Скачать pdf
Key words
Nart epic, Karachays, Balkars, cyclus of songs and tales, marvelous birth, "emegen"- giants
About the Author

Tel: +7 (495) 697 13 89;

Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russian Federation;

PhD (Philology), the leading researcher of the Folklore Department, The World Literature

Institute named after A. M. Gor'kiy of t h e Russian Academy of Sciences.


This paper considers the Nart epic of the Karachays and Balkars, that presents one of the basic national versions of the Caucasian-wide entire Nartiade. Karachay and Balkar Nart Songs, as well as traditions appearing among other carriers of the Nart epic, form a range of large and small cycluses. Each cyclus comprises a group of small tales and songs about the origin of the Nart tribe there on the Earth, about different stages and events of the epic destinies of the heroes, namely birth, heroic childhood, the first heroic feat, wedding, struggle against mythical monsters and with sworn enemies. The specificity of the featuring of the Nart characters is determined by the heroic aesthetics of the ancient epic. The idealization of the majority of them starts with their birth and childhood. The motif of the Divine and miraculous birth regards the characters of all the main Nart heroes. The principal epic theme of the Karachay and Balkar songs and tales consists in the struggle between Narts and mythic Emegen-monsters. Emegens are the source of the evil and the chaos on Earth and the God has created Nart heroes, whose goal is to conduct unceasing struggle against them until their final extirpation in order to exorcise the world from them. Voluminous matter demonstrates, that the Karachay and Balkar version of the Nartiade presents a structurally elaborated and complete epic, that doesn't only recreate the destinies of the heroes, linked with the archaic layer, such as Debet, Satanaj, Yoryuzmek, Sosuruk, Karashauaj, but of the entire Nart tribe beginning with its origin up to perdition or removal to the Heaven or to the subterranean world. The reason for the heroes' removal is not only determined strictly, but also connected with the entire plot and theme network of the epic. They abandon the Earth after the coronation of their mission: Debet and Satanaj, who are related with the primeval objects and acts, have committed their civilizing mission, Yoryuzmek after extirpation of the Evil.


Abaev V. I. Ossetian Nart Epic. The Narts. Ossetian Heroic Epic in 3 books. Moscow, 1989— 1991. Book 1. (in Russ.).

Alieva A. I. Edition of the National Versions of the Nart Epic within the Bilingual Academic ”The Epic of the peoples of Europe and Asia” — Series. The Studies in Narts in the 21st Century: Modern Paradigms and Interpretations. Vladikavkaz, 2012. Pp. 6—20. (in Russ.).

Boratav P. N. Ak-Köbök, Salur-Kazan et Sosurga. Un Motif de l’éðîðéå oghouz et son rayonnement en Anatolie, au Caucase et en Asie Centrale par Pertev N. Boratav. I’Homme. Revue, française d’anthropologie. Janvier—avril. 1963. Pp. 86—105.

Vogt H. Dictionnaire de la Langue Oubykh. Oslo, 1963.

Basilov V. N. The Death of the Salyr-Gazan: Parallels between Epics of Central Asia and Caucasus. The Ethnographic Review. 1997. ¹ 2. Pp. 38—49. (in Russ.).

Batchaev V. M. About the History of the Traditional Culture of Balkars and Karachays. Nal’chik, 1986. (in Russ.). Dalgat B. K. One Page from the Northern-Caucasian Heroic Epic. The Ethnographic Review. 1901. ¹ 1. Pp. 35—85. (in Russ.).

Dalgat U. B. The Epic Historicism in Development. Folklore. The Problems of Historicism. Moscow, 1998. Pp. 72—99. (in Russ.).

Dryagin N. M. Analysis of several Karachay Tales about the Struggle of the Narts against the “Yemmech’” in the light of the Japhetic Theory. The Japhetic Miscellanea. L., 1930. Issue 6. Pp. 18—34. (in Russ.).

