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1
Mythology / Mythology of All Races series 1916-1932
« on: June 25, 2019, 11:36:09 PM »
These form the base books.

Btw I've noticed from 1750-1850 and then up to World War 1, and after that up to1 930 were the best books on research n whtever subject. Scholars were eager to research, not like nowadays...



The thirteen volumes of this magnificent series were issued under the editorship of Louis H. Gray, J. A. MacCulloch, and G. F. Moore between 1916 and 1932. Some of the treatments have not been surpassed.

Vols. 2, 4-5, 7-8, 13 are edited by J.A. Macculloch and G.F. Moore, and have imprint: Boston, Archaeological Institute of America, Marshall Jones Company

Bibliography at end of each volume

I. Greek and Roman, by W.S. Fox. 1916.--
II. Eddic, by J.A. Macculloch. 1930.--
III. Celtic, by J.A. Macculloch; Slavic by Jan Ma?chal. 1918.--
IV. Finno-Ugric, Siberian, by Uno Holmberg. 1927.--
V. Semitic, by S.H. Langdon. 1931.--
VI. Indian, by A.B. Keith; Iranian, by A.J. Carnvy. 1917.--
VII. Armenian, by M.H. Ananikian; African, by Alice Werner. 1925.--
VIII. Chinese, by J.C. Ferguson; Japanese, by Masaharu Anesaki. 1928.--
IX. Oceanic, by R.B. Dixon. 1916.--
X. North American, by H.B. Alexander. 1916.--
XI. Latin-American, by H.B. Alexander. 1920.--
XII. Egyptian, by W.M. Mu?ller; Indo-Chinese, by J.G. Scott. 1918.--
XIII. Complete index to volumes I-XII. 1932

2
Siberian mythology / UNO HOLMBERG 1882-1949
« on: June 25, 2019, 11:23:44 PM »
From Wikipedia:

Uno Harva
Uno Nils Oskar Harva was a Finnish religious scholar, who founded the discipline in Finland together with Rafael Karsten. A major figure in North Eurasian ethnology and study of religion, Harva is best known for his body of work on Finno-Ugric and Altaic religions. He is considered to be one of the foremost 20th-century European interpreters of shamanism... Read More
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uno%20Harva


Born   August 30, 1882
Ypäjä
Died   August 13, 1949 (aged 66)
Turku
Nationality   Finnish
Other names   Uno Holmberg
Occupation   Theology, Sociology

3
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:24:43 PM »
.

37.   Potanin , iv. 53; cf. Lankenau, p. 279.

38.   Cf. Holmberg , pp. 12—20; Anucin, pp. 44 ff.

39.   Schrenk, i. 408; cf. Kulikovskiy, “ O kultë medvedya,” EO,
1890, no. 1, p. no.

40.   Tretyakov, p. 214; Mordvinov, p. 64; cf. Sirokogorov, p. 33,
n. 2.

41.   Simkevic, p. 63.

42.   Klemenc, pp.* 25 fiF.

43.   “ Perv. bur. sam.,” p. 88 n.; Agapitov-Changalov, pp. 42-3.

44.   Anucin, pp. 60 ff.

45.   Tretyakov, p. 214; Pekarskiy, “ Plasc,” p. 112.

46.   Anucin, pp. 7-8.
 
 BIBLIOGRAPHY

 SIBERIAN

I.   ABBREVIATIONS

(See also Abbreviations under Finno-Ugric)

IV-SORGO . Izvëstiya Vostocno-Sibirskago Otdëla Russkago

Geograficeskago Obscestva.

MER .... Materialy po Etnografii Rossii.

Ostasiatische Zeitschrift.

Sbornik Muzeya po Antropologii i Etnografii pri
Akademii Nauk.

Sibirskiy Sbornik.

Sibirskiy Vëstnik.

Trudy IV Archeologiceskago Sëzda v Rossii.
Vostocnoe Obozrënie.

Zapiski Archeologiceskago Obscestva.

Zurnal Ministerstva Narodnago Prosvësceniya.
Zapiski Priamurskago Otdëla Russkago Geo-
graficeskago Obscestva.

Zapiski Russkago Archeologiceskago Obscestva.
Zapiski Vostocnago Otdëleniya Russkago Archeo-
logiceskago Obscestva.

Zapiski Vostocno-Sibirskago Otdëla Russkago
Geograficeskago Obscestva.

II.   BIBLIOGRAPHY

Agapitov, N. N., and Changalov, M. N., “ Samanstvo u buryat
Irkutskoy gubernii,,> in IV-SORGO xiv. 1-2. Irkutsk, 1883.
Altayskaya cerkovnaya mis sly a. Petrograd, 1865.

Anucin, V. I., “ Ocerk samanstva u yeniseyskich ostyakov,” in
SMAEAN ii. 2. Petrograd, 1914.

Banzarov, D., Öernaya ver a Hi samanstvo u mongolov. Petrograd,
1891.

Batarov, P. P., <c Buryatskiya povërya o bocholdoyach i anachayach,”
in ZV—SORGO ii. 2. Irkutsk, 1890.

Bergeron', Pierre, Voyages faits frindfdement en Asie dans les
X11yXIlly XIV et XV siècles far Benjamin de Tudeley Jean du
Plan-Car fin, N. Ascelin, Guillaume de Rubruquis, Marc Paul
Venitien, Hatton, Jean de Mandeville et Ambrotse Contarim.
2 vols. La Haye, 1735.

SMAEAN \ .

SS.......

sv .... .

TIVAS . . .
VO . . . .
ZAO . . . .
2MNP . . .
ZPORGO . .

ZRAO . . .
ZVORAO . .

ZV-SORGO .
 58a   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

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1804-5.

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vii.) New York, 1904.

Braig, C., “ Eine mongolische Kosmologie,” in Philosoph. Jahrbuch}
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------- “ Predaniya i poverya unginskich buryat,” in ZV-

SORGO ii. 2. Irkutsk, 1890.

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Irkutsk, 1890.

Dahnhardt, Q.yNatnrsagen. 3 vols. Leipzig and Berlin, 1907-10.

Fraehn, Ch. M., “ Die altesten arabisehen Naehrichten fiber die
Wolga-Bulgaren, aus Ibn Foszlan’s Reiseberichten,” in Mé-
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yach,” in ZAO xiii. Petrograd, 1859.

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------- “ Yuryung-Uolan. Jakutskaya skazka,” in IV-SORGO

xv.   5-6. Irkutsk, 1885.

GrÜNWEDEL, A., Mythologie des Buddhismus in Tibet und der
Mongolel Leipzig, 1900.

Harlez DE, Ch., La Religion nationale des Tartares orimtaux:
Mandchous et Mongols. Paris, 1887.

Helmersen, G. von, Reise nach dem Altai im Jakre 1834 ausge-
führt. Petrograd, 1848.

Hildén, Kaarlo, “ Ora shamanismen 1 Altai, speciellt bland lebed-
tatarerna,” in Terra, 1916. Helsingfors, 1916.

Historia Orientalis Haythoni Armenii: et hvis svbiectvm Marei Pavli
venetllünerarium. Helmaestadii, 1635.

Holmberg, Uno, [a] “Der. Baum des Lebens,” in A ASF xvi.
Helsingfors, 1922-1923.

------- “The shaman costume and its significance,” in Annates

Unhersitatis Fenmcae A boeusis, i. no. 2. Turku, 1922.

Hue, E. R,, Souvenirs dyun voyage dans la- Tartaria, le Thibet et'la
Chine. Paris, 1850.
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Ionov, V. M., “ Duch-chozyain lësa u yakutov,” in SMAEAN iv. 1.
Petrograd, 1916.

Ivanovskiy* A., “ Dyavol-tvorec solnca,” in EO no. 4. Moscow,
1890.

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1900.

------- The Koryak. (The Jesuf North Pacific Expedition, vi.)

New York, 1905.

Kamenskiy, N., Sovremennyja ostatki yazyceskich obryadov i reli-
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Petrograd.

Klemenc, D., “ Nëskolko obrazcov bubnov minusinskich inorodcev,”
in ZV—SORGO ii. 2. Irkutsk, 1890.

Koblov, Y., “ Mifologia kazanskich tatar,” in IOIAE xxvi. 5.
Kazan, 1910.

-------Religioznye obryady i obycai tatar magometan.   Kazan,

1908.

Kotvic, V., “ Materialy dlya izuceniya tungusskich nareciy,” in ZSt

1909,   ii—iii. Petrograd.

Kraseninnikov, S., Opisanie ZemLi Kamcatki. Petrograd, 1819.
Landysev, S., cc Kosmologiya i Feogoniya altaycev yazycnikov,” in
PS 1886. Kazan.

Lan kenau, H. v. “ Die Schamanen und das Schamanenwesen,” in
Globus} xxii. Braunschweig, 1872.

Lassy, Ivar, The Muharram mysteries among the Azerbeijan Turks
of Caucasia. Helsingfors, 1916.

Ledebour, C. F. von, Reise durch das AItai-Gebirge und Soongo-
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Maak, R,, [a] Putesestvie na Amur. Petrograd, 1889.

------- Vilyujskiy okrug yakutskoy oblasti. Petrograd, 1887.

Magnitskiy, V., Materialy k obyasneniyu staroy cuvasskoy very.
Kazan, 1881.

Maynagasev, S. D., “ 2ertvoprinosenie nebu u beltirov,” in
SMAEAN iii. Petrograd, 1916.

Maksimov, S., “ Ostatki drevnich narodno tatarskich (yazyceskich)
verovaniy u nynësnich krescenych tatar Kazanskoy gubernii,” in
IKE 1876. Kazan.

Mészaros, Gyula, A csuvas dsvallas emlékeu Budapest, 1909.
Meszaros, J., “ Osmanisch-tiirkischer Volksglaube*'” in KSz vii.
Budapest, 1906.

Michailov, V. I., “ Obryady i obycai cuvas,” in ZRGO xvii. 2.
Petrograd, 1891.
 5 84   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

Michaylovskiy, V. M., “ Ëamanstvo,” in lOLEAE lxxv. Trudy
etnografieeskago otdëla, xii. Moscow, 1892.

MlDDENDORFF, A, Th. v., Reise in den aussersten Norden und Osten
Stbiriensy iii. 1 and iv. 2. Petrograd, 1851 and 1875.

Milkqvic, “ Byt i vërovaniya cyvas Simbirskoy gübernii v 1783
•godu,” in SGF 1851, no. 42. Simbirsk.

Mordvinov, A., “ Inorodcy obytayuscie v Turuchanskom kraë,” in
VRGO i860, ii. Petrograd.

Nansen, F., Gjennem Sibirien. Copenhagen, 1915.

Nasyrov, K., “ Povërya i primëty kazanskich tatar,” in ZRGO vi.
Petrograd, 1880.

Nikolskiy, N., Kratkii konsfekt po etnografit cuvas. Kazan,
1911.

Nordenskiöld, A. E., Vegas fdrd kring Asien och Europa. Stock-
holm, ! 880-81.

Olsen, 0rjan, Et frinutivt folk. De mongolske rennomader.
Christiania, 1915.

“ O proischosdenii sëvero-baykalskich buryat.” Pamyatnaya knizka
Irkutskoy gubernii za 1881 g. Irkutsk, 1881.

Pallas, P. S., Sammlungen historischer Nachrichten iiber die mongo-
lischen V ölkerschaf ten. 2 vols. Petrograd, 1776-1801.
Parker, E. H., “ Mongols,” in ERE viii. 806 f.

Pekarskiy, E., “ Plasc i buben yakutskago samana,” in MER i.
Petrograd, 1910.

Pekarskiy, E. K, and Cvetkov, V. P., “ Ocerki byta priayanskich
tungusov,” in SMAEAN ii. 1. Petrograd, 1913.

“ Pervyi buryatskiy saman c Morgan Chara,’ ” in IV-SORGO xi. 1-2.
Irkutsk, 1880.

“Pervyj saman Bocholi-Chara,” in IV-SORGO xi. 1-2. Irkutsk,
1880.

Podgorbunskiy, S. I., “ Idei buryat Samanistov o dusë, smerti,
zagrobnom mire i zagrobnoy zizni,” in IV-SORGO xxii. no. l.
Irkutsk, 1891.

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severnoy Mongol»,” in 'ÏMNP 1882, no. I. Petrograd.

------- Ocerki severo-zapadnoy Mongoliiy vols. ii and iv.

Petrograd, 1881 and 1883.

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Moscow.

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1891, iii—iv. Petrograd.
 BIBLIOGRAPHY   585

------- ££ Yakutskiya narodnyja povërya i skazki,” in 2St 1891.

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ZPORGO i. 2. Chabarovsk, 1896.

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Vladivostok, 1919.

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 586   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

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Vasilyev, V. N., [a] u Izobrazeniya dolgano-yakutskich duchov kak
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------- “ Samanskiy kostyum i buben u yakutov,” in SMAEAN

viii.   Petrograd, 1910.

Verbitskiy, V. L, Altayskte inorodcy. Sbornik etnograficesktch
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in EO 1890, no. 2. Moscow, 1890.

-------- Razyskaniya v oblasti russkago duchovmgo sticka (xi—

xvii), v. Petrograd, 1889,

V-skiy, N., <c Materialy dlya izuceniya samanstva u yakutov,” in
ZV—SORGO ii. 2. Irkutsk, 1890.

Zatoplyayev, N., “Nëkotoryja povërya alarskich buryat,” in ZV—
SORGO ii. 2. Irkutsk, 1890.

Zitetskiy, I. A., “ Ocerki byta Astrachanskich Kalmykov,” in
IOLEAE Ixxvii. 1. Trudy etnografica ska go otdelay xiii. I»
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Zolotnitskiy, N. I., Kornevoy cuvassko-russkiy slovar. Kazan,
1875.
 BIBLIOGRAPHY

587

PRINCIPAL ARTICLES ON FINNO-UGRIANS AND SI-
BERIANS IN THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF RELIGION
AND ETHICS

Beveridge, J., “ Kalevala,” vii. 641-2.

Billson, C. J,, “ Names (Lapp),” ix. 270-1.

-------“ Prayer (Finns and Lapps),” x. 181—2.

Czaplicka, M. A., “Ostyaks,” ix. 575-81.

-------- “ Samoyed,” xi. 172-7.

-------“ Siberia, Sibiriaks, Siberians,” xi. 488-96.

-------“ Tungus,” xii. 473-6.

--------“Turks,” xii. 476-83.

-------“ Yakut,” xii. 826-9.

Holmberg, U., “ Lapps,” vii. 797-800.

-------“Priest, Priesthood (Ugro-Finnish),” x. 335—6.

Klementz, D., “ Buriats,” iii. 1—17.

Krohn, K., “Ancestor-Worship and Cult of the Dead (Ugro-
Finnish),” i. 467.

-------“ Birth (Finns and Lapps),” ii. 647-8.

-------“ Finno-Ugrians,” vi. 22-3.

-------“Finns (Ancient),” vi. 23-6.

-------“Kalevala,” vii. 639—41.

MacCulloch, J. A., “Shaman,” xi. 441-6.

MacRitchie, D., “ Images and Idols (Lapps and Samoyeds),” vii.
148-50.

Paasonen, H., “ Mordvins,” viii. 842-7.

4
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:20:39 PM »
SIBERIAN

Chapter I

3.   According to author’s Collections.

2.   Tretyakov, pp. 200, 2171—8.

3.   Potanin , ii. 160.

4.   Troscanskiy, pp. 67-8.

5.   Georgi, Bemerkungen, i. 276.

6.   Chudyakov, pp. 112, 132.

7.   “Skaz. bur.,” p. 18.

8.   Verbitskiy, pp. 73-4; Radloff [a], ii. 6.

9.   Tretyakov, p. 200.

10.   Bogoras, pp. 307, 330-1.

11.   Verbitskiy, p. 90.

12.   “ Bur. skazki,” p. 138; §askov> p. 30.

13.   Afanasyev, Poeticeskiya vozzrêniya slavyan na frirodu (Mos-
cow, 1868), ii. 162.

14.   “ Skaz, bur.,” p. 72; Potanin , iv. 208, 221; Spasskiy,
p. 36.

15.   Potanin , iv. 799-

16.   Holmberg [vi a], p. 179.

17.   ib. pp, 179-80.

18.   Potanin , ii. 153—4.

19.   ib. iv. 799; Holmberg [v b], p. 49 n.

20.   Potanin , iv. 799; cf. Middendorff, iv. 2: 1602.

21.   Potanin , iv. 709—10; Munkasci, KSz} ix. 3, 293.

22.   Kraseninnikov, ii. 106.

Chapter II

1.   Troscanskiy, pp. 22—3.

2.   Priklonskiy [a], iv. 66,

3.   Serosevskiy, p. 653.

4.   Potanin , iv. 218-9.

5.   “ Skaz. bur.,” pp, 69-71.

6.   Veselovskiy , v. 54, 65; Munkasci, KSz ix. 3, 212 ff.j
Dahnhardt, i. 66.

7.   Veselovskiy [a], pp. 34-5.
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

546

8.   Dahnhardt, i. 3, 32, 44.

9.   ib. pp. 10-11.

10.   Potanin ,iv. 219.

11.   Radloff [c],i. 175 ff.

12.   Veselovskiy , v. 68.

13.   Munkasci, KSz, ix. 3. 212 iff.

14.   “ Skaz. bur.,” p. 69.

15.   Veselovskiy , v. 13.

16.   Middendorff, iv. 2 p. 1602.

17.   Dahnhardt, i. 2.

18.   Potanin ,iv. 221--2.

19.   ib. p. 219; Munkasci KSz} ix, 3. 219.

20.   Antero Vifunen, (Helsingfors, 1908), pp. 25-6.

21.   Dahnhardt, i. 44.

22.   Radloff [c], i, Introd. p. x.

23.   Sumcov, p. 5.

24.   Radloff [c], i. 177.

25.   Tretyakov, pp. 201-2.

26.   Veselovskiy , v. 67.

27.   Dahnhardt, i. 63-4.

28.   Cf. Anucin, p. 14.

29.   Saskov, p. 30.

30.   “ Skaz. bur.,” pp. 65-6.

31.   Tretyakov, p. 207.

32.   “ Skaz. bur.,” pp. 66-7.

33.   Bogayevskiy, EO [1990] iv. 143.

34.   See The Mythology of All Racesf x. 279, and reff, there

35.   Dahnhardt, i. 74 ff.

36.   ib. pp. 79, 77-8.

37.   Potanin , iv. 220 ff.

38.   ib. p. 224.

39.   ib. ii. 166.

40.   Dahnhardt, i. 19 n., 30.

41.   ib. p. 19 n.

42.   Spasskiy, pp. 33-4.

43.   Dahnhardt, i. 23.

44.   Potanin , iv. 268.

45.   Troscanskiy, p. 43.

46.   Munkasci, KSzy ix. 3. 209.

47.   Kraseninnikov, ii. 100.

48.   Potanin , ii. 153.

49.   Tretyakov, p. 202; Munkasci, KSzy ix. 3. 293.

50.   Kraseninnikov, ii. 101.
 NOTES

547

Chapter III

1.   Potanin ,iv. 137-8, 734-5; Vambéry [a],p. 154.

2.   Chudyakov, p. 127.

3.   Karjalainen [c], pp. 162 ff.

4.   Vasilyev [a], pp. 285-7.

5.   Gorochov [a], p. 37; “ Skaz. bur.,” p. 6.

6.   Magnitskiy, p. 63 n.

7.   Karjalainen [c], p. 303.

8.   Changalov [a], p. 18.

9.   Gorochov [a], p. 36.

10.   Chudyakov, pp. 135, 153.

11.   Changalov [a], p. 40.

12.   Katanov, te Skaz. i leg.,” p. 223 n. 6.

13.   Karjalainen [c], p. 164.

14.   Chudyakov, p. 202.

15.   Karjalainen [c], pp. 162 ff.

16.   ib. p. 163.

17.   Chudyakov, p. 127.

18.   Karjalainen [c], p. 165.

19.   ib. p. 295.

20.   ib. p. 164.

21.   Radi off [a], ii. 20 ff; Verbitskiy, pp. 46, 63 ff.

22.   Radloff [c], ii. 602.

Chapter IV

1.   “ Skaz. bur.,5’ p. I.

2.   Verbitskiy, p. 168.

3.   Radloff [a], ii. 6.

4.   Chudyakov, p. 84.

5.   Potanin ,iv. 555.

6.   Karjalainen [c], p. 332.

7.   Landysev, p. 7; Verbitskiy, p. 90.

8.   Kotvic, p. 217.

9.   “ Skaz. bur.,55 p. 140.

10.   Radloff [a], ii. 6.

11.   Krohn [iii e], p. 106.

12.   Griinwedel, AItbuddhhtische Kultstatten, (Berlin, 1912), fig.
243, 482, 590, 604.

13.   Smidt, “ Der Tamamushischrein,55 0Z} 1914, p. 420.

14.   Potanin , iv. 555-6.

15.   ib. pp. 223-4.

16.   ib. p. 228.
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

17.   2itetskiy, pp. 65 if.

18.   The Mythology of AU Races, x. 286, and reff. there.

Chapter V

1.   Radloif [a], ii. 7.

2.   Potanin , iv. 226.

3.   Karjalainen [c], p. 305.

4.   ib. p. 305

5.   Schiefner, pp. 62 if.

6.   Ahlqvist, A., Versuch einer mokscha-mordwinlschen Gram-
matlk (Petrograd, 1861), p. 133.

7.   Chudyakov, pp. 112 if.

8.   “Skaz. bur.,” p. 149.

9.   Gorochov , pp. 43 ff.

10.   Middendorff, iii. 79 if,

11.   Potanin ,iv. 223-4.

12.   Schott [c], p. 9; Grünwedel, Myth.j p. 50.

13.   See The Mythology of All Races, xii. 36, fig. 23.

14.   2itetskiy, p. 66.

15.   Changalov [a], p. 42.

16.   Potanin ,iv. 188.

17.   See The Mythology of All Races, vi. 298-9.

18.   Middendorff, iii. 1. 87-8; Gorochov [a], p. 43.

19.   Middendorff, iii. 1. 87.

20.   ib. p. 87.

21.   2itetskiy, p. 66.

22.   Potanin , iv. 217.

Chapter VI

1.   “ Skaz. bur.,** pp. 71-2.

2.   ib. p. 79.

3.   ib. pp. 140-ï.

4.   Munkasci, KSz} ix. 3. 262 f.; Patkanov, i. 134 f.

5.   Dahnhardt, i. 258 ff.

6.   ib. p. 266.

7.   Verbitskiy, pp. 102—3.

8.   ib. pp. 76, 103 n.

9.   Radloif [a],ii.6, 11.

10.   Potanin fb], iv. 208.

11.   ib. p. 208.

12.   Radloif [c], i. 183.

13.   Munkasci, KSz> ix. 3. 268,

14.   Anucin, pp. 14—5.
 NOTES

549

15.   Tretyakov, pp. 201-2.

16.   Steller, p. 273.

17.   Pekarskiy, p. 114.

18.   Munkasci, KSz, ix. 3. 258 ff.

19.   ib. p. 260.

20.   Andree, R., Die Flutsagen, (Braunschweig, 1891), pp. 25-6.

21.   Verbitskiy, pp. 113-4.

22.   “ Skaz. bur.,” p. 78.

Chapter VII

1.   Spasskiy, p. 34.

2.   Dahnhardt, i. 111-3; bin Gorion, M. J., Die Sagen der Juden.
Die Urzeity (Frankfurt a.M. 1913), p. 101.

3.   Saskov, p. 33; Dahnhardt, i. 111.

4.   2itetskiy, p. 67.

5.   Grube, W., Religion und Kultus der Chinesen (Leipzig,
1910), p. 101.

6.   Dahnhardt, p. 111 n.

7.   “ Skaz. bur.,” p. 67.

8.   Verbitskiy, p. 91.

9.   Karjalainen, p. 19 j Munkasci, KSz} ix. 3. 227—8.

10.   Anucin, p. 9.

11.   Radloff [c], i. 285.

12.   Middendorff, iv. 2. 1602.

13.   Veselovskiy , v. 10.

14.   ib. p. 18.

15.   ** Skaz. bur.,” pp. 67-8.

16.   ib. pp. 68—9.

17.   ib. pp. 69-70.

18.   Munkasci, KSz, ix. 3. 228 ff.

19.   Veselovskiy , v. 12.

20.   Potanin , iv. 219-220.

21.   ib. pp. 222-3.

22.   Verbitskiy, pp. 91—2.

23.   ib. p. 93.

Chapter VIII

1.   Radloff [c], Prob., 1*. 177 if.

2.   Middendorff, iv. 2. 1602.

3.   Munkasci, KSz, ix. 3. .2.31 ff*, Karjalainen [c], p, 19.

4.   Veselovskiy , v. 12 ? bin Gorion, p. 95.

5.   2itetskiy, p. 68j cf. bin Gorion, p. 105.

6.   2itetskiy, p. 68.
 550

SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

Chapter IX

1.   Anucin, p. 17.

2.   Donner [a], pp. 6-7,

3. ib. p. 8 n. I.

4. ib. p. 12.

5.   Verbitskiy, p. 101.

6.   Chudyakov, pp. 107, 124.

7.   Potanin , iv. 373 ff.

8.   Simkevic, pp. 128-30.

9.   ib. pp. 126-7.

10.   The Mythology of All Races, x. 254, 291.

Chapter X

1.   Banzarov, p. 6.

2.   Magnitskiy, pp. 64, 85.

3.   Radloff [a], ii. 6.

4.   Banzarov,,p. 27.

5.   Radloff [a], ii. 11.

6.   Magnitskiy, p. 64 n. 1.

7.   Saskov, p. 18.

8.   ib. pp. 8, 10; Banzarov, p. 10.

9.   Saskov, p. 10; Banzarov, p. 10.

10.   Troscanskiy, pp. 32-3.

11.   Changalov [a], pp. 45-6; Saskov, pp. 24-5; Agapitov-Chan-
galov, p. 23.

12.   Priklonskiy [a], iii. 65.

13.   Saskov, p. 9, Banzarov, p. 9.

14.   Nikolskiy, pp. 71-2.

15.   Anucin, p. 9.

16.   Sërosevskiy, p. 645; Vasilyev [a], pp. 279—82.

17.   Katanov, p. 233.

18.   Saskov, p, ii; Tretyakov, p. 200; Anucin, p. 3; Karjalainen
[<T P- 303*

19.   Cf. Bogoras, p. 319.

Chapter XI

1.   Radloff [a], ii. 6.

2.   Pripuzov [a], p. 48.

3.   Potanin , iv. 218; Radloff [a], i. 361-2.

4.   Verbitskiy, p. 103 n.

5.   Karjalainen [c], p. 276 n.

6.   ib. p. 331.
 NOTES   551

7.   Radio# [a], i. 361-2; cf. Holmberg [a], pp. 121-126.

8.   ib. ii. 6.

9.   Banzarov, pp. 14, 28 f.

10.   ib. p. 14.

11.   Magnitskiy, pp. 48, 62, 93 etc.

12.   Holmberg [v b], fig. 25.

13.   Sërosevskiy, p. 647, fig. 161.

14.   Karjalainen [c], p. 304.

15.   Katanov, p. 223 n. 6.

16.   Karjalainen [c], p. 326.

17.   ib. pp. 325, 251 fir.

18.   Nikolskiy, pp. 71, 72—3.

19.   Holmberg [v b], p. 86.

20.   See The Mythology of All Races, xii. fig. 16 and 51.

21.   Verbitskiy, p. 91.

22.   Changalov [a], pp. 1 fiF.

23.   Verbitskiy, pp. 90-1.

24.   ib. p. 100.

Chapter XII

1.   Potanin , iv. 70, 825; “Skaz. bur.,” p. 98.

2.   Magnitskiy, p. 91, cf. p. 64.

3.   Radio# [a], ii. 11.

4.   Potanin ,iv. 389.

5.   Middendorf, iii. 1. 87.

6.   “ Bur. skazki,” p. 127.

