For thousands of years, legends have been created about the fearless women, the Amazons. Many armies have fled from the warrior girls. The legend of the Kirk Kiz (forty warrior girls) of Samarkand lives on among the people. According to one legend, a troop of Kirk Kiz (forty warrior-girls) was stationed in the fortress of Kirk-Kiz-Tepe¹. An enemy army approached the walls of the fortress and began a siege. The girls of Samarkand, led by their leader Gauhar, rose to defend the fortress. For countless days and nights they repelled the enemy’s attacks. Many enemies fell on the battlefield. The ranks of the female warriors were exhausted. Only Gauhar and a few girls stayed behind, and as no reinforcements came, they prepared to defend the city.
The fortress was burning, moans and screams could be heard in the flames, the walls were destroyed. Hope had abandoned the defenders. But Gauhar gathered all her remaining quivers of arrows and struck the enemy warriors with success. When she ran out of arrows, the warrior left the fortress mortally wounded. The enemy warriors, ready to tear the defender of the fortress apart, froze as if stunned. Gauhar rose slowly, her bloodied helmet falling from her head, her luxuriant braids scattering over her armour. The warrior raised her sabre and spoke with a tear, “I am Gauhar, my girl troop has fallen in battle and I challenge your warlord to a fight.”
The army responded with a stunned roar. Never had anyone fought so bravely against a mighty army. The leader gave the girl a piercing look and his lips whispered, “I wish I had such warriors.” He dismounted from his horse, politely approached Gauhar, looked deep into her eyes and realised that he would not be able to conquer Samarkand and would meet his end here. The commander bowed his head and kissed Gauhar’s hand. He turned to his warriors and called out loudly, “I have seen the jewel of Samarkand and I am pleased with what I have seen. Let us return home!” The army murmured in agreement and as they mounted their horses, the horsemen disappeared from sight.
The brave Gauhar looked at the last enemy warrior and her face lit up with joy as they disappeared behind the horizon and left the land of Samarkand. At that moment the horsemen of the fortress appeared and rushed to the aid of the Amazons. Gauhar lowered her head in relief and whispered, “At last!” – And staggered backwards and fell backwards. Her whole body was scarred and a trickle of scarlet blood ran down her beautiful lips. The faces of her parents flashed past her closed eyes: Here her mother baked flatbread and her father told stories, here she and her sister ran to the market to buy sweets, here her fiancé told of his love – all this flashed before Gauhar’s clouded gaze, and as she looked at the steppe, the gardens and the city of Samarkand, joy lit up in her eyes. “The city is saved!” – flashed a happy realisation.
¹The fortress of forty girls