Jety-ata (Kazakh: Жеті ата, "seven grandfathers/ancestors" is a tradition among the Kazakh people, in which one is obligated to know or recite the names of their at least seven direct blood ancestors such as father, grandfather, great grandfather and great-great-grandfather etc. This process often has been taught for the generations (the sons and daughters) from their childhoods by their parents, so any Kazakhs aware of their at least their seven ancestors, the peoples under seven generations known as most blood relatives with each other's or the most blood close clans.
The main reason of knowing of their seven ancestors is that among Kazakhs, the male with female not allowed to have marriage relation within seven generations, so in order to build marriage relations, the ancestors of the male and female sides must be above the seven ancestors on both father and mother lineages. The second reason is that this tradition regarded a helpful means to know and remember the historical background of each Kazakhs and their tribes in the past, and this often called Shezhire by Kazakhs, and by that way most of the Kazakhs know their origin and the relations with others tribes with such clan-tribal system of Kazakhs, each seven generations considered as a minimum unit-clan in Kazakhs, but usually the Kazakhs marries above ten ancestors, in the oral folklore of Kazakhs it is said that the new born child will be wise, healthy mental and physically strong under the "Jety-Ata" rule.
The "Jety-Ata" rule probably become firm laws after the Kazakh Khanate with the suggestions of great Kazakh medical scientist Oteyboydak Tleukabyl uly (1388-1478) to the Khan of Kazakhs and before the Kazakh Khanate it was commonly exist among the per-tribes of the Kazakhs.[original research?]
The naming method as follows which starts from the grandson then descends to the further generations:
- Nemere - grandchild
- Shobere - great grandchild
- Shopshek - great-great-grandchild
- Nemene - 4th generations
- Jurezhat - 5th generations
- Tuazhat - 6th generations
- Juargat - 7th generations
- Jegzhat - 8th generations
- Historical Dictionary of Kazakhstan on the Google online books
- The Jety-Ata tradition of Kazakhs in Kazakh language
- The Shezhire: Kazakh Family Tree