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1982

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Gusan Thifili, Biography


By D. Bagratouni

Gusan (singer) Thifili (Egho Manukyan) was born in 1845, in Sulda village,

Akhalkalak region, in a family of a landless villager. Young Egho was fond of music
created by gusans (singers). He studied to play saz, actively participated in concerts
conducted in the village. Thifili and Jivani were taught by ashugh Siayi. His nickname
Thifili received from ashugh Siayi. In the first years of his activity Thifili sang SayatNovas, Shirins, Siayis and Jivanis songs. But he also tried to compose his own songs
and attracted the attention of villagers. He gradually improved his qualities and
became famous in Javakhk.

During the escape of 1918 Thifili left his village and settled in Bakurian, and then in
Batum where he died in 1923 at the age of 78.
His songs have different motivations, but the major emphasis is put in criticizing

social injustice. He was concerned about nations unbearable condition that is why he
always rebelled against authorities.

Love songs are also in the first place in Thifilis works. As he used to sing at wedding
parties, he composed a lot of joyly songs concerning different episodes of wedding
ceremony.
About 100 of his songs were written down but there are a lot of songs in Turkish that
were lost. As he knew Turkish well, he also gave concerts in Turkish villages.

Thifili would have been very famous if his songs would be published in time. No one
was interested in his activities and he did not complain about that. A little book of his
songs called Yerger (Songs) was first published in 1982 by the publishing house
Merani of Tbilisi.
Gusan Havasi greatly appreciated the art of Thifili from whom he studied a lot. That is
why while listening Havasis songs we can feel the spirit of Thifilis songs. Havasi
dedicated some songs to Thifili which are full of love and spirit.

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