Travel in Siberia
Friday, 31 May 2013 06:44

Gaeser

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The epic Burnt hero Abai-Geser-khan joined Earth and Heaven in his fate and expressed the hopes and aspirations of the people for good and justice in his cosmic predestination. The Buryat epos about Geser (in other sources known as King Gaeser) has been passed on by word of mouth from one generation to another, from one uligershin (narrator) to another for 1000 years!

In its primitive original flow of verse it numbers up to 30 thousand lines. The following verses illustrate style and content:

For saving people from calamities for the revival of people's life with this noble aim Han Hurmasa the middle son of Buhe Beligte Bator descended to the land of forests and mountains And in this country, earthly and gray he received the name of Abai Geser which is the terrestrial name for the most famous of his feats.

The plot of the epos "Geser" is intricate; narrators, "uligershins", know several versions. Bui the main version of the legend, which was passed by word of mouth through Central Asia and the territories near Baikal is consistent. The king western heaven-born-tengries, headed by khan Hurmas, fought against the evil eastern tengries, followers of khan Ata Ulan, for the right to own the Middle Heaven. In the absence of Hurmas, Ata Ulan seized it. But Hurmas's middle son, the hero Geser, threw him down to the earth. From the body parts of the broken villain many-headed monsters, "mangad-hais", emerged causing misfortune to people. The people's complaints eventually reached the Heaven-borns and they sent Geser to the Earth to help people get rid of the monsters. He descended to Earth and was born of a 70-year-old man and 60-year-old woman who lived in a hut. While still a boy, the Heaven sent Geser begin to performing heroic deeds. Having achieved manhood, he set off to multiply his noble deeds and feats. After winning a number of competitions, Geser married the beautiful daughter of Saazhgai Bayan-khan. Then Hurmas gave Geser 33 heroes, a winged horse and 300 warriors. Geser together with them waged heads and trunks could grow anew once severed from their bodies. After Geser had accomplished his mission and saved people from misfortunes and the monsters, he together with his 33 heroes, ascended to Heaven.

The plot of the epos "Geser" is intricate; narrators, "uligershins", know several versions. Bui the main version of the legend, which was passed by word of mouth through Central Asia and the territories near Baikal is consistent. The king western heaven-born-tengries, headed by khan Hurmas, fought against the evil eastern tengries, followers of khan Ata Ulan, for the right to own the Middle Heaven. In the absence of Hurmas, Ata Ulan seized it. But Hurmas's middle son, the hero Geser, threw him down to the earth. From the body parts of the broken villain many-headed monsters, "mangad-hais", emerged causing misfortune to people. The people's complaints eventually reached the Heaven-borns and they sent Geser to the Earth to help people get rid of the monsters. He descended to Earth and was born of a 70-year-old man and 60-year-old woman who lived in a hut. While still a boy, the Heaven sent Geser begin to performing heroic deeds. Having achieved manhood, he set off to multiply his noble deeds and feats. After winning a number of competitions, Geser married the beautiful daughter of Saazhgai Bayan-khan. Then Hurmas gave Geser 33 heroes, a winged horse and 300 warriors. Geser together with them waged heads and trunks could grow anew once severed from their bodies. After Geser had accomplished his mission and saved people from misfortunes and the monsters, he together with his 33 heroes, ascended to Heaven.

It is understandable why a potter had to ask Earth's pardon before digging clay. Modern Buryat artists derive motifs and images from the Earth that glorify the beauty of the native land.

The Earth was perceived as steppe by Buryats. A nomad knew that life in the steppe was not so monotonous as it sounds. Man, animals, and birds find food and shelter there. Earth is just to everybody.

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