ABOUT PROJECT
Modern means of communication have provided everyone with the opportunity to be heard, but to what extent are the voices of small indigenous peoples audible in today's polyphonic chorus? Even in multi-ethnic Yakutia, understanding of the culture of the Arctic region remains imperfect, and the cultures of such peoples as the Inuit, Eskimos, Dolgans, Yukaghirs, Evens, Evenks), drowned out by the global narratives of the dominant ethnicities, fail to get a good hearing in the contemporary information field.


Taking its departure from the centuries-old tradition of long narratives recited by Yakut olonkhosuts during the long winter months, the AyarKut foundation's online programme the "Terrestrial voices" aims to explore new forms of narration and storytelling, the peculiar listening capacities inherent to the cultures of the small peoples of Siberia, the interpretation of oral folk art, and perspectives of modern ethnography as seen from both the inside and out, and from the standpoint of sound. In the heroic epic Olonkho, the soul of the Yakut people and their notions of time and the world are concentrated, and a synthesis takes place between mythological and religious worldviews. The distinct Yakut mythology finds reflection in the work of many artists who are seeking out various motif-thematic connections, stylistic devices, and creative principles in epic poetry. For this programme, the olonkho will function as a fixed conceptual point around which to structure discussions on sound politics in the global context – a context in which the popularity of, for example, Clubhouse and podcasts over recent years has borne witness to the emergence of new forms of collectivity and auditory perception of the world, and of spoken communication with one another over a distance, revealing new facets in the potential of the human voice.
The Earth has ceased to be "nature" – an object for the instinct to master and develop, a storehouse of resources, and a background against which the history of mankind unfolds. She has begun to play an active part in this story, responding to human actions, and operating as a full-fledged political agent in her own right. The philosopher and sociologist of science Bruno Latour talks about a new force entering politics, which he refers to as "the terrestrial". The appearance of the "terrestrial" on the political stage demands a revision of the entire political panorama and, with it, the very idea of the world we live in, which must be restructured around a new network of relations and solidarity between different political forces, human and non-human. Disappointment in the Western European concept of progress and anthropocentrism is prompting ever more people to turn to the traditional knowledge of their ancestors and to learn from indigenous peoples who react, innovate and adapt to global changes, with a resilience to external influences that is implanted in their way of life, their deep roots, unshakable faith in their own culture, social solidarity and a body of observations and knowledge accumulated over many generations.


The "Terrestrial voices" platform will take the form of a "digital balagan" (a Yakut winter dwelling used among other purposes for group recitals of the olonkho), in which the months of February, March and April will see online screenings of films from the author's selections of film curators, and where musicians' mixtapes will be collected alongside podcasts, audio performances, online discussions and a contemporary art exhibition exploring the artistic potential of the human voice – all these projects will be open to the public online.
10 audio mixtapes by Russian musicians interpreting the Yakut musical heritage and Olonkho (curated by Bulat Khalilov)

4 curated programmes of films and video art on indigenous issues in the format of an online streaming platform

An international online exhibition hosted on the website featuring 14 artists, dedicated to the study of the voice as an artistic material

The Radio Olonkho project: specially recorded audio podcasts by "Culture of Yakutia" and the theatre perfomances
MUSIC
From the late '80s until relatively recent times, the Western music industry looked at the traditional and local music of non-European regions and cultures through the lens of its "world music" concept. In this paradigm, European producers and musicians (or those trained in the European tradition) promoted music from elsewhere as a colourful, exotic and attractively wild product. Under these conditions, genres and phenomena that were extremely distant from each other in nature were all mixed into a single heap – Georgian polyphony, Tuvan throat singing, Iranian maqam – all these were presented under the guise of one monolithic, albeit highly varied, genre. In addition, the music industry had its own hierarchical structure within which more global genres seemed to conform to the contemporary music category, while the traditional music of distant peoples was presented as an attractive but simultaneously archaic and unfinished product, or oftentimes even as raw materials out of which high or understandable "civilisational" art could be created. If anything approaching deep and respectful research or presentation of regional music ever occurred within the framework of "world music", this was an exception, because even musicians who did work with their native traditional culture tended to think in terms imposed by the Western rules of the game.