7.   Troscanskiy, pp. 83 ff.

8.   Chudyakov, pp. 194—5, cf. p. 202.

9.   ib. pp. 197-8.

10.   ib. p. 194.

11.   Karjalainen [c], pp. 38, 249.

12.   Pripuzov , pp. 59-60; Priklonskiy [a], iii. 63 ff.

Chapter XIII

1.   Potanin , iv. 712.

2.   Reuterskiöld , p. 72.

3.   Pripuzov , p. 63.

4.   ib. p. 63.

5.   Gorochov [a], p. 36.

6.   ib. p. 36.

7.   Sërosevskiy, p. 667.

8.   Potanin ,iv. 191.

9.   2itetskiy, p. 68.
 552

SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

10.   Katanov, p. 227 n. 4.

11.   Karjalainen [c], p.416.

12.   “Skaz. bur.,” p. 151; cf. Potanin , iv. 179.

13.   Ivanovskiy, p. 263; cf. Potanin , iv. 179.

14.   Agapitov-Changalov, p. 22 n.

15.   Magnitskiy, p. 18.

16.   Potanin , iv. 225-6.

17.   Tretyakov, p. 209.

18.   Saskov, p. 12.

19.   Georgi [a], i. 275. ^

20.   Anucin, p. 15; Karjalainen [c], p. 415.

21.   Sërosevskiy, p. 667; Pripuzov , p. 62-, cf. Tretyakov,
p. 209.

22.   Potanin , iv. 1915 Saskov, pp. 14-5; “Bur. skazki,”
p. 128; Gorochov [a], p. 39.

23.   Potanin , iv. 190-1.

24.   Tretyakov, p. 201.

25.   Verbitskiy, pp. 73-4; Bergmann, iii. 40, 204; Potanin ,
iv. 270.

26.   Sërosevskiy, p. 668.

27.   “ Bur. skazki,” pp. 127-8.

28.   Potanin , iv. 191 —3.

29.   ib. pp. 209-10.

30.   Afanasyev, A., Poeticeskiya vozzreniya slavyan na frirodu
(Moscow, 1865), i. 609; Vambéry [a], p. 154.

31.   Afanasyev, of. cit.y i. 762.

32.   Potanin , iv. 736.

33.   Afanasyev, of. cit.y i. 763.

34.   Tretyakov, p. 201.

35.   Anucin, p. 15.

36.   Sërosevskiy, p. 660.

37.   Cf. The Mythology of All Races, x. 278.

38.   “ Bur. skazki,” pp. 126-7.

39.   Banzarov, p. 14; cf. Agapitov-Changalov, p. 18.

40.   Potanin , ii. 125; iv. 193.

41.   ib. iv. 194.

42.   ib. p. 200.

43.   Afanasyev, of. cit.y i. 763.

44.   Potanin , iv. 200-3.

45.   “ Bur. skazki,” p. 126.

46.   Potanin , iv. 204.

47.   ib. iv. 204 ff.

48.   ib. ii. 124.

49.   ib. iv. 206.

l
    NOTES   553
50-   ib. ii. 124.   
51.   Anucin, p. 16.   
52.   Potanin , iv. 203.   
53*   ib. pp. 203-4.   
54*   ib. ii. 125.   
55*   ib. iv. 194.   
56.   “ Bur. skazki,” pp. 125-6.   
57*   Georgi [a], i. 321.   
58.   <£ Bur. skazki,” p. 126.   
59-   “ Skaz. bur.,” pp. 122-3.   
bo.   Anucin, pp. 15—6.   
61.   Changalov [a], p. 7.   
62.   Sërosevskiy, p. 668.   
63.   Potanin , ii. 124—5.   

Ó4- Vambéry [a], pp. 55-6; Potanin , iv. 740-1.

65.   Sërosevskiy, p. 6675 Agapitov-Changalov, p. 18; Tretyakov,

. 201.

66.   Bogoras, p. 309; Jochelson , p. 123.

67.   Dahnhardt, iii. 1. 13.

68.   Vambéry [a], p. 156.

69.   Sërosevskiy, p. 667.

70.   Pripuzov , p. 62.

71.   Munkasci, KSz} ix. 3. 251.

72.   ib. p. 253 f. ^

73.   Potanin , iv. 143, ii. 83.

74.   Olsen, p. 47.

75.   Potanin , iv. 143—4.

Chapter XIV

1.   According to author’s Collections.

2.   Bogoras, p. 322; Tretyakov, p. 201.

3.   According to T. Lehtisalo.

4.   Troscanskiy, p. 26.

5.   Karjaiainen [c], p. 327.

6.   Banzarov, p. 15; Potanin , iv. 138-42.

7.   Potanin ,iv. 141.

8.   “Skaz. bur.,” p. 76j Potanin , iv. 139, 141-2.

9.   Ëimkevic, p. 127.

10.   Karjaiainen [c], p. 327

11.   Agapitov-Changalov, p. 7.

12.   <c Bur. skazki,” p. 129.

13.   Agapitov-Changalov, p. 6.

14.   Changalov [a], p. 7.
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

55'4

15.   Pripuzov , pp. 6i-2; Troscanskiy, p. 48.

16.   Simkevic, p. 128.

17.   Potanin , iv. 207.

18.   Karjalainen [c], p. 327.

19.   Anucin, p. 16; Potanin , iv. 742.

20.   Holzmayer, p. 50.

21.   Gorochov [a], p. 39.

22.   Pripuzov , p. 62.

23.   Potanin , ii. 172.

24.   ib. iv. 139.

25.   Afanasyev, Poeticeskiya vozzreniya slmyan na frirodu (Mos-
cow, 1868), ii. 511.

26.   Trosicanskiy, p. 165; Sërosevskiy, p. 655; Banzarov, p. 15;
Saskov, p. 94; Potanin , ii. 91—2.

27.   “Bur. skazki,” p. 130; Zatoplyayev, pp. 7-8; Changalov [a],
p. 7.

28.   Changalov, pp. 3-5.

29.   Chudyakov, p. 213.

30.   Saskov, p. 27; Radloff [a], ii. 7.

31.   Agapitov-Changalov, p. 8.

Chapter XV

1.   Chudyakov, p. 135.

2.   Sërosevskiy, p. 655, cf. Potanin , iv. 332.

3.   Changalov [a], p. 8.

4.   Verbitskiy, p. 97,

5.   Agapitov-Changalov, p. 5.

6.   Anucin, p. 16.

7.   “ Bur. skazki,” pp. 130-1.

8.   Potanin , iv. 220, cf. p. 331*

9.   ib. p. 262.

10.   Saskov,.p. 37; Troscanskiy, p. 43*

11.   Troscanskiy, p. 51.

12.   Magnitskiy, pp. 136-7.

13.   Saskov, pp. 36-8; Banzarov, pp. 22, 24.

14.   Sërosevskiy, p. 665; Pripuzov , p. 61; Olsen, p. 141;
Banzarov, pp. 23-4; Chudyakov, p. 135.

15.   Troscanskiy, pp. 52, 178; Sërosevskiy, p. 665; Nikolskiy,
pp. 73-4; Agapitov-Changalov, p. 6.

16.   Magnitskiy, p. 203.

17.   Banzarov, p. 23; cf. Saskov, p. 37,

18.   Banzarov, p. 25.

19.   Radloff [a],ii. 29.
 NOTES   555

20.   Chudyakov, p. 135; Agapitov-Changalov, pp. 4, 29.

21.   Troscanskiy, p. 28.

22.   Gorochov , p. 44.

23.   Pripuzov , p. 61.

24.   Agapitov-Changalov, pp. 5-6.

25.   Karjalainen, [c], p. 422.

26.   Pripuzov , p. 61; Priklonskiy [a], iv. 61.

27.   Agapitov-Changalov, p. 30.

28.   ib. pp. 29-30.

29.   Banzarov, pp. 22—3.

Chapter XVI

1.   Chudyakov, p. 213; cf. pp. 113, 198-9.

2.   Serosevskiy, p. 667.

3.   Troscanskiy, p. 4.

4.   Simkevic, p. 57.   ?

5.   According to Prof. G. J. Ramstedt.

6.   Krohn [iii e], p. 138.

7.   Ivanovskiy, p. 263.

8.   Changalov [a], p. 6.

9.   Sërosevskiy, pp. 668—9; Pripuzov , p. 62; Potanin ,
iv. 189-90, 773-4.

Chapter XVII

1.   Olsen, p. 143.

2.   Potanin ,ii. 98.

3.   According to Prof. Ramstedt.

4.   Troscanskiy, p. 47; Pripuzov , p. 62.

5.   Georgi [a], i. 276.

6.   Banzarov, p. 8.

7.   ib. p. 16.

8.   Thomsen, pp. 20, 152, 167.

9.   Changalov [a], p. 44; Saskov, p. 20.

10.   Troscanskiy, p. 29.

11.   Magnitskiy, pp. 29, 48, 62 etc.

12.   Changalov [a], p. 44.

13.   Magnitskiy, pp. 40-3.

14.   Thomsen, pp. 144, 150.

15.   Radloff [c],i. 139.

16.   Magnitskiy, pp. 30, 48, 88.

17.   Kannisto .

18.   Vambéry , p. 36.
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

556

Chapter XVIII

1.   Verbitskiy, p. 78.

2.   Castrén, Nord. Reisen} iii. 160.

3.   Sërosevskiy, pp. 651, 667; Troscanskiy, pp. 27 f., 47, 53;
Gorochov [a], p. 39; V-skiy, p. 36.

4.   Troscanskiy, p. 53.

5.   Pripuzov , p. 62.

6.   Changalov [a], pp. 38, 145.

7.   “ Skaz. bur.,” p. 85.

8.   ib. pp, 83-4.

9.   Jochelson , p. 119 j Bogoras, pp. 285-6.

10.   Middendorff, iii. I. 36.

U. “ Skaz. bur.,” p. 84; cf. Saskov, p. 56.

12.   Banzarov, pp. 21-2.

13.   “Skaz. burjat.,” p. 84.

14.   Pripuzov , p. 63; V-skiy, pp. 38, 40.

15.   Troscanskiy, p. 53; Pripuzov, p. 63.

16.   Sërosevskiy, pp. 669-70.

17.   Koblov, pp. 3, 11 ff; Maksimov, pp. 580-1, 607-9.

18.   Magnitskiy, pp. 112, 247.

19.   Gorochov [a], p. 39.

20.   Koblov, pp. 18 ff.; Maksimov, p. 615.

21.   Poyarkov, pp. 41-3.

22.   Banzarov, p. 30.

23.   Stadling, p. 18; Pekarskiy-Övëtkov, p. 113; Jochelson [a],
pp. 120, 122-4; Maak , p. no; Middendorf, iv. 2. 1610;
Pripuzov , p. 62; Sërosevskiy, p. 658.

24.   Troscanskiy, p. 178.

25.   According to author’s Collections.

26.   Sërosevskiy, pp. 670 £.

27.   Gorochov [a], p. 39; Potanin , ii. 98, iv. 186.

28.   Troscanskiy, p. 178; Jochelson [a], pp. 120-2, 124.

29.   Troscanskiy, p. 54, cf, Middendorf, iv. 2. 1568-9.

30.   Banzarov, pp. 18-20; Hildén, p. 129; Verbitskiy, pp. 43-7.

31.   Troscanskiy, p. 54.

Chapter XIX

1.   Sërosevskiy, p, 666; Troscanskiy, p. 75.

2.   Anucin, p. 10; Podgorbunskiy, p. 18.

3.   Changalov , pp. 23-4.

4.   Agapitov-Changalov, p. 5 8; Podgorbunskiy, pp. 19-20.

5.   Pripuzov , p. 64; Agapitov-Changalov, p. 58.
 NOTES

55 7

6.   Agapitov-Changalov, p. 59.

7.   Changalov [a], pp. 135—7-

8.   ib. p. 137.

9.   Podgorbunskiy, p. 20.

10.   Anucin, p. 11.

11.   Podgorbunskiy, p. 20.

12.   “ Perv. bur. sam.,” pp. 87 ff; “Perv. sam.,” pp. 89-90.

13.   Potanin , iv. 134; cf. Podgorbunskiy, p. 19.

14.   Troscanskiy, p. 2.

15.   Pripuzov , p. 64.

16.   Simkevic, p. 36; Banzarov, pp. 30—1; Potanin , iv. 699.

17.   Sërosevskiy, p. 623; Vasilyev , pp. 34-5; Pripuzov ,
p. 64; Zatoplyayev, p. 3; Batarov, pp. 10 ff.

18.   Anucin, p. 13.

19.   Troscanskiy, p. 85; Batarov, pp. 10 ff; Castrén, Nord. Reisen,

iii.   230; Potanin , iv. 63.

20.   Banzarov, p. 32.

21.   Agapitov-Changalov, p. 61.

22.   ib. p. 61.

23.   Strahlenberg, p. 377.

24.   Saskov, pp. 58 ff; Anucin, p. 12; Sërosevskiy, p. 619; Prik-
lonskiy [a], pp. 76 ff; Troscanskiy, pp. 88—92; Potanin , ii. 88,

iv.   36—8; Pripuzov , p. 65; cf. Verbitskiy, p. 86.

25.   Georgi [a],i. 266.

26.   Anucin, pp. 11-2.

27.   Saskov, p. 59; Stadling, pp. 28 ff.; Podgorbunskiy, p. 27.

28.   Anucin, p. 12.

29.   Batarov, p. 13.

Chapter XX

1.   Troscanskiy, p. 3.

2.   Potanin , iv. 133-4.

3.   Agapitov-Changalov, p. 60.

4.   Ëimkevic, pp. 15 ff.

5.   Troscanskiy, pp. 2—3, 63.

6.   Pripuzov , p. 64.

7.   Troscanskiy, pp. 62-3, 68-9.

8.   Anucin, p. 12.

9.   Radloff [a], ii. 3.

10.   Hildén, pp. 127—8.

11.   Karjalainen [c], p. 313.

12.   Bogoras, pp. 307, 331.

13.   Vasilyev [a], p. 286.
 558   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

14.   Tretyakov, p. 200.

15.   Podgorbunskiy, p. 27.

16.   Stadling, p. 25.

17.   Bogoras, p. 334*

18.   Podgorbunskiy, pp. 23 ff.

19.   Castrén, iii. 148 ff.; Saskov, pp. 68—73» Potanin , iv.
287-8.

20.   Spasskiy, p. 35.

21.   Simkevic, pp. 62—3.

Chapter XXI

1.   Stadling, pp. 56-7.

2.   Tretyakov, p. 211.

3.   Stadling, p. 63; Serosevskiy, pp. 625 if.

4.   Troscanskiy, pp. 76, 78, 119-20.

5.   Agapitov-Changalov, p. 45.

6.   Troscanskiy, pp. 66, 76.

7.   Changalov [a], pp. 83 ff; Agapitov-Changalov, pp. 27 ff.

8.   Changalov , p. 21; Potanin , iv. 57 n,; Batarov, p. 10;
Zatoplyayev, p. 9.

9.   Georgi [a], i. 314; Agapitov-Changalov, pp. 32-3; Potanin
, iv. 93 ff; Changalov [a], pp. 74-6, cf. p. 90.

10.   “ Skaz. bur.,” pp. 80-1; Changalov [c], pp. 15-6.

11.   Sërosevskiy, pp. 656-8; Troscanskiy, p. 56.

12.   “ Skaz. bur.,” pp. 114-7, 125-6; cf. p. 81.

13.   Potanin , ii. 161.

14.   ib., pp. 161-2.

15.   ib., pp. 164-5.

16.   “Skaz. bur.,” pp, 94 ff.; Potanin , iv. 264 ff.; O frois~
ckozdenii, pp, 187 ff.

17.   “ Skaz. bur.,” pp. 97-8.

18.   Strahlenberg, p. 378.

19.   Scukin, p. 276.

20.   Saskov, p. 43.

21.   Anucin, p. 10.

22.   Potanin , ii. 151; iv. 168, 183; “Skaz. bur.,” pp, 80, 82;
Changalov , p. 19; “ Bur. skazki.,” p. 119, cf. Pripuzov [a],
p. 50.

23.   “ Skaz. bur.,” pp, 123-4.

24.   Agapitov-Changalov, pp. 41—2.

25.   “O proischozdenii,” p. 188; cf. Saskov, pp. 42—3.

26.   Tretyakov, p. 212.

27.   Sërosevskiy, p. 626, Troscanskiy, p. 138.
 NOTES

559

28.   Vasilyev [a], p. 277.

29.   Simkevic, p. 18.

30.   Zatoplyayev, p. 9.

31.   Changalov [a], p. 95.

32.   Simkevic, pp. 15, 17.

33.   Vasilyev [a], pp. 271 ff.; Priklonskiy [a], iv. 88—9; Tro-
scanskiy, p. 141.

34.   Potanin , iv. 54.

35.   Agapitov-Changalov, pp. 44 ff.

36.   Priklonskiy [a], iv. 54; cf. Troscanskiy, fig. 1-3; Vasilyev
, pp. I ff.; Pekarskiy, Plate, pp. 93 fF.

5
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:16:24 PM »

5' io

out Koori, it would, as the people point out, be impossible
for him to return without it.32

The Dolgans and the Tungus use a great many wooden
images when shamanizing, which are prepared for one occasion
only and which are regarded as being necessary helpers and
protectors on the shaman’s difficult spirit-journeys. Accord-
ing to the task and plans of the shaman, different images are
made. When the Tungus on the Yenisei begin their shaman
ceremonies, they always erect a special tent, in the middle of
which a fire is lit. The shaman with his drum then takes up
his position at the back of the tent, his face towards the fire,
and before him, on the ground, a row of wooden objects is
placed 5 on the right side a fish {Stenodus leuckhthus nelma),
a snake, a snail, and a bear; on the other side a fish (Hucho
talmen)) an otter, a wolf, and still another fish (Lota lota).
The heads of these are pointed towards the fire. In addition,
a snail is placed before him with its head towards the left.
Outside the tent, on long poles erected round it, similar
wooden figures are placed in the following order from the
right: a the sun,” a bird intended to represent the thunder,
a cuckoo, and a swan. From the door opening to the left: a
crane, “ the moon,” a loom and a duck. Each object has its
special duty and all are necessary for each appearance of the
shaman. During his song he lifts up in order the animals laid
on the ground before him, drawing certain conclusions from
the weight of each. For special tasks other images are also
used, e.g., when the shaman has to escort the soul of some one
deceased to the other world, he binds the asoul,” that is to
say, the image of a man, to a curious erection which would
seem to be fitted with wings, and is erected behind the tent.
The Dolgan shaman sometimes makes an image of his
a mother-animal,” ija-kyl. Even at the sacrifices a wooden
image is made both of the reindeer and the sacrificing shaman,
who is to lead the sacrificed animal’s soul to the gods. On
the graves also of the Tungus, Dolgans and Yakuts, one
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM

Fig. 20.

Dolgan Shaman-attributes and the World-tree with

TWO-HEADED LORD OF THE BlRDS

THE
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

512

may see images of birds, looms, etc., on long poles, set up,
probably, as refuges for the homeless soul.33 It is, however,
a great pity that the varied shamanic beliefs of North Siberia
and the countless ethnographic objects connected with these
are almost wholly unexplored.

In the place of wooden images the Buriat shaman has many
little animal-hides in his house. The animals said to help
him in his shamanizing vary in the different tribes. Often
they are small forest animals, such as the fox, the hare, the
ermine, marten, sable, etc. These helping or serving spirits
in the shapes of different animals are not to be confused with
the khubilgan of the shaman.

When a shaman intends to make a spirit-journey after sun-
set, he must, as a rule, according to a general idea, be furnished
with a special costume and a drum. The "Black Tatars” in
the Minusinsk District sometimes use masks of birch-bark on
their eyebrows and moustaches of squirrel tails.84 Shaman
objects are regarded as so sacred that they are transported
during removals among the more northern peoples by a sepa-
rate reindeer, which is never used for profane purposes. The
Buriats consecrate the person called by the spirits to the office
of shaman with special ceremonies, before he is regarded as
being worthy to take charge of shamanic instruments. In
addition he must have undergone a special training with some
older shaman, and have taken part, as the assistant of the
latter, in shamanic séances and ceremonies.36

Shaman costumes are to be found even to-day among most
of the Altaic peoples dwelling in Siberia, although in many
places they no longer enjoy their former reputation. Even
amongst peoples, with whom the shaman continues his activity,
the costumes are nowadays often extremely incomplete. At
times one sees shamans carrying out their duties in ordinary
peasant dress, decorated perhaps for the occasion with a few
ribbons or other objects from the real shaman costume. Some-
times only the shaman head-dress has been retained. The
 
 

PLATE LX1

Dress of a Tungus shaman (bird type) with metal
decorations and fringes. Front and back views. (See

Page 5 H*)
 }

4

• f
 
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM   513

Fig. 2i. Head-dress of a Yenisei-
Ostiak Shaman (Reindeer or
Stag type)

Fig. 22. Head-dress of
the Soyot Shaman
(Bird type)
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

514

complete costumes, best preserved among the most northern
peoples, consist of several garments, viz., a long frock or tunic
hanging down below the knees, a smaller breast-covering
fastened under the chin, a cap or a crown, top-boots and
gloves. All these garments are prepared of softened rein-
deer or other skin, and are generally profusely decorated with
objects made of copper or iron. Besides a “sun” and a
“ moon,” which in most costumes hang on the back, a number
of human-like and bird-like spirit images are used. Further,
in all the garments composing the costume, curious objects in
beaten metal are sewn fast, corresponding in form and in the
ideas of the people to the different parts of the skeleton. If
one compares the shaman costumes from different districts,
valuable collections of which are to be found in the museums
of Siberia (Krasnoyarsk, Minusinsk, Irkutsk and Yakutsk)
and, above all, in Petrograd (Academy of Science and Alex-
ander III museums), it will be noticed that the costume, if
complete, forms, from head-dress to boots, a whole, or in
other words, represents some animal, mostly either a bird or
a horned animal (a deer or a reindeer). Costumes repre-
senting both these types have been obtained in plenty from the
Tungus. The bird type is most common among the Yakuts
and many of the peoples at the Altai. The Buriats, who no
longer seem to use shaman costumes of this description, pos-
sessed them at an earlier time, a fact proved by graves opened
in their region, in which metal objects belonging to the deer
type of shaman costume were found.

The costumes of the bird type differ from those of the deer
type partly in the long fringes, the so-called “ feathers,”
which are much longer on the back of the costume than on the
front. Similar leather fringes hanging from the arms are
said to represent “ wings.” Small, long, sharp-ended and also
pipe-formed metal objects hanging in several rows on the
back, are explained to be “ bird’s feathers.” Naturally, the
head-dress also is fringed with these. In the head-dress of

&'?

i

I'
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM

515

Fig, 24. Tatar Shaman (Bird type) in Minusinsk District
 5i6   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

this type in the Altai district one may at times even see the
head of a bird. The round brass buttons on the front of the
head-dress are u bird’s eyes.” The boots bear the same signs.
Tungus shaman boots of this type are decorated with bird’s
feet sewn with yellow glass pearls, and having three or five
toes.

Specially characteristic of the deer or reindeer type is the
head-dress or crown with its high, upright, iron horns. The
fringes on the tunic are missing, or where these occur, are
shorter; the arms are altogether without them. Among the
Yenisei Ostiaks and the Dolgans the tail of the tunic ends
behind in a sharp point. Little pieces of iron sewn on to the
costume are called “ hairs.”

In the garments of each type, as may be seen from the
illustrations, there are numerous a bones ” beaten in metal.
The skeleton plays, as is known, an important part in the
primitive soul-beliefs. On both sides of the front of the
tunic are seen “ ribs ” and, under the throat, a collar-bones.”
Along the gloves, arms and boots the parts of the skeleton
belonging here are sewn. Naturally, the bird-type costume is
fitted with “bird’s bones,” the deer type with the deer
skeleton.

More difficult is the question, what bird the different bird-
costumes attempt to represent. It appears probable that al-
though the dress represents an invisible spirit-bird, the people
see in it the counterfeit of some actual, living bird. A Yakut
shaman costume, described by Priklonskiy, is said to repre-
sent a vulture.86 A Teleut shaman head-dress was covered
by the skin of an owl on which the head, wings and feathers
had been left intact.87 Certain costumes bear also the identi-
fication marks of the hawk, eagle, etc.

Among the * Yenisei Ostiaks, the shaman boots, the long
uppers of which reach over the thighs, are furnished with the
complete “ bones ” of the bear. This would seem to point to
a shaman costume representing a bear.38 The crowns, how-
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM

Fig. 35. .'Left Boot of Yenisei-Ostiak Shaman (Bear type)

WITH ALL THE BONES OF BEAR’S LEFT LEGS   '
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

518

ever, where such are found, are generally fitted with <c horns.”
Are we to assume that different types of costume have be-
come mixed, or did the costume originally consist of a mixture
of bear and reindeer? The complete shaman costumes repre-
sent as a rule one single animal. That all manner of altera-
tions might have arisen at a later time, especially as the
original significance of the costume has been forgotten by the
people in many places, is clear without further argument.
Often, one may notice, for example, that certain parts of the
skeleton have been sewn on in the wrong place. Where the
iron objects, which are generally taken away for future use
from the costume at the death of the shaman, are preserved
for a longer period by the survivors, it is easy for even the
objects belonging to different types to be put wrongly together.
It should be observed further that, according to Schrenk, the
head of a bear was sometimes placed upon the head-dress
of the Siberian shaman.39 It must, however, be remembered
that the spirit-animal of the shaman, in the fancy of the
people, may also have taken on a form which did not corre-
spond to any actual animal.

A comparative examination of the shaman costumes among
different Siberian peoples will show that, for the most part,
and especially in the metal objects sewn on to the costume,
they are extremely like one another. It is therefore beyond
doubt that at least the Buriats, Yakuts, Tungus, Dolgans,
Yenisei Ostiaks, Samoyeds and certain Tatar tribes around
the Altai, have in this respect been under the influence of a
common shamanic culture. The influence of this culture can
be seen even among the Ugrian Ostiaks in the west and as
far away as the Giliaks in the east. Probably, the shaman
costumes of the Mongols and of other Turkish peoples were
earlier of a similar character. Among the Finno-Ugric stocks,
archaeological finds have not been able to show metal objects
which could prove the existence of similar shaman costumes
among these peoples. Even in Siberia, however, shaman
 *

i

i

t

i

i
 PLATE LXII

Dress of a Yenisei Ostiak shaman (animal type).
Back view. (See page 514.)
 * A.

i
 
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM   519

costumes seem to have existed at an earlier time, which in place
of the metal objects were decorated with natural objects from
the animal world. Thus, for example, among the Tatars of
Minusinsk the wings of the owl have been seen on the back
of a shaman costume and on the head-dress, and among the
Yenisei Ostiaks the shamans formerly bore on their top-boots
the natural paws of a bear instead of iron claws, and bn their
head-dress real horns.40 Further, among the older types one
may find costumes with “ images” prepared in part from
leather and bones. It would therefore seem probable that the
shaman costumes of the Altaic race had practically, the same
form and purpose in a more primitive period.

But why should the shaman dress himself in the form of an
animal for his mysteries? The answer to this question is given
by the primitive peoples themselves. The Yakuts say that
when the shaman takes on his bird-costume he himself re-
ceives the power of flying everywhere in the world. Accord-
ing to the Tungus, the costume of the shaman is his “ shadow,”
or in other words, in this shape his soul travels on its spirit-
journeys. Golde myths relate how a great bird came flying
and alighted on a tree, and how by shaking its wings these
became transformed into the iron feathers of the shaman
costume.41 The Yenisei Ostiaks call the shaman costume and
the objects hanging on it, the “ power ” of the shaman. When
the shaman puts on the long boots representing the feet of the
bear, he believes himself to have acquired the “power” of
the bear. While shamanizing he sometimes imitates the bear,
regarded by the people in question as an extremely sacred
animal.

