representation of Manas in the 1920s and 1930s to represent the creation of the Kyrgyz nationality, particularly the replacement of the tribal background of Manas. In the 19th century versions, Manas is the leader of the Nogay people, while in versions dating after 1920, Manas is a Kyrgyz and a leader of the Kyrgyz.

Attempts have been made to connect modern Kyrgyz with the Yenisei Kirghiz, today claimed by Kyrgyzstan to be the ancestors of modern Kyrgyz. Kazakh ethnographer and historian Shokan Shinghisuly Walikhanuli was unable to find evidence of folk-memory during his extended research in 19th-century Kyrgyzstan (then part of the expanding Russian empire) nor has any been found since.


Banknotes Series 1997-2005.

The design of banknotes 1-10 Som and 200-1000 Som was developed by designer A.P. Tsygankov, and 20-100 Som by M.K. Sagimbayev.