A tendency exists today (whether engendered consciously or arising from opportunistic motives) to decolonise music and art in general. There are labels, festivals, musicians and venues out there that are free from any condescending or mawkish attitude towards traditional or non-Western music. In present-day Yakutia, the reciter of Olonkho (the olonkhosut) may find themself in the same line-up at a festival with an academic orchestra or a techno producer, who might now reconsider the ethics of taking samples of khomus playing (a Yakut variant of the Jew's harp) in order to give his track a "shamanic vibe". The rules of the game now function in such a way that cultural exchange has to take place on equal terms, demanding of producers, musicians or artists that they immerse themselves in the context, communicate with people, and ask questions before making use of a distant and tempting "ethnic" culture. Nevertheless, there are still many contradictory strategies of cooperation between "tradition and modernity" to be found, not to mention articles in the Western press employing epithets that exoticise traditional culture, and doubts continue to be raised regarding the right of members of another cultural tradition to work with a traditional culture that is foreign to them.

The curator of the musical part of the "Terrestrial Voices" project Bulat Khalilov, who has invited ten Russian musicians (from different regions of the country, including Moscow) to interpret the Yakut musical heritage, is himself a resident of the North Caucasus and founder of the ethnographic label Ored Recordings. This label documents, explores and promotes traditional music in all its assorted manifestations: from epic storytelling to the Soviet academic heritage and extreme variations of genre. In an attempt to critically reconceptualise the context in which traditional music exists, Ored Recordings grants the right to self- expression to representatives of different cultures and approaches to traditional music. Khalilov is deeply convinced of the view of tradition as a living organism that can develop in any conditions, and is confident that new forms of traditional music cannot be "wrong" – as he sees it, any means of self-presentation can become part of tradition. The Ored Recordings label thus strives to capture, understand and support its myriad forms. In doing so, it is not the search for one exclusively correct way that is sought for, but rather the preservation of diversity. The colonial heritage has shaped our present, and overcoming the associated problems cannot be achieved through the rejection of all contacts with the metropolis or any collaborative projects with people from other cultures, but only through building relationships based on an equal footing.

The list of those taking part in Khalilov's musical programme has been arranged in such a way as to show both the internal perspective of Yakut artists on their native music, culture and everyday life, and an outside view that is able to encompass an interest in the other as something exotic, while not being limited to that alone. Another significant and quite wonderful point here is that the authors' identities are not formed solely by official membership in and belonging to an ethnic group – we are faced here, first and foremost, with a diversity of creative approaches and stories behind each work. As such, some of the works feature ethnographic recordings of the Yakut epic in collision with abstract sound art or expressive electronics, thereby creating a wholly new context; some see field recordings and interviews build up a certain plot, allowing local residents to tell us about themselves; while others have the authors moving away from folklore motifs to immerse us in the sounds of recent and contemporary hip-hop and the punk underground, because the local music scene is not limited to folk. The depth of immersion in local musical material may differ from author to author, but the key thing is that the resulting sound canvases – from DJ sets and playlists to podcasts and audio collages – all serve in different ways to reveal the sound image of today's Yakutia.

Program curator:

Bulat Khalilov is an ethnographer, journalist, and co-founder of the Ored Recordings label,
specialising in field recordings of the traditional music of the Caucasus, Russia and the wider
world. He lives and works in Nalchik.
FILMS
ART
THE "ROOMS FOR VOICES"
PROGRAMME
Curator: Alexander Burenkov

Artists: The creative group "Archetype"/ Elina Bolshenkova / Gordei Yefimov / Nikolai Karatayev / Vasily Sumin / ABIBOSS aka Anya Enot / AGF aka poemproducer by Antye Greie-Ripatti / Courtney Brown / Audrey Chen / Veza Fernandez / Marta Forsberg / Nina Guo / HMOT / Sebastien Robert
"I am Sitting in a Room" is more than just the description of a state that fits most of humanity during this time of pandemic and self-isolation, it is also the title of an already legendary sound art project recorded in 1969, one of the most famous works of the composer Alvin Lucier. In this piece, Lucier records himself speaking the lyrics and then plays the cassette tape recording back into the room, re-recording it. The new recording is then played and re-recorded, and this process is repeated. Due to the particular size and geometry of the room, certain recording frequencies are emphasised while others are attenuated. Eventually the words become illegible, replaced by the characteristic resonant frequencies of the room itself. In his book on the origins of minimalism, Edward Strickland wrote that «In its repetition and limited means, I am sitting in a room ranks with the finest achievements of Minimal tape music. ... It unifies the two principal structural components of Minimal music in general».