It is probable that the shaman costume, which, at least re-
garding its form, goes in inheritance in the shaman’s family
and which is sometimes called “god” (Tangara) by the
Yakuts, originally represented the shaman’s soul-animal or ijo-
ky L

In his songs the shaman often calls his drum some animal,
 520

SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

on which he says he is travelling. Some call it their 11 horse ”
or their “ deer,” some their “ loom ” or their a eagle.” The
Karagass shaman from the Sayan mountain, who covers his
drum with the skin of the Siberian deer, sings: “ I am a

shaman and ride on the wild
deer.” In certain myths it is
said that the shaman u flies on
his drum ” or “ rides ” on it.
The Yenisei Ostiaks, who use
reindeer-calf skin for the
cover of their drums, fasten
iron “ reindeer ribs ” to the
open side, adding to these
each time a new cover has to
be procured for the drum. In
the inside of the wooden
frame of the drum one may
often see a picture of a rein-
deer, painted in alderbark
juice, or carved with a knife.
It is on the whole an interesting feature of the art of the
Siberian peoples, that objects in which the hide of some ani-
mal has been used, are often decorated with pictures of the
same animal. Thus, for example, the end of a drumstick or
the handle of a shaman hammer is engraved with the nose
of the forest animal whose skin has been used for the cover
of the hammer.

Fig. 2 6.

Shaman-drum with Bird-
shaped Hand-grip

Like the shaman costume the inside of the drum is furnished
with all kinds of spirit-pictures, among others, with small
human- or bird-like images of metal, the number of which
depends on the visions of its owner, becoming more numerous
as the shaman becomes older. Certain peoples, such as the
Abakan and Altai Tatars, also paint pictures, intended to rep-
resent the Heaven and the underground, with shaman animals,
hunting trips, etc., on the skin of the drum.42 The Buriat
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM

J2I

27. Hobby-horse of a Buriat Fig. 28. Relics of a Buriat Sha-
Shaman   man found in the earth
 522   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

shamans, who no longer use drums, make use of two sticks
instead, the upper end of which is formed into a horse’s head
and the lower into a horse’s hoof. At times one may also
make out a “ knee ” in the middle of a stick. The sticks of
the shaman, called his u horses,’’ are decorated with small
skins, metal bells, etc.43 The shamans of the peoples dwelling
on the Yenisei sometimes use, besides the drum, a staff made
of iron and furnished with cross-branches on which the spirits
called by the shaman to his assistance are believed to alight.44
It seems probable that this object was originally a symbol of
the world-tree, in which all manner of spirits dwell and to
which the Shaman, according to the Dolgans, escorts the souls
of the dead. As related earlier the Altaic shaman rises by
means of this tree up to the Heavens.

The shaman’s implements are thus regarded as mysterious
means of communication, which, by stimulating his fancy,
make it possible for him to “ fly and travel ” by their help.
A long iron chain hanging from the crown of the deer type
costume and a leather band on the back of the bird costume are
explained as being necessary for the shaman soul to grasp on
its rapid flights so that it may feel itself safe on the a animal’s
back.”45 The Tungus on the Yenisei have an image cut out of
leather on the point of the skirt of the shaman costumey which
image represents the shaman’s soul. A similar image of thin
copper-plate can be seen on the same place in the Yenisei
Ostiak shaman costume. The significance of this human-like
figure, called the shaman’s u shadow ” by the last-named
people, becomes apparent from a tale of their a first shaman,”
Doh. Once when Doh shamanized, flying high towards the
sky, he had the misfortune to let fall his <£ shadow ” (ulvei)
from its place on the skirt of the tunic. The evil spirits
captured it at once and took it to the land of the dead. There
the female ruler of the dead, Khosadam, attempted to devour
the soul according to her custom, but the soul of the great
shaman was not so easy to destroy, and Khosadam broke a
 I

i




 PLATE LXIII

Drum of a Yakut shaman, showing inner and outer
sides. (See page $22.)
 
 I

i
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM

523

tooth in trying. This made her angry and from spite she
nailed the soul by its hands and feet to a tree, making it
thus impossible for it to return to the shaman’s body.46

With the assistance of the many objects already described,
the shaman’s soul is regarded as being able to move with the
greatest ease anywhere on the earth, in heaven, and in the
underworld. By its rapid journeys, it can procure super-
natural knowledge, hidden to ordinary mortals. The latter
are, therefore, in a very great degree dependent on the knowl-
edge and power of the shaman. When they are going out to
hunt or fish, the shaman has to find out what the weather will
be like and where the fish or game are hiding just then.
When an enemy draws near, he must discover beforehand the
intentions of the latter. One of his most difficult tasks, how-
ever, is said to be the seeking after and recovery of the souls
of the sick, which have too early left their suffering bodies.
He must then undertake the difficult journey to the under-
world, in order to propitiate the spirits and save the soul.
Thither he must also, when fate has so decreed, escort the
soul of the dead to the circle of those who have died at an
earlier time.

In his songs, of which up to the present too few have been
recorded, the shaman describes to those present the strange
sights and adventures, the trials and dangers which he must
experience and win through on his difficult journeys in the
world of spirits. With tense attention the spectators follow
his wild, fantastic song, when, as though drunk with the in-
termittent rattle and thunder of the drum, he dances and hops
in the flickering light of a hearth-fire in the dark and mystic
night of the primeval forest. These wild ceremonies, stimu-
lated by a diseased imagination, form the most characteristic,
though at the same time the least known and the most sub-
jective part, of the mythology of these primitive peoples.
 I

i

6
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:14:46 PM »

Animals, and especially birds, which play some part in
shamanic beliefs, may, not be killed or even molested, other-
wise sickness or some other misfortune will result. Among
the Tungus, as among many other North Siberian peoples,
certain birds, water-birds in particular, such as the loom, sea-
gull, swan, crane, etc., are sacred. One may not even point
a finger at them. Further, one tries to avoid mentioning their
names. A Buriat tale tells how a swan, whose nest had been
damaged, flew with a burning brand in its beak and dropped
it on a house, so that the whole village was burnt up. Among
the Yakuts and Buriats, the eagle is treated with extraordinary
respect and dread. The Yakuts say that it is not a sign of
good luck if an eagle flies over a village. The Buriats round
the Baikal call the eagle “ Olkhon island’s master ” or £< the
son of the god living on Olkhon island.” Often the great
shamanic powers of the eagle are praised, some myths calling
it “ the first shaman.” There are countless tales of misfor-
tunes which befell people who ill-treated this bird. A man
once saw how an eagle plucked'at the carcase of his cow, which
had been killed on the steppes by a wolf. The man became
angry and started to drive away the bird with a bough. Shortly
afterwards he became seriously ill, and received the knowledge
in a dream that his illness had been caused by his treatment
of the eagle. The Buriats throw milk or kumiss into the air
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM

501

each time a swan or an eagle flies over their village.10 If a
Yakut finds a dead eagle or the skeleton of one, he regards it
as his duty to bury the bird on a special erection of wood, or
in a tree, in the manner in which human beings, particularly
shamans, were earlier buried. While doing this, he utters
the following words: “Lift up thyself, fly to thy birthplace,
come not down on the earth. Thy bones of copper I have
placed on the grave-erection, thy bones of silver have I lifted
up.” 11 With similar respect do the Tungus also treat shaman
animals.

It -is not always easy to define the difference between shaman
animals and such as are regarded as the forefather or mother
of a clan or a people. The myths of the Altaic peoples tell
also of the latter. Among the Buriats tales have been recorded
of three swans which once came down from the sky to bathe
in a lake. They took off their swan-garments and became
changed into three fair women. A hunter, who had hidden
himself on the shore, took one of these swan-garments and
hid it. When the swan-women had bathed for a time, they
hurried to the shore to clothe themselves again, and when the
others were ready to fly away the one who had lost her gar-
ment had to remain behind on the earth. The hunter mar-
ried her later and she bore him eleven sons and six daughters.
Once, after a long time, the wife remembered her former
garment and inquired of her husband where he had left it.
The man was so certain that she would not now leave him and
her children that he decided to return the wonderful garment
to her. With his consent, the woman then put it on to see
how she would look in it. But no sooner had she got the
swan-garment on, than she flew up through the smoke-hole
and, floating high above her home, shouted to those left be-
hind: “ Ye are earthly beings and remain on the earth, I am
from Heaven and fly back to my home.” She added: “ Each
spring and autumn, when the swans fly northward and return,
ye must carry out certain ceremonies in my honour.” She then
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

502

blessed her children, hoping that they would live happily on
the earth, and disappeared in the sky. It is further related
how one of the swan-woman’s daughters tried to hinder her
mother from flying by grasping her feet, which, as the daugh-
ter had dirty hands, became black and have remained so to
this day»12

Tales related to the above, are met with also in Europe,
having probably come there from Asia, but it should be noted
that among the Buriats, certain ceremonies are connected with
this belief. Generally speaking, tales of the supernatural
origin of certain tribes and clans are not scarce among the
Altaic peoples. According to the notes made by Potanin in
the Altai territory the forefather of the Bersit clan was a wolf,
which lived in the forest near a lake together with a deer
{Cervus eh'phus). Of these a son was born who became the
ancestor of the said clan.13 Regarding the origin of the Mon-
gols there are several myths. In some it is related that their
ancestor was a dog, or that he was given birth to by a tree and
nourished by a dog. It is also related how two Khans warred
together and destroyed all the people until only one woman
was left. This last woman met with a bull by whom she had
two children. From these the whole race of the Mongols was
born. A variant of this tale describes how a woman gave
birth to the son of a bull, the child walking on all fours.
When the forefeet had been cut off this ancestor of the Mon-
gols began to live like a human being, and ate meat in the
place of grass.14 The Kirghis believe themselves to be de-
rived from a wild boar, and for this reason do not eat pork.
According to one tale Jenghiz Khan’s son lived at Gobi to-
gether with a wild boar, the latter bearing him several sons.
Thus arose a great people, i.e., the Kirghis.15

Several myths have been recorded among the Buriats re-
garding their ancestor Bukha-Nojon (“ Bull Lord ”). South
of the Baikal lived a king, Taizhi-Khan, who had a mottled
bull. This, an exceptionally large and powerful animal, once
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM   503

said in its pride: “ Whoever in the world dares to measure
his strength against mine, may come and try.” Then Bukha-
Nojon was changed to a blue-grey bull and went to the king-
dom of Taizhi-Khan to wrestle with the mottled bull. Dur-
ing the day-time he wrestled as a bull, but in the night he
kept company as a fair youth with Taizhi-Khan’s daughter.
After a time the latter became enceinte and told Bukha-Nojon
that she would soon give birth to a child. Then Bukha-
Nojon ripped the child from her stomach and cast it with his
horns over the Baikal. After he had vanquished the mottled
bull, Bukha-Nojon swam over the lake, found the child on
the shore and began to nourish it. A shaman woman found
the child later sucking at a blue-grey bull, adopted it and
called it Bulagat. This Bulagat, who had two sons, the an-
cestors of two clans, Khori and Buriat, of which the shamans
sing that they are derived from “ the resting-place of the
blue-grey, bull,” found a playmate on the shore of the Baikal,
Ekerit, also an ancestor, of whom it is said that “ the burbot
(Lota lota) was his father, the shore his mother.”16

According to another myth, the forefathers of the Buriats
came down from Heaven and were nourished by a wild boar.
It is further related that Khurmusta’s daughter, who became
enceinte from some unknown cause, came down to the earth in
the form of a goat and gave birth to two sons and a daughter.17

What appear to be relics of totemism were found in Siberia
among the Yakuts in the eighteenth century. Strahlenberg
says: “Otherwise, each family regards a particular creature
as sacred, such as the swan, the goose, the raven, etc., and such
animals as are held sacred by a family are not eaten among
its members, though others are free to do so.”18 Similarly, in
an appendix “ Concerning the Yakuts,” which is said to be taken
from “ two old manuscripts ” and which appeared in a Russian
book published in 1844, A Journey to Yakutsk, each clan has
its own particular protector or mediator, represented by an
image of a stallion with white lips, a raven, a swan, etc.
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

504

These animals were never used as food.19 According to a
third source such animals are the eagle and the crane.20

Probably; the family-names derived from the animal king-
dom and the ownership-marks of certain North Siberian
peoples denoting animals, are connected with these totemistic
ideas. But during the centuries and thousands of years of
their use, the original significance of these matters has faded
from the consciousness of the people.

Certain investigators have attempted to trace the rise of
totemism from an old custom, known over nearly the whole
world, of giving names taken from nature to children, often
from the animal kingdom. The most northern peoples of
Siberia give their children even today names taken from some
object which, at the moment when the soul was believed to
have taken possession of the child, awakened the interest of
the mother or those around her. The Yenisei Ostiaks give
their children the name of the object a on which the shadow
(ulvei) of the child fell first.” 21

Further, it has been pointed out that in early times the
difference between man and the animals was not regarded
as unsurmountable. In countless Siberian tales it is related
how certain animals were once men and vice versa. The
Buriats say of the bear that it was formerly a hunter or a
shaman, which was later changed into a bear. Should the
animal so wish, it could regain its human form. The Tungus
say that when the beaver was a human being, it was a skilful
archer. According to the Altai Tatars the owl was a great
shaman. The Yenisei Ostiaks told me that the swan was
originally a woman, and from that time the bird has retained
menstruation. Even certain fish, such as the burbot, are, ac-
cording to the Buriats, human beings drowned in the water.
The Buriats tell of a land in the north-east, where the men are
born as dogs, larger, however, than ordinary dogs, while the
opposite sex are born as ordinary women.22

Just as there are tales describing the origin of ancestors
 
 PLATE LIX

Left. Breast-cloth of a Yakut shaman with metal
objects attached.

Center. Lebed-Tatar shaman.

Right. Drum of Lebed-Tatar shaman.

(See page 514.)
 j

I
 
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM 505

from certain animals, so it is related that the “power” of
the first female shamans was derived from an animal or a bird.
According to a Buriat myth the gods, when they created the
first people, sent a vulture to protect them against evil spirits.
But when the people did not understand its sacred mission,
and started to shoot at it, it returned to the gods complain-
ing: “I cannot protect mankind as they wish to kill me.”
The gods then answered: “Go back and give thy wonder-
ful power to some one of the earth’s inhabitants.” The
vulture flew down and saw a girl herding sheep. The bird
enticed her at once into a forest where it gave her its magic
powers. After this the girl began to see spirits and to keep
company with them. She received also a marvellous power
of foretelling both good and evil. When, after a time, she
returned home, her brother scolded her for having been out
so long with the sheep. The girl became angry and threatened
her brother, who shortly afterwards fell ill. The sister, who
had become a great shaman, was able, however, to cure him.23
According to another Buriat tale men knew nothing of sick-
ness or death in the beginning, but were liable to these mis-
fortunes through evil spirits. The gods then sent down an
eagle from heaven to protect the people. The eagle was
thus “ the first shaman.” The people did not, however,
understand the duty of the bird, so that it was forced to
return to heaven. The gods told the eagle to give its shaman
nature to the first person it should meet on the earth. The
eagle then approached a woman sleeping under a tree, who
had left her husband, and she became enceinte by the eagle.
The woman now returned to her husband, lived in complete
harmony with him, and gave birth to a son, who became later
“the first shaman.” A variant of the same tale gives the
woman as a the first shaman.” By receiving the eagle’s powers,
she could see spirits and practise the profession of shaman.24

Among the Buriats one meets thus with two conceptions,
which might possibly throw light on the problem of totemism.
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

506

One is that the forefather of a clan originated from an animal j
the other, that the magic powers of the first shaman woman
or ancestress of the clan were obtained from some animal.
Which of these should be regarded as the older conception?
Judging from the Buriat myths, both are closely related.
The “ animal ” which inspires the “ first shaman woman ”
of the clan is also looked upon as a possible cause of her
pregnancy. In this manner tales might arise of the animal-
like ancestors of a clan. As the “animal’s powers,” accord-
ing to an old belief, then go down in inheritance in the “ first
shaman woman’s” clan (Yakut ij‘d-usay “mother-clan”), or,
in other words, lie dormant within the family, appearing only
in its shamans, it becomes obvious that knowledge of their
Utkha (“origin”) is of importance to each clan and that it
imposes certain duties on the clan. The animal whose
“powers” or nature lie latent in a shaman clan becomes a
special soul for the shaman. The Tungus conception of the
“ return of the (loom ’ ” points to a kind of migration of the
soul. The Buriats call an animal of this description khubilgan
(“ metamorphosis,” from khubilkhuy “ to change oneself,”
“to take on another form ”). In a variant of the myth of
the “ancestor” of the Buriats, Bukha-Nojon (“Bull
Master ”), it is related that when this people still dwelt in
the land of the Khalkha Mongols, a very large blue-grey ox
appeared in their midst, the people accepting it as their khubil-
ganThe conceptions of an “ancestor” and a khubilgan
have thus been united in this myth.

One of the shaman’s protective spirits in animal form is
commonly regarded as being intimately connected with the
shaman himself. Among certain Samoyeds in the Turukhansk
District the shaman spirit has the shape of a reindeer which is
bound by an invisible leather band to the shaman. This
leather band can stretch to any length when the reindeer is
sent out on a journey. It may happen, sometimes, that the
spirit-reindeer of two shamans engage in warfare together
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM   507

(cf. the bull-fighting in the Buriat myth). Should one of
the reindeer be killed in the conflict, the shaman owning the
same dies.26 That the “ reindeer ” is here a transformation
of the shaman’s soul, appears from a custom of the Yurak
Samoyeds, after the death of a shaman, of preparing a wooden
image of a reindeer, which is kept by the relatives wrapped up
in the hide of a reindeer calf.

The Yakuts call a shaman animal of this description ijd-
kyl (<£ mother-animal ”). These may be of varying species.
The mightiest shaman animals are said to be the stag, the
stallion, the bear, the eagle, etc. Unlucky the shaman whose
ijd-kyl is a wolf or a dog. The dog, it is said, never leaves the
shaman in peace, but “ gnaws with its teeth at his heart and
tortures his body.” When a new shaman has appeared, the
others know this through having noticed the appearance of
a new ijd-kyl. Only shamans can see these animals. When
they quarrel, their u animals ” fight together. An “ animal
war n may go on for several months or years. The one whose
a animal ” wins the fight emerges whole from the struggle,
but, as said before, if one of the “ animals ” dies, its shaman
owner dies too. The sickness of a shaman is often said to
depend on a grave battle between shamans.27

Among the Dolgans standing under the influence of the
Yakuts the same shaman spirit is met with under the same
name. Although the shamans have many helping spirits in
the shapes of different animals, each shaman has only one
ijd-kyl upon which his life and death depend. This spirit-
animal is said to appear to the shaman at the most three
times in his life, viz., at his call to the office of shaman, in
the middle of his shaman activity, and immediately before his
death, when the spirit dies also. Should the animal die of
any accidental cause, the death of the shaman follows soon
after. The a mother animal ” keeps always to the same place,
for which reason it may happen that a strange shaman sees it
while shamanizing. If the latter is an enemy of the animal’s
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

508

owner, he frightens the animal so that it dies, with fatal
consequences to its owner (cf. similar beliefs of the Scandi-
navian Lapps).28

A further proof that the shaman’s “ animal,” which is
regarded as his necessary escort and means of conveyance to
the other world, is intimately connected with his soul, is to be
found in the description of the last journey of the Goldes,
where the “ reindeer ” ridden by the soul of the deceased is
the shaman himself.29

The forbidding of the killing of certain animals and the
custom of burying them with ceremony where the body, of
one is found, would seem to depend on the fact that the
animals in question are soul-animals of the types described
above. For though soul-animals are often regarded as being
invisible to the ordinary eye, they are most often connected
with the corresponding material animals. This appears also
from a Buriat tale about a great shaman and his nine sons.
The father, who was blind, once sent his sons to a river to
fish. “Ye will see there,” he said, “ seven fish, one of which
is blind and is not to be touched, as it is my soul.” The sons
caught all the fish, however, but when they returned home,
their father was dead.30

That all the “ animals ” regarded as helping the shaman
are not khubilgans> but that there are numerous other help-
ing-spirits is shown, further, by the following Buriat prayer:
“ Grey hare our runner, grey wolf our ambassador, bird Khon
oUr khubilgan} eagle Khoto our messenger.”81

Some light is thrown on the ideas of the different peoples
regarding their shaman animals by the images prepared by
them, those cut out of wood or, later, hammered also of iron,
are more common than those which are drawn or painted. In
the museum at Krasnoyarsk there is a Tungus shamanic object
—- a long chain of iron — the end of which is attached to a
reindeer or deer made of ironplate, with birds’ wings sticking
out of its sides. On this animal sits a human being represent-
 J



t
 PLATE LX

Dress of a Yakut shaman (bird type). Front and
back views. (See page 514.)
 
 
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM   509

ing a shaman, with a square iron plate on his head, over which
a bird surrounded by nine small human-like objects is fastened.
The iron chain, to which, in addition, a bird and a reindeer
are attached, and which branches out into three thinner chains
with bells at their end, represents the spirit-journey of the
shaman.

When a Golde shaman intends to travel to the other world,
he must have the assistance of a mystic bird Koori and his
protecting spirit Bucu. The bird resembles a crane, its image

Fig. 19. Koori and Bucu, Spirit-birds of a Golde Shaman

of wood being covered with the skin of a wild goat so that
only the head is uncovered. Bucu is a human-like image with
a crooked leg and wings. The body and the wings of this
also are covered with wild-goat skin. Both these objects are
hung by the shaman in a shed erected specially for the occa-
sion, the former in a horizontal, the latter in a vertical posi-
tion. In these positions the spirit-animals are supposed to
make their journeys when they travel with the shaman. Koori
is said to carry the shaman’s soul, while Bucu is only an escort.
Even if the shaman could reach the world of the dead with-
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

7
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:13:45 PM »

death and closed the door after her. It was dark inside and
Kubaiko was soon lost in the room. She felt invisible hands
take hold of her, her clothes were torn, she was dragged about
and tormented, but when she tried to grasp her tormentors,
she could not, as they were without bodies. In her dread she
shouted. And then the door opened, the room became light
and the Head (Ataman) of the Princes of death came in. He
noticed Kubaiko, but turned again and went out without a
word. Kubaiko followed closely at his heels. She went first
through many rooms that were empty and waited inhabitants,
but afterwards came many rooms filled with human beings. In
one of them she saw old women sit and spin linen with great
energy. In another room also she saw old women, but these
were without any occupation, except that they appeared to be
continually, swallowing something that would not go down
their throats. In a third room were middle-aged women, with
great stones, which they were unable to move, round their
arms and necks. A fourth room was filled with men who had
nooses round their necks fastened to great logs. In a fifth
room she saw armed men who had been shot through, and who
sprang about shouting and groaning. The same shrieking and
groaning was heard from a sixth room where there were badly
wounded men armed with knives. Coming to the seventh
room, she saw mad dogs and people bitten by them, mad and
raving like the dogs. This was followed by an eighth room
in which husbands and wives lay in couples under their cover-
lets, but although these coverlets had been sewn together of
nine sheepskins, they would only, cover one member of each
of the sleeping couples, and husbands and wives quarrelled
unceasingly over the coverlets. The ninth room also con-
tained husbands and wives under coverlets, made of one sheep-
skin only, which were, however, sufficient to cover both.
Finally, she entered a tenth room, large as a steppe. In this
room sat eight Princes of death and, in the midst of these,
their Chief, Irlek-Khan. Kubaiko bowed to them and asked
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

492

why their servant Yelbegen had cut off and carried away her
brother’s head. The Princes replied that this had been done
at their orders, but promised to give back the head if she could
pull up a goat with seven horns which had grown fast in the
earth and lay so deep that only the horns showed. Otherwise,
she would lose her own head. Kubaiko3 who was a heroine,
did not hesitate to accept the proposal. The Princes then took
her through nine other rooms, filled with human heads.
Kubaiko burst into tears when she recognized her brother’s
head. In a tenth room the goat lay embedded in the earth.
Kubaiko had now to show her strength and, at the third
attempt, lifted the goat on to her shoulder. When the Princes
saw that she was a mighty heroine, they gave her her brother’s
head and escorted her back to the larch. Here Kubaiko
mounted her horse, but before riding off she compelled the
Princes to show her the way back to the earth. During the
journey she enquired about everything she had seen. The
Princes gave her all particulars, saying: a The old woman
whom thou sawest pouring milk, mixed water with the milk
she gave to her guests on earth, and as a punishment for this
bad deed has now to separate water from milk, a task she
must keep on doing through all eternity. The half-body thou
sawest damming a brook is not undergoing any punishment, but
belonged instead to a wise man on the earth who could dam
rivers and do anything he wished. Now, half of his body lies
as a reminder to the passer-by that a wise man, even though
bereft of his limbs, can accomplish great things with his will,
while on the other hand, the complete body over which the
brook flows serves to remind one that by strength alone man
can do little. This body belonged formerly to a physically
strong, but stupid man. As the water now runs over his body,
so ran every matter past his understanding, without either
being comprehended or turned to account through intelligence.
The fat horse on the dry sand is a proof that a thoughtful
man can keep his horse in condition even with poor fodder,
 THE REALM OF THE DEAD

493

while the thin horse on the rich pasture shows that cattle can-
not thrive on the best pastures unless well cared for.” There-
after Kubaiko asked: “Who were the beings that seized me
in the dark room, tore my. clothes and tormented me, but were
without bodies? ” The Princes replied: “They were our in-
visible serving-spirits that can injure and kill all wicked people,
but can do nothing to the good.” Kubaiko continued to in-
quire into the sins of the people held captive in the dwelling
of the Princes, receiving the following answer: “The women
thou sawest spinning in the first room have been given this
work as a punishment for having spun during their lives after
sunset, when it is forbidden to work. Those again who sat
in the second room had been given threads to wind on spindles,
but had left the spindles hollow in the centre and hidden the
thread in their own bosoms. The spindleful which they thus
gathered of stolen wool, they are now doomed to swallow,
which is impossible, so that they must keep the spindle in their
throats through eternity. The younger women in the third
room had sold butter, in which they had hidden stones to
increase the weight. The men in the fourth room have nooses
round their necks, which are continually threatening to choke
them, because they hanged themselves on earth for weariness
of life. The men with shot-wounds are suicides, who shot
themselves on account of quarrels with their wives. Similarly,
the men in the sixth room are suicides, who cut themselves with
knives while drunk. The inhabitants of the seventh room
brought on their punishments by teasing mad dogs in life and
being bitten by. them. In the eighth room were married
people who had quarrelled through their lives and looked only
to their own advantage 5 now they are doomed to bicker eter-
nally over a covering which by good will and harmony would
be more than enough for both. The married people, on the
other hand, in the ninth room are there only as an example
of how even a little property can be sufficient for a family, if
there is harmony between the married couple. They are not
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

494-

undergoing any punishment, but have been brought solely
that the wicked, by seeing them, should feel their punishment
more.”

Having received all this information from the Princes of
death Kubaiko separated from them, returned to the body of
her brother with the head, and with water of life, procured
from God, awakened her dead brother to life again.19

Alien influence can also be detected in an idea of the Tungus
living near the Baikal, that each mortal will be weighed after
death with a white and a black stone. If the white stone
weighs less than the soul, the latter goes up to heaven, but if
the black one is lighter than the soul, the soul goes to the
underworld. The punishment there is that the soul is first
thrown into a dark pit, where it is tormented by, terrible cold,
and afterwards roasted in never-ending flames.20 The idea,
met with among certain Tatar tribes, of a very narrow punish-
ment-bridge, from which the soul overladen with sins falls
into the depths below, has obviously come from Persia.

To true shamanism these ideas of restitution are completely
alien. Certain terrible places are, however, met with in the
cannibal-myths of the Northern peoples, into which the soul,
regardless of its former life, may fall against its will.

In the cannibal myths of the Goldes, a gloomy place by a
river is mentioned, on the sand-covered bank of which grows
•an enormously high poplar. The leaves of the tree prevent
the rays of the sun by day and of the moon by night from fall-
ing on this deserted place. The spirit-birds, which fly about
in the service of wicked shamans to torment and trouble poor
souls, gather mostly in this tree. On the ground round about
lie countless human bones. According to a tale, a girl who
had happened to come there one evening saw two fires in the
sky and heard the rustle of the wings of a great bird. The
bird, which resembled a crane, bore a poor human being on its
back, who pleaded the whole time: “ Kill me quickly, why dost
thou torment me.” “ Soon, soon,” answered the bird, a see,
 *

!

