Dialogue on the Threshold

Диалог на пороге

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Vogouls (4) Sacred poetry

A Vogul of the northern Ural. (Collection of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography). M. A. Czaplicka, Aboriginal Siberia: A Study in Social Anthropology, Oxford, 1914.

from The Heroic Song of the Elder of the Middle Section of the Ob, Ajäs-god

My water on one side: the wide-watered, wide Ob [vitä χarä, χarä Ās]; -
Numi-Sorńi [Upper golden Sky] my royal father
called me, Ajäs-god elder, here.
My water on the other side, sacred lake flowing with sacred water;
Numi-Sorńi my royal father
charmed me, Ajäs-god elder, here.
These stretched-out [settling], far flung seven regions,
they all exist through my power;
my many shabby-coated poor people [sawiñ sāχip saw kuńärėm]
they all exist through my power.
I inhabit the wide water of the nourishing Ob,
I inhabit the wide water of the fish-abounding Ob.
In this dwelling-place of mine
my many shabby-coated men [sawiñ sāχip saw γumin],
my many shabby-coated women [sawiñ sāχip sāw nēm],
when they are touched by disease of diseased flesh,
when they are touched by sickness of sick bone,
they come to me to pray.

Translated (from Bernát Munkácsi's Hungarian translation of the Vogul original) by Bálint Sebestyén. Vogul Folklore. Collected by Bernát Munkácsi. Selected and edited by Otto J. Sadovszky and Mihály Hoppál. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, and International Society for Trans-Oceanic Research, Los Angeles, 1995.

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