Alexeyeva Tanita – a student of philological faculty,french language teacher, artist and linguist.
Перевод романа Иннокентия Алексеева (Inno3dak)
“Там, где пройдут ваши кони, там будут наши земли!”
«Trodden horses ground will be called ours»
The end of XIX century. It is a deep winter.
The full moon throws light on snow-covered expanses of the immense yakutian taiga. Among this white silence, at the edge of small alas¹, balagan² and small hoton³ almost drowned in the snow, are visible. Close to this place, a petite haystack is situated which is fenced by pole hedge.
In the background of dark blue sky the cloud of haze clearly can be seen. This dense smoke which rose up higher than the forest top has been slowly pushed to the side by the breeze.
The snow-covered alas is crossed with trodden paths in different directions from the balagan. The majority of these paths lead to the forest but one of them does to a lake, in the centre of alas.
Many traces of tabenevka4 are visible everywhere. And here is a dense winter coat horse of low stature eats digging the grass up by hooves and stands alone covered his belly up with the snow. From time to time, the horse breaks off the feeding, raises his huge long-maned head and slightly stirring the ears listened carefully to.
In this very balagan Baibal, forty-year-old man, is weaving a new fish trap made of osiers, sitting on oron5 beside the door. The whole bundle being full of cut soaked thin willow’s branches lies at his feet. The spring is coming and the head of family prepares in good time for spring fishing. Here in balagan there is all Baibal’s family – wife Martha, thirteen-year-old son Nurgoon, ten-year-old Maria, very old man Uiban-ohonner6 and their today’s guest.
All the meager furniture in balagan was illuminated by the fireplace and several rushlights7 on the corners, furthermore it described owners’ tough life. Martha sat opposite to her husband on the oron and sewed children clothes. She periodically stopped the sewing, listened the yarn and sometimes admired the skilful movements of her spouse.
The daughter has grown up and there is necessity to prepare new festive clothes for the Ysyakh8. That is why every night Martha is engaged in the needlework after feeding the cattle and cooking dinner.
The solicitous mother used up a piece of prepared light green fabric to daughter’s new sarafan. When the dress has been cut, a few number of beads made the affectionate mom think over the whole finish dress using such amount of decoration.
A woman’s face, illuminated by the rushlight over her head, still bore the prints of faded beauty but the tenderness in her eyes characterized her small female happiness in spite of hard life, poverty and severity of winter monotony.
But today there is another atmosphere in balagan. Even early aging Baibal is in high spirits although he isn’t verbose.
Kerbut-istibit9, a legendary olonhosoot10, being deprived of his family, he came to them in the afternoon.
It happened so…
At noon Baibal together with his son could not believe his eyes when he had accidentally seen dark figure at the far edge of alas. At first, Baibal has thought it is a bear, but later he comprehended that it was a person then calming he kept twisting on the kuyr11. He used to go fishing with his father, but now old father is able only to help his daughter-in-law with the cattle. That is why today Baibal fishes with his son Nurgoon. When the traveller got to balagan, two fishermen have yet finished the fishing trip. Today the catch has consisted of ten crucians and two dozens of moondu12. The fishing using the kuyr demands not only the making an effort and an ability to choose a right place but also the good fortune.
While the dad was fixing the catch and fishing equipment, Nurgoon put a basic board near the door and with father’s permission run at full speed to the traveller. A black – white male layka13 Teletah14 tagged along with him. The very wayfarer was a well-known olonhosoot Kerbut-istibit who came from neighbours and lived two kes15 from them. The oldster was dressed in slender fur coat and for this reason he was frozen and was very tired. Baibal hurried to bring him into warmed balagan.
The rest of day Kerbut-istibit imparted sonoonnar16 to Uiban-ohonner. During the conversation with the legendary folk tale narrator, the old-man has become animated.
The olonhosoot has been wandering for several years about strangers after he was alone in the world. At the onset, one rainy autumn morning his only son was perished with a hunting accident, and soon his old wife died. When he had buried all his relatives, he bolted his empty balagan and began wandering. The only source of earning his living was a relating Olonho. Not everyone has an ability to become keen on historical story in childhood, remember all variety and impart it to all people during the life. As a rule, this passion left mark for life. And today, dressed in thin unty17 made of cow hide, patched shirt, trousers, solitary Kerbut-istibit relied on staying for some days with poor hospitable yakutian family.