'i'

1

i

T

ï

t;

I
 PLATE LVIII

Dress of a Yakut shaman (bird type), back view,
with “ feathers ” or fringes. Dressed in this costume
the shaman received the power of flying wherever he
desired to go. (See pages 514, 519.)
 
 
 THE REALM OF THE DEAD   495

there is my tree! ” It then sat in the crown of the tree and
slung the man on to a branch, where he remained hanging.
Again and again he begged: “ Kill me quickly, do not torture
me! ” When the girl, who was a heroine, saw how the bird
began to tear off the man’s garments with its beak, she became
angry, aimed her bow at the bird and said: u If thou dost not
take on thy shaman costume, I will kill thee.” “Wait a
little,” said the bird, shaking its wings, which then became
changed into iron feathers. “ Shoot now,” it said, “ now thou
canst not kill me, but thine own hours are counted.” The
heroine saw, however, a naked place in the evil being’s breast
between the feathers, and aiming her arrow at this shot the
bird, which, falling to the ground, became a flame of fire.21

In its dream-voyages the soul may sometimes happen on
such nests of evil spirits 5 an idea, the reason for which is prob-
ably to be found in the horrible nightmares and fever-visions
of hysterical persons.
 CHAPTER XXI

SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM

AMONG nearly all primitive peoples, it is held that the
chief cause of sickness is a temporary, absence of the soul
from its material envelope and that the only cure is the success-
ful recovering of the soul. Connected with this is a belief
in the existence of persons furnished with certain extraordinary
powers, who, by different means and in.different ways, gen-
erally, however, in a condition of ecstasy, can come into imme-
diate touch with the spirit-world. Such persons are given
different names by the separate peoples of Siberia. The Mon-
gols and the Buriats nearly related to these, call them “ bö,”
the Yakuts “ ojun,” the Altai Tatars “ kam,” and the Tungus
“ shaman.” Through Russian ethnography the Tungusian
name has been adopted by the literature of the science of reli-
gion. As the shaman is of the greatest importance in the
nature-religion of the Siberian peoples, this form of religion
has generally begun to be called shamanism.

It is not possible to become a shaman only by education or
practice, a shaman having to possess special shamanic talents,
which appear in varying forms with different individuals, often
in early youth. The Tungus say no one can “ take ” this talent,
but that it is “received” or, in other words, that “one is
called ” to the profession of shaman, A common idea is that
a shamanic talent is “ a difficult burden ” for a beginner.

Dr. Sternberg, who, during his stay in East Siberia, made
many interesting observations among the Giliak shamans, says
that the preparation for the office of shaman forms a crisis in
the life of the chosen, a crisis followed by extremely compli-
cated psychic manifestations. A shaman of his acquaintance
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM 497

related that before he became a shaman he was ill for over
two months, lying motionless and unconscious for this period.
He was convinced that he would have died if he had not be-
come a shaman. After the severe trials of these months he
was reduced to complete exhaustion. During the nights, he
started to dream that he sang shaman songs. Once a white
owl appeared to him and placed itself close behind him, while
a human being stood a little further off and said: “ Make
thyself a drum and everything a shaman needs, and sing songs.
Thou wilt never more succeed in being an ordinary individual 3
but if thou acceptest the calling of shaman, thou wilt become
a real shaman.” He was unaware how long he had slept, but
when he awoke, he saw that he was being held over a fire,,
his relatives believing that the spirit had killed him. He then
commanded his relations to give him a drum and started to
sing. During this singing he felt intoxicated but not as one
dead.1

According to the Tungus a deceased shaman appears to the
member of his own family whom he has chosen as his successor.
This visit may take place in a dream, or during a severe ill-
ness. Anyone refusing to follow this call is tormented by the
spirit to the verge of death. When the spirit has appeared to
a shaman candidate, the latter begins to withdraw from the
company of his fellows, has difficult nerve-attacks and fits of
hysteria and epilepsy, behaving at times as though his mind
were unhinged. The Tungus of the Turukhansk District call
a shaman-spirit Khargi.2

A Yakut shaman describes his experiences as follows: a At
the age of twenty I became ill and began to see and hear what
other people do not see or hear. For nine years I resisted
the spirit and told no one what was happening, for fear of
being misunderstood or insulted. Finally, I became so ill
that death was very near. It was then that 1 began to
shamanize, recovering immediately. Even now, if I refrain
from shamanizing for a long time, I become indisposed and
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

498

fall ill.” The spirit, which appears to the chosen, is said to
be the soul of a dead shaman, and is called Amagat by the
Yakuts. The Amagat of the shaman, which advises and pro-
tects him through life, is pictured in metal on his costume as
a little man-like figure.3

Common to all the Siberian peoples is the view that only a
member of a family or clan that has earlier contained shamans
can become a shaman. The calling goes thus in inheritance.
But individuals with shamanic talents do not appear in every
generation. The Tungus at the Yenisei explained to the
author, that if a shaman is buried in the earth and not on an
erection in the air, the “ loom ” (Cavia lumma, a soul-bird of
the shaman) of the deceased will return no more to his family.
Often the “ loom ” appears first after a longer period. It is
held that this “ loom,” the reappearance of which in the family
is regarded as a great honour, is the wandering soul of the
deceased shaman. When the a loom ” has appeared to anyone,
that is to say, when shamanic gifts become apparent in any
individual, a wooden image is made of the bird and a reindeer
sacrificed to it. This <£ loom ” becomes the protective spirit of
the new shaman. Here we meet with a conception, peculiar to
shamanism, that besides the ordinary souls common to all men,
the shaman possesses a special shaman-soul, lacking to others.
From the beliefs connected with death it appears that this
shaman-soul is immortal in a much higher degree than other
souls. For this reason, special ceremonies are necessary at the
burial of a shaman. Not even a chief, however many herds
of reindeer he possesses, can compare in matters of religion
with the poorest shaman, who, on account of his “ loom ” is
honoured and feared already during his life, but still more
after his death.

The Yakuts sometimes call the shaman-soul sur, which in
other Turkish languages signifies soul in general. Its seat is
said to be in the head of the shaman. It is related in a tale,
how a great shaman received his head “in the Heaven of
 SHAMANISM AND TOTEMISM   499

Manariks ” (mandrik, u nervy,” “ insane ”$ manarii, a to lose
one’s sense”).4 According to the Buriats, a person who has
been scared out of his wits by violent thunder receives a special
shamanic talent.5 The Yakuts say such persons have received
sür from Ulu-Tojon, the god of thunder.6

Besides male shamans, female shamans are also met with,
though these can in no way be compared with the male in
power and importance. Generally, they are called also by a
different name from the male shamans (Yakut, Altai-Tatar,
Buriat, Mongol, u udagan,” “utagan,” etc.). There have
been, however, especially among the Buriats, many famous
female shamans, worshipped after their death by their rela-
tives. Each place, each family, and each tribe has, according
to the Buriats, its individual Zajans or protective spirits of
deceased shamans, both male and female, who after death
were buried on adjoining heights, where their images (ongon)
were also placed. At times even ordinary Buriat men or
women become Zajans after death, and special ceremonies are
gone through in their honour $ but these are said to become
Zajans a by the power of their shamanic origin and the pro-
tective powers springing therefrom for the survivors.”7

It is extremely important for each person to remember his
shamanic origin, called Utkha by the Buriats. Each family,
or clan, has its own Utkha, which imposes special duties on its
members. It is said of the family Sartul, which dwells east
of the Baikal, “ that they do not devour the blood of animals,
as their shaman-Utkha forbids this, and especially must they
refrain from devouring the blood of the Sartul-family’s
shaman animals.” An animal or a bird, regarded as pro-
tecting the shaman, is called khubilgan by the Buriats. In
their opinion, each shaman has his own protectors, some a
snake, some a vulture, some a frog, etc.8

Closely connected with the family Utkha are also the house-
hold spirits or household Ongons. These household spirits,
worshipped by the members of the family and preserved in the
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

tent, generally consist of a sheepskin on which tinplate figures
of human beings and other things are fastened, or these figures
may also be painted on the sheepskin or on a cloth. These
Ongons are inherited with the tales and traditions attached to
them. Among the Buriats of the Khangin clan one may see
an Ongon, called Börtö, in nearly every dwelling, and of this
it is said that the forefather of the clan, Khorton, a great
shaman, had borne it on his back from Mongolia. Prayers
to this Ongon begin: a Utkha of the thousands of Khangins,
Sen-Serel bird (sen, a Siberian swan), Utkha of the Serel Mon-
gols, Khun-Khorel bird (khun, a Siberian swan).”9

8
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:11:31 PM »

peoples, the custom of placing the bodies of children, some-
times also of adults, in hollow trees or on the branches of a
growing tree, has been preserved down to our day. At the
present time burial-erections are mostly made of wood. The
body of a shaman in particular, may not, among the Tungus,
Yakuts and others, be buried in the earth. For this reason it
is generally laid in a wooden box, borne on two or four posts.24
“ Shamans,” says Georgi, u will mostly dissolve in the free
air, as the devil lives in the earth.”25 A Tungus assured the
author that if a shaman is buried in the earth, his soul-bird
will never return again to a new shaman of the same family.
The following tale recorded among the Yenisei Ostiaks is
instructive: When the first man died, his relatives believed him
to be asleep, but when they were unable to awaken him they
became afraid and started to cry. The Heaven god, Es, then
sent down a dog to tell them that they had no reason to be
afraid, but that they should bind up the body with grass and
hang it in a tree, when the body would come to life within
seven days. But the dog deceived the people into burying
the body, in the ground. The result was that afterwards men
began to die.28

Cremation, which occurs among certain peoples in the north-
east corner of Siberia (the Chukchee and Koriaks) and also
among the Buriats, cannot have been one of the earlier methods
of disposal of the dead among the Altaic peoples. A later
custom is probably also the Mongol method of throwing a
body into the fields as food for the dogs.2T

Side by side with the thought that the soul wanders after
death in the other world, the idea appears that the souls of the
dead may after a time be bom again on the earth in a child
of the same family. The Yenisei Ostiaks believe that the
soul can take up its dwelling, or live again in some animal,
especially in bears, and also vice versa.2* This belief is not to
be confounded with that according to which the souls of the
dead are inclined to many, temporary metamorphoses. A cer-
 482   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

tain groping after explanations is already apparent in the view
laid down by a Buriat, according to which human beings have
three souls. One is taken captive by the Prince of Death;
the second remains as a ghost in this world, continuing to live
as before$ the third is bora again as a living person.29
 
 PLATE LVI

The illustration at the top (left) shows the tomb
of a Buriat shaman, erected on posts. The others
depict ongons or images of Buriat shamans.

(See page 499.)
 
 
 CHAPTER XX

THE REALM OF THE DEAD

THE MANNER in which life beyond the grave is im-
agined appears plainly from the burial ceremonies, in
which the dead are furnished with food, clothes, implements
of labour, weapons and domestic animals. The most northern
peoples of Siberia have a custom of stabbing to death or bind-
ing reindeer and dogs alive to the grave. The rulers of the
Yakuts in earlier times received with them on their last jour-
ney, besides their horse, one of their slaves to serve his master
in the other world. a His servant followed him,” say the
Yakuts even now, when a poor person dies soon after the death
of a wealthy man.1 And even now sacrifices of slaves are said
to occur among certain Tungus tribes.

u In the other world,” the Altai Tatars say, u we shall sow
our seed, herd our cattle, drink kumiss and eat beef, with this
difference only, that we shall live better there, as we shall
enjoy not only the possession of the cattle we owned on the
earth, but also of all the domestic animals that have died
earlier.” 2 According to the tales of the Buriats, the dead have
food, raiment, etc., to the degree in which they were supplied
with these on their burial-day. Thus, depending on the prop-
erty the relatives were able to present to the deceased, some
souls have to walk on foot, others to ride on horseback, the
most fortunate in carriages. The celebrating of weddings and
other merry festivals among the dead is also spoken of. The
dead shaman, who is supplied with his costume, his drum and
other sacred implements, continues his important calling in
the other world. In general, the dead are regarded as going
on with the work which each had done in this world. The
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

484

Buriat “ manual labourer does not after death forget his skill,
the scribe lives by his pen, and a woman who has been a
skilful sempstress on earth, continues to work with her
needle.” Specially skilful workers are said to be short-lived,
because the ruler over the dead needs their help.3 The
northern peoples, like the Tungus here, live in the world
beyond the grave in tents of birch-bark, hunt and fish, and
practise reindeer-keeping in the great, underworld, primeval
forests.

That the world of the dead was originally a reflection of the
earthly one is shown, further, by the scenes in the shaman
ceremonies, when the latter escort the soul to the underworld.
The Tungus believe this last journey to resemble in detail the
difficult journeys of these nomads over mountains and valleys
in their great forests. Those who drive here with reindeer,
ride also to the underworld on the back of a reindeer 5 those,
again, who use dogs, travel there behind dogs.

The shaman’s business is to know the difficult path} the soul
itself finds it difficult to reach its goal. Many dangers also
threaten it on the way. Evilly-disposed spirits are often in
motion, seeking to tempt the soul from its path} cannibal-
spirits lie in wait to devour it. The Goldes say that the road
to the underworld goes through certain particular places, which
are many in number. At the commencement, the road is the
same for all the dead, but later a point is reached where as
many roads branch off as there are families among the Goldes.
From here the road leads to the cc steep slope ” and then to the
a river’s crossing-place.” This crossing is said to be so diffi-
cult, that the soul nearly falls down with exhaustion. Still
a few more places, and then from tracks and newly-chopped
living branches and the barking of dogs one may conclude that
the village of the dead is near. In the underworld each
family has its own village, where the members of the
family dwell together, continuing to live as on the earth.
Life in the underworld is said, however, to be better and
 THE REALM OF THE DEAD

485

happier than here. All the dangers and difficulties of the
journey end at the village. Should the soul go under on its
last journey, the fault lies with the shaman, who has not been
clever enough in his calling, and then the services of a better
shaman must be called in, the latter, by his shamanizing, find-
ing the point where the soul has succumbed, waking it to life
again, and escorting it to the village of its earlier deceased
relations. For some families the last journey is said to be
more difficult than for others.

Such of the Goldes as live by keeping reindeer, are escorted
to the underworld by nine reindeer, eight of which bear the
property of the deceased, the deceased himself riding on the
ninth. The saddle is constructed so that the soul cannot fall off
though the reindeer moves rapidly. As the shaman is said
to take the form of this reindeer, or to represent its soul, he
can carry the dead safely by avoiding and going round danger-
ous places. All the districts passed during the journey are
described by the shaman in his songs and ceremonies. He
leads the soul first to the source of the river, by which the clan
in question dwells, then to the high range of mountains, and
down this again into a primeval forest until another high
mountain is reached. Beyond this comes a great swamp which
has to be crossed. Further the road leads to a mountain tor-
rent, on the open banks of which a level and beautiful forest
grows. Gradually, one begins to notice that the surroundings
are populated, as the forest has been felled and there are
marks of newly-timbered boats. Finally one arrives in the vil-
lage of the dead, where smoke rises, tents stand in rows, and
reindeer feed as among the living Reindeer-Tungus.4

Such also the Yakut realm of the dead would seem to have
been originally. The spirits living there in similar circum-
stances to those of their earthly life are divided into six clans,
according to information from one district. In certain tales,
the way to this realm is described as exceedingly, difficult to
travel. The soul has to go in at the throat of a snake-like
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

486

monster, pass through its body, and come out from its tail,
thus reaching the other world. The way is both painful and
dangerous, as the gullet and the intestines of the monster are
said to be covered with great, sharp spikes. For this reason
the soul has to be provided with clothes and shoes, otherwise
it would bleed to death. The custom of supplying the dead
with a horse is said to have originated in the wish to make the
journey through this dangerous pass as swift as possible.
Especially in the shaman songs the way to the underworld is
said to go through many dangers, over “stormy rivers” or
“ bloody streams,” through “ burning forests ” or “ icy
winds.” *

A very common idea among the Yakuts is that “the other
world ” lies beyond the “ death-sea.”6 Most of the peoples
of North Siberia consider the realm of the dead to lie some-
where in the north, most often at the mouths of rivers flowing
into the Arctic Ocean. The point of the compass of the dead
is said to be “ towards the night ” or “ downwards.” Down
in the north, according to Yakut tales, lives the stern ruler over
the dead, Arsan-Duolai, in a great chasm with winter frozen
fields and cold summer-dwellings, where black chimneys arise
from gloomy huts. This dreaded ruler is said to have his
mouth in the middle of his forehead and eyes at his temples.
The spirits serving him (Abasy) come sometimes to the vil-
lages of the living on depredatory raids, carrying off or
swallowing people’s souls, spreading sickness, etc. By appeas-
ing them with bloody sacrifices, the shamans cause them to
return to their dismal dwelling-place.7

Like the Yakuts, the Ugrians and the Yenisei Ostiaks speak
also of an evil Prince of the dead living in the north, who
carries off or devours souls. According to the latter, certain
naked rocks in the Arctic Ocean are the dwelling-place of the
dead. Side by side with this, another belief is met with
among them, viz., that under the earth there is a great grotto,
or seven grottoes under one another, in which the souls of the
 THE REALM OF THE DEAD

487

dead dwell, and where in the place of the sun and moon, only

rotted trees give out a dim light. Strange fishes live in the
underground rivers.8 A third description noted down by the
author among them relates how the underworld is a complete
reflection of the Yenisei District. The underground Yenisei
is said however to flow in the opposite direction.

The above seven grottoes are obviously closely connected
with the seven or nine underground storeys, which according
to the Altai Tatars and others are situated horizontally under
the “ middle place ” or the earth and correspond to a similar
number of planes of Heaven above.9 The Central Asian
people generally regard the underworld as populated by evil
beings, ruled over by the stern Erlik-Khan, who is said to sit
on his black throne, surrounded by a court consisting of evil
spirits. At the command of their lord these spirits often make
excursions, more especially in the night-time, to the world of
the living, where they seize some poor soul and carry it off
with them to their home. Extremely common is also the idea
that this ruler over the dead has power only over those who
were wicked in this life. Those mortals again, who have done
more good than evil, are taken after death to the heavenly
dwelling-places.10 The path to both the underground dwell-
ings and those above is believed to go through a hole in the
middle of each plane, and according to this idea the Ostiaks
call the seven-storeyed sky <£ seven-holed,” 11 the Chukchee ex-
plaining that each hole is perpendicularly under the North
Star.12 As the hole leading to the underworld, which is often
used by the shaman, is, of course, also in the centre of the
earth, one may often see among his magic things a disc repre-
senting the earth, in the midst of which is a round hole. In
travelling to the heavens, the Altai shamans use also a world-
tree furnished with divisions, the Dolgans explaining that the
shamans escort the souls of the dead to the tree in question,
where they continue their life in the shape of a little bird.13

In Heaven also, life resembles that on the earth. According
 488   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

to certain tribes living in the District Turuhansk, the souls-
in Heaven resemble little people, who catch little fishes in the
lakes there.14 The Buriats say that the souls living in heaven
have cattle and houses, wives and children there. They even
pay visits to one another, drink spirits and get intoxicated.15
According to the Chukchee the heavens are peopled with spirits
which live there in families and, like the people of the earth,
exist by fishing and hunting. Often, however, the game they
seek is human souls, which they carry with them to some storey
of the sky, whence only a clever shaman can save them.1®

How far these ideas of Heaven as the dwelling-place of the
dead have originated among the above peoples, is hard to
decide. In any case they are extremely old as they are con-
nected with so many shamanisitic customs. On the other hand
the belief held by. many peoples that those who have met their
death in war or through an accident go to Heaven — a belief
found among the most varying peoples all round the earth —
is most probably of great antiquity. Like the Ugrians and
certain Tatar tribes, the peoples of North-East Siberia, such
as the Chukchee and the Gilyaks of the Amur country, believe
that the souls of those who die a violent death go directly to
Heaven, while those who die a natural death, remain on earth
or descend underground. According to the Chukchee the
Aurora Borealis is chiefly the home of those who die a violent
death.17

The most original views do not regard the realm of the dead
as a place of restitution, where the soul has to answer for the
sins committed during life. Such Altaic peoples as have come
under the influence of alien and more highly developed teach-
ings, form exceptions in this respect.

In a Buriat tale the hero Mu-monto journeys on a com-
mission from his father through the realm of the dead, to
demand back the horse sacrificed by the latter at the burial of
his father. To arrive there, one must first go due north.
On the way there is a large, black stone. When the traveller
 

t

6

5
 PLATE LVII

1.   Buriat shaman with his hobby-horses. (See
page 522.)

2.   Hides of Buriat shaman-animals used in place
of wooden images in shamanizing. (See page 512.)
 
 
 THE REALM OF THE DEAD   489

has lifted up this and shouted: “ Come here,” a fox appears
in the opening under the stone and says: “ Hold fast to my
tail.” If one then obeys this request, the fox will lead him
into the land of the dead. Mu-monto, travelling further and
further with the help of the fox, saw many mysterious things.
First he saw horses that were very fat on a naked rock. Then
he met very thin and miserable cattle on a rich meadow. In
another place he met women with their mouths sewn up. In
a great cauldron full of boiling pitch he saw officials and
shamans writhing ceaselessly. On his way he saw, further,
men whose hands and feet were bound fast, and women who,
although naked, embraced thorn-bushes. In one place he saw
a woman who, although she appeared to be poor, lived luxu-
riously, and another, who, although rich, suffered from hunger.
Mu-monto soon learned the reasons for the fates of these
people. The poor woman had been good during her life, and
out of her little had shared with the needy, therefore she had
everything in plenty nowj but the other, albeit rich, had been
hard-hearted and parsimonious, and had therefore now to
starve. The naked who embraced the thorn-bushes had been
frivolous and betrayed their husbands. The bound men had
been thieves. Those who were boiled in pitch had been false
in their professions. Those whose mouths were sewn fast had
been liars during life and spread calumnies. The thin and
miserable horses on the rich meadow had been so ill-treated by
their masters during life that they could not even now become
fatter, while the fat horses on the naked rock had been so
well-fed that even without food they were still flourishing.18

In a Tatar tale, recorded by M. A. Castrén from the neigh-
bourhood of the Sayan steppes, life under the earth is described
in a somewhat similar manner. The daughter of the ruler of
the dead, Irlek-Khan, once came to the earth in the shape of a
black fox and did all kinds of harm to human beings. A hero
named Komdei-Mirgan was persuaded to hunt the fox, which,
however, ambushed him so that his leg was broken. Shortly
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

490

thereafter, a monster (Yelbegen) with nine heads and riding
on a forty-horned ox, arose out of the earth. This monster
cut off the hero’s head and carried it off to the underworld.
When the hero’s sister Kubaiko came to weep at her brother’s
corpse and saw that the head was lacking, she decided to go to
the realm of the dead and seek the head there. The tracks
of the ox of Yelbegen showed her the way. These led to an
underground opening, through which she descended into Irlek-
Khan’s kingdom. Here she met with many, marvellous
things. By the wayside she saw seven clay vessels and an old
woman who poured milk from one vessel to another without
ceasing. Further on, a horse fastened with a long halter
stood on a plain of sand where there was neither grass nor
water, but in spite of this the horse was fat and in good con-
dition. Not far off another horse, bound in the same manner,
stood in a green field with running water, but this horse was
lean and wasted. In another place she saw half of a human
body forming a dam for a brook, while in another place a
whole body was not sufficient to dam a similar brook. Kubaiko
rode astonished past all these things and came deeper into the
earth. Gradually she began to hear more and more distinctly
the clang of hammers, and soon she saw forty men beating out
hammers, another forty making saws, and a similar number
making tongs. Following the tracks of Yelbegen’s ox she
travelled on without fear, until she reached the bank of a
river running along the foot of a mountain. On the bank she
saw Irlek-Khan’s dwelling, a building of stone with forty cor-
ners. Before the entrance stood nine larches, all growing
from the same root. To this tree the horses of the nine
Princes of death were bound, one to each branch, and Kubaiko
also bound her horse to it. While doing this she saw the fol-
lowing inscription on the tree: “When Kudai (God) created
heaven and earth, this tree was also brought forth, and to this
day no man and no animal has come living to the tree.” Hav-
ing read this Kubaiko entered the dwelling of the Princes of
 THE REALM OF THE DEAD   491

9
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:10:46 PM »

Once the belief in Nature spirits has originated, the number
of these may easily become legion. Wherever a human being
moves, some spirit accompanies him. Should an accident occur
on a journey, e.g., a horse take fright or a cart break down,
the Yakuts believe the Master of the spot to have occasioned
the misfortune29 Especially in places traversed with difficulty,
where the road runs along a steep mountain-ridge or precipi-
tous pass, something, a piece of cloth or wool or a hair of the
horse, is sacrificed to the Master of the place. The Mongols,
Altai Tatars, etc., when crossing over a mountain, are in the
habit of placing a stone at a certain spot, so that great heaps of
stones (obo> “heap”) have accumulated at such places.80
Similarly, on journeys by water, the Siberian peoples, after
safely passing a difficult stretch of water, offer up some small
 

r

I

r.
 PLATE LIV

Mongol Seer Prophesying from a
Shoulder-blade

(See page 488.)
 
 
 THE “ MASTERS ” OF NATURE   47 i

sacrifice. On the Yenisei River, the author has even heard
Russians speak of “ the boiling of porridge ” when a danger-
ous, swift rapid was being passed with great difficulty, the
place being called the “ bull ” by the rowers. To deceive
the Master of the place, the Yakuts, when making long jour-
neys, speak in a secret language, in which the words have
meanings differing from those of their everyday use, like the
hunters and fishers, who also on their expeditions twist the
significations of their words.81
 CHAPTER XIX

DREAMS, SICKNESS AND DEATH

NATURAL causes of dreams, sickness and death, as with
most of the peoples of the earth, were unknown to the
Altaic race. The most usual idea is that man, in these states,
has lost his “shadow.” Of the varied souls that are com-
monly believed to be contained in man, it is just this “ shadow ”
(Altai Tatar ia, sur and sum,- Mongol Buriat smasun, Yakut
kut, etc.), which is the most important in myths.

A “ shadow-soul ” of this description, as already, mentioned,
is owned also by animals, plants and lifeless objects.