Being in different parts of the world – from Yakutsk and Moscow to Amsterdam and Dallas – sitting in their rooms and often found in self-isolation in their rooms and apartments due to the coronavirus pandemic, the sound artists and musicians participating in the "Terrestrial Voices" project's online exhibition "Rooms for Voices have turned to voice as an artistic medium and a means to connect us with each other and other animal species, as well as to explore the psychological impact that voice can have on us now, when our world is so heavily saturated with visual images and depictions. Of all terrestrial life forms, only the modern human has a voice with the full range of its capabilities. With all its physiological limitations, the human voice is capable of highly complex modulations of sound and meaning. The primitive biofunctional characteristics of voice – screaming, babbling and reflexes – expand significantly as a human being matures and becomes a personality. As the most important sign of developed thought, speech makes communication between us multidimensional and complex. Singing acts in a special way on our psychosomatic state, causing a sensual response. The phenomenon of the autonomy of the voice is extremely curious, and has been studied by modern thinkers over several decades. The voice becomes a qualitative characteristic of the perception of consciousness. It is in the literal sense of the word an object, shimmering between its birth in sound and the comprehension of these vibrations of the environment through hearing.

In today's visually oriented world, sound has paradoxically become much more powerful due to visual overload; it is very difficult for an image to get to us, while sound can do so in more subtle and subconscious ways. Through their documentation of sound performances, karaoke, exercises, instructions, and sound scores, the artists propose ways of focussing on sound as a tool to relieve feelings of separation and isolation, and as a unifying factor that can overcome pandemic alienation by means of audio experiences. While some authors have recontextualised the practice of sound meditation-concentration as employed by the bearers of the sacred knowledge of the Yakut people – the Olonkhosut (storyteller) and Algyschyt (white shaman) – by means of sound concentration practices or seeking to raise questions about the functioning of the mechanisms of voice fixation and its reproduction, others have returned voice to the sounds of the aurora borealis, after having been denied for decades, creating a musical improvisation with samples recorded in the winter season during heavy fogs and low temperatures, or re-sounding the process of the ice splitting in a glacier.

Most of the artists participating in the project have chosen not only to explore the potential of their own voice, but to offer the opportunity to be heard to Arctic nature, to other living beings and non-human agents. Examples include making audible the sounds of wing vibration in the mating-call songs of the Caribbean fruit fly Anastrepha suspensa, a pest responsible for significant damages to agriculture (this gesture thereby becoming a way to sonify the current economic crisis), or using the sounds made by Asian elephants, the closest living relatives of the woolly mammoth, to reveal the similar behavioural patterns and rhythmic abilities of both the megafauna that inhabited Siberia in the Pleistocene and their modern relatives – this is how the artists imagine a world in which people and mammoths might be able to create music together. The projects vary in their length and complexity, are intended for corporeal and out-of-body, individual and collective practice, present their practices as an everyday tool, as a set of mechanisms and procedures operating outside the institutional framework of art, as well as exploring the changing landscape of contemporary auditory culture and sonic politics, but primarily represent attempts to come to grips with the subjective experience of the Other and to give it a voice.

Program curator:

Alexander Burenkov is the artistic director of the AyarKut Foundation, curator of contemporary art, head of the Curatorial Practices at the Moscow School of Contemporary Art. As a curator of contemporary art, he has held more than 20 exhibitions in various institutions, such as Porto design biennial, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russian Ethnographic Museum. ART4.ru museum, Russian State Library, Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture and Design, Art Athina fair (Athens), Fragment Gallery, Voskhod Gallery (Basel), HSE Art Gallery, Richter Hotel, ∆ Gallery Triangle, State Polytechnical Museum, JART Gallery, Cosmoscow fair non-profit sector. Curator of the V-A-C Foundation (2014−2016). Curator of the ISSMAG Gallery (2016-2017). Chief Specialist of the Regional Development Directorate of ROSIZO-NCCA (2017−2018). Curator of the Khodynka Municipal Gallery (2019). Curator of Cosmoscow foundation for the support of contemporary art (2019-2020). Laureate of the state award in the field of contemporary art "Innovation" (2017) in the nomination "Curator of the Year" for the project "Planned obsolescence" within the framework of the parallel program of the 5th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art.Author of articles on contemporary art and culture for Artforum, Kommersant-Art, Russian Art Focus, Esp, Aroundart, Colta, Artgid, Afisha, Art Magazine, The Calvert Journal, East East, Dialogue of Arts, Afisha, Lookatme, Strelka magazine and others (2009 - 2022).
RADIO OLONKHO
Olonkho Radio

"Olonkho Radio is a mobile application developed by the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), scheduled for release in the spring/ summer of 2022. The idea of the project is to collect audio materials about the Olonkho epic in one app. It is the oldest epic art of the Yakuts (Sakha), and it occupies a central place in the system of Yakut folklore. The main goal is to organize the audio materials, systematize them by sections, and simplify the search and listening process for users. In addition, the project is also working on the creation of new content.

