JAZYGIANS (JASZ PEOPLE) - History play in song and dance

“In a specific and unique fashion, as a total work of art, Jazygians integrates diverse traditional and contemporary art forms, and, through the media of dance, music, poetry and the visual arts, speaks in an unrestricted manner about all those universal human values in whose spirit not only we, the Jazygians, but all of us, all people, would wish to live our lives.”

Gábor Mihályi – director, choreographer

The performance – JAZYGIANS


Just as the Hungarian people as a nation need to maintain their national consciousness through cultural cohesion, so a smaller community – the Jazygians –need to strengthen their own identity by summoning the memory of their history and forebears through the magical power of the arts and the theatre.

The main aim of the creators of the history play in song and dance Jazygians is to present the multi-faceted and intriguing history of the Jazygiens, following their path full of hardships, defeats and revivals, as depicted by history and the authors’ own imaginations, from their presumed ancient homeland, Bronze Age Eastern Persia through the sky-scraping mountains of Caucasus, the southern steppes of Russia and the territory of present-day Moldavia to the Kingdom of Hungary.


And then it becomes a spiritual journey paved with memories, starting with their settlement in their new homeland, progressing through their adoption of Christianity, the loss of their language, ancient beliefs and customs, their redemption, and leading up to our own time.

The plot of the performance evolves around the legacy of the Jász philosophy of life over seven generations. The main characters in the play are a young couple of today, whose past resurfaces during the piece. Their microcosm is then reflected through the history of the Jász people; the respective scenes depict past events from the early times until today.

From time to time, the two lovers are separated by the storms of history, but their fidelity and yearning desire for freedom surmount obstacles and hardships again and again. Their story becomes one with the history of the Jazygians during this performance, just like the past with the present and the profane with the sacred. The seven generations are represented by the seven main characters, with the Sages evoking the past of the Jazygians, while the child characters give hints about what the future holds.


As the story unfolds, the everyday life – joys, sorrows, defeats and revivals – of a ‘living community’ is revealed with dramatic and playful shifts in time and changes of locale, making it a parable of the overarching importance of human relationships, rituals and faith. Its resolution is a cathartic declaration of the triumph of human existence and life.

Gábor Mihály – director, choreographer


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Scenes of the history play JAZYGIANS

First Act



We walk down the endless path of the past to catch the Light.


Last Sacrifice

The dominant nation practices brutal human sacrifice in the former homeland of the Jazygians. Ritual human sacrifice goes against the beliefs of the Jazygians, as they worship an all-loving nature god, Lord of the Waters, and thus refuse to attend the ritual. They are forced to find a new homeland.


Spring Festival

Maidens come to the Lord of the Waters in the sky-scraping mountains of Caucasus to beg for their fertility and childbirth. The Festival is interrupted by the Mongol hordes’ invasion. The defeat of and casualties suffered by the Jazygians are almost crushing and disastrous; they wander on, led by the Sages toward the setting sun.


Clash of Kings

The Jazygians, in alliance with the Pechenegs and the Cumans, fight for their lives against the Russian army.


Tearful Partings

Byzantine ambassadors arrive to relate the Empire’s demand that Jász men defend the city against the Turks. Mothers weep over sons, wives and maidens weep over husbands and lovers.


Byzantine Christianisation

Most of the subject peoples of the Byzantine Empire and peoples living in its borderlands, including the Jazygians, sympathised with the teachings of Christendom. They converted to Christianity with the faith that: ‘Christ is baptised, not to be made holy by the water, but to make the water holy.’


Beautiful Red Dawn

Daybreak may bring not only the hope of a new day but also the hope of the return of men.

“New year, come and bless us with good days

Our old-new king, guide us with power!”

Second Act


New Homeland

King Saint Stephen’s Admonitions to His Son Prince Emeric provided excellent principles to guide not only Prince Emeric but also later Hungarian kings in matters of faith, ethics and morality. These teachings and admonitions may also have affected the Hungarian king’s decision to admit the Jazygians into the Kingdom of Hungary and convert them to Roman Catholicism.


Daban horz!

Jazygians could greet one another with the greeting “Daban horz!” which means “Good day!” as shown by the Jász – Hungarian – Latin wordlist on the reverse of a document dated 1422. Many words primarily related to farming and eating indicate hope: “Bagani na!” ‘”The beer is mine!”


Shepherds’ Festival

Statues of Saint Wendelin (Vendel), a patron saint of shepherds, stand across the region Jászság, testifying to the pastoral practices of the Jazygians. A close relationship with animals, desire for rarely seen wives, and conflicts are also a part of daily life for them.


Redemption in Verbunk Style

Empress Maria Theresa’s edict on the Redemption of the Jazygians is announced at the imaginary ball at the Schönbrunn Palace. Minuet combined with verbunk is played at the grand ball.



The Mother, observing the full assimilation of her people into the Hungarian population and the unstoppable loss of their ancient traditions, says goodbye to life. However, the Requiem playing laments not only the Mother but also all the sung and unsung Jász heroes who ever lived.


Seven Sentences

According to the philosophy of life passed down to the Jazygians by their ancestors, a family is a union of seven generations.

“Even if he is a sinner or a hero, seven generations are a whole.”



The Boy and the Girl get married after so many hardships and afflictions so that we can shout the fertility magic spell joyfully: “Be fruitful and multiply like…”

A ballad runs like a golden thread through the entire play; the lines of the ballad reflect on the scenes in the play from the young couple’s point of view.

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