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First time I heard this legend in aul Psybe in the Black sea Shapsugia about thirty years ago from the lips of not storyteller but a usual local forester of the kin Allalo (Alial). Recently I saw it in the literary English version of Adygeyan writer Kadyr Natkho (USA). In it, as far as I can judge, the protogenic spirit of the legend was pictured rather precisely.

I have to speak about the protogenic spirit, first of all, because, unfortunately, in records of folklore specialists in Adygeyan language the legend, apparently, was kept nowhere. There is its fragment in Russian where it is given a shape of parable. And if to compare that parable to its original, we should admit that it is only similarity of the legend, and as a whole is unsuccessful and, probably, even not Adygeyan variation.

Old Men’s Rock

"Narts lived a very long life: many of them - more than a thousand years. Till the age of one hundred years a man still keeps sizes of his body, and after that he starts to decrease. When old men became small like toddlers, Narts’ sisters-in-law took them in cradles, and then when it became impossible, shifted them in the cleaned from within dried pumpkins which they tied up to the ceiling. And everyone who passed by such pumpkin did necessary things or shook it so its inhabitant could fall asleep. And so that proceeded until an old man did not disappear absolutely.

And, certainly, all the weight of care of old men was young women’s duty. In many houses there were so many dried pumpkins hung from the ceiling that there was no place. Narts often gathered at Khase to think up, how to make their sisters-in-law’ work easier. They argued one way and another but couldn’t think anything plainly.

And so they lived until once one of Narts suddenly told the respectable assembly: "Narts! Listen to me and think over. Nobody of us can say where our old men fade away after their last dwellings appear empty. But we know - they do not die. And that means that those who leave this world before their time do not die, too. And so far as it so there will be no sin if we begin getting rid of those old men who are more than a hundred". Narts were thinking hard and at last they decided: everyone who was more than a hundred years old would be thrown down from a rock. And that rock - the highest in their country – they decided to name the Old men’s Rock.

Many generations passed since that time while the time had come for one rustic guy to bring on the Old men’s Rock his great-grandfather. And when he was already climbing up, carrying on his back a basket with the old man inside, he stumbled at a stone that stuck on the footpath. The old man who had been silent, suddenly laughed. "What are you laughing at, grandfather? Don’t you know where I’m carrying you?" - the great-grandson asked. "I know that, my little grandson, of course, I know, - answered the doomed. – I’ve just remembered the time when I was carrying my great-grandfather on the Old men’s Rock: I stumbled at the same stone".

"I cannot throw my great-grandfather from the rock", - decided then the great-grandson. So he hid his great-grandfather nearby in the mountains and began looking after him.

Time went, and nobody guessed the guy’s secret. But once the Supreme prince - the lord of those lands - declared that he would give in marriage his single beautiful daughter to the dasher who would have carried out his task. The young man like thousands and thousands of other young men dreamed on. In fact the task seemed to be simple: on the stated day to see a ray of the morning sun ahead of others. On the other hand, the guy understood - the easier task, and then it was more difficult to outstrip many others who would dare to participate in the rivalry.

He thought hard over secret meaning of the prince’s task. And when he could not see any other way-out, he decided to come to his great-grandfather. The old man listened to him and said: "My little grandson! When your contenders gather on the Old men’s Rock, just there you may see the rising sun first, do not look to the east where the rest will look, you look to the West". The young man was delighted to the words he heard and the next morning he did everything just as the old man advised. "Here it is - the first beam!" - exclaimed the guy, pointing to the sunlight that touched the clouds on the opposite side of the sky.

The prince asked the young man how he found the answer to his task. The guy did not want to dissemble, and told everything. The prince, having asked to invite the old man, arranged for the young couple a magnificent wedding. The newly-married couple lived a long life, and had many children. So Narts since that time stopped throwing their old men – no matter how long they lived".

Some Adygeyan researchers of the Nart epos consider works of this cycle as a kind of encryption addressed to the future generations. Really, many of them do not allow to understand them though separate strict phrases or bright episodes show the power of the whole work. But what can we say about this legend if to ascribe it to the mentioned category and to take the stated point of view about secret sense for correct? What is this legend supposed to teach us, Narts’ descendents?

On the surface there is the idea to honor old-aged people for their wisdom. Actually, the alteration mentioned above, kept in Russian record is also connected with that interpretation. In a parable we mean, there is no first part about Narts’ longevity, and the narration begins with that one guy after the episode with a stone on the footpath decided to break the law of Narts and to keep the old man alive. The competition episode was also changed: in the second parable peasants see on the pool’s bottom a jug with gold but cannot get it. The old man prompts that the jug is on a tree near the pool.

So, strictly speaking, the parable has no anything in common with Adygeyan mentality, as well as, let it look paradoxical, with the legend it came. First, necessity of respect for seniors in Adygs’ life did not demand any special proofs - it was the axiom. Secondly, gold, money never had any high position in our ancestors’ moral system. Valor, mind, devotion to Adyghag’e - yes. As for young guys and girls, for youngsters and for old men. At least, skillfully made weapon could become a prize for competing young men.

All this stipulates that the main point of the legend is not to teach youth to respect the seniors.

In this connection we shall pay attention to some discrepancy in the legend. In its beginning as we remember, it is spoken that"Narts lived a very long life: many of them - more than a thousand years".And it became the reason of their old men’s disposal. In the end of the narration we find:"since that time Narts stopped throwing their old men - no matter how long they lived".So what do we have – Narts’ sisters-in-law were compelled again to incur care of old men till the moment of their disappearance? Or by that time old men for some reason began to live a shorter life? However for some reason the legend do not say a word about it. At the same time, all the elements of "happy end" are available.

150 years ago the Adygeyan society still had been arranged that way. Djeguak’o - a storyteller - came to a settlement, stopped in h’achesch - a living room - and in one of the evenings told similar story. Then the listeners discussed it, asked questions and found answers - as a rule, in the spirit of their time. Therefore the researchers in their works consider h’achesch as Adygeyan university. Thus the works of the similar "ciphered" manner were arranged - to cause questions.

We also shall try to give the answer we need today. We shall assume, for example, that the key phrase in the legend is the following:"and they had many children".Then we must recollect: in the narration it is marked - the prince’s daughter was his single child. It is easy to assume, that the guy, the legend’s protagonist, was one child in his family. It does not contradict the spirit of Adygnity, including the todays: to have, as maximum, two children - the son, valorous as Sausoruko, and the daughter - dazzling as Akonde-Dahe. The lesser children are in a family, then, it is more to give them.

The legend, in my opinion, warns against such extremely "adjusted" approach. Simple arithmetic calculation shows that one son or daughter have four grandfathers and grandmothers. Having entered the marriage union, they receive 8 relatives who demand absolute attention and care, and also 4 relatives (parents) potentially requiring the same attitude towards them. And they, as a rule, need much more capacious care than children. And if to consider that those people simultaneously are proprietors, and the young people are successors, we may remember about the Old men’s Rock from which in the modern conditions "long-livers" could be thrown, for example, by means of simple medicine.

The legend is not on the side of old men, as it may seem at first sight. Though, simultaneously, in it there is a tribute of their wisdom:no matter how long you go on the footpath seeming new to you, you will yet have stumbled at the same stone;or– do not look to the east (i.e. at youth), and to the West, and so on.On the other hand, they, old men, had put their children, their grandsons in such conditions when the latter faced temptation to throw relatives, which is a multiple sin. The legend does not justify those young men who would decide to commit such murder. It simply says that we should have many children for not to get in such situation.

Aslan Shazzo.


Опубликовал administrator, 11-11-2010, 22:07. Просмотров: 1698
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