Archaic elements in the epic “Dzhangar”

Автор: Ubushieva Danara V.

Журнал: Новый филологический вестник @slovorggu

Рубрика: Фольклористика

Статья в выпуске: 4 (51), 2019 года.

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The Kalmyk Baga Tsokhor Cycle of the epic “Dzhangar” is constituted by core themes and motifs of the archaic epic that form respective plots. The paper examines the motifs of ‘swallower’, ‘recovery’, ‘magic invulnerability’, ‘soul beyond body’, and ‘command of natural phenomena’ that trace origin to archaic ceremonies and rituals. The study proves that in the cycle under consideration these motifs are largely manifested with the image of Baatar (Hero) Khongor, e.g., after a complete initiation procedure (‘isolation’ - the hero gets swallowed by a huge taimen; ‘temporary death’ - in hostile lands they perform a ritual of sending him to the other world; ‘resurrection’ - Khan Dzhangar extracts him from the fish’s stomach and cures with a magic remedy) the hero gets immortality and commands over natural forces. Khongor’s immortality can be explained by that during the narrative his soul actually separates from the body. The most extended description of immortality is to be traced in depictions of the enemy when there put indications of its, about even consecutive stages / layers explained (‘his life / stamina - on the mountain, under the tree, in the doe’s womb, inside its golden calf’). Command of natural phenomena, such as rainmaking through use of certain spells or of the magic stone ‘zade’, were ritual practices based on magic powers of humans. According to ancient beliefs, man could contact master spirits of nature and, thus, influence natural forces. The depicted archaic ceremonies and rituals attended by Baatar Khongor mirror the pre-Buddhist worldview of the Kalmyks, thus evidencing that songs of the Baga Tsokhor Cycle are based on core motifs of the archaic epic belonged to the preceding cultural tradition.


Core motifs, initiation rites, baatar khongor, swallower, recovery, magic invulnerability, soul beyond body, command of natural phenomena, epic "dzhangar"

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IDR: 149127237   |   DOI: 10.24411/2072-9316-2019-00091

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