The close connection between this soul and the shadow ap-
pears, e.g., from the idea that when a human being loses his
soul, he loses also his shadow. According to the Yakuts men
have three shadows} when all of these have disappeared, the
one who loses them dies. Spirits are said to be beings without
shadows.1

That the shadow-soul is received by a child at its birth from
outside would seem to be a general belief. The idea of the
Yenisei Ostiaks that all human beings born into the world re-
ceive, instead of new souls (ulvei> “shadow,” “reflection in
water ”), such souls as have existed before, is enlightening
in this respect. The shadow-soul is said to enter the sexual
organs of a woman with child a little before confinement} the
other life-spirits, on the other hand, which are believed to
dwell in the heart, head, etc., are received by the child in the
womb through its mother’s food. From the moment of entry
of the shadow-soul, birth pangs begin, as the soul {ulvét) is
uncomfortable in the womb, where it is hot and suffocating.
During life this shadow-soul is the faithful companion of man.
 DREAMS, SICKNESS AND DEATH 473

The Yenisei Ostiaks, like the Yakuts and Buriats, imagine
it to be a little being which can be seen more especially by
shamans.2

Among the Buriats, this belief in a previous existence of
souls appears in a more developed form, of Indian origin.
They explain that when the Tengeris lay themselves down to
sleep (a slumber that may, sometimes last a hundred years),
their souls appear on the earth and are born here as human
beings. If the soul of a Tengeri comes down a long time
after the god has slept, the person within whom the soul has
taken up its abode soon dies, as the soul has to return to its
owner in heaven before the latter awakens from his sleep.
Where the soul of the Tengeri comes down soon after its
owner has fallen asleep, the person in question lives to old
age.3

As has been said, the shadow-soul of a human being can
leave its dwelling-place during life. In dreams it wanders
unfettered by material means, visits distant places, strange
races, passes through locked doors, and even keeps company
with deceased companions. The Buriats say that what the
soul has seen or heard during its journeys, remains in its
memory, so that a person, when the soul has returned and
awakened its owner, can relate to others the experiences of his
soul. Dreams are thus believed to be actual truths, and for
this reason are regarded as important.4 But the wandering,
released soul is also an actual and in some degree material
being, which, e.g., may be both visible and audible to others.
Besides its human form the soul of a sleeper can also take on
the form of some animal. The Yakuts say that it wanders
in space as a little bird or butterfly. In a Buriat tale the soul
issued from the mouth of a sleeper in the form of a bee or a
wasp. Such soul-animals must be left strictly in peace.8

Like dreams, sickness is caused also by the temporary absence
of the soul from the body. But during sickness, the soul is
believed to have been driven out of the body against its will.
 474   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

Often a malicious spirit, for some reason or other, generally
to obtain a sacrifice, carries off the soul. This may happen in
different circumstances, and the soul is exposed to this danger,
especially during its nocturnal journeys. In the stillness and
darkness of the night all evil spirits are in motion and on the
hunt for souls. To obtain help, the soul has to seek its
deceased friends or other protecting spirits. Thoughtful souls
can also help themselves by skilfully hiding, e.g., in the fur of
animals, in leafy trees, or in other objects. Should a poor
soul be pursued too long it loses itself in deep forests or other
places strange to it, so that it can no longer find its way home.
When a soul is seized by an evil spirit, one can sometimes hear
its weeping and cries.8

Another very common belief is that the soul, against its
will, may be driven by a shock from the body. The Buriats
believe that the homeless soul then remains for some time at
the place where this misfortune happens. Unless attention is
given at once to this accident, the soul begins to wander about
and flies further and further away, with the result that the
victim becomes more and more seriously ill and in the end dies.
The souls of little children can easily be driven away in this
manner if they are frightened. The consequences of the
absence of the soul soon show themselves as fatigue, paleness,
tears, and restlessness during sleep, etc. One has then to seek
out the place where the soul left its dwelling-place, where it
may still possibly be found. Should one succeed in winning
the soul back again by special ceremonies, the sick one becomes
well again. Often, however, the soul may, disappear without
its owner being aware of the fact, and when he or she grad-
ually begins to feel apathetic, weak, and in a decline, it is
too late to find the soul again. The help of a shaman, who
has the power of finding all lost and wandering souls, is then
necessary.7

At times a sick person may recover his soul himself. He
must recall to memory the place where his soul left him, dress
 DREAMS, SICKNESS AND DEATH 475

in the clothes he wore on that occasion, and visit the scene of
the disaster at a time corresponding to the time of his loss,
viz., in the evening if his soul left him in the evening, and so
on. The person seeking his soul has further to take with him
such delicacies as his soul delights in, and call his soul to par-
take of them. If the soul happens to be still in the vicinity,
it will return to. its owner, who is said to feel the reunion by
a violent shivering in the back. It is important to remember
the exact time, as then the soul is most certainly to be met with,
at first every day, later at ever-increasing intervals, until it
comes at last only once a year to the place of its liberation.
During a long absence from the body, a soul, however, seldom
wins through all the dangers threatening it from the many
malicious and cunning spirits.8

A further means of driving a soul from its home, said to be
used by the spirits, is a tickling of the nose, which induces
sneezing. This appears from the following Buriat tale, which
in many other respects also throws light on the beliefs of the
Mongols regarding souls.

Once, a man who had the power of seeing spirits and talking
with them went on a journey. Meeting three spirits on the
way he went on in their company. As they journeyed he
ascertained that these spirits had formed wicked plans, intend-
ing to steal away the soul of a rich man’s son. The man tried
to worm himself into the spirits’ favour by promising to help
in the capture of the soul, and thus obtained an opportunity
of accompanying them. This man, who wished to play the
part of a spirit, could not, however, but awaken the attention
of the spirits. When they had travelled awhile together, the
spirits asked in astonishment: u Why dost thou walk so that-the
grass falls down and the dry leaves rustle under thy steps? ”
The man replied cunningly that he had died so recently that
he had not yet learned to walk silently and without leaving a
track as a spirit should. The spirits believed this. When
they arrived at the rich man’s house, one of the spirits placed
 476   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

itself at the door, the other at the chimney, the third went to
the unlucky son, and by producing an irritation in his nose,
caused him to sneeze violently. During the sneeze the son’s
soul jumped out of his body and tried to escape by the door,
but the spirit watching there seized it at once and held it tight,
although the soul wept bitterly. The spirits then took the
captured soul away with them. On the way back, the man
who had joined the spirits asked them if they had anything in
the world to fear. The spirits answered that they were very
much afraid of thistles and thorns. a But what art thou
afraid of? ” asked the spirits. “ I,” said the man, ce am most
afraid of fat meat.” The spirits, unaware that the man in-
tended to deceive them, travelled further and further. On
the way the man begged to be allowed to help by carrying the
soul, which was also granted. But just then they happened
to come to a place where thorny, bushes and thistles grew.
The man jumped with the soul in his arms among the prickly
bushes, where the spirits were afraid to come. Remembering
that the man had expressed his dread for fat meat, they began
to throw pieces of meat among the bushes to drive him out.
But the man, who was very fond of meat, ate them without
danger to himself, on seeing which, the spirits realized that
they had been tricked and went their way. The man then
hurried back to the rich man’s house, taking the soul with him
so that the son recovered.9

Sickness may also be caused by the soul injuring itself in
some way on its travels. According to the Yenisei Ostiaks
bodily pain is often closely connected with damage to the soul
(shadow). Should the soul, e.g., hurt its foot, its owner will
limp} should the soul catch cold, its owner begins to shiver,
etc., etc. Similar ideas are met with among the Tungus, and
are reflected in the general belief that everything done to the
image of a person affects the person himself. The word
asoul” originally meant both shadow and image.10

Should the shadow-soul have left its dwelling-place for
 
 PLATE LV

Yenisei Ostiak Shaman with Drum

Front and back views.

(See chapter XXI.)

After photograph by U. Holmberg.
 
 1
 DREAMS, SICKNESS AND DEATH 477

good, death follows, when also the spirit-soul (Altai Tatar tiin,
Mongol and Buriat amin,a breath ”) disappears. Among cer-
tain peoples, the Buriats and Altai Tatars, the belief prevails
that when the soul of a sick person comes into the hands of the
Prince of Death, fate has decreed that the person in question
shall die, and then even the shaman can no longer be of any
assistance. The Buriats relate how Erlen-Khan (“ Death-
kingdom’s Prince ”) sends out his servants to capture wander-
ing souls. Without caring for the cries for help and the
prayers of the souls, these servants put them into sacks and
bear them to their hard master, who places the souls in cap-
tivity.11 In a tale about the first shaman, Mergen-khara, it is
said that he possessed the power of freeing souls even from the
prisons of the Prince of Death, where these sit with strong
chains round their necks, hands and feet. The Prince of
Death complained to the Heaven god Esege-Malan-Tengeri,
who decided to test the power of the shaman by taking a soul
up to the heavens and hiding it there in a bottle, the mouth of
which he stopped up with his thumb. The person whose soul
had been taken became now dangerously ill and the shaman,
according to his wont, hurried to seek the soul. He went
down to the kingdom of the Prince of Death, but failed to
find the soul there. He then journeyed everywhere under
the earth and the sea, in chasms in the mountains and deep
forests, but without result. Then he “sat himself on his
drum,” flew up to heaven and after much difficult searching
found the soul of the sick one in the bottle. But how to free
it, as God kept his finger on the mouth of the bottle? The
shaman was equal to the task. He changed himself into a
wasp and stung God violently on the forehead, and as God
tried to protect himself with his right hand the soul escaped
from the bottle. After a while God noticed that the bottle
was empty and that the shaman, sitting on the drum with his
prize, was already sinking towards the earth. God then be-
came very angry and decreased the power of the shamans, and
 478   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

now no shaman can save a soul which has come into the hands
of 'the Prince of Death.12

After death, the soul is said to remain for a few days in the
home. According to the Altai Tatars, Buriats, Yakuts, and
others, the soul of a person recently dead cannot understand
at once that it has left the body, but wanders for three days
yet in its old home. Not until the soul notices that it leaves
no trace in the ashes of the hearth, does it realize that it now
belongs to the world of spirits.13 Despite the last fact, how-
ever, the soul appears in stories with a material body. The
Yakuts believe it can burn or wound itself and that blood runs
from its wounds. By means of sharpened objects the soul of
a dead person can easily be prevented from returning to its
home. If the soul does not receive sufficient food, it feels
hungry} without the necessary clothing it feels cold.14 The
soul can even die, according to a popular belief. Of later
origin is probably the belief held by the Yakuts, that the soul
is taken round by spirits on the night of burial, to the places
where its former owner sojourned during life, and punished
for misdeeds on the spot where these occurred, so that one can
hear "its cries and plaints.15

According to a more northern idea, the soul remains among
the relatives for some time after death. During this period
the property of the deceased may not be touched, but the soul,
like a living person, must be provided with food and drink.
Many peoples, such as the Yakuts, Dolgans, Goldes, and, at
an earlier time, the Mongols, Kirghis, etc., who prepare images
of their deceased, or for longer or shorter periods look
well after and provide for the soul in connection with some
object owned by the deceased, believe that only at the end
of these periods does the soul remove to the kingdom of the
dead.18

Besides the souls living in peace and rest in the land of the
dead, there are also others, which wander restlessly around,
disturbing the living with all kinds of misfortunes, especially
 DREAMS, SICKNESS AND DEATH 479

sickness. A very common view is that the souls of childless
or unmarried women, together with those whose owners either
met with a violent death or died before their time, haunt their
old homes, causing much trouble to their relations. Only a
very clever shaman can drive out these spirits, which are
especially dangerous for infants. The Yakuts call them Üör,
the Buriats Anakhai.17 According to the Yenisei Ostiaks the
spirits of little children and unmarried women wander irri-
tated around their graves for a whole year after death.18 The
longer a soul has been among the other dead, the more it
begins to acquire the characteristics of an evil spirit. Such
spirits of the long-ago deceased are the Abasy among the
Yakuts, Buriat Bokholdoi, Altai Tatar Aina, Üzüt, etc.19 Be-
sides graves, certain deserted places, e.g., the deserts of Turan
and Gobi, are the dwelling-places of these evil spirits, who
from these centres set out on their destructive excursions. In
mountainous districts places difficult of reach, the summits,
etc., are the homes of all manner of spirits. The Mongols
believe further that the souls of wicked people stop halfway
between this and the next world, floating in the air and causing
many kinds of misfortune.2" The Buriats relate that the
wandering spirits make fires at night in deserted huts. These
fires are pale and bluish in colour. This fire can be stolen,
the person succeeding in doing this becoming very rich. When
the spirits gather round their fires to sit or dance, they never
form a complete ring as human beings would. Men can
sometimes see such spirits, and if they succeed in glancing at
them before being noticed, the spirits become frightened and
take to flight. The living are also said to be able to hear
the song of these spirits.21

Like Odin of the Scandinavians, the ruler over the dead is
said by the Buriats to have one eye in the middle of his fore-
head. In one of the tales of the latter, a man who had the
power of seeing spirits kept watch while the spirits gathered
at a deserted hut. There he happened to see also the ruler
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

480

of the spirits. This was a roughly-built big man, with one
eye in his forehead. The ruler seated himself in the place of
honour and now and then announced which souls should be
brought before him. Each time, certain of the spirits went to
fulfil his command. The man approached the ruler of the
dead and shot him in the centre of his forehead so that he fell
down and was changed into a hip-bone.32

The idea that the soul of man is intimately connected with
the bone-construction of the body, would seem to be a primi-
tive belief among the Siberian peoples. Just as the preserv-
ing of the bones of animals — bears, reindeer, etc. — is said to

Fig. 18. North-Siberian Tomb

be founded on the hope that these animals can preserve their
lives as long as the skeleton is uninjured, so a similar belief
was applied to the remains of human beings. In earlier times
the dead were buried over the earth. According to Strahlen-
berg the Yakuts often left the body in the hut, removing
themselves elsewhere.23 Among nearly all the more northern
 DREAMS, SICKNESS AND DEATH 481

10
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:09:37 PM »

The agricultural Chuvashes, when a field has lost its pro-
ductive powers, carry out special ceremonies, called “ The
stealing of earth.” The intention of these ceremonies is to
procure productive earth from a field owned by someone else,
in which the grain flourishes. A living “ suitor ” is chosen for
the Earth mother, and arrayed precisely as for a real courtship}
this suitor goes out to seek a bride. The suitor has to be young
and strongly-built, as a marriage with the Earth mother,
according to the Chuvashes, is so exhausting that in spite of his
staying powers, the bridegroom hardly ever lives to a ripe old
age. Although the wedding procession sets off with much
jingling of bells and singing of wedding-songs and music, the
participants all quiet down as the place whence the bride has
to be fetched is reached. In the silence of the night the pro-
cession drives into the field, where the bridegroom, sitting in
the first wagon, is lifted to the ground. The oldest man in the
procession now acts as the agent for the bridegroom, saying,
with glance fixed on the earth: “ We have come to thee, rich
and dear bride, with a young and beautiful bridegroom. We
know that thy, riches are endless, but undescribable is also the
burning love of our bridegroom for thee.” At this, the bride-
groom bows down to the ground. The agent goes on: “Do
thou also, dear bride, love our bridegroom, and refuse not to
comply with our request.” The bridegroom bows again.
“ Take with thee, dear bride, all thy property from the fields
and meadows, the forests and rivers.” After further deep
bows, shovelsful of earth are lifted into all the wagons. The
bridegroom is lifted into the first vehicle. When at last, with
singing and music, clapping of hands and cries of delight, the
home-village is reached, the “bridegroom,” with a spade in
his hand, goes first to his own and then to the other vehicles
to welcome his “ bride,” saying: “ Be welcome, my dear bride,
I love thee more than gold, more, even, than my life. For
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

462

the sake of my, love, spread out thy property on our fields and
pastures, our forests and rivers.” Having said this, he takes
earth from all the waggons with his spade, which also the
other participants in the ceremony carry to their patches of
field.13

Relics of similar weddings for the amusement and the en-
ticing of the Earth mother, ceremonies alien to the nomad-
culture of the Altaic peoples, are met with among certain
other agricultural peoples. The a bridegroom ” of the Earth
mother is mentioned also in old Finnish poems.

Another Earth deity of whose origin there can be no doubt,
is the Jar-Sub (£< Land-water ”) mentioned already in the
Orkhon inscriptions.14 “ From the oldest times,” say the
Teleuts,“ we have worshipped our Land-water and our Sky.”15
The “Land-water spirit” (Sir-syv-Kudegen or -Kten) ap-
pears also in the list of deities of the Chuvashes side by side
with the “Earth mother” and “Earth father.”16 The
“Man of Land-water” is also known among the Voguls.17
“Land and water” as a name for one’s fatherland may, how-
ever, be originally an Iranian phrase. As Vambéry points out,
the Persians are still in the habit of saying, for example,
ab-i-chak-i Isfahan (“ Isfahan’s district,” literally “ Land and
water of Isfahan.”).18 It is therefore easy, to understand
what Xerxes meant in demanding from the Greeks, as a sign
of submission, “ land and water.”

?i
 I
 PLATE Lil

Dress with metal ornaments and symbols, and
drum of a Mongol shaman. The inner side of the
drum is shown with hand-grip with bells.

(See chapter XXI.)

After photograph by S. Palsi/
 
 s
 CHAPTER XVIII

THE “MASTERS” OF NATURE

ONNECTED with the animating of natural objects and

phenomena among the Altaic race, there is a conception
that a “ soul,” corresponding to the soul of man, lies hidden
within them, the name given to this being the same as that for
the human soul. Thus, the Altai Tatars use the word kut,
which appears in many Turco-Tatar languages, as signifying
the soul of both human beings and natural objects. Just as
the kut of the former leaves its dwelling for one reason or an-
other, causing decline and sickness, so the earth, a tree, etc.,
wither when their kut leaves them. When expressing the fact
that a field has lost its fertility, the people say: “ The ground
has lost its kut” {jerkudun pardy.) Similarly, the kut of a
dwelling-place may depart, taking with it the feeling of home-
liness. In cases like this last, kut is often translated as mean-
ing “ happiness,” “ health,” “ homeliness,” etc.1 A word with
a similar signification in the Turco-Tatar language is stir
(“appearance,” “beauty,” “comfort,” “power,” “soul”),
used when speaking of the human soul, the haunting spirit of
the dead, the health of cattle, the power of an army, the
nourishing properties of bread, etc. Thus, for example, it is
said that “when an army loses its süry it cannot defeat its
enemy.” When food has lost its nourishing power, it is said
that “its sur has departed.” A soul of this description is be-
lieved to animate and to govern all the phenomena of nature
and its parts, and thus a conception arises that these invisible
souls, to use the words of M. A. Castrén, are “ in respect of
all visible nature, in a position of power resembling that of a
master towards his property.”2
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

464.

That the metaphor “ Master ” used by Castrén is correct, is
best proved by, the names of like signification given by the
peoples of the Altaic race to the invisible Nature gods.
u Master,” “ Lord,” or “ Ruler ” is expressed in the difFerent
Tatar dialects by the words Ea or Öja, in Chuvash Hoza,
Yakut Itshi and Buriat Edzhi. An invisible Ruler of this
description is to be found in the sky and its phenomena, the
stars, fire, land and forest, trees and grass, rivers and lakes,
mountains and rocks, the different animals, and even in objects
made by man, buildings, weapons, tools, vessels, etc. Espe-
cially in sharp or “ living ” weapons, with which it is easy to
harm oneself, such as knives or axes, do the Yakuts see a Ruler
(Itshi), and similarly in objects capable of motion, such as a
spinning-wheel, or of noise, such as a magic drum or a musical
instrument. The Yakuts even speak of a Ruler in the bundle
of birch-branches with which they beat themselves in their
baths.3 The trade of blacksmith is held in great respect by
both Yakuts and Buriats, and a Ruler is believed to dwell in
all the tools needed for this work. Troscanskiy points out
that each blacksmith’s tool not bought from the Russians has
its Itshi: the anvil and striking-hammer have theirs in common,
the tongs and the forge have each their own, but the u Head-
Itshi ” is in the bellows.4 Pripuzov speaks of a special tutelary
genius of blacksmiths, called Kudai-Bakshy by the Yakuts, and
whose dwelling-place is in the underworld. The smiths
slaughter a brown cow in its honour and anoint themselves and
their tools with the animal’s blood, but the heart and the liver
they roast in the forge and place them on the anvil, where
they are beaten until nothing remains of them.6

The Buriats of the Balagan District worship a deity of
blacksmiths called Boshintoi, with nine sons and one daugh-
ter, who are said to have taught the blacksmith’s craft to men.
In sacrificing to these, the smiths pour kumiss and other sacri-
ficial liquids on to the glowing forge. A lamb is also some-
times slaughtered to them. Iron images are made of the
 THE “MASTERS” OF NATURE 465

aforesaid sons and the daughter, each with some blacksmith’s
tool in its hand, a hammer, tongs, an anvil, bellows, charcoal,
etc.j these are called the corresponding “Masters” of these
objects.8

The Master of a musical instrument (Khuri Edzhin) is said
by the Buriats to teach people to become skilful musicians.
The neophyte has to go out on a moonless night to the junction
of three roads and there sit down on the skull of a horse fitted
with silken reins. At midnight the skull is said to try to
unseat its rider. Should the latter fall he loses his life, but
if, being on his guard, he remains seated and continues to play,
he becomes a very skilful player.7

Most often, the said “ Masters ” are believed to dwell in
the phenomena or objects they, represent, the Master of fire
in the fire, the Master of water in the water, the Master of a
tree in the tree, etc., although at times they can separate from
these. How close the connection between these Masters and
their visible incarnations has actually been, appears from the
habit of making images of the Masters of the sun and moon
in the shape of these heavenly bodies. The Masters of ani-
mals appear to men in the shape of the respective animals.
The Tungus make an image of the reindeer to represent the
Reindeer’s Master, and similarly certain North-East Siberian
tribes make an image of a fish to represent the Fish Master.
The Buriats speak of a Master-tree, which is recognized by
the fact that its pith is blood-red 5 the tree is thus the body of
the Master dwelling in it, from which, as from a human body,
the blood can run.8 This conception of Masters animating
nature is not confined only to the Altaic race, but the same
belief is met with among other Siberian peoples, the Yukagirs,
the Chukchee, etc.9

The anthropomorphism of certain Masters, such as those
of dwelling-places, forests and water would seem to have been
helped by the spirits of the dead, who are said to dwell in
these places. Often the dead can be seen to have become
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

466

directly assimilated into these Masters. Thus the Master of
the Yakut dwelling-place (Balagan Itshita) sometimes appears
in the shape of former dwellers in the place. Middendorff
says that the oldest inhabitant becomes after his death the
Master of a home.10 The ancient Finns had the same belief.
The Masters of forests and water are also said by the people
to have originated in the spirits of those lost or drowned
there. Buriat tales relate how a hunter was once lost in the
forest, dying finally there of hunger, and how this unfor-
tunate man became the Forest Master.11 Similar tales are
told of the origin of the Water Master. These tales make
clear why the Masters of forests and water seek the company
of men, and in tales aspire to marriage and other ties with
them. We must not, however, from tales like those described,
draw the conclusion that the Masters of natural phenomena
and objects are generally the spirits of the dead.

The trees of the forest itself are imaged in the conception
which causes the Master of the forest to be seen as a being
of the height of a tree. As in Europe, this conception is
general among the Asiatic peoples. The Mongols’ Khan of
the forest and of forest animals (Mani-Khan) is a being like
a man of more than ordinary size.12 A long, dark, human-like
being is also the Forest Master of the Buriats, who halloes
and weeps in the forest, leads wanderers astray, but gives also
game to the hunter.18 The large-sized Forest Master of the
Tungus can at times take on the shape of a strange rock,
resembling a man or an animal, the forest dwellers fearing to
approach such rocks. A similar spirit is the Yakut Bajanai,
who, as the owner of the valuable game of the forests, is
called te rich,” Bai-Bajanai. As the Master of forest animals
it is also conceived as shaped like an animal. In the latter
shape it has been seen by hunters and gatherers of berries.
Sometimes, it is of the size of a year-old calf, with the muzzle
of a dog, little moist eyes, long whiskers, a grey coat and
forked hoofs. In some districts the Forest Master is said to

1
 ?-r
 PLATE LIII

Shattered Tomb of a Yakut Shaman with

Drum Hanging on an Adjacent Tree

%

(See page 481.)
 
 
 THE “ MASTERS” OF NATURE 467

have two sons, one living in the depths of the primeval forests
and giving valuable game to the hunter, such as sable foxes,
blue foxes, etc., the other dwelling on heaths and giving brown
foxes, squirrels, and other animals of smaller value.14

Many North Siberian tribes, for whom hunting is an im-
portant means of subsistence, have a habit, at the beginning
of the autumn hunting season, of sacrificing a part of the first
“bag” to the Forest Master. The Yakuts are even said to
have sacrificed black bulls to Bajanai. In sacrificing, the
Tungus, the Yakuts, and other northern peoples make an
image of the Forest Master, either by carving human features
on the trunk of a living tree or by shaping a billet of wood
roughly into a human-like shape. The mouth of the image
is smeared with the blood of the sacrifice. At each sacrifice,
a new image is made.15

Comparing the Yakut Forest Master with the corresponding
Russian spirit, Serosevskiy points out that beliefs brought by
the Russians have become connected with the former. Ac-
cording to his view, the Yakuts did not originally possess a
single spirit, comprising all forests, but each forest and thicket,
each separate tree even, had its own Master.16 It is also
related of the Buriats, that they do not beg for game from
one general Forest spirit, but separately, from each local
Forest Master.

Among the European Tatars and Chuvashes the Forest
spirit has already received a strictly defined appearance, which
proves a more developed, more stable plane of thought. Here
the Forest Master, corresponding to Russian spirits, is chiefly
an evil being, which is seldom worshipped. In this respect
it differs from the Forest spirits of the most northern primeval
forests of Siberia.

The evil Shurale of the Volga Tatars, which can increase or
diminish its height, has exceedingly large nipples on its
breasts, and kills its victims by tickling them, we have already
met with among the Volga Finns.17
 468   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

A corresponding evil Forest spirit is the Chuvash Obyda,
which wanders in the forest as a human being, but naked, long-
haired, with large nipples, and with feet turned in the wrong
direction. Having caused a man to lose his way, it tickles or
dances its victim to death. The poor animal on whose back
Obyda seats himself begins to run backward. According to
folk-tales this spirit itself wanders backwards. The evil Forest
spirit is also called the “ Half-human n (Ar-sori) by the
Chuvash.18 Possibly this name signifies a being known also
to the Votiaks, which has only half of a human body, viz., one
eye, one arm, and one leg. The Yakuts speak also of an evil
being with the same name, declaring it to live in an icy, mound
with a door-opening at the top.18

Worse than Shurale is the Tatar Albasta, which they believe
to dwell in desert spaces, bogs and chasms. This also is human
in shape but takes on the form of many objects belonging to
the forests or fields. It is said to kill people by suffocating
them.80 The Kirghis imagine Albasta as a great woman, with
a large head, and breasts reaching to the knee. She has long
and sharp nails on her fingers. The Kirghis believe her to
attack chiefly women who are enceinte, killing her victims by
suffocation. They relate tales of how a certain Kirghis once
saw her rinsing in a brook the lungs of a woman, whom she
had deprived of these.21

Like the Forest Master, the Steppe Master also tries to
lead travellers astray. The Mongols say that the Steppe
Master Albin lights will-o’-the-wisps by the wayside. When
the traveller, believing these to be the lights of dwellings,
steps aside from the road, he finds that he has been deceived
by Albin, who wishes him to lose his way.22

To the Forest spirits, the spirits of the forest animals are
closely related. The latter, and even each species of animal,
have, as has been said, their Masters or Khans, whom it is not
always easy to separate from the respective animals* Sacri-
fices are even made to these Masters. The Tungus sacrifice
 THE “ MASTERS” OF NATURE 469

to the Mammoth Master in order to find mammoth’s teeth.
The Reindeer Master is said to have received blood-sacrifices.
Especially do the people fear to offend the Bear Master, for
which reason this animal must not be called by its proper name.
Women are afraid to touch bear-flesh with their naked hands
and even the men have to treat the carcase of the bear with
due respect, its skeleton being preserved on an erection of wood
or branches, or, at least, its skull having to be hung up in a
tree.23

The peoples living on the banks of rivers or lakes speak
also of the Water Master. Each river, each lake, and each
water has its Master, say the Yakuts. Most often this is
imagined to be an anthropomorphic being, although it can also
take on other shapes. The fishers of North Siberia sacrifice
to it at the beginning of the fishing season in the spring. The
Yakuts are said to have then offered up, through the agency
of their shamans, a black bull, in order that the water-spirit
(Ukulan Tojon) might give fish in plenty. More often, fish
is sacrificed to the Water Master, sometimes also bread, salt or
gin.24 The Yenisei Ostiaks, who as a river and fisher people
are dependent in a great degree on the bounty of the water,
make images of the Water spirit.2'5

Although the spirits of the northern waters of Siberia are
anthropomorphic beings, whom the shaman can visit and who
choose wives and servants for themselves, from those drowned
in the water, they have yet no strictly defined, unchangeable
features. In many districts, however, the Russian Water
spirit and Rusalka, as among the Volga Turks, have had time
to settle in the rivers and lakes of Siberia. Especially among
the Yakuts does one meet with purely. Russian ideas. They
believe the Water spirits to rise on to the land in the time
between New Year’s Eve and Twelfth Night, when they
wander along the roads, bearing on the backs of oxen their
small children, of whom the Water spirits have many. While
wandering from place to place the Water spirits make different
 470   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

noises, the people gathering to listen to these at cross-roads,
openings in the ice, and near deserted huts. From what they
hear, they decide on the events of the ensuing year.26

As we have seen earlier, the Russians also believe the Water
spirits to wander on land at Christmas-time, until Twelfth
Night, when according to the Orthodox Church ceremonies
the Cross is lowered into the water, and they then return to
their homes. Probably, therefore, the belief in the wandering
abroad of the spirits of the drowned at Christmas-time has
reached the Yakuts together with these holy-days themselves.