D’yachkov-Tarasov A. N. Notes upon Karachay and Karachay people. Miscellanea of data, characterizing the Localities and Tribes of the Caucasia. Tiflis, 1898. Issue 25. Dep. 1. Pp. 49—90. (in Russ.).

Dumézil Georges. The Ossetian Epic and Mythology. Moscow, 1976. (in Russ.). The History of World Literature. In 9 volumes. Volume 2. Moscow, 1984. (in Russ.).

Lavrov L. I. About the trip to Balkaria. The Soviet Ehtnography. Moscow, 1939. ¹ 2. Pp. 175— 181. (in Russ.).

Lavrov I. I. Karachay and Balkaria up to the 1830-iet. Moscow, 1969. Volume 4. Pp. 55— 120. (in Russ.).

Laipanov X. O. About the History of the Karachays and Balkars. Cherkessk, 1957. (in Russ.).

Meletinskii E. M. The Origin and the Early forms of the Verbal Art. The History of World Literature. In 9 volumes. Moscow, 1983. Volume 1. Pp. 23—52. (in Russ.).

Narts. The Heroic Epic of the Balkars and Karachays. Ñompiled by R. A-k. Ortabaeva, T. M. Xadzhieva. The preface, comments and glossary by T. M. Xadzieva. Moscow, 1994. (in Russ.).

Nikiforov N. Ya. The Anosskij Miscellanea. The Collection of the Altaian Tales, with G. N. Potanin’s Remarks. The Proceedings of the Western-Siberian Department of the Emperor Russian Geographical Society. Omsk, 1915. Volume XXXVII. Pp. 107—127. (in Russ.).

Ostryakov P. The Folk Literature by Kabardians and its Samples. The Herald of the Europe. S.-Pb., 1879. Volume 4. Books 8—9. Pp. 697—710. (in Russ.).

Petrosyan A. A. The History of the People and its Epic. Moscow, 1982. (in Russ.).

Potanin G. N. The Tangut-Tibetian Margin of China and the Central Mongolia. S.-Pb., 1893. Volume 2. (in Russ.).

Potanin G. N. Oriental motifs of the European epic of the Middle Ages. Moscow, 1989. (in Russ.).

Radloff V. V. The Samples of the Folk Literature among Turkish Tribes of the Southern Siberia and Dzungar Steppe. (in Russ.).

Rklickij M. V. About the Question of the Narts and Nart Tales. The Bulletin of the Ossetian Scholarly-Research Institute of the Local Studies. Vladikavkas, 1927. Issue 2. (in Russ.).

Rogal’-Levickij D. Ì. The Karachay Folk Song. Music Education. 1928. ¹ 2. Pp. 53— 57. (in Russ.).

Rogal’-Levickij D. M. The Singing Creativity of the Karachays. The Soviet Art. Moscow, 1928. ¹ 3. (in Russ.).

Surazakov S. S. The Altaian Heroic Epic. M., 1985. (in Russ.).

Urusbiev S. A. The Tales about the Nart Heroes among the Tatarian Highlanders of the Pyatigorsk Circuit of the Terek Province. The Miscellanea of data for description of the regions and tribes of Caucasia. Tiflis., 1881. Issue 1. Dep. 2. Pp. 1—42. (in Russ.).

Urusbieva F. A. The Karachay-Balkar Folklore. Cherkessk, 1977. (in Russ.). Urusbieva F. A. The Metaphysics of the Wheel. The Problems of the Turkish Ehtnic Origin. Moscow, 2003. (in Russ.).

Shanaev Dj. The Nart Tales. The Miscellanea of the data about Caucasian Highlanders. 1871. Issue 5. (in Russ.).

Shortanov A. T. ”Narts” — the Heroic Epic of the Adygs. The Nart Tales — the Epic of the Caucasian People. Moscow, 1969. Pp. 188—225. (in Russ.).

Schukin I. Matters on the Studies upon Karachays. The Russian Anthropology Magazine. Moscow, 1913. ¹ 1—2. Books XXXIII—XXXIV. Pp. 29—98. (in Russ.).