Zaur Naloev | Нало Заур (1928-2012)

Zaur Naloev

This article is devoted to one of the brightest personalities of not only Kabardian but the whole Adyghe nation - to Zaur Magomedovich Naloev. He is a scholar-enlightener who little by little gathered and restored the lost pages of his native (Kabardian) folklore in auls and villages of the  three Adyghe republics. Z. Naloev’s creativity is ranked with the great classics of Adyghe literature - Ali Shogentsukov and Alim Keshokov.


by Zera Hachimovna Bakova and Irina Habalovna Badzova
Department of Literature and Folklore of Northern Caucasia Peoples Kabardino-Balkaria State University named after H. M. Berbekov

Бзэр псалъэ къудейкъым, ар гупсысэкӀэщ, дуней тетыкӀэщ
(The Adyghe language is not just words, it is a characteristic way of speaking. Together with the words,  we need to convey that way of speaking). -- Zaur Naloyev.

Zaur Naloev (Circassian: Нало Заур) was born in 1928 in the village of Starii Uruh. He graduated from the Kabardian State Pedagogical Institute, where he also gave lectures on the history of Kabardian literature and Adyghe folklore.

From January 1954 until the present he has worked at the Kabardino-Balkar Research Institute. He was a deputy of the KABSSR Supreme Soviet  (1990-1993), the toast-master of the public organization Adyghe Khase (1990-1994), a member of the Congress of the Kabardian people (1992-1994), and a member of the Council of the International Circassian Association (1991-1993).

Ziramuk Kardengush (left) and Zaur Nalo

He is a respected scholar of the KBR and has been honored for his contributions to Culture by the Republic of Abkhazia. He has been awarded the medals "For Brilliant Labor in the Great Patriotic War", "50 Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945", and also Certificates of Merit from  the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the KBASSR (1966, 1987) and the Presidium of the Kabardino-Balkarian Oblsovprof (1988). He is a well-known Kabardian writer, folklorist, and literary critic. He began his literary career activity in 1948 by publishing his first stories and poems in  newspapers.  Since then, Zaur Nalo has been active in the field of poetry, prose, children's literature, literary translation, journalism, literary criticism and the history of literature, folklore, ethnography. After the publication of two poetry collections he switched to prose and started writing short stories.  The publication in 1981 of his book of short stories “The Lone Crane” was a landmark in Kabardian literature.

Works for children constitute a significant proportion of Naloev’s literary works. Adults and children alike have fallen in love with his verses, games, and songs for children.  The poet himself admits that  he started to collect children's folklore only after his own children were born.  He accumulated so much material that he managed to publish a whole book. "I sang songs to my  children when they were small, I told them stories, and then I gradually began to write for children. That’s how I became a children's writer. Further ... my most important book for children is a two-volume reader for  kindergarten children.  I once saw a similar two-volume in Russian in a kindergarten. It was a wonder. I immediately became fired with the desire to do the same for Kabardian children ... "[2].

Naloev is even better known as a scholar-folklorist and literary critic. He is one of the authors of the multi-volume edition of the folklore musical heritage "Folk Songs and Instrumental Refrains of the Circassians".

Zaur Naloev has written numerous pieces of literary criticism and literary research. He is the head of the author's collective "Essays on the History of Kabardian Literature,"  published in two languages ​​(1965, 1968). He also wrote the monographs "Post-War Kabardian Poetry,"  "Essays on the History of Adyghe Culture," "Roots and Branches." He has written about the Baksan cultural movement, about Zhabagi Kazanoko, B. Kuashev,  and others.  Naloev is undoubtedly  one of the outstanding Adyghe enlighteners of the second half of the 20th century, whose name will forever remain in the history of the development of the culture of the Adygeyan people.

Zaur Naloev is a man of exceptional talent. He is a public figure, a scholar, and a folklorist. We have prepared a bio-bibliographic index of his life and works.

The index contains a brief biographical and scholarly overview and a list of his main works, sub-divided into seven sections according to genre, together with published reviews of Naloev’s work.   

Within the seven sections, the materials are arranged in chronological order, broken down by the language of publication, et.c.  This compendium is intended for students of various aspects of philology, and also for teachers of the Kabardian language and literature; publication was scheduled to coincide with the 80th anniversary of Naloev’s birth.

It is unfortunate that Naloev was awarded the title of People's Writer of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic only on the occasion of  his 80th birthday (he was always in opposition to the authorities), but it was merely  a belated formality. He had acquired genuine national recognition and love long before that. The publication of each of his books marks a new step in the history of national literature and ethnography. His works have a deep philosophical meaning, an interesting plot with deep psychological nuance that  subtly conveys the protagonists’ experiences  to the reader. Now in his 80s,  he is full of new creative ideas and images. Three more of his books are about to be published:  an  anthology of Jeguakui's poetry, a monograph on the Jeguakui  Institute,  and the fourth volume of folk songs and instrumental refrains. His works have become an integral part of the treasury of Adyghe literature. Children are brought up on them, and adults find  in them a genuine reflection of the true Adyghe spirit and character.