Over a large area in Central and Northern Asia a belief
has been recorded, that in the lakes a bull dwells, which begins
to roar before a storm or any other great event. When on
frosty nights the ice begins to crack and rise, the water-bull is
said to be breaking it.27 Like the East European peoples, the
Yakuts and Yukagirs celebrate the departing of the ice with a
special ceremony. At such times they sacrifice food to the
water, sometimes firing their guns. With their offerings they
try to appease the Mother or Old Woman, as they call the
stream, that it may refrain from doing damage to their lands
during the spring floods.28

11
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:08:24 PM »


In Mongolian prayers, in which the birth of fire is related in
many different ways, it is said that fire came from a tree or
that it was born when in ancient times Heaven and Earth
separated.10

Whether fires of different origin have been considered to be
of unequal value does not appear from the sources at hand.
Besides fire caused by lightning, which is esteemed holier than
other fires, wood-fire or friction-fire has played an important
part in the expelling of diseases. The Yakuts are said to have
a custom, during an epidemic, of making a fire by rubbing two
pieces of dry wood together, this sort of fire being supposed
to have special protecting powers. The people, however, de-
clare that they have learned this custom from the Russians,
with whom epidemic diseases are also supposed to have come
into their country.11 The Tatars of Eastern Russia and the
Chuvash also use friction-fire as a kind of purifying remedy
during certain plagues either among people or cattle, and even
at other times in the hot summer. On some previously fixed
day the old fire in every home is put out and a great bonfire
is lighted by friction outside the village. Over this the people
spring in order to purify themselves and drive their cattle
through it. Thus cleansed, each peasant carries a brand of
“ new fire ” home.12

One might suppose this custom, known also to the Finno-
Ugric peoples of the Volga, to have been learned from the
Russians, as the Yakuts declare. But it appears from old
sources that certain Turco-Tatar peoples already in ancient
times used fire as a magic purifier. Byzantine Chronicles tell
that when the messengers of the Emperor Justinian arrived at
the court of the Turkish Great Khan at the springs of the
Irtysh river, the Khan could not receive them until they had
passed between two fires. The Tatars still observed this cus-
tom at the time when the Russians paid taxes to them. All
people, animals, or objects that in some way, e.g., by touching
some dead body, had become unclean, were thus purified.18
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

452

Whatever the origin of these customs may have been, the
mystic, and more especially the heavenly birth of fire, its
wonderful power and the part which it plays in the domestic
life of the most primitive peoples, resulted in the fact that
fire in general is esteemed holy. Many, of the peoples of
Central and Northern Asia have indeed worshipped fire.

When worshipping the fire burning on the hearth the Mon-
gols call it ££ Mother fire.” According to their ideas the
hearth is the sanctuary of the home and may on no account
be desecrated. The Altaic tribes, the Kirghis, the Yakuts and
other Turco-Tatar peoples also worshipped fire. The idea
that fire must be kept pure and adored as a deity is common
to all these and even to other North Siberian peoples.
Nothing unclean or evil-smelling may be thrown into it, and
nothing which could weaken its power or dim its brightness.
For this reason it is wrong to spit into the fire or to extinguish
it with water. It is also inadvisable to step over it unneces-
sarily or to hurt it with any sharp weapon. Plano Carpini
tells how the Mongolians deemed it a sin to hew wood in the
vicinity of a fire, or to take meat with a knife from a pot
under which a fire was burningj still more to put the knife
into the fire. The Yakuts believe that the fire, which ££ takes
as a gift the pine forest, consumes the damp wilderness, and
spends the night in dry trees,” understands speech and that it
is therefore not well to scold or speak ill of it.14

Fire is believed to need nourishment as well as tender care.
The pious master and mistress feed the fire on the hearth
every time they begin a meal. The first morsels of food, the
first spoonful of soup, the first cup of drink belong to the
Fire god. Especially, at family festivals must the fire on the
hearth be remembered. A fire-sacrifice is a special part of
the wedding rites with most peoples of the Altaic race,1* The
Chuvash bride brings ashes or a fragment of stone from her
parents1 hearth to her new home, this custom doubtless express-
ing the thought that the fire on the hearth is to go in heritage
 
 PLATE L

Mongol Shaman with His Drum

(See chapter XXL)

After photograph by S. Palsj.
 
 
 FIRE

453

from parents to children.16 We have already seen that the
Finno-Ugric peoples on the Volga observe rites akin to these.
In worshipping the fire in their new home, a young Mongol
couple sacrifice to it some yellow butter and a yellow-headed
sheep. Yellow as well as red, in sacrifices to the Fire god, is
intended to imitate the hue of the fire itself. The best sacri-
fices are those which intensify the burning of the fire, viz.,
butter, lard, gin, etc.17

A certain wedding-prayer, said beside the hearth, to some
degree explains the beliefs of the Mongols. It begins with
the following words: “ Mother Ut (Turco-Tatar word,
“fire”), Mistress of the fire, descended from the elms on
the tops of the Khangai-Khan and the Burkhatu-Khan moun-
tains. Thou, who wast born when Heaven and Earth parted,
who earnest forth from the foot-prints of Mother Ötygen
(“ Mother earth ”), thou creation of Tengeri-Khan. Mother
Ut, thy father is the hard steel, thy, mother the flint, thy
ancestors the elm-trees. Thy brightness reaches the heavens
and spreads over the earth. Fire, struck by the Heaven-
dweller, nursed by the Mistress Uluken. Goddess Ut, we
offer thee yellow butter and a yellow-headed white sheep.
Thine are this brave boy and the beautiful bride, the slender
daughter. To thee, Mother Ut, who art always looking up-
ward, we offer cups full of wine and# handfuls of fat. Give
luck to the son of the ruler (the bridegroom) and the daugh-
ter of the ruler (the bride) and all the wedding-folk. For this
we pray.”18

If fire is treated in an improper manner or left without food
it is believed to take vengeance by sending a kind of skin-
disease. In the worst case it burns the whole building.

There is no doubting the fact that the peoples of the Altaic
race worship fire in itself. “ Mother ” and other such words
are only names for the fire itself. Because of its numerous
flames the Altaic shaman calls it the “ Thirty4ieaded mother,
the Forty-headed virgin-mother.”19 In the prayers of the
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

454

Chuvash there appears beside the “ Mother fire ” a “ Father
fire.” The Yakuts and the Buriats also worship both a mascu-
line and a feminine Fire god. The former name them “ Old
Man Ulakhany and Mistress Sabaga,” the latter “ Lord Sa-
khadai and Mistress Sakhala.” Poetic denominations are fur-
ther “ the White-bearded Lord ” and “ White-haired Lady ”
of the Yakuts.20

Most Central and North Asian peoples speak in addition of
the Ruler or Master of fire, who, according to the Yakuts,
“lives right in the flames.”21 What they imagine him to be
like appears from their legends which tell that the master of
fire a eats raw wood,” that he has “ an ashen bed ” where “ the
pillow is a glowing coal and the coverlet fine ashes ” and that
“ the smoke is his breath.”22 They believe, however, that the
Master of fire can extricate himself from the fire and appear
in human shape. The Yakuts say that in a home where he
is often remembered with sacrifices, the Master of fire is fat
and thriving, but the Fire god of a mean and parsimonious
household is thin and withered.23 A Buriat legend relates how
a man who had the power of seeing gods and understanding
their speech once encountered two Masters of fire. One of
them, though the god of a poor house, was well fed and
dressed, but the other, the Fire master of a well-to-do house,
looked very poor and wretched. The latter complained of
having to live without .food in the power of a mean master
and mistress who at times even pierced his eyes by, poking the
fire with sharp irons. Because of this he threatened to punish
his master, and very soon the grand house of the rich man
was burnt down to the ground.24

Such tales, in which the Fire gods of different homes con-
verse together and tell each other of their life, are quite com-
mon, In the tales of the Ugrian Ostiaks every hearth has its
own “ Fire maid,” her outward appearance being said to show
how the fire has been treated in that home.26 Doubtless, these
tales, some of which have been recorded even in Eastern
 FIRE   4 55

Europe, originate from the conception that the fire on the
hearth must be tended and fed like a living being.

The Master of the fire may also appear to people before
a disastrous fire or any other catastrophe which threatens the
home. Then, also, the Fire god often takes on human shape.
The Yakuts see him in the form of a “ grey old man.”26 To
a certain Buriat he appeared as a great, red, and therefore
flame-coloured, man.27 The Buriats even make themselves
images of the Master of fire and keep them in a box near the
hearth. In homes in the Balagansk District one may some-
times see two human-shaped figures covered with red cloth,
of which the one represents the M Master,” the other the
“ Mistress ” of the fire. Two glass beads form their eyes j
the headdress, the hands and the hem of the garment are
covered with black sheepskin. The a Mistress ” has beads
for nipples and a tin ornament on her breast.28 The red and
the black in the image of the Fire god represent the colours
of the glowing coal and the soot.

Besides the part played by fire in domestic life, most, peoples
of the Altaic race have given it another important duty to ful-
fil— the conveying to the various gods of the sacrifices des-
tined for each. Thus every offering^which is put in the fire is
not intended to pacify, the fire itself. More especially when a
sacrifice is intended for some god of the upper spheres is fire
used as the medium. It is in this capacity of mediator between
man and the gods that fire is considered the most sacred, and
for this reason it is especially worshipped at sacrificial festivals.
The Finnish peoples of Eastern Russia also have this concep-
tion and the rites connected with it are met with among them.

If finally we attempt to compare the beliefs and customs
prevailing in the different districts peopled by the large Altaic
race, we find that these have not developed equally, being
richer and more various in some districts than in others. The
Tungus of the primeval forests of North Siberia are the most
backward in this respect. It is true that these also worship
 456   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

fire after a fashion, keeping it clean and refraining from hurt-
ing it, but the offering up of sacrifices to the fire is not deemed
so necessary by them as it is in Central Asia; and its use in
wedding rites, equally with the idea of fire as a conveyer of
sacrifices, is uncommon. We are therefore led to think that
the mighty and much adored Fire god of the other peoples
related to the Turks has developed under foreign influence and
if we further remember that the Indo-Iranian peoples from
ancient times have been zealous fire-worshippers and that their
beliefs and customs coincide exactly with those of the Central
Asian tribes, we cannot be unaware from whom the peoples
of the Altaic race have, at least in its more developed form,
inherited their fire-worship. Seeing that the Mongols, who in
their own language call the Fire god Galai-Khan (“ Ruler of
the fire ”)? or) like their kinsfolk the Buriats, Gali-Edzin
(“ Master of the fire”), use in their prayers the Turco-Tatar
name for fire, Ut, we can agree with Banzarov in his supposi-
tion that the Mongols learned to worship fire from the Iranians
through the Turkish tribes.29 This Iranian influence can also
be traced in the fire-worship of the Finno-Ugrians in their idea
of fire as a mediator of sacrifices, which conception does not
seem originally to have been general among the Ugrians or the
peoples of the Altaic race. Even at the present day, side by
side with the later sacrifices by fire we find the older custom,
known almost solely among the Northern peoples, of giving
sacrifices to the gods untouched.
 CHAPTER XVI

THE WIND

LIKE other phenomena of nature, the wind also was re-
garded as animated. Following the points of the com-
pass, the Central Asian peoples speak of four winds, which
arise at the “ four corners of the earth.”1 A stranger idea
is that the mountains are the home of the wind. The Yakuts
say the winds “ sleep ” on the mountains, whence they can be
called when needed by whistling.2 The Yakuts and the
Lamutes are said to have avoided loud conversation when pass-
ing by a high mountain, in order that the “ Master ” of the
mountain might not become incensed and send a storm to
hinder their journey.3 The Goldes believe the winds to come
from caves in the mountains, where the Wind spirit holds them
captive. A shaman can persuade this spirit either to open
these chasms, or keep them closed, according to whether wind
is needed or not.4 The Mongols call storms “ running-days,”
as they believe the Mountain spirit runs from mountain to
mountain during these times.6

Elsewhere than in Siberia, this belief is met with in moun-
tainous districts, having probably, its origin in observations made
from nature. The Lapps also believe windy and stormy
weather to arise out of the chasms in the fells. A certain fell
at Inari is called Piegga-oaivi (“ wind fell ”). Possibly, also,
the Finnish “birth of the wind” originates from the same
idea, the wind being said in this poem to have been born
“ between two rocks.”6

Among the Southern Turkish peoples a mythical idea of a
grey bull has been recorded, the breath of which gives birth
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

458

to the wind.7 The majority of peoples believe some spirit
to wander in the whirlwind.

Differing from ordinary, winds, according to the Buriats, is
the Zada, which has its own spirit, Zada-Sagan-Tengeri. By
Zada they mean a short, intermittent wind, occurring several
times on the same day.. Often, it brings with it rain or snow.
Generally, the Zada blows in the spring and the autumn.
Zada-weather may be brought about by men with the help of
a certain root, the Buriats believing that if one of these roots
is pulled or dug up out of the ground, the weather will begin
to change rapidly. Certain hunters, to whom this magic
method is known, make Zada assist them in their hunting.
Certain birds, also, such as hawks and swans, are said to know
the properties of the said root and to conjure forth a so-called
“ bird-Zada ” when migrating southward in the autumn.
Similarly, some of the bigger inhabitants of the forest, notably
the deer and the fawn, use this means for their own benefit
(“ deer-Zada”). It may also be brought about by the help
of a special red stone, called “ Zadan-ulan-shulun ” by. the
Buriats. Further, Zada is sometimes born when a thunderbolt
falls into the water, when nine days of this wind follow.8

This peculiar belief, met with also among the Kalmucks
and the Turkomans, has spread to the Yakuts. They say that
among the entrails of an animal a stone is sometimes found,
which possesses the magic power, if taken into the yard on a
calm summer day, of awakening a cold and severe wind.
These stones the Yakuts call Sata (=Buriat Zada).9
 
 PLATE LI

Mongol stone-heap on which each passer-by must
throw a stone as an offering in order to have a lucky
journey. (See page 470.)

After photograph by S. Palsi.
 
 
 CHAPTER XVII
THE EARTH

THE ALTAIC peoples early regarded the earth as being
an animated, conscious and comprehending being. Even
now the Central Asian peoples are afraid of being punished
if they offend the earth. According to the Soyots the digging
or the wounding of the earth with sharp instruments is a great
sin.1 The Altai Tatars declare the pulling up of plants out
of the earth to be as improper as the pulling out of the hair or
beard of a human being would be.2 With ideas such as these,
it is not to be wondered at that the nomads did not look with
a favourable eye on the pioneers of agriculture. The agri-
culturist Cain, according to the Semites, was also less pleasing
to God than the nomad Abel. Similar ideas were held, fur-
ther, by the American Indians when the first whites penetrated
into their territory.

As the producer of vegetation, etc., the earth was regarded
as a female being. As the sky, which renders the earth fruit-
ful, was called u the Father,” the earth, which gives birth, was
called “ Mother.” Already in the Orkhon stone inscriptions
it is written: u The sky above is our father, the earth beneath
is our mother, man is the child of both.” In the ancient tales
of the Mongols, the “ Blue sky ” and the u Brown earth ” are
two of the chief deities.3 The Yakuts believe that the a Earth
mother,” also called u Mistress ” (An-Darkhan-Khotun or
An-Alai-Khotun) acts both as the producer of vegetation and
as the birth-giver of children.4 The Tungus lay to the merit
of the earth, as Georgi points out, “ all that it brings forth.”6
The Mongols say that the sky gives life to beings, but that the
earth gives them their form.6 Thus the Earth mother becomes
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

460

also the deity of child-birth. As is well known, the ancient
peoples of Asia had this same idea.

Concerning sacrifices to the earth there exist very old re-
ports. The Chronicles of the Chinese relate that the Hunnu
and Tukiu peoples sacrificed to the earth.7 Marco Polo tells
us that the chief object of Mongolian worship was the Earth
god Natigai, to whom milk, kumiss and tea were sacrificed.
When sacrificing, the people prayed to this deity for fruitful-
ness. The name Natigai mentioned by Marco Polo is prob-
ably a corrupted form of the name Ötükan, which appears in
the Orkhon inscriptions as meaning the country of the old
Turks, worshipped by them as a special deity.8

Even to-day the agricultural peoples, such as the Buriats,
Tatars and Chuvashes, sacrifice to the Earth goddess. Gen-
erally, earth worship would seem to have gained in importance
in places where agriculture had obtained foothold. The
Buriats offer up a blood-sacrifice to the Earth spirit in the
autumn when field-work is over.9 The Chuvashes, like the
Volga Finns, sacrificed black,<c earth-coloured ” animals to the
Earth mother at their agricultural festivals. The most North-
ern Siberian peoples, however, such as the Tungus, do not
see the necessity of sacrificing to the earth, as in the life of this
hunting and fishing people the earth has not the same nourish-
ing value as among these others.

Doubtless the earth as such was worshipped, as the Mongol
prayer-name “ Brown earth ” shows. Illuminative are also
the following words in the Yakut sacrifice ceremonies: “ Ruler
of vegetation (literally 4 grass-tree’), earth moisture, eat, en-
joy (Ot-mas itsita, sir-daidy siga, asan> sian)”10 Later, the
imagination of the people, especially in tales, created certain
anthropomorphic features for the Earth mother. Chuvash
fancy created an Earth old man to accompany, the Earth
mother.11 The Buriats imagine the spirit of the earth as a
whole (Daida-Delkhe-Edzhin) to be an old grey-bearded man,
and his wife a white-haired old woman.12. Generally, it seems
 THE EARTH   461

to have been exceedingly difficult to give anthropomorphic
features to the Earth mother.

12
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:07:22 PM »

441

Altaic one, but, as its geographical area already denotes, comes
from China. As we know, the Chinese and, following their
example, the Japanese, imagined the Thunder god to have the
shape of a peculiar dragon, which is represented in their art
in many different ways.

Both the above mentioned conceptions, the bird and the
winged dragon, are evidently born of the swift movement of a
thunder-storm and especially of the sudden flash of the light-
ning. Even where human features are attributed to the
Thunder god, he is often regarded as a being with wings. The
Ostiaks of Demyanka call him a the Winged old man.” w

Among the Buriats a number of tales have been found
relating how some human hero becomes transformed into a
Thunder god by dressing himself in winged garments. One
of these tales tells of a clever archer who came to heaven alive.
On the earth he had had a wife and three sons with whom he
lived happily until he became old. One day he told his sons
that his days were numbered and asked them to prepare him
a garment and saddle a horse. After wishing good-bye to
his family he mounted the horse and departed. Coming to
the meeting of three roads he chose the middle one, which led
to the sky. There he arrived at an empty house where he was
soon joined by four young men. These feasted the old man
and asked him to remain there as guardian of that heavenly
abode j at the same time they forbade him to open a chest which
stood in the room or to put on a winged garment hanging on
the wall. When he was alone, however, the man became so
curious that he once opened the mystic chest and saw there
strange, different-coloured stones shaped like arrow-points.
Happening at the same time to turn his eyes to the earth,
where at that moment a person was stealing vegetables from his
neighbour’s garden, he became so angry, that he threw a red
stone at the thief. A little later the four masters of the house
returned home and scolded the old man for having set a whole
village on fire because of one wicked man. Still later on,
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

442

the old man conceived a desire to try on the winged clothes.
When he had dressed himself in them he acquired a magic
power of flying and thus he became the god of Thunder.11

There is another version of the same tale in a slightly dif-
ferênt form. A man who had lost his way while wandering in
great forests came to a place where a flight of stairs led up from
the earth to the sky. Ascending the stairs he arrived at a fine
house glittering and shimmering with gold and silver, where
the old god of Heaven, Esege-Malan-Tengeri, was sitting.
Hearing how the man had come to Heaven, God was delighted
and begged him to be his servant, the man consenting to his
request. One day God urged him to look down and see how
people were living on the earth. On doing so, he saw a man
leading a sheep stolen from another’s flock, and he became so
angry that he seized one of the stones which God kept in a
chest and threw it on the earth. Instantly, God sent him down
after his stone, so that he could see it fall on the earth as a
great flash of lightning that slew the thief. From that day he
remained with the god of Heaven and served him as the
Thunderer.18

Notwithstanding all these tales, which evidently belong to
a world^wide group of myths, the Buriats have no clearly-
defined, anthropomorphic god of Thunder. They often call
the rumble of thunder C£ the song of heaven.”13 As they have
now, as mentioned earlier, a great number of different Ten-
geris, they cannot tell which of them is at the precise time the
Thunderer. Therefore, when necessary, they consult a magi-
cian, sometimes even nine shamans, who endeavour to find out
which god, one belonging to the eastern or one belonging to the
western group, is the raiser of the particular storm. One of
the mightiest Thunder gods is Asan-Sagan-Tengeri, who fights
evil spirits with his fiery arrow.14

The Yakuts, on the contrary, have quite a distinct Thunder
god whom they call Ulu-Tojon (“Great Lord”) or Syga-
Tojon (“ Lord with the axe ”). Frequently he is only named
 THUNDER'

443

u the Thunderer.” According to one source “ the Lord with
the axe” lives in the eighth heaven. Other sources speak
separately of the gods of Thunder and of Lightning. In such
cases the Yakuts call the Thunderer “ Bold Screamer ” and the
Lightning-maker “ the Lord with the axe.” Both are sup-
posed to pursue demons and evil spirits. In order to rid
their homes of the evil spirits which endeavour to hide
themselves there when a thunder-storm threatens, the
Yakuts smoke them out by burning pieces of a tree struck
by lightning, crying at the same time: “The Bold Screamer
shrieked, the Lord with the axe moved! Away, away! ” They
then throw the bits of wood far out on the meadow. Thunder-
bolts, which the people believe they find in the earth, are
treasured in the houses as important talismans against light-
ning.15 The Goldes call old stone weapons found in the
ground “ thunder-axes.” 16

The Yakut “ Lord with the axe,” who pursues demons, is
most probably, like the corresponding figures in European
myths, derived from the ancient civilized peoples of Asia.

Of another origin also is the other conception of the god
of Thunder, met with already among the Finns, according to
which the Thunder god is a skilful archer. The Altai Tatars
tell of a mighty hero whose bow is the rainbow and whose
arrow the lightning.17 In some Ostiak districts the rainbow is
explained to be the Thunder god’s bow and ancient stone
weapons found in the ground his arrows, which he shoots in
order to kill the Forest spirit hiding in the trees.18

Generally the peoples of the Altaic race do not speak of
the rainbow as the Thunder god’s weapon, nor do they call
it the thunder-bow. Very common is the fancy that the
rainbow is a kind of being that drinks water. The Tatars
have probably transmitted this idea to the Yenisei Ostiaks,
who call the rainbow:   “The thunder drinks water.”19

What this animated water-drinker, as the Votiaks also call it,
really is, does not appear from the beliefs of the Turco-Tatar
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

444

peoples. On the other hand the East European peoples, ac-
cording to whom the rainbow sucks water from seas, lakes and
rivers, sprinkling it anew on the earth as rain, imagine it to
be a kind of giant snake. The Esthonians say that it has the
head of an ox, which it lowers down to a river, emptying it
of water.20 Could this be the Vrtra or Ahi (“ snake ”) of the
Veda} from whose power the Thunder god Indra releases the
waters?

The Yakuts believe that the rainbow can also raise people
from the ground. A tale relates how it once lifted up a girl
in the District of Verchoyansk and set her down again near
Irkutsk.21

Both the Yakuts and Buriats call the rainbow also “the
urine of the she-fox.”22 The southern Tatar tribes have
several names for it, such as tc rainbelt,” “ the half-bow of the
pot,” “ God’s sword” (Caucasus). The Kirghis name, “the
old woman’s sheep-halter,” is explained by the following tale:
A certain man had two wives who were always quarrelling.
The mother-in-law cursed the older, who had three sons, so
that she fled to the heavens with her sons and her cattle, and
now tethers her sheep to the rainbow.23

The conception of the rainbow as the weapon of the Thunder
god seems thus to be quite local to Middle and Northern Asia,
where it occurs sporadically. Another tale written down some-
where in the district of the Altai belongs to a still more limited
area. It tells of a camel moving in the sky with three persons
on its back. The first beats a drum, whence the rumbling of
thunder, the second waves a scarf, whence the lightning, the
third pulls at the reins, causing water to run from the camel’s
mouth, whence the rain.24 In other places it is said that a great
shaman beats a drum in the sky when it thunders. The latter
opinion, though only occasionally met with, belongs naturally
to Siberia, the land of shamanism.

The Tatars, like many other of the peoples of the world,
imagine the lightning, which for a moment draws a livid,
 
 PLATE XLIX

Shaman Drums from the Minusinsk
District

(See pages 287, 520.)
 j.
 i

Sr

I

•• I
 THUNDER   445

winding streak of light across the sky, to be a fiery snake fall-
ing down from Heaven.25 The same idea has been earlier met
with in a Finnish poem on the origin of fire.

The most northerly peoples of Siberia, with the exception of
The Yakuts, do not sacrifice to the Thunder god. Some, e.g.,
the Yenisei Ostiaks, bid him during a storm pass by quietly
without raising a tempest. Records of Thunder worship are
found more among other Siberian peoples. Old Chinese
chronicles relate that the Northern Uigurs fear the thunder,
and cry out and shoot towards the sky at every crash. They
then leave the place and separate. The following spring they
assemble again at the spot where the lightning struck and
slaughter a ram there. A certain Persian historian mentions
that the Mongolians were greatly afraid of thunder and poured
milk and kumiss on the ground, begging it not to hurt their
dwellings or their cattle. It has been a custom with the Tatars
of the Altai to assemble village by village on high mountains,
when the first roll of thunder is heard in spring, and to sprinkle
milk towards the four points of the sky.26

Special attention is awakened by the thunder when it hap-
pens to kill a human being or a domestic animal. Such victims
of the lightning are regarded as sacred and so too is the spot
where the lightning has struck. According to the Buriats,
people and animals slain by lightning must always be buried
in the air upon a platform built on four posts. If the light-
ning strikes a house, the house must at once be removed to
another place, or certain rites, called “ the raising,” have to be
observed, the intention of which is the sending of the thunder-
bolt back into the sky. Unless this be done danger is be-
lieved to threaten. These rites, which must take place on the
third day after the thunder-storm, are conducted by. a magician
and his eight assistants, who ride on horseback three times
round the dwelling in question, stopping before the door at
every round. The magician has a branch of a silver-fir in
his hand, the others a drinking-cup. While the magician re-
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

446

peats a prayer his assistants sprinkle liquid from their cups.
The most important of these rites seems to be the raising of a
felt carpet spread before the tent, on which some article re-
sembling or intended to represent a thunderbolt has been laid.
a The raising,” from which the ritual gets its name, is per-
formed by the eight assistants. Finally, molten tin is dropped
into a liquid to test by the shapes thus obtained whether the
raising has been successful. If the tin, on falling into a basin
containing wine or milk, forms into a single lump, the sign
is favourable.27

Exceedingly strange is the fancy of the Buriats that the
Tengeris who are mentioned as the senders of thunderbolts
sometimes pour down from the sky urak (the a first-milk,”
differing in colour from other milk given by a cow after
calving). Although many such Tengeris are mentioned, e.g.,
Khan-Budal-Tengeri, Urak-Sagan-Tengeri, Kharan-Budal-
Tengeri (budd} a to let down ”), of which the last mentioned
is fancied to belong to the black, be., the eastern Tengeris, it
is probable that all these names originally meant one and the
same being. According to tales, the urak dropped down from
the sky is a thick yellowish-white liquid. The person who re-
ceives some of this afirst milk” during a thunder-storm is
deemed very fortunate and is believed to remain rich for ever.
It is, however, an extremely rare event for a person to receive
urak. When a Buriat perceives that he has been the recipient
of special heavenly favour, urak appearing sometimes in his
milk-foods, he turns to the magician, who witnesses the fact
and examines from which Tengeri the urak has come. The
liquid is then poured into a vessel made of birch-bark and
placed on a high place, to prevent it from becoming defiled on
the earth. The Buriats believe that the urak can rise into the
sky again. According to the common custom, it must always,
like a thunderbolt, be returned to heaven.28

This urak> which falls from the sky during a thunder-storm
and must immediately be sacrificed to its sender again, reminds
 THUNDER

447

one of the Indo-Iranian tales about Haoma or Soma which an
eagle brings down from the sky. The Soma, sometimes called
“ first milk ” in the Rgveda3 was originally the favourite drink
of Indra, the god of Thunder. It provides the “ Bearer of
thunderbolts ” with giant powers for his great deeds. Doubt-
less, the eagle itself, which, according to tales, procured this
drink for its master, was the bird of Indra. Compared with
Indo-Iranian legends, the beliefs of the Buriats seem to repre-
sent a more primitive standpoint. On the ground of these
tales we may conjecture that the Indo-Iranians, like the peoples
of Northern Siberia, orginally regarded thunder as a giant
bird resembling an eagle. The fact that the liquid brought
down from the sky by the Thunder bird is sacrificed to the
Thunder god, may easily have given rise to an idea that there
are two separate beings, of which the one brings and the other
receives the Soma.