The term "olonkho" denotes both the epic tradition as a whole and individual stories. In 2009, UNESCO included the Olonkho in its "Intangible Heritage of Humanity list. Olonkho Radio will present recordings of Olonkho performances, both archival and contemporary, podcasts of researchers of the epos, interviews with performers, teachers, and audio articles of scientific nature. There will also be a section "For Children" with recordings of children's performance of the Olonkho, as well as didactic materials. The Olonkho epos includes practically all Sakha folklore genres, so a special section with recordings of such genres as toyuk (song genre), ohuokhai (song part of the ritual dance of osuokhai), chabyrҕakh (patter) and many others will be included.

There is much work being done in the republic to study and continue the traditions of the Olonkho: the Olonkho Research Institute, the Olonkho Center, the Olonkho Theater, the Museum of Music and Folklore of the Peoples of Yakutia, and there are Olonkho Houses and other cultural and educational institutions in the regions. The staff of the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), who initiated the project, are convinced that given the dynamic daily routine and lack of time, the podcast is the best format that will allow to seamlessly blend listening to the ancient Olonkho epic and deepening the knowledge of it into the everyday life. Olonkho is an oral genre, and listening to it develops imagination and stimulates thinking activity so that the application will have educational and developing features. In addition to the podcasts with the guidance given by experts in various disciplines about the Olonkho, the project will include audio lecture courses in cooperation with researchers and audio performances and partnership projects with the Olonkho Theater and the Museum of Folklore and Music of Yakutia.

The Creative Association, "Culture of Yakutia", is an association of creative individuals not indifferent to the preservation and development of the traditions of the Sakha people. The union was formed in 2020. Musicians, poets, folklore performers, cultural researchers, and community members implement various projects in their spare time from their primary work. Thus, in the first pandemic year, when Sakha's main holiday was cancelled due to restrictions, a website appeared that collected materials about the Ysyakh National Holiday. Texts, photos, and videos about all elements of the Ysyakh - from history to rituals and national dress, from folklore to games and contests - can be found at Culture-Yakutia.Com.

The Olonkho Kitehete (Epos Evening) project aims to create an environment for developing the skills of listening to the olonkho and for having a live discussion with the performers of the genre, and this unique platform began its work in 2021. Anastasia Alekseeva, an artist of the Olonkho Theater of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), one of the project's initiators, an epos promoter, and the author of the Olonkho "Kyys Ursun Uda5an", hosts the evenings. Besides the live performance of the olonkho led by the evening host, participants will hear the gramophone recordings of olonkho pieces of the last century, folk songs, learn the traditional toyuk, the "kylysakh" techniques, and dance the circular dance of osuokhai.

The concert of ethnic music "Ancient tunes of the ancestors" has become a platform for creative experimentation for ethnic performers. The first and so far the only concert was accompanied by the Ethno-group "Altan sandaҕa" ("Golden Peril"). The group plays kylykh, taҥsyr, kүpsүr, khomus; the members include the master of throat singing and performer of the Altai epos Erkul Chulunov, performers of Yakut folklore Sahaaya Nokhsorova, Tuyaara Sofroneeva, Julia Vasilyeva, Julia Chirikova, and artists of the Olonkho Theater Anastasia Alexeyeva and Alisa Larionova.

On the Instagram page @culture_yakutia, you can find materials about the olonkho epic and the newest information about the group's projects.

The Olonkho Radio project in cooperation with the National Library of Yakutia will be another group's initiative.


Program curator:

Tatiana Pavlova is a curator, an employee of the Media Center of the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), a member of the Creative Association "Culture of Yakutia".
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
February 2022
► Podcasts with theater critic Valentina Chusovskaya:
— About the aesthetics of the Olonkho Theater
— The olonkho "Kyys Debiliye" on theater stage
— The paths of the artist and the viewer of the Olonkho Theater

Video recording of the performance of Sakha Academic Theater. P.A. Oyunsky "Kyys Debiliye" (directed by Andrey Borisov, 2000

Video recording of the performance of the Educational Theater of the Arctic State Institute of Culture and Arts "Kyys Debiliye" (directed by Maria Markova, 2019)

Video recording of the part of the olonkho "Nyurgun Bootur the Swift" performed by Gavril Kolesov in the Literary Museum named after. P.A. Oyunsky

Video recording of the part of the olonkho "Nyurgun Bootur the Swift" performed by Vitaly Nikiforov in the Olonkho House of the Megino-Kangalassky Ulus

► Video recording of the performance of the olonkho "Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta", folkl group "Dolun"
March 2022
► Webinar "Symbols of fate in the mythological picture of the world", speaker: Ekaterina Romanova, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Chief Researcher of the Department of Archeology and Ethnography of the IGIiPMNS SB RAS. Date: 03/02/2022 at 20:00 (GMT +9)

