The Legend of the Dombra

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Have you ever heard of the dombra, a musical instrument from the Far East? In this Kazakh legend, you will learn about the magical sounds of the dombra and its association with the famous Genghis Khan.

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The Legend of the Dombra
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This story takes place in ancient times, when the dombra still had four strings. Wait, what? Are you saying you don’t know what a dombra is? Ah, well, it’s a musical instrument with a long, graceful neck that kind of resembles a lute. And a dombra is the star of this ancient legend.

A long-long time ago, in faraway Asia, there lived a cruel and fearless ruler. The whole world knows him as Genghis Khan. His enemies as well as his own vassals would tremble with terror on just hearing the name of this mighty ruler. Genghis Khan was strong and mean. But just like every human, he also had a weakness. For him it was Jochi, his eldest son.

Jochi was a great commander and warrior, just like his father. He was brave, muscular, and wise. Together, the father and son conquered many territories, fighting side by side. Genghis Khan loved Jochi with the truest form of fatherly love. Nothing in the world was dearer to him than his beloved son.

However, one day everything changed. Jochi did not return from a hunting expedition. Genghis Khan immediately sent his men into the forest to search for him. They wandered across the land, searching tirelessly for the ruler's son. However, they eventually learned that Jochi had had an accident while hunting, and died.

So the soldiers would have to go back and inform the ruler. They hesitated, though. Genghis Khan’s fierceness intimidated them so much that they preferred to say nothing to him. The custom at the time was for rulers to generously reward the bringers of so-called ‘red news’, meaning good news. But whoever brought bad news, that is ‘black news’, was executed. So the soldiers knew that the one who…

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