In a Yakut tale about how the son of Ulu-Tojon fought
with a giant, even the thunder-bolt seems to appear personi-
fied. The tale begins with the description of a terrible storm
and then goes on to relate how “ suddenly pitch-black darkness
covered the earth, a frightful roar, louder than the strongest
peal of thunder, was heard, and at the same time a man three
fathoms long, made half of fire, half of iron, came flying and
twirling down in a mighty, whirlwind. He sank over a yard
deep into the earth, but bounced up again and stepped before
the giant.”29

That the Thunder god has not so prominent a place among
the nomads, hunters, and fishers of Northern Siberia as in the
mythology of the agricultural peoples of Nearer Asia, India
and Europe is explained by the fact that the life of the farmers
is in a much greater degree dependent on weather and rain.
There are, it is true, even in the districts of the Altai, certain
persons and even families, whose duty it is to bring about rain
or drought as necessary, but these rainmakers (Jadatshy.) do
not seem to appeal to any special Thunder god, but to the god
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

448

of Heaven in general (Kaira-Khan), or to sundry gods living
at the springs of certain rivers, who are believed to cause rain.
Extremely famous in this respect are Mordo-Khan and Abakan-
Khan, who are said to live at the spring of the Abakan river.30

The Buriats also speak of a separate Rain-god, Khuran-
Nojon (“the Lord of Rain”), who is believed to have nine
water-barrels in heaven. When he opens only one of them,
a three days’ rain ensues.31 There is no information, how-
ever, as to whether this god has ever been worshipped with
sacrifices.
 CHAPTER XV
FIRE

WIERE did fire first appear to me, what is its purpose
and its power, who has given it birth? ” So cries in a
Yakut tale a hero, supposed to be the ancestor of this tribe,
arriving at last at the conclusion that fire is the son of Yryn-
Ai-Tojon who sits on a milk-white throne to which three flights
of silver stairs lead up.1 The belief that the first fire came
down from heaven is very common among the peoples of the
Altaic race.

Tales gathered from different peoples show the origin of
this belief. The Tungus told me that the Thunder bird
brought down fire from the sky to earth. A fire caused by
lightning is considered sacred by them and they dare not put
out a forest-fire which has been lighted from Heaven. Among
the Yakuts also the fancy is most common that the Thunder
god Ulu-Tojon gave people the first fire.2 The Buriats call
the god of Fire, who was also the first sender of fire, Galta-
Ulan-Tengerij he is further the god of heat and drought, who
a dries up the growing grass to the roots and the running
rivers with their springs,” and the sender of the lightning,
who sets on fire all that he strikes.3 The Altai Tatars declare
that mankind originally, lived on vegetables and fruits and
therefore neither needed fire nor missed it, but with the
change in their manner of nourishing themselves fire became
necessary for the preparing of food. It was then that Ülgen
took two stones, a white one and a black one, and struck them
together so that the spark which flew from the sky to the earth
set fire to the dry grass. From this man learned to strike
fire.4 Through the mouth of the Buriat shaman, fire declares
 450

SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

itself to be “ the middle son of the day-sky, the youngest son
of the night-sky.”5

Certain other North Siberian peoples explain the origin of
fire in the same way. The Ostiaks on the Yenisei give a more
detailed account of how their ancestors received fire from
lightning. The lightning kindled a tree, and some great
shaman taught the people to make use of the fire. At first a
great fire was kept burning, from which everyone could borrow
a flame. Later on, fire-steel and tinder were placed beside it,
and fire was thus transferred to these objects.6

In some tales about the origin of fire there figures also an
inventor of fire, often an animal. In Buriat tales this wise
animal is the porcupine, which has also in other ways already
figured as an inventor. In the beginning, it is told, neither
gods nor men could make fire, with one exception — the Porcu-
pine, which was then a human being. One day a crowd had
gathered round the Porcupine to hear the secret of fire-making.
But the young maidens, seeing the strange shape of Porcupine,
began to laugh, and this angered him so much that he decided
to tell his secret only to his own wife, and even to her only
against a promise of silence. But the hawk, whom the gods
had sent out to steal his secret, happened to hear Porcupine
explaining to his wife where flintstone was to be found and
how steel could be made, with which two articles it was easy
to strike fire, and the hawk told the secret to the gods. From
these men learned the art of making fire. Later, the descen-
dants of Porcupine became porcupines.7

In the tales of the Altai Tatars the frog advises Ülgen, who
is in perplexity as to where men could get the necessities for
striking fire, that “the mountains contain stones and the birch
tinder.” 8 The Mongols say: “ Iron is the father of fire and
stone its mother.”9 The above tales give thus two different
explanations: fire has come down from heaven with the light-
ning, or its spark has sprung from a stone. Both fancies are
also met with in Finnish poems on the origin of fire.
 FIRE   451

13
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:06:31 PM »

THE PLEIADES

We have mentioned before that some peoples imagine the
Pleiades to be air holes, a ventilator, or a sieve through which
streams a cold draught from the upper air. With others this
constellation has suggested a group of animals, The most
northern peoples of Siberia call it a bird’s nest, or a duck’s nest
(Yakuts, Voguls, Koriaks, etc.). Some Central Asian peoples
call the Pleiades “monkeys” (metshit) or “monkey” {met-
shift). With this unexpected fancy, in a district where monkeys
are unknown, stories are also connected.

The Altai Tatars relate that in olden times Metshin lived
upon the earth. It was then terribly cold on the earth, and for
this reason the camel and the cow determined to kill him.
 THE STARS   431

Once, when he was hiding in the ashes of a log-fire and the
camel had lifted his foot to crush him, the cow remarked:
“ Thy foot is too soft, let me try with my hard hoof.” The
camel stepped aside and let the cow stamp with its hoof into
the ashes. Metshin was trodden in pieces, but through the
cleft of the cow’s hoof the pieces escaped and flew into the
sky, where they now twinkle as six little stars.82

A variant of the tale is that as long as Metshin was on the
earth it was exceedingly, hot, but since the Pleiades rose into
the sky the weather on the earth has grown colder.53

In connection with this tale, the Pleiades are mostly imagined
to be a great insect. The Kirghis say that Urker was a great
green insect that lived in the grass and ate cattle, especially
sheep, for which it had a great liking. The camel and the
cow grew angry and determined to kill it, but it escaped
through the cleft of the cow’s hoof into the sky. In the
summer, when Urker cannot be seen in the sky, it is said to
have come on the earth. If it alights in a watery district, the
winter will be bad, but if in a dry spot, the Kirghis expect a
good winter.54

In the district of the Altai the carrying-off of a star is con-
nected with this tale. The Great Bear, which here appears as
a mighty Khan, could not endure that Metshin should live on
the earth as a great and wicked insect which ate up human
beings and animals. Not knowing how he could destroy the
monster, he asked his horse for advice. The horse replied:
a I will crush him to powder with my hoof.” The cow, hap-
pening to hear this, hurried to the ice where the insect was
resting and stamped it into pieces with her foot. When the
pieces escaped through the hoof to the sky the Khan managed
to catch only one which he took with him. Metshin, which is
now bereft of one of its stars, ever angrily pursues the Great
Bear.65

A belief that the Pleiades originally formed one star, which
afterwards was parted into many pieces, is suggested by many
 4.32   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

of the tales connected with this constellation from different
parts of the globe, in which some creature is crushed into
pieces. The idea, also, that the Pleiades formerly, consisted
of seven stars but now number only six is comparatively
common.

VENUS

Of the planets Solbon (Turco-Tatar, Tsholbon— Venus),
which a can be seen in the morning and in the evening,” plays
in the tales of the Buriats a considerable part. This star is
said to be a famous horse-lover, who rides over the sky lasso
in hand. He has in his possession a great troop of horses,
watched over by a horse-herd named Dogedoi or Toklok. The
Buriats consider Solbon to be the patron-god of their own
horses, and for this reason they pray to and worship him. In
the spring, when they cut the manes and tails of their horses
and set the mark of the owner on the colts, they prepare a
sacrifice for Solbon, cooking meat and cream-porridge (sala-
mat) and making home-distilled spirits (tarasun) in his
honour. The wine they throw into the air for Solbon and his
groom Toklok, but the meat and the porridge they put into
the fire. They then begin their own meal. In addition they
have a custom of dedicating live horses to Solbon, as to many
other gods, which horses are then no longer used in human
service.06 Georgi says the Buriats believe a that the gods
and especially the shepherd-god Sulbundu (sic!) ride on
these in the night when watching over the other horses, and
for this reason they are believed to be covered with perspira-
tion in the mornings.” 67 Tales also tell how Solbon’s groom
teaches people to tend their horses well. Sometimes he in-
forms them beforehand which persons will prosper with their
horses during their lifetime. The Buriats regard as a good
omen the birth of a colt in the autumn after Solbon has ap-
peared in the sky, believing such a colt to become a very, good
horse afterwards.®8
 'I

is

i

{

I

!
 PLATE XLVIII

Shaman Drums from the Minusinsk
District

Both the outer and inner sides are shown, They
are furnished with drawings and figures on the skin
of the drum, and with hand-grip, bells and metal
symbols on the inner side. (See pages 287, 520.)
 
 
 THE STARS

433

A certain tale relates how once when Solbon travelled to the
western sky, his groom Dogedoi left the horses untended for
three days, going out for a walk with his dog Rurto. On re-
turning, the groom saw to his surprise that the wolves had
scattered his horses and even devoured some of them. Just as
he was about to gather them together Solbon returned from
the western sky and seeing the disorder punished his groom
severely.59

It is easy to understand how Venus, as the morning and eve-
ning star, should have suggested the idea of a shepherd tending
the flocks of stars. As a ruler over the stars, this planet ap-
pears also in the tales of the North American Indians. The
Yenisei Ostiaks imagine Venus to be the oldest among the
stars, and to guard them from dangers and watch that they
do not disappear before their time. For this reason it is ££ first
and last ” in the sky.60 Even the ancient Babylonians speak of
the heavenly £C sheep ” that I star tended.

But whence have the Mongols obtained their horseman and
his groom? One might assume that this horse-loving nomad
tribe had of itself begun to imagine the stars to be a great
flock of horses. And yet the Indo-Iranian peoples also seem
to have had the same idea. Probably, as Oldenberg says, the
twin gods Asvin (“the horsemen ”) of the Veda were origi-
nally the morning and the evening stars. The gods Asvin were
worshipped together with the god of dawn in the early, morn-
ing and they are mentioned also as a the givers of horses.”

With this same star the Buriats connect a tale of the robbing
of a bride. Solbon is said to have three wives, the third being
a former Buriat girl, whom the hero carried off just as she
was about to celebrate her wedding. Solbon descended to the
earth, seized the girl, who was far-famed for her beauty,
from the midst of the wedding-guests and took her with him
to the sky. By his two first wives Solbon had no children, but
the maid whom he carried off from the earth bore him a son.61

With the Yakuts Venus is feminine. They relate that she
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

434

is a beautiful maiden whom Ürgel (the Pleiades) loves.
When these two meet in the sky it is a bad omen, foretelling
storm and violent weather.62

The Kirghis say that “ the Pleiades are the moon’s son, and
the evening star the moon’s daughter.”63

THE MILKY WAY

The imagination of the child of nature was early exercised
also by the distant spectacle of the Milky Way. The most com-
mon name for it in the Turco-Tatar languages is “the birds’
way” (Turkoman, Kirghis, etc.) or “the wild ducks’ way”
(Volga-Tatar, Chuvash, Votiak and Cheremiss), to which the
corresponding term in Finnish and Esthonian is “ the birds’
road ” and in Lapp “ the birds’ stair ” (lodderaiddaras). What
the origin of this comparatively old name is, appears from the
beliefs of the Ostiaks and the Yoguls: these say that the Milky
Way, which they also name “ the ducks’ road ” or “ the south-
ern birds’ road,” is the guide of birds of passage in the night-
time. The Esthonians explain the origin of this name in the
same manner.64

Many other fancies have also been awakened by the Milky
Way. We have already remarked that the Buriats and the
Yakuts call it “the seam of the sky.” The Samoyeds of the
District of Turukhansk call it the “ back of the sky,.” 65 These
names evidently result from a conception of the sky as a kind
of tent-roof.

In some Buriat districts, as mentioned, a tale has been
recorded in which the Milky Way is said to have come into
being when Manzan-Görmö milked herself and then threw
away the milk.

In North-East Siberia the Milky Way is imagined to be a
large river flowing across the sky.60 This idea has perhaps its
origin in China, where the idea of a “ heavenly river ” is also
met with. Like the Japanese, the Koreans tell of two stars who
 THE STARS

435

loved one another and whom God, because they neglected their
duties for the sake of their love, separated by placing the one
in the uttermost east, the other in the uttermost west. In
addition the broad heavenly river flows between them. Once
a year, in the seventh month, these lovers are said to meet,
the birds building a bridge for them over the river.67

With the Caucasian Tatars, the Turks, and many of the
Balkan peoples, a tale of Persian origin is connected with the
Milky Way, the tale telling of a man who stole straw or hay,
intending to hide his booty in the sky, but, as he journeyed,
sprinkled so much on the way that his path can yet be traced
in the sky. For this reason these stars are also called athe
straw-thief’s track.”68

Names of later origin are the a pilgrims5 way to Mecca55 of
the Mohammedan Tatars, and the “ Burkhans5 road55 of the
Mongols. The Yakuts call the Milky Way “ God’s foot-
prints.” He is said to have walked across the sky in creating
the earth.69 More common is “the ski-track of the son of
God,”70 behind which name there is perhaps hidden some
hunting-story like the one written down among the Ostiaks
and the Voguls. When God (Numi-Törem), as the Voguls
relate, had created the earth, he sent a six-footed stag upon it.
An ordinary human being could not hunt this quick-footed
animal, and so he begged the Forest spirit to pursue it. But
even for this being, who glided at a terrific rate on his skis,
it was not easy to overtake his six-legged prey. When at last
he succeeded in killing the animal, which was so big that its
body “ reached over thirty rivers,” the Forest spirit broke off
the two additional feet, saying to his father Numi-Törem:
“ Change this animal with the power of thy word into a four-
footed beast, as, seeing that the work of chasing and killing it
has been difficult even for me, how should an ordinary human
being have the strength necessary for it.” This hunt was re-
flected in the sky. The stag became the Great Bear, in which
are to be seen the beast’s head, its two eyes, its forefeet and
 436   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

hindfeet, and in addition the chopped-off stumps of the other
two feet. The Milky; Way is “the ski-track of the Forest
spirit.” Even the Forest spirit’s house can be seen in the sky in
a shape which the Voguls call “the complete house of the
Forest spirit,” (i.e., the Pleiades). In this story also, the hero
who attacks the Great Bear is from the Pleiades.71

The Ostiaks on the Irtysh River tell of a man named
Tungk-Pok. who once when he was in the sky undertook to
hunt this six-footed stag. Having chased it across the sky on
his magic skis the hero overtook it at the mouth of the Irtysh,
where the stag threw itself on to the earth. The hunter did
not succeed in killing it, but could only cut off its two hind-
most feet. He therefore declared: “ Men will become more
and more small and weak, how can they then overthrow a six-
footed beast, which even for me is very difficult? May stags
and other animals from this day onwards have only four
feet! ” The stag continued its flight towards the north until
the hero again reached it near Obdorsk. The animal being
then dead-tired, it begged God to save it from the hands of the
hunter. God took pity on the stag and changed it into a great
stone, but, as a memento of this heavenly chase, the Ostiaks
see in the Milky Way two parallel ski-tracks (“ the ski-track
of Tungk-Pok” or “the way of Tungk-Pok”) and in the
Great Bear a “ stag.”

The Ostiaks of Vasyugan call this hunter “ the son of the
god of Heaven.”72

THE SIGNS OF A TWELVE-DIVISIONED PERIOD

In connection with fancies relating to the stars it may be
mentioned that the peoples of Central Asia divide time into
periods of twelve, usually calling each of these "units of time
by. the following animal names: mouse, cow, tiger, hare,
dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, cock, dog and sow.7*
Images of these animals in relief can often be seen decorating
 THE STARS

437

the edges of the circular metal mirrors (toll) hanging with
other magic objects on the costume of the shamans and used
as instruments of sorcery. Other objects, also decorated with
the same images, for reckoning time can be seen here, most
of which have been brought
from China where, as in other
parts of East Asia, this method
of keeping account of time still
prevails. From the Chinese
pictures it will be seen that the
animal-images there are the
same as those of the Mongols.

Only the sign of the mouse is
called a rat by the Chinese, and
that of the hare a rabbit. Al-
though these animal signs are
mainly the same with the dif-
ferent peoples of Central Asia, their order varies somewhat.
Thus the Eastern Soyots are said to reckon the years in the
following order — dragon, tiger, cow, sow, monkey, mouse,
dog, frog, snake, cock, horse and hare.74

The Buriats, who begin their twelve-year and twelve-month
periods with the mouse, say that they really ought to begin with
the camel, but that the camel has lost this honour. Light is
thrown on the subject by the following tale. The camel and
the mouse quarrelled over which of them should rule over the
first year of a period or the first month of a year. In the end
they decided to solve the dispute in such a way that the one
who first saw the rays of the rising sun should call the year or
month in question by his name. The camel took his stand
looking towards the east, but the mouse climbed on his hump
and from there watched the west. At dawn the camePs eye
had not yet caught the sun when the mouse had already seen
the reflection of its rays on the western mountains. For this
reason the first year and also the first month of the year are

Fig. i 6. Signs of a Twelve-Divi-
sioned Period
 438   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

called after the mouse. From this tale the Buriats have a
proverb: “ In believing himself great the camel lost a year.” 78
Signs of animals representing a period of time divisible by
twelve are already to be found side by side with the signs, of
the Zodiac on the marble tablets of the ancient Egyptians,
found in the beginning of the last century. A period of twelve
hours, which were represented by animal figures of the same
description, was called Dodekaoros by the ancient Greeks.
These pictures, which to some extent resemble the time-marks
of the Mongols, are mentioned in the following order: cat,
dog, snake, crab, ass, lion, goat, ox, hawk, monkey, ibis and
crocodile. There can be no doubt that these time-marks, which,
like the twelve-divisioned period itself, seem to have spread
into East Asia from the west, are closely connected with the
corresponding ideas of these civilized peoples. Later Greek
texts call this method of reckoning time “Chaldean,” which
points to Babylonian astrology. The signs of the twelve-
divisioned period are thus most probably explained by the
twelve signs of the Zodiac.
 CHAPTER XIV
THUNDER

LIKE most of the North American Indian tribes, the
peoples in the farthest north of Siberia imagine thunder
to be something resembling a large and mighty bird. The
Forest Tungus speak of it as such and explain that the rustle of
this mighty bird’s wings is heard on the
earth, when it flies, as the terrific rumbling
of thunder. The Tungus never offer up
sacrifices to this being, nor do they wor-
ship it in any other way, but when weav- •
ing a magic spell they make a wooden
image of a bird to represent it, fixing this
outside their tent at the head of a long
pole. The Thunder bird is believed to
protect the soul of the shaman, who in
his flight through the air may encounter

many dangers.   The shaman can even Fig. *7- Thé Tun-

. ,   i .   . .   .   gus Thunder-bird

send the Thunder bird against his enemies

should he deem it necessary. The Tungus see a proof of the
gigantic powers of this bird of the upper air in trees struck by
lighting, which it has torn to shreds with its a claws of stone.”1
A similar conception of the nature of thunder is found
among the Chukchee and all the primitive peoples of the Dis-
trict of Turukhansk. The Eastern Samoyeds liken the
Thunder bird to a duck, whose sneezing is the cause of rain.
It is also imagined as the Iron bird, probably on account of the
din it can create.2 The Yurak Samoyeds of Northern Russia,
who make themselves an image of thunder in the form of a
goose, fancy, like the Tungus, that the Thunder bird attends
 440   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

and protects the soul of the shaman. A certain shaman is even
said to have wandered two or three years in the air accompanied
by this giant bird.3 The hero in a Yakut tale says: “ Why
should I not change myself into a bird and pretend to be the
ruler of rain and thunder.”4

In the beliefs of the Tremyugan Ostiaks, thunder appears
as a black bird resembling a grouse and screaming very loudly.5

The Mongol tribes, many Altai peoples, and some Eastern
Tungus tribes, such as the Goldes, believe that the phenomenon
of thunder is caused by .a large flying dragon. The Mongols
say that this dragon has wings and a body covered with fish
scales. At times it lives in the water, at times flies in the air.
When it moves in the sky the rumbling of thunder follows.
In some places the rumbling is explained to be the dragon’s
voice and every movement of its tail to be a flash of lightning.
It never comes sufficiently near to the earth for people to see
it, and in the winter it hides in lofty mountains where the
hoar-frost on the crags is caused by its breath. Others say that
it winters in dense forests, over which a perpetual mist then
hovers, and a third opinion is that it spends the winter in the
sea.6

The peoples of the Altai say that lightning and thunder
follow when the dragon strikes two stones against each other,
of which one is in its mouth, the other in its hand. It is also
told that a certain Tengeri rides on the back of this monster,
chasing a striped or flying squirrel.7 The Tengeri desires to
wreak vengeance on the squirrel, which, while in Heaven, tore
out the eye of God’s youngest son. It is dangerous during a
thunder-storm to stand under a tree in which a squirrel is
hiding, as the lightning always strikes such trees. This belief
is also common among the Buriats.8 The Goldes say that the
dragon pursues evil spirits who will hide anywhere when a
thunder-storm arises.9

This conception, in which the Creator of thunder is intro-
duced in an exceedingly mythological shape, is not an original
 THUNDER

14
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:05:23 PM »

The following Buriat tale gives a description of the con-
fining and liberating of the heavenly lights, a theme greatly
favoured in the stories of many peoples. When Heaven and
earth through the intermarriage of their children became re-
lated to one another, the “ Lord of the Earth ” once made a
visit to the god of Heaven. On leaving he begged for the
sun and the moon as presents. The god of Heaven, who
wished to observe the sacred customs of hospitality, dared not
refuse, and the w Lord of the Earth ” took the lights of the
sky with him and shut them into a box. Then all nature be-
came dark. The god of Heaven had no other resource than
to turn to the porcupine, asking him to help by, bringing back
the sun and the moon. The porcupine agreed to try and made
a visit to the “Lord of the Earth.” When the guest was
about to depart, the host asked him what gift- he wished as
a token of hospitality. “ Give me the mirage-horse and the
echo-spear,” answered the porcupine, and as the “ Lord of
Earth ” could not fulfil so difficult a wish he gave his
guest the sun and the moon. The porcupine put the lights
back in their former orbits and the world became bright

*   14

again.

In the tales of Turco-Tatar peoples the porcupine appears as
a wise and wily creature, sometimes as the inventor of fire, or
the originator and teacher of agriculture.15 Seeing that this
animal also occupies an important position in the beliefs of the
ancient Iranians, one might assume that the above mentioned
tales have come to Central Asia from them.

The Altaic Tatars describe the nature of the sun and the
moon by relating how Otshirvani took fire, placed it on his
sword and slung it in the sky, and thus created the sun, and
how he made the moon by striking the water with his sword.
The reason why daylight is burning hot, say the people, is that
the sun is made of fire, whereas moonlight is cold because this
star came out of the water.16 The Dolgans say that the sun
was created in the day, the moon in the night.17
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

422

Most of the peoples of Turkish origin living in Siberia
imagine, when addressing these heavenly lights, the sun to be
feminine (Mother sun) and the moon masculine (Father moon,
Old man moon). Often, especially in tales, we also hear
of the Sun Khan and the Moon Khan. According to Chinese
sources the Mongolian and the Old Turkish rulers used to
worship the sun in the morning and the moon in the evening.18
The Chuvash until quite lately brought the Sun god white
sacrifices. Concerning moon-worship we have not much other
information than that it has been a custom to greet the new
moon and to utter a wish that he would bring good luck and
prosperity. The most northern peoples of Turkish origin, who
have eagerly retained their old customs, do not sacrifice to
the sun or the moon, although these orbs seem to have played
an important part in the rites of the shamans. Yet both are
considered by them to be living beings. They believe that the
sun sees all that people do, and therefore often appeal to it:
u May the sun see! ” or “ May the sun know! ” In swearing,
the Yakut turns towards the sun and says: “ If I have made a
wrong oath may, the sun refuse me light and warmth.” It is
said that the Tungus believe the sun to watch their conduct
and to punish their wicked actions.19

As is natural, the tribes of Turkish origin, like all other
nations, keep account of time by the cycles of the sun and the
changes of the moon. Plano Carpini says that the Mongolians
never undertook a war expedition or any other important
work except at the time of the new or the full moon. Weather
prophesying by the sun is the same in Central and Northern
Asia as in Europe. The Tungus and the Yenesei Ostiaks
consider a ring round the moon in winter to be an omen of cold,
in summer of rain, saying that the moon protects himself from
the weather by making himself a tent. The Ostiaks on the Ob
also know this saying.20

The spots on the sun and the moon, especially those on the
latter, have always been interesting themes for tales among all
 THE STARS

423

peoples. The Yakuts tell of a poor orphan girl for whom life
was so hard that the moon pitied her and determined to take
her to him. One frosty night when the girl had gone out to
get water the moon descended, raised the child to his breast,
and ascended again to the heavens. Wherefore, we now see
in the moon a girl bearing a yoke with two buckets on her
shoulder. In other places there is a story, of two children, a
brother and a sister, who, having gone out to fetch water,
stayed to watch the moon until he became angry and snatched
them to him. The Yakuts never allow their children to watch
the full moon.21

The Buriats see more than a girl with her yoke and buckets
in the moon. They see also a willow-bush. The girl had had
a strict and hard-hearted step-mother, who once when the child
was a long time fetching water cried to her in anger: “ Oh,
that the sun and the moon took thee! ” When she was bearing
water the girl saw the sun and the moon descending towards
her. In her fright she grasped a willow-bush. When the sun
was about to take her the moon said: u Thou walkest in the
day and I in the night. Give the girl to me.” The sun agreed
to the moon’s request, who immediately lifted up the child
with buckets, bush and all. The Yakuts also know this tale
in the same form.22

This tale about the water-fetcher, of which we find a variant
in the Edda of Snorri, is very widely known in Asia and in
Europe.

