Photographer's Note

Yusuf Has Hajip

Yusuf Has Hajib was an 11th century Karakhanid Uyghur scribe from the city of Balasaghun who wrote the "Kutadgu Bilig" ( "The Knowledge of Happiness" ). Most of what is known about Yūsuf comes from what he mentions about himself throughout the Kutadgu Bilig. Yusuf was born in Balasagun, which at the time was the capital of the Karakhanid empire, and was located near present-day Toqmoq in Kyrgyzstan. He was about 50 years old when he completed the Kutadgu Bilig, and upon presenting the completed work to the prince of Kashgar, was awarded the title Ḥājib, translating as something like "Privy Chamberlain" or "Chancelor." He is often referred to as either Yusuf Balasaguni or Yusuf Has Ḥajib. He is entombed in his mausoleum in Kashgar.

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