► Podcast "The Image of a Bogatyr in Olonkho "Kyys Debiliye", speaker - Aiza Reshetnikova, Ph.D.
"KYYS DEBILIYE", 2000
About olonkho "Kyys Debiliye"
Kyys Debeliye

From N.V. Yemelyanov's book Motifs from the Yakut Olonkho, motif no. 72

At the time of the creation of the universe, the Middle World was divided into two parts: Eastern Sibiir and Western Sibiir. Western Sibiir was home to the beautiful country of Unaarytta. This land was visited by Sarakhana Kyunennyi, youngest daughter of Arsan Duolai, lord of the Lower World. She took a liking to the land of Unaarytta and made her abode there. This Abaasy woman then abducted three boys from the Lower, Middle and Upper worlds and set about their education, teaching them all kinds of deceit, witchcraft and magic. The eldest from the Lower World was called Dygyydaan Byogyo, the middle one from the Middle World was Urgunnyuk Baatyr, and the youngest from the Upper World was Kyun Ereli. Urgunnyuk Baatyr and Kyun Ereli asked their adoptive mother to show them a strong and wealthy hero from the Middle World. Sarakhana told them about Chugdaan, a mighty warrior of the Middle World, possessed of enormous riches.

Taking on the form of wolves, the sons of the two worlds went to the hero Chugdaan, arriving in his country at the time of the Ysyakh festival. The wolves attacked his herds of cattle and of horses.

When Chugdaan noticed that wolves had destroyed one quarter of his cattle, he decided not to attach any importance to this, for it was impossible to enter into a bloody battle amid such joyful celebrations. But once he saw that the wolves had destroyed half of his livestock, Chugdaan lost his patience. He went out to the wolves and asked them to be merciful for the sake of the happiness of the Middle World. But the wolves, paying no heed to the hero, continued their wicked deeds.

Chugdaan's struggle against the sons of the daughter of the Abaasy then began. His opponents, convinced of Chugdaan's extraordinary strength, called to their elder brother Dygyydaan Byogyo for help.

Chugdaan clashed in battle against Dygyydaan, and Dygyydaan Byogyo began to get the better of him. Then Chugdaan seized upon a trick, proposing to his opponents that he would appear on the battlefield of the Middle World on the full moon of the next month. The sons of the daughter of the Abaasy then seized Chugdaan's sister Khaanchylaan Kuo, the beautiful daughter of the old man Adzhyn Baai Toyon and the old woman Edzhine Baai Khotun, and returned to their mother.

Before the time he had set came around, Chugdaan went to see Kyys Debeliye, the famous female warrior of the Upper World, who had been sent down from the heavens to earth at the behest of Yuryung Aar Toyon and Dzhylga Toyon for her extreme cruelty in feats of arms.

After repeated requests from Chugdaan, Kyys Debeliye finally agreed to help him. She also summoned her sister Aan Akhtaliyya. And she ordered Chugdaan to release the Aiyy hero Eriede Bergene, whom she had once imprisoned.

The date for the duel set by Chugdaan was fast approaching. Kyys Debeliye, Aan Akhtaliyya and Chugdaan made their way to the battlefield of the Middle World. The three sons of the Abaasy's daughter and the three heroes of the Aiyy appeared at the same time in the agreed place.

The battle of the six heroes began. Kyys Debeliye fought with the son from the Lower World, Dygyydaan Byogyo, Chugdaan Byogyo fought with the son from the Middle World, Urgunnyuk Baatyr, and Aan Akhtaliyya fought with the son from the Upper World, Kyun Ereli. The combat was long and hard. The heroes were equally matched in strength. A huge flame rose up from the battlefield into the sky, reaching the Uluu Toyon's tribe and leaving epilepsy in its wake. From the blows of the heroes, fragments of stones flew from the tops of the cliffs. Like heavy rain, they fell down and, reaching the people of Arsan Duolai, drove them mad.

The very battlefield shook during this bloody melee. From below came the booming voice of the master spirit of the battlefield, the old man Taas Engsilgen, who sang that the heroes had, with their struggle, brought misfortune rather than life to the tribes of the three worlds. He ordered the heroes to descend to the battlefield of the Lower World, located beyond Uot Kudulu Baikhal. As soon as the old man's song came to an end, a huge abyss yawned open right in the middle of the field. Without having time to come to their senses, the warriors tumbled down, not ceasing battle. At this point, Kyys Debeliye, having noticed that her sister was weakened, urged her to return home. Aan Akhtaliyya transformed into a bird and instantly flew up to her native land. Kyun Ereli made to grab her, but suddenly the hero of the Aiyy tribe, Eriede Bergen, appeared. The fight resumed with the same force as before.