The old man created his life, so that he could get to alasa in the beginning of summer, where there was his neglected balagan. On the first summer the head of taiga –a bear- turned everything upside down and broke windows made of stretched bullish bladder. Coming to see his closed people’s graves he started the next circle of the wanderings. Only dark window holes followed him with its eyes. This was a destiny of all masters…
Sitting near a kamelek18 the aged olonhosoot warmed himself and had dinner of fresh crucians with owners. Finally he was ready for listening to the tales by satisfied Kerbut-istibit. In spite of the fact that here is foretold the interesting pastime Martha and Baibal were not going to interrupt fulfilling their Saturday obligations but Little Maria, Nurgoon and Uiban-ohonner anticipating several amazing evenings trebled more convenient on orons and nearer to the storyteller.
Sitting on very low wooden oloposse19, encompassing his knees fingers, olonhosoot is commencing the fascinating narration.
‘Oholoroom20! Nobody knows when this story began. Generally, it was a long time ago. It was far away from the place where we live now. Then, as well as now, in boundless Universe space covered with uncountable stars the Earth slowly is moving. At that time, in the centre of the Earth, in the endless “Ulu ken dala”21 a Great Turkic khanate was situated. The numerous united Turkic tribes inhabited a huge khanate. The khanate border laid on the shores of Eastern marginal sea at the sunrise, in the south it separated the Turkic lands from the numerous chzu-czhuns22 then it passed to the south of Tangara23 dwelling – the mountain Ush-Sumer and went further on a decline to the Pontic sea24, and from the north it laid on suburbs “Ulu oyur”25.
This ancient story began so…
Book I. The first nature
Chapter I. Heaven’s will
Long before Christmas … a mighty eagle soared highly in the midday sky. The flow of the incoming air pulled slightly about feathers of bird’s wings. Having caught the upward flow of warm air, the eagle circled around a crowd of people, horses and river bend.
The experience told bird of prey that he is going to receive a well booty.
It is possible to see feather grass wavy undulated by the wind and from above it seemed as boundless green sea. “Ulu ken dala” – “Great endless steppe”, a land of the Majestic Turkic khanate is visible from any bird’s glance, even for forested mountains of Khangai range26.
Just here by noon, passing through bend of small river which was flown from foothills, tumen27 of Saka urankhays28 having reached the river bank got to site.
- alas – a glade in taiga, being surrounded with forest, usually with a lake in the centre, from yakutian language;
- balagan – a type of yakutian winter dwelling, designed as hoton;
- hoton – yakutian wood lodging for cattle, used till nowadays;
- tabenevka – a particular method to graze cattle in winter, where horses dig deep snow out and eat grass, used till nowadays;
- oron – a long adaptation to sleep and to sit in balagan, in modern notion – “a bed”;
- Uiban-ohonner – a name of old man, where “ohonner” – “old man”;
- rushlight– a type of candle or miniature torch formed by soaking the dried pith of the rush plant in fat or grease;
- Yshyakh – annually Yakutian national festival in june with the giving of thanks to powers which control the lives of the Yakut;
- Kerbut-istibit – a name of person, in a literal translation from yakutian language as “All-seeing man”;
- olonhosoot – yakutian folk tale narrator;
- kuyr – a long pole for fishing, a method of winter fishing;
- moondu – species of small local fish covered with slime;
- layka – a breed of syberian hunting dog, corresponded to “husky”;
- Teletah – a name of dog, from yakutian language corresponded to ‘fast as wind’;
- kes – yakutian measures of length equal in 10 kilometres, origin from turkic or kazakh word “koch” – nomadic existence;
- sonoonnar – news, from yakutian language;
- unty – yakutian national type of winter shoes made of caribou’s or moose’s skin;
- kamelek – a hearth in balagan;
- olopposse – an yakutian traditional small wooden chair;
- Oholoroom! – ‘”My childrens!”, from yakutian language;
- Ulu ken dala – the great endless steppe;
- chzu-czhuns – the ancient people lived in lands contemporary China;
- Tangara – an yakutian name of the Turkic religion supreme deity;
- Pontic sea – the Black sea;
- Ulu oyur – the great forest, taiga;
- Khangai range – the mountains in contemporary Mongolia;
- tumen – according to author’s version, a division of turkic troops strength about 10 000 warriors and had distinctive banner, origin from turkic or kazakh words “tu” – banner and “men” – having;
- Saka urankhays – according to author’s version, the forbears of contemporary Yakut people, origin from turkic or kazakh words “Saka” – Scythian and “uran” – motto.