Gamzat Tsadasa – Poet of the mountains
Poets call Daghestan the land of mountains. Situated in the eastern part of the Caucasus, it has 36 nationalities, some of them so tiny that they consist of the inhabitants of two or three villages. The largest of them all, the Avars (about 200,000), have produced two outstanding poets —Gamzat Tsadasa and his son, Rasul Gamzatov.
Gamzat Tsadasa was People’s poet of the Dagestan ASSR (1934), winner of the Stalin Prize of the second degree (1951).
Gamzat Tsadasa was born on August 9 (21), 1877 in the village of Tsada (now Khunzakh district of Dagestan) into the family of a poor peasant. His name Tsadas is a pseudonym and comes from the name of the village Tsada. He became an orphan very early, his father Yusupil Magoma died when he was 7 years old.
He studied at a madrasah. For three years he was an imam and a judge in his native village. Later he worked on the railway. In 1908-1917 he was engaged in agriculture. In 1917-1919 Gamzat Tsadasa was a member of the Khunzakh Sharia court. In 1921-1922 he worked as an editor of the Red Mountains newspaper, where he published his first poems.
Gamzat Tsadasa took an active part in the Socialist Revolution and was a pioneer of public education in Daghestan. His son, Rasul, was born in 1923. He was educated in Moscow, and on his return home became one of the most popular poets in Daghestan. He was awarded a Lenin Prize.
The beginning of the creative work dates back to 1891, his first poem was Alibek’s Dog. His pre-revolutionary poetry was socially accusatory. His poems, jokes were against various norms of rich men and merchants. After the October Revolution, Gamzat Tsadasa appeared as the singer of the new life of the mountaineers. The first collection of poems was published in 1934. In the same year, “as the oldest poet, beloved by the broad masses of the working people of the mountaineers,” he became the first national poet of Dagestan.
Gamzat is the first author of Avar fables, poems and fairy tales for children. Tsadasa translated the works of Alexander Pushkin into the Avar language.
Gamzat Tsadasa died on June 11, 1951 in Makhachkala.