Kyz-Zhibek – Kazakh poetic folk legend of the 16th century, tells about the period in the Kazakh nation when the people suffered from bloody feuds. In those times each province of the Kazakh nation had its own Khan and each tried to supersede the other. The love story of Tolegen, the brave warrior, and the beauty Zhibek ends tragically because of inter-family strife. Tolegen is foully murdered by Bekejan (the batyr, or nobleman, of the rival family), who earlier strived for the hand of Zhibek. Zhibek commits suicide after learning about the death of Tolegen.
16 variants of the legend exist in different parts of Kazakhstan.
In 1934 opera “Kyz-Zhibek” was staged in Abay Opera House (music – Eugeny Brusilovsky, libretto – Gabit Musrepov).
In 1970 Kazakhfilm made film based on the legend.
In 1988 the poem was translated into Russian by Kazakh poet Bakhytzhan Kanapyanov.