The Altai Tatars tell of the old man of the moon, who in
former times lived on the earth and caused great havoc as a
man-eater. The dwellers of Heaven wished to save the people
and gathered together to take counsel. The sun said: a I
would willingly descend to free the poor people from that
monster were not my heat harmful to them.” On hearing this
the moon remarked that they could well stand his coldness,
and he descended to the earth, where he found the man-eater
picking berries from a hawthorn. The moon at once seized
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

424

the wretch and his tree and returned to the sky, where the
man-eater and the hawthorn can still be seen in the moon.83

The primitive peoples of the District of Turukhansk see a
shaman with his drum in the moon. This formerly mighty
man undertook to fight against the moon, but scarcely had he
drawn near it before the moon made him its prisoner.24

The Mongolians and the peoples of the Altai imagined also
that a hare dwelt in the moon.25

The waning of the moon is said by the Yakuts to be caused
by wolves and bears eating its disc. Every time the moon has
grown to its ordinary size the beasts again attack it.26

According to Buriat tales an eclipse of the sun or the moon
takes place when a certain beast, which is ever persecuting the
lights of the sky, swallows the sun and the moon. Once when
this monster, Alkha, again darkened the world, the gods be-
came so angry that they, cut his body in two. The hind part
fell down, but the living forepart still haunts the sky. Every
time Alkha now swallows stars they soon appear again, as the
beast is unable to retain them in his body. The Buriats say
that when Alkha is troubling the sun and the moon they pray
for help, and the people have a custom of screaming and
making a noise, throwing stones and even shooting up into the
sky in order to drive away the monster.27

A tale recorded in another Buriat district relates that Arakho,
as the beast is here called, f ormerly lived upon the earth and
consumed the hairs off the people’s bodies, which at that time
were quite hairy. Seeing this, God became angry and inquired
of the moon Arakho’s hiding-place. On finding the beast he

struck it in two, and the living forepart is forever eating the

• 28
moon m consequence.

It is also told that Otshirvani, wishing to sweeten life for
people and animals, let the sun and the moon prepare water
of life, but Arakho drank it up and soiled the cup. Having
inquired the beast’s dwelling-place from the moon, God
hurried there and cut him in two. The forepart, having thus
 THE STARS   425

become immortal, pursues the moon. Some see the “ body ” of
the monster in the moon-spots.29

The Arakho who causes eclipses of the sun and moon, and
who has only a head but no body, is known to the Mongols
also. The tale originates in India where the monster’s name is
Rahu. Arakho and Alkha are corrupt variants of this name.

The conception prevalent among the peoples of North-East
Asia that the persecutor of the lights of heaven is a dragon has
come from China. The Altai Tatars say that the eclipse of
the moon is the work of a man-eater living in a star. The
Russian Tatars and the Chuvash speak of a vampire which
sometimes swallows the sun and the moon but soon leaves them
in peace again, as the stars begin to burn his mouth.

THE POLE STAR AND THE LITTLE BEAR

The significance of the Pole Star in the universe has al-
ready been mentioned. The fact that other surrounding stars
seem to circle round that “ golden ” or “ iron pole ” has given
rise to a fancy that bonds exist between them. The Kirghis
call the three stars of the Little Bear nearest the Pole Star,
which form an arch, a “ rope ” to which the two larger stars
of the same constellation, the two horses, are fastened. One
of the horses is white, the other bluish-grey. The seven stars
of the Great Bear they call the seven watchmen, whose duty
it is to guard the horses from the lurking wolf. When once
the wolf succeeds in killing the horses the end of the world
will come.®0 In other tales the stars of the Great Bear are
“ seven wolves ” who pursue those horses. Just before the
end of the world they, will succeed in catching them.31 Some
even fancy that the Great Bear is also tied to the Pole Star.
When once all the bonds are broken there will be great dis-
turbances in the sky. The Tatars by Minusinsk say that when
the “seven dogs” are let loose the end of the world will
come.32
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

4.26

The numerous tales about the one or more bound beasts,
which are to be set free before the end of the world, were
possibly originally similar star-myths. The Slavs have a story
about a bound dog whose iron chains form the Little Bear.
When the dog, who is ever endeavouring to bite his chains in
two, once gets loose, the end of the world will be at hand.33

THE GREAT BEAR

Many North Siberian primitive peoples and even the
Russians living in those parts call the Great Bear a u stag.”
The Samoyeds of the District of Turukhansk fancy that the
Pole Star is a hunter chasing the stag and trying to kill it.34
The Yenisei Ostiaks see a stag and three hunters in this con-
stellation. The stars forming the square are the stag, those
in the arch the hunters, the first of these being a Tungus, the
second a Yenesei Ostiak and the little star, Alcor, glimmering
by his side, his kettle, the third a Russian. In addition, the
three stars forming the forepart of the stag are also specially
explained: one is the beast’s nose, the other two its ears.35 This
same tale is known among the Tungus of that district and it is
possible that even the following Yakut variant, which is said
in different places to refer to different stars, e.g., to Orion,
also belongs to the same series. The Yakut variant is as fol-
lows: Once upon a time three Tungus chased a stag up into
the sky, where they wandered long in hunger. In the end one
of the hunters died, but the other two, together with the stag
and the dog, were changed into stars (the stag-star) .3S

For the sake of comparison it may be mentioned that even
the Indians of North America see an animal in the Great Bear,
usually a bear, with three hunters at his heels.37

The Buriats call the seven stars of the Great Bear a seven
old men.” According to one tale they are the skulls of seven
smiths. A hero once killed u seven blacksmiths ” and pre-
pared from their skulls seven cups, out of which he gave his
 THE STARS

427

wife to drink until she was intoxicated. When she had drunk
she threw the cups into the sky, where they formed the seven
stars of the Great Bear. All blacksmiths are said to be under
the protection of these stars.38

The Mongols, who also callthis constellation “the seven
old men ” or “ the seven Burkhans,” sacrificed milk and kumiss
and even devoted some domestic animals to it.39

Very widespread is a tale in which the “seven old men”
or the “ seven Khans ” as they are also called, are accused of
theft. The Mongols tell that “ the seven Burkhans ” stole a
star from the Pleiades, which numbered seven before but are
now only six. This little stolen star (Alcor) is to be seen close
to the central star of the arch of the Great Bear. With the
Mongols it has developed into the god of thieves, to whom
these always call on their predatory excursions to give luck
in their wickedness.40 It is in order to be revenged on the
Great Bear, so say the Altai Tatars, that the Pleiades pursue
the “ seven Khans ” although they never overtake them.41
The Kirghis also call the Great Bear “ the seven thieves,” and
accuse them of having stolen one of the two daughters of the
Pleiades.42 In Northern Caucasia .there is a tale of how a
certain Khan left his child in the keeping of “ seven brothers ”
and how they were already on their homeward journey when
the Pleiades attacked them, wishing to kill the child, but the
“ seven brothers ” succeeded in saving it.43

The tales about the “ seven brothers ” and their “ little
sister ” who was taken up into the sky, belong to the same
series. That the “seven old men” of the Buriats also are
originally robbers of a star-maiden appears from the following
story, which has been recorded among them. There was once
upon a time a poor man who received the gift of understand-
ing the speech of birds. One day, when he was resting under
a tree he heard two ravens discussing how to heal the son of a
Khan who had long lain ill. On hearing the method agreed
upon by the ravens, he at once hurried to the Khan and healed
 428   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

his son. Greatly thankful, the Khan presented him with seven
steeds. On his homeward journey he met six men, each of
whom attracted his attention in a peculiar way. The first was
so strong that he could lift a mountain from the ground. The
second had so keen a sense of hearing that he could tell what
was happening under the earth. The third was an archer of
such power that with his bow he could bring down a piece of
the “ heavenly mountain.” The fourth was so clever with his
hands that he easily transplanted the feathers from one kind
of bird to another. The fifth was able to suck a whole river
into his mouth and squirt it out again. The sixth was so
nimble of foot that he outran a wild-goat on the prairie. These
heroes now joined the poor man who understood the language
of birds. Then the one who had the keen sense of hearing
happened to hear how a certain Khan, wishing to choose a
husband for his daughter, set all the suitors-elect three diffi-
cult conditions to fulfill. The heroes, determining to try their
luck, went, to the Khan and asked him for his daughter’s hand.
Having easily fulfilled the most difficult tasks they took the
maiden with them. The servants of the Khan pursued them,
but the seven heroes escaped with their booty. In the end God
took them up into the sky where they were changed into the
Great Bear. The little star Alcor by the arch is the maiden
whom they won.44 The same story-motif would seem to have
been known to the ancient Greeks also. They told how Elek-
tra, one of the seven Pleiades, who is said to have been the an-
cestress of the Trojans, took the fall of Troy so much to heart
that she left her original place in the Pleiades. Hence, ac-
cording to them, this constellation now has only six stars.
Elektra is said to have moved to the Great Bear where she
now glimmers as a little star beside the central star of the arch.
It is possible that the ancient Greeks had mixed up two tales,
viz., that of the robbing of the maid who caused the Trojan
war, and that of the robbing of the star, belonging to an earlier
period.
 THE STARS   429

ORION

As with the Great Bear, a hunting-myth is also connected
with Orion. Once upon a time, according to the Buriats, there
lived a famous archer who hunted “ three stags ” and was just
about to overtake them when the animals suddenly, rose into
the sky. The hunter had time, however, to send an arrow
after them. The stags then suddenly changed into the three
stars of Orion (“the three stags ”), and a little lower down
one can see the hunter’s arrow as a star in the sky.45

In the district of the Altai this tale has been taken down in
various other forms also. The Teleuts tell of a hero named
Kuguldei-Matyr who chased three stags on horseback. Hav-
ing speeded to and fro over the earth in all directions without
finding a resting-place, the animals at last sprang into the sky.
But the hero followed at their heels, shooting at them with
two arrows. His steed appears as a great star in the east, near
the “ three stags ” (the belt of Orion), and there also are his
two arrows, the one white, the other red. The latter, having
passed through the bodies of the stags, is bloody. The hero
himself has also become a large star.46

Another tale tells how God cursed this hunter, who had in-
tended to kill all the stags on the earth, and therefore changed
the “ three stags ” into the belt of Orion, around which hunter,
steed, hound and arrows now twinkle as stars. Some see in
Orion, besides the stags, a hunter, a hound, a hunting-hawk and
arrows. Some speak of two hounds. Hunters are said to
worship this archer-hero and to pray, to him for good luck in
hunting.47

The Mongols also call the belt of Orion “ the three stags.”
They see in addition, an archer, a horse, a hound and an arrow
in this constellation.48 According to a Buriat tale this hero was
born of a cow, and had a human head and a horse’s body.40

The Kirghis see in the belt of Orion three deer, the sur-
rounding stars being the “ three hunters ” and their “ arrow.”
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

430

These hunters are said to have lived on the earth in former
times, but as no animal could escape their well-aimed arrows
God took the deer into the sky.50

The centaur of the Buriats brings into mind the ancient
Greek tales in which Orion appears as a hero who was regarded
as an exceedingly mighty hunter. The ancient Greeks be-
lieved, like the Siberian Tatars, that this hero intended to de-
stroy all the animals on the earth. “ The hunt of Orion ”
was reflected in the sky, where the hunter had even a hound
(Sirius) with him.

The Yenisei Ostiaks call Orion “ stag’s head.” Their ideas
do not, however, appear to be connected with the series of
myths just referred to. Thus they tell how this stag carried
off a bride for the hero Alba.51 For the Yenisei Ostiaks, Orion,
and not the Great Bear, is the maiden-robber. Ideas corre-
sponding to this are found among other peoples.

Orion has also many names taken from objects. The most
common of these are: “the scales ” or “the hand-scales”
(Turkish, Kirghis, Tatar, Votiak, etc.) and “ the yoke ” (for
buckets) (Volga Tatar, Cheremiss, Vogul, etc.).

15
Siberian mythology / Re: Siberian
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:04:14 PM »

The same being was known to the Chuvash living on the
Volga, in their belief that the god of Fate, Kaba, sends to the
earth at the birth of each child a being called Püleh, who
decrees the fate of the child and notes down its name. Having
accomplished his task, he returns to heaven and relates the
matter to the god of Fate.18 Possibly, the same being is to be
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

410

found in the Cheremiss “ Propounder of God,” to whom, when
sacrificing to the Heaven god, a special offering is prepared,
in order that he may lay before his master the troubles of the
Cheremiss people.19 The Votiaks also, at their horse-sacri-
fices, have a custom of sacrificing a goose, without knowing
any longer to which deity it is intended, remarking only that
the goose escorts the sacrificial horse to heaven.

In searching for the origin of the Writing god, we must
turn again to the land of the twin rivers, where the art of
writing was known earlier than elsewhere in Asia, and where,
from ancient times, the Tables of Fate and the Book of Life
were known. A god corresponding to the “ Writing man ”
of the Ostiaks is also to be found among the ancient Babylo-
nians, who call this scribe of the gods Nabu. As the writer of
the Book of Fate he is pictured with an object resembling a
pen in his hand and the art of writing is itself called “the
wisdom of Nabu.” Among the planets he appears as Mercury.
The same being is met with in another land where the art
of writing was known, Egypt, where Thout is the counterpart
of the Babylonian scribe. This ibis-headed deity is often
pictured, like Nabu, with a tablet and writing materials in his
hand.20

In addition to the groups of gods just mentioned, we meet
in the mythology of Central Asia with more numerous groups,
these forming also a closed ring, the origin of which the people
can no longer explain. As in the Altaic tale of the Sumeru
mountain, the thirty-three gods (Tengeri) believed to live
on this world-mountain have come from India. Most prob-
ably connected with these gods is the information given by
Verbitskiy regarding the cosmos of the Altaic peoples, that
“ in Heaven there are thirty-three discs, one higher than the
other.”21

Three times greater is the crowd of Tengeri in the Buriat
Heaven. These were divided either according to their disposi-
tions into good and evil, or according to where their habitations
 

X

1

i

s.
 PLATE XLVII

Hides of Buriat Offerings
(See page 404.)
 
 i
 THE SONS OF GOD   411

were supposed to be, into “western 55 and “ eastern.5* The

u western,55 friendly to man, were called a white 55 j the eastern,
bringing all kinds of evil, fogs, diseases, and other misfortunes,
were called “black55 Tengeri. Of the former there are
fifty-five, of the latter forty-four. The Mongols have also
known these ninety-nine Tengeri of Heaven. The Buriats
relate how these gods, who formerly, lived in peace together,
quarrelled among themselves. In the beginning there were
then fifty-four western, good Tengeri and forty-four eastern,
evil ones, one being on the border of each group but belonging
to neither. Being in the minority, the a easterns55 begged
this solitary god, the name of whom is said to have been Segen-
Sebdek-Tengeri, to join their side, but the “ westerns 55 put
up a resistance and tempted this god to their own side. In some
districts the source of the disagreement, and even of the war
among the gods, is mentioned as being the beautiful daughter
of Segen-Sebdek-Tengeri, whom both groups passionately
wished to own.22

That these ninety-nine gods are not the invention of either
Buriats or Mongols, appears already from the fact that these
peoples do not know the grounds for the above division, nor
do the names given by the Buriats to these gods throw light
on the question. To judge from all the data, this idea has
arrived complete from elsewhere.

More difficult is the explanation as to how this fancy has
originated. An idea has spread among the Altai Tatars, that
besides this earth of ours, the smallest and lowest, there are
ninety-nine other worlds.23 It is further related that when
Ülgen thrust out the devil Erlik and his company from
Heaven, Erlik pronounced the following words: “ Thou hast
cast out my servants and myself from Heaven to the earth,
these falling in forty-three different places. Therefore shall
I send out these forty-three kinds of servants (etker) and these
shall work evil each in the place where he has fallen from
Heaven, and trouble men up to their death.55 Counting Erlik
 412   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

himself there are thus forty-four of these Altai Tatar evil
spirits, or as many as the evilly-disposed Tengeri of the Buri-
ats.24 The placing of the evil spirits in the east and the good
in the west by the latter is peculiar, all other peoples having
a contrary opinion. Most probably some star-myth is at the
back of these beliefs also. For the sake of comparison it may
be mentioned that the Chinese know of seventy-two good and
thirty-six evil Star gods.
 CHAPTER XII

THE GREAT MOTHER

AMONG the eastern Finno-Ugric peoples we have already
met with a mighty, goddess of birth, called by the Chere-
miss and the Mordvins the “ Great birth-mother,” whose
dwelling-place these peoples, like the Votiaks and the Ugrians
living on the Ob, believe to be in the sky. The same goddess
is known to certain peoples of the Altaic race. When cele-
brating their spring-festival at the time when the flowers
break forth, the Altai Tatars, among other deities, remember
a goddess called u The Lake of Milk.” In many prayers she
is referred to as the a Milk Lake mother” and worshipped as
the giver of all life.1 That this great goddess was known
earlier over a comparatively wide area among the Turco-Tatar
peoples, is proved by the fact that the a Milk Lake mother ”
appears also in the list of deities of the Chuvash living by the
Volga.2 But according to the ideas of the peoples mentioned,
this mythical, deified lake is situated, as we have seen earlier,
beside the tree of life in the centre of the earth. Certain
Altaic tribes, who believe paradise to be situated in the third
Heaven, speak of the “ milk lake ” to be found there, from
which the god of birth, Jajutsi (“ the deereer ”), takes a life-
force each time a child is born into the world.”3

A Central Asian tale would also seem to place the fabled
lake in Heaven, describing as it does how a certain mighty Khan
had promised his daughter in marriage to him who would pro-
cure him a wing of the Garuda eagle. To the heroes partaking
in this quest, a youth joins himself, who wishes to know where
this mythical bird dwells. When the heroes have arrived at a
high mountain, they notice how the sky above them begins to
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

414

grow white. The youth then asks: “ What is behind that
sky? ” The others explain that it is the lake of milk. ...
“ But what is the dark thing in its centre? ” the youth asks
again, and is told that it is the forest, in which the bird dwells.4
Quite plainly, therefore, the “ milk lake ” of the story has
been imagined as situated on a mountain reaching to the
heavens, up which mountain the heroes have to climb. The
forest in the centre of the lake of milk answers to the tree of
life, in the crown of which other tales also declare the fabled
bird to dwell.

The conception of a lake of milk, believed to be the source of
all life, and worshipped as a female deity, is not a product of
Turco-Tatar mythology, but has drifted there from elsewhere.
A parallel to this belief is to be found in the ancient Iranian
paradise myths, where the lake of milk is represented by the
lake Ardvisura Anahita, which gleams from under the tree of
life on the Hara Berezaiti mountain, the said lake being re-
garded by the Iranians as a goddess of birth, to whom, in their
poetry, they ascribe anthropomorphic features. Without doubt,
the Yakut Kubai-Khotun, dwelling in the tree of life or under
its roots, is the same deity, and was regarded by them as the
great mother of both men and animals. As such she has
a breasts as large as leather sacks.’*5 Sometimes she is men-
tioned as the wife of the Heaven god, the plenteousness of her
milk being described in a Buriat tale about the origin of the
Milky Way. This phenomenon is explained by them as having
been caused by the overflow of milk from the breasts of the
Heaven goddess (Manzan Görmö).6 A corresponding myth
was known to the ancient Greeks, who declared the Milky
Way to have been formed when Hera snatched her breast
from the mouth of the infant Heracles, whom she hated, so
that drops of milk were scattered over the sky. From this,
the name met with in many European languages — the Milky
Way (cf. ancient Indian Soma-Dhara, “ Soma Way ”) — has
obviously been derived.
 THE GREAT MOTHER   415

In Yakut prayers, the above-mentioned goddess of birth has
most often the name Ajysyt (“ Birthgiver,” “ Procreator ”) or
Ajy-Khotun (“ Birth-giving mistress”), and children are
prayed for from her, whom she is believed to present at her
fancy to the woman who has gained her favour. As she is
regarded at the same time as birth-giving and nourishing, she is
referred to by a name with these significations, “ Birthgiving
Nourishing mother ” (Ajysyt-Ij aksit-Khotun) / In some dis-
tricts the great mother is believed to pour down from Heaven
a white elixir of life to one who is in the throes of death.8
Tales relate how a woman during severe birth-cramp directs a
prayer to the Heavens and how, shortly afterwards, two Ajysyts
sink down to the earth, and coming to the woman, give their
assistance, after which she gives birth to a son.9 Generally,
however, the people speak only of one goddess, who is said to
bring the soul of the child from Heaven, as according to the
prevalent belief, mortals give birth to the embryo only, life
being furnished by Ajysyt. In one prayer the child-bearing
woman says to her protective genius: “ Thou, my mild Crea-
tress, the first day on which thou didst let down me to the
‘central place* — i.e., the earth — thou didst say: ‘Be pro-
vided with a ceaseless breathing, with an eternal life. May
the cattle brought up by thee flourish, may the children borne
by thee be many.’ ”10 Probably connected with this belief is
the conception that the souls of animals also are let down from
the heavens.

Further light is thrown on the foregoing by the belief of
the Ostiaks, that the great Birth-giving mother dwells in
Heaven on a mountain with seven storeys, where she fixes the
fate of all, by writing at the birth of each child in a golden
book or on a “gold-ornamented seven-branch,” i.e., the tree
of life, the forthcoming events of its life.11

The Siberian peoples, after a successful delivery, have been
in the habit of preparing a feast to the goddess of birth, in
which only women may take part. The Yakuts usually cele-
 4i6   SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

brate this feast three days after a birth, at which time the
goddess of birth is believed to depart. Flesh of the votive
animal is placed for the deity at the head of the bed, and
especially butter, a little of which each one present throws
laughing merrily into the firej at the same time the women rub
their hands and faces with butter “ in order to become fruit-
ful.” In some districts, after the birth of a boy, a small tent
of birch-bark is made by the fireside, and horses and cows and
a bow and arrows made of the same material placed within it.
The intention of this magic ceremony is the developing of the
boy as a capable member of the community.12
 CHAPTER XIII

THE STARS

HE NOMADS of the Altaic race, like most other peoples

of the earth, early turned their attention to the stars and
believed that they, in some mysterious way, occasioned the
changes of season and weather. The stars were also most im-
portant guides for travellers on the prairies, in the forests, and
on the tundra. For a thousand years the Great Bear, regularly
moving round the Pole Star, that ever-stationary “pole” of
the sky, and never disappearing below the horizon, has played
an important part in the lives of all the peoples of the Northern
Hemisphere. Not only the Altaic race but innumerable other
peoples have used it, in addition to the sun and the moon, for
measuring time. The ancient Finns are also said to have gone
to “ see the moon, to learn of the Great Bear.” In Central
and East Asia the Great Bear even determined the seasons.
“ When the tail of the Great Bear points eastward it is spring
over all the world, when it points southward it is summer,
when westward, autumn, but when it turns to the north it is
winter over all the world.” Some peoples foretell changes in
the weather by this constellation. The Ostiaks on the Ob,
who call it “ the stag,” say that when “ the stag shrinks,” i.e.,
when the stars of the Great Bear seem to draw together, there
will be frost, but contrariwise, or when “ the stag expands,”
mild weather and snowfalls may, be expected.1

The greatest changes in the weather are believed, however,
to be the work of the Pleiades. Even in other countries, such
as America and the South Sea Islands, the rising and the
setting of this constellation are considered as signs of the com-
ing of cold or warm weather, a rainy or a dry period. In the
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

418

beliefs of European peoples also, the influence of the Pleiades
on the climate plays a certain part. In the question-forms
which were used by Forbus as guides in gathering Lapp folk-
lore there is a question: “ Have you worshipped the Pleiades
that they might give warm weather? ”2 The Turkish peoples
believe the Pleiades to be chiefly, the causers of cold. The
Yakuts say that they “ bring the winter.”3 The foundation
of this thought is naturally to be found in the fact that a colder
period follows the appearance of the Pleiades, whereas their
setting takes place at the beginning of the warm season. The
Yakuts say that the winter in former days was much colder
and drearier than it is now, but since a shaman hacked in twain
the binding-rod of the Pleiades, they have been able to move
more quickly, and thus the winter has become shorter. When
the shaman struck, splinters flew into the air, which are now the
innumerable stars.4

The idea of the Pleiades as the cause of cold weather is fur-
ther reflected in the old name of this constellation, which is
the same in several languages of Turkish origin: Urker, Orgel,
etc. Gorochov says that in Yakut Orgel means “ air-hole.” 5
Further weight is given to this idea by a Yakut tale. This tells
how a hero once gathered together thirty wolf-leg hides and
from them made himself a pair of gloves with which to stop
the Orgel, as it “blew upon him endless frost and wind.”0
The Votiaks and even the Lithuanians and the Baltic Finns
called this constellation “ the sieve.”

The Siberian peoples seem to have considered it impossible
to solve the question of what the innumerable stars of the sky
really are. The belief of the Yakuts that they are small holes
through which heavenly, light shines is easy to understand.
In other places they are declared to be “the reflection of the
heavenly ocean.”7
 THE STARS   419

THE SUN AND THE MOON

The Altaic peoples speak of a time when there was no sun
and no moon. They say that people, who then flew in the air,
gave out light and warmed their surroundings themselves, so
that they did not even miss the heat of the sun. But when one
of them fell ill God sent a spirit to help these people. This
spirit commenced by stirring the primeval ocean with a pole
10,000 fathoms long, when suddenly two goddesses flew into
the sky. He also found two metal mirrors (toli), which he
placed in the sky. Since then there has been light on the
earth.8

This tale is doubtless grounded on a previously-mentioned
conception, that people living before the fall in paradise were
a kind of luminous beings. The Kalmucks distinctly say that
at the time of paradise there was yet no sun and no moon.
It was only when the people, by eating of the forbidden
fruit, fell into sin, and the world around them became dark,
that the sun and moon were created.9

The idea of the sun and moon as metal mirrors in the above
tale is also to be found in beliefs and customs connected with
the prophesying? of Central Asian shamans. It is commonly
supposed that everything that takes place on the earth is re-
flected in the sun and the moon and from these again in the
magic mirrors of the shamans. There is a story of how a cer-
tain hero holds his magic mirror toward the sun and the moon
in order to see in their reflections where the colt which he is
seeking has disappeared.10 This manner of finding out things
has spread among the peoples of North Siberia. Even in
Ostiak countries the sun is an important means of prophesying
by sight j by watching it the magician can tell the life and the
fate of a person far away.11 Possibly the Siberian shaman’s
custom of fixing metal objects representing the sun and the
moon on his dress originates in this belief. It is another ques-
tion whether this belief and this custom are original with the
 SIBERIAN MYTHOLOGY

420

Altaic race, or whether they have wandered there from lands
where prophesying from the stars has long been known and
common.

Besides those tales which say that the sun and the moon
were created comparatively late, there are others according to
which the lights of the sky already existed when the vast
primeval ocean yet covered all. In Mongolian tales the sun
and the moon are called sisters, of whom the former says to
the latter: “ Travel thou in the day, I will travel in the night.”
The moon remarked: “There will be so many people about
in the day, I shall be ashamed to walk abroad then.” The
sisters finally agreed, but the sun regretted that the earth was
so smooth and that there were no hillocks or mounds above
the water for the people to live on. The tale does not go on
to tell how the earth on which the people dwell came to exist.
We might suppose the moon to have had her share in its
creation, the ebb and flow of the tide which she causes having
early attracted the attention at least of coast-dwellers. A tale
of the Votiaks says that the god of Heaven, Inmar, sent two
people out during the flood to find earth and to scatter it on
the surface of the ocean. The first went out in the day, where-
fore he made the earth smooth, but the second, going out in
the night, sowed the mountains and valleys on the earth.

In Central Asia tales have been taken down according to
which there were three or four suns in primeval times. At
' that time it was unbearably hot upon the earth. The Buriats
tell how a hero named Erkhe-Mergen shot three suns down
into the sea with his bow so that only one remained to light
and warm the earth.12 In a legendary tale of the Torgouts
it is said that the devil (Shulman) created three suns in order
to burn the earth made by God (Burkhan-Bakshi). In answer,
God covered the earth, on which there were as yet no dwellers,
with a flood, so that the devil was forced to submit. Only one
sun remained in the sky, the others God plunged later into
the bottomless pit given to the devil for his dwelling-place.13
 THE STARS   421