The tribes of all three worlds then complained to Dzhylga Toyon about the warring heroes. Dzhylga Toyon sent forth his messenger, who passed on Dzhylga's command that Dygyydaan be imprisoned forever in a chest of iron. The rest of the heroes were ordered to stop fighting and return to the Middle World. The Abaasy tribes, having heard Dzhylga Toyon's order, immediately imprisoned Dygyydaan in an iron box. Kyys Debeliye ascended with four bogatyrs to the Middle World. She released the warriors of Chugdaan and Eriede Bergen to their homeland, and took the two other warriors, the pupils of the Abaasy's daughter, to the ends of the earth, where she performed the rite of purification against evil spirits on those who had been taken by the Abaasy. After this cleansing act, the heroes felt as if they were awakening from a long sleep. Before their eyes appeared another world, the world of beauty of the Middle World, where picking even a single weed would be an atrocity.

Having cleansed the heroes from evil spirits, Kyys Debeliye sent the son of the Upper World Kyun Ereli to his parents. Then she herself flew with Urgunnyuk Baatyr to Western Sibiir, where Sarakhana the daughter of the Abaasy lived. Expecting the warrior maiden Kyys Debeliye, Sarakhana abandoned the Middle World forever and descended into the Lower World.

Kyys Debeliye was met with a horrific sight of withering and destruction. At her summons, the heavenly shamaness Aitalyyn appeared. She performed the sacred archy ritual in this country and blessed the Middle World with rebirth. Then, again at the call of Kyys Debeliye, heavenly craftsmen appeared and built a large wooden booth within three days. On finding the sister of Chugdaan, who had earlier been kidnapped by Urgunnyuk Baatyr, Kyys Debeliye married her to Urgunnyuk Baatyr. They then celebrated the wedding. Afterwards, Kyys Debeliye blessed the newlyweds and, wishing them a happy and joyful life, went to see Chugdaan.

In honour of the arrival of Kyys Debeliye, Chugdaan arranged a heroic feast. Just as Kyys Debeliye was about to depart, the old woman Edzhine Baai Khotun asked her to say goodbye to her and the old man Adzhyn Baai Toyon, because every day the paths of their past were lengthening, while the paths of their future were shortening. Perhaps they would not be destined to see her again. Kyys Debeliye then kissed the old woman and the old man, and then accidentally kissed Chugdaan too. Reproaching herself for her indiscretion, for having come close to breaking her vow of chastity, Kyys Debeliye left for her own country.

Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta

The full text of the olonkho Dyyrybyna Dyyrylyatta Kyys Bukhatyyr was recorded by the folklorist P.N. Dmitriev from the lips of the Namtsy olonkhosut P.P. Yadrikhinsky-Bedyeele (1970), and was published in 1981 by the Yakutsk book publishing house.

The creation of mother earth. Aal Kuduk Mas – whose top stretches to the three-tiered heavens in the Upper World; its mighty roots grow impetuously, pushing through the earth into the Lower World. Alaas Khotun Daladyky, where the old man Aryly Toyon and the old woman Karemes Khotun live in wealth and abundance. They have only one sadness in life – no children. But then one day, Dzhylga Khaan, the deity who rules fate, shows them mercy, and Karemes Khotun becomes pregnant. Soon she gives birth to a boy, Toyon Dyollyuyut. Soon after the birth of her son, the old woman becomes pregnant again and gives birth to a daughter, Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta. Close in age, the children rapidly grow to maturity.

One day, the messenger Soruk Bollur appears, sent by the old man Andy Baalyr Toyon and the old woman Chyorkyoi Yotyumekh Khotun: Their daughter, the beautiful Syralyma Kuo, has been abducted by the bandit Timir Chokhchordoon from the far northern side of the Middle World. Soruk Bollur conveys the old people's request that Toyon Dyollyuyut become their protector. The hero agrees and begins to prepare for the campaign. Before his long journey, Toyon Dyollyuyut asks the spirit of fire to guard and protect his native hearth until he returns. The hero then sets out to rescue Syralyma Kuo from the captivity of Timir Chokhchordoon.