Naloev has travelled a long way from a simple village blacksmith to a folk poet. He has authored six monographs and more than 200 scientific and popular scientific publications. Over many years, he and his colleagues undertook the painstaking work of organizing expeditions. He gathered together the fragments and lost pages of Adygeyan folklore in the villages and auls of the three Adyghe republics and reassembled them.

It was under his leadership that such monumental works as "Tales of Zhabagi Kazanoko," Essays on the History of Kabardian Literature,” and “Folk Songs and Instrumental Refrains of the Circassians” ISSN 1997-2911 Philological Sciences. Issues of theory and practice, No. 1 (5) 2010, part 2 23 were published.

The literary scholar Fatima Urusbieva, who has worked with Naloev for many years, writes that "with his mastery of the most modern theory and methodology,  Z. Naloev  successfully tackles the issues confronting Adygeyan culture today. But he is far from the aspiration inherent in the enlighteners of the primary  Nogmov type "to instill in the reader the idea of ​​a golden age of enlightenment and civilization ... and further, ... he singles out in art and culture phenomena that are humane, democratic and  integrating, rather than elitist and closed, whether it is jaguako or girlish lounges, about hatiyako or tightrope-walkers-jugglers, singers or masters of laughter ... "[10].

This article was published by Gramota and is translated from Russian.


  1. Adyghe (Circassian) Encyclopedia. Moscow, 2006.
  2. Appaeva Zh. Lone Crane // Kabardino-Balkarskaya Pravda. 1998. August 29th.
  3. Badzova I.Z. Zaur Naloyev: biobibliographic index. Nalchik, 2008.
  4. Bakova Z. History of Kabardian Literature: uch. pos. Nalchik, 2007.
  5. Kajer Kh. Uerad shlausyr. Nalchik, 2008.
  6. Nalo Z. Kuru zakue. Novellahar. Nalchik, 1981.
  7. Nalo Z. Mazem phiemi zymi imylgeguar. Nalchik, 2006.
  8. Nalo Z. Nalo Zhanshahu and literary scholars. Nalchik, 2004.
  9. Nalo Z. Sabiy shaengyase. Nalchik, 1998.
  10. Urusbieva F. Zaur Naloev’s "The Book of Books", Kabardino-Balkarsskaya Pravda, 1985. 10 December.

Нало Заур, Мыхьэмэт и къуэ - адыгэ тхакӀуэ, усакӀуэ, еджагъэшхуэ, жылагъуэ лэжьакӀуэ. Филологие щӀэныгъэхэм я кандидат, «КъБР-м щӀэныгъэмкӀэ щӀыхь зиӀэ и лэжьакӀуэ», «Абхъаз Республикэм культурэмкӀэ щӀыхь зиӀэ и лэжьакӀуэ» цӀэ лъапӀэхэр зиӀэ, КъБАССР-м и Совет Нэхъыщхьэм и депутату, жылагъуэ зэгухьэныгъэхэм я тхьэмадэу щытащ. 

Нало Заур 1928 гъэм Хьэтуей къуажэ къыщалъхуащ.

1952 гъэм Къэбэрдей пединститутыр къиухри, щригъэджэн щӀидзащ. 1954 гъэм щыщӀэдзауэ КъБР-м щӀэныгъэхутэ иджы гуманитар къэхутэныгъэхэмкӀэ и институтым щылэжьащ.

Усэ тхылъ зыбжанэм, новеллэ тхылъым, повестым, рассказхэм, адыгэ культурэм и тхыдэм пыщӀа къэхутэныгъэ тхылъхэм, статья щхьэхуэ куэдым я авторщ. И усэхэр, нэгъуэщӀ литературэ лэжьыгъэхэр дунйем къытохьэ 1948 гъэ лъандэрэ. Ахэр щызэхуэхьэсащ «Бзухэм я бзэм» (1959), «Аслъэныкъуэ» (1967), «Усэхэр» (1973), «Дыгъэеджэ» (1976) тхылъхэм, нэгъуэщӀхэми.

«Послевоенная кабардинская поэзия», 3.М. Налоев, Нальчик: «Эльбрус», 1970
«Из истории культуры адыгов», 3.М. Налоев, Нальчик: «Эльбрус», 1978
«Культура и быт адыгов. Выпуск III», 3.М. Налоев, Майкоп: АдНИИЭЯЛИ, 1980
«Этюды по истории культуры адыгов», 3.М. Налоев, Нальчик: «Эльбрус», 1985
«Институт джегуако», 3.М. Налоев, Нальчик: ООО «Тетраграф», 2011 (ISBN 978-5-905288-23-4)