What is a Gargholanian Tribe?is it an imaginory tribe?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Gargholnian Tribe is the setting for Saroyan's short story "The Summer of the Beautiful Horse."  It is not for certain if it is made up or if it actually existed.  There is no historical record of it actually existing.  However, being of Amenian descent and growing up in Fresno, which was a hub of Armenian immigration in the 1930's America, Saroyan could have heard stories about the tribe Gargholanian.  This is because after World War I, the Armenian Massacre happened at the hands of the Turkish Government.  Millions of different tribes of Armenians were slaughtered and obliterated.  Given the timing of after World War I, and the Russian Revolution, along with the destruction of Germany, the world turned a blind eye to what happened to the Armenians.  In one of the first real examples of genocide in the 20th century, many tribes or sects from Armenia were wiped out by the Turkish government.  This was a push factor in the immigration of Armenians to America.  The Armenian Massacre could have seen the wiping out of a group of people called the "Gargholanians."  Their legacy or stories could have been passed down in oral tradition to a young thinker/ writer named Saroyan.  This is why, while there is no accurate or concrete record of this tribe, the Armenian Massacre, and its underreported nature, could have wiped out this tribe.

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