He rides so fast that his horse jumps nine fathoms with each hoof beat. And suddenly he sees a birch-bark summer house, from which a beautiful Aiyy girl emerges. She introduces herself as the daughter of Dyasyagei Toyon and Sidiriin Khotun, the beautiful Uyullaan Kuo. The Aiyy maiden says that they are destined to become husband and wife. Toyon Dyollyuyut believes her words and turns aside from his path. And so the bogatyr falls under the evil spell of the Abaasy maiden and plummets like a stone down into the Lower World. In seven long days and nights, the heroic horse succeeds in loosening the kerekh post to which he is tied, and runs away to his native country. The hero's horse reaches his native country, Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta understands that some misfortune has befallen her brother and decides to go to the rescue. The girl's parents bless her before setting out on her long journey. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta puts on heroic clothes, dons armour, and makes her way to the tree Aal Kuduk Mas. Aal Kuduk Mas reports that the hero-maiden's horse is to be found on the south side of the vast sea in a copper stable. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta finds her horse and goes in search of her brother. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta at the entrance to the Lower World. Unexpected advice from the bogatyr's horse. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta passes through the gates of the Lower World by cunning. A verbal skirmish and duel with the udaganka (shamaness) of the Lower World, Obot Khobochoi. Obot Khobochoi begs for mercy, but Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta kills the Underworld udaganka. Continuation of the journey through the gloomy, terrible Underworld.

Suddenly, The Abaasy Timir Chokhchordoon with nine humps on his back attacks Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta. After a verbal altercation, a fierce battle begins, lasting thirty days and thirty nights. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta overcomes the Abaasy.

Liberation from imprisonment of the brother and the beautiful Aiyy from the sorcerer's fetters by the power of a magic word. At the call of Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta, her faithful horse appears, bringing yellow ilge butter. With the help of the ilge butter Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta returns the life force to her hero brother and Aiyy maiden. The road home again. Toyon Dyollyuyut and Syralyma Kuo thank Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta for coming to their aid. With a blessing, the hero girl escorts her brother and the Aiyy maiden to the land of Syralyma Kuo. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta returns home. Her parents arrange a feast in honour of the return of their daughter.

Source: Digital Archive of the Olonkho Institute (s-vfu.ru).
About the performance "Kyys Debiliye", 2000
State Sakha Academic Drama Theater named after P.A.Oyunsky (artistic director Andrey Borisov)
Diploma of theater critics 'Golden Mask' (2002)

Roles performed by: Stepanida Borisova, Vasily Aprosimov, Isabella Nikolaeva, Innokenty Dakayarov, Irina Nikiforova, Innokenty Lukovtsev, Elizaveta Potapova, Kupriyan Mikhailov, Dmitry Mikhailov, Sofia Baranova, Zoya Popova, Ayaal Ammosov, Kirill Semenov, Petr Sadovnikov, Mikhail Aprosimov, Zoya Bygynova , Elena Sergeeva, Petr Basnaev, Nadezhda Ushnitskaya, Margarita Borisova, Gerasim Vasiliev, Mikhail Semenov, Ivan Popov.

The olonkho performance 'Kyys Debiliye' was discovered in the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka in 2005. It immediately attracted interest from the foreign audience and marked the birth of the classical state theater of the Sakha people. This video was taken at the Sai-no-Kuni Saitama Arts Theater in Saitama Prefecture.

Video provided by State Sakha Academic Drama Theater named after P.A.Oyunsky
"KYYS DEBILIYE", 2019
About "Kyys Debiliye", 2019
Author's olonkho by the performer of the olonkho, actress of the Olonkho Theatre Anastasia Alexeeva, "Epic heroine (bogatyrka) with a red and brown horse Kyys Ursun Udaganka".

The action in the olonkho takes place in three worlds: the Upper (Yakut Yokut Yohee Doidu), the Middle (Yakut Orto Doidu) and the Lower (Yakut Allaraa Doidu). In the middle of the universe is Aal Kuduk Mas - the World Tree, whose roots go to the Lower World, the crown grows in the Middle World, and the branches run high into the sky, where the deities of the Upper World reside.

The main heroine (bogatyrka) of the oolonkho is a girl-goddess from the Aiys Kyys Ursun tribe. In the story, she lives a prosperous and peaceful life with her mother and her beautiful sister Tunal5an Kuo with a four-meter lengthy pigtail on Elgyay alaas. One fine morning a messenger from Soruk Bollur rides up to them and asks them to rescue a certain beauty, Ala5arkaan Kuo, whose hair is six meters long. She has been stolen by Holonsoe Holoruk, an evil rich man of the Abaasa tribe from the underworld. Upon learning this, the bogatyrka battles with evil spirits to save her tribe Ayyy, despite her mother and sister strongly opposing it because the Shaman Ochosko, who sent the messenger, once exterminated the tribe of the bogatyrka's mother. She goes because it is her destiny from the Deities of the Upper World to protect and save the tribe of Ayyy. While travelling to the Lower World, she hears her sister Ala5arkaan Kuo crying, and on the way, she meets the "beauty" of the Lower World Kyryys Syraan, who confuses Kyys Ursun with a man; because of this mistake, the bogatyrka kills her. Before the fight, the heroine's horse sings with a human voice and gives her ancestral blood to make her even more robust and taller. After that, the Seven Ayyy Udaganks appear from the Upper World and perform a ritual to make the heroine's body and spirit indestructible.

In the end, the heroine saves her sister and her brother, who went to look for the sister and did not return. She also meets her father, Shaman Ochosko. He tells his life story, asks forgiveness for giving his little native daughter Kyys Ursun on a red-brown horse as a sign of apology to the woman whose tribe he exterminated. Furthermore, he gives her her real full name, Kyys Ursun Udaganka, a girl-bogatyrka with an exciting and unpredictable fate on a red-brown horse, which he rides in battle. According to the plot at the olonkho, they celebrate Ysyakh for nine days and nights.
About the perfomance "Kyys Debiliye", 2019
According to the famous olonkho storyteller N.P. Burnasheva, the play 'Kyys Debiliye' is a joint project of the Olonkho Theater and the Arctic Institute of Culture and Arts (artistic director Andrey Borisov, singing teacher Stepanida Borisova, director Maria Markova, staged by Arctic State Institute of Culture and Arts student Anastasia Alekseeva.)
"Nyurgun Botur the Swift" perfomed by Gavril Kolesov
About olonkho "Nyurgun Bootur the Swift"
P.A. Oyunsky.

NYURGUN BOOTUR THE SWIFT

(Summarised by I.V. Pukhov)

In ancient times, when people had not yet divided up into tribes, the Middle World was created – a land for people, the ancestors of the Yakuts, who are the kin of the deity (Aiyy Aimaga). This original mother earth was created with sun and water, with trees and grasses. This land sits amid the great sea, framed by stone mountains. The Almighty swore to punish anyone who tries to destroy this country.

A boy was then born to the gods in heaven, and at once reveals his violent character. The sage of the Lower World predicts that he will destroy all the worlds and all life in them. Fearing the boy's violent temper, the gods bind him with fiery ropes to a magic octagonal pillar on top of an iron mountain. This boy is the future hero and guardian of humanity, the hero Nyurgun Bootur the Swift.

The gods then make a decision: the boy must only be released in the event of troubles and misfortunes in the Middle World, in order to bring destroyers to heel.

To ensure the perpetuation of the line of the Yakuts, the gods populate the Middle World with the first humans: Sakha Saaryn-Toyon and his wife Sabyya Baai-Khotun.

When Sabyya Baai-Khotun goes into labour, the people call on the goddess of childbirth, Nelbeng Aiyysyt, who arrives in the form of a white mare.

Sabyya Baai-Khotun gives birth to twins – a boy and a girl. Nelbeng Aiyysyt delivers the infants, utters an algys (wishing the children happiness and large families) and gives the boy the name Kyun Dyiribine (Sunshine), and the girl Tuyaryma (Beauty Lark). Afterwards, the goddess flies away, to sit in the clouds. Those remaining perform the ceremony of Aiyysyt's reins, arranging a festival – the feast of Ysyakh.

The children grow up: Kyun Dyiribine grows boastful, calling on the hero bogatyrs of the Upper and Lower Worlds to try their strength with him. His bragging turns out to be fatal: three days later, a monster arrives in the form of a three-headed serpent – the Abaasy hero Uot Usutaaky (Fire-Thrower). After a short fight, he defeats Kyun Dyiribine and takes Tuyaryma Kuo away with him.

The people complain about the ravages of the Abaasy monsters. Heeding their lamentations, the goddess of the earth Aan Alakhchyn-Khotun turns to the supreme deity Yuryun Aar-Toyon for help. He gives the order to release Nyurgun Bootur the Swift to protect the Middle World and that he be taken down there together with his sister Aitalyyn Kuo (the Beauty Aitalyyn). Their parents do not dare to send their daughter off alone with Nyurgun, who will be in constant conflict and raids. They therefore send their youngest son Yuryun Uolan (the White Youth) to accompany them to the Middle World.

On arriving in the Middle World, Nyurgun Bootur tries his hand. He strikes a stone – the stone bursts into flames, he stamps his foot – the earth hums, a storm rises, and slabs of stones fly up and fall like rain.

Feeling hungry, Nyurgun asks Bayanai, the god of hunting, to give him an animal.

An elk approaches him, which Nyurgun kills with his fist. He then clothes himself with its hide, and brings the meat home.

Nyurgun Bootur leaves the heroic horse Dyuraa-Khara and goes to the blacksmith Kytai Bakhsylaan; the latter then forges heroic weapons and heroic iron clothes for him.

Now fully armed, Nyurgun Bootur strikes up a battle song, summoning enemies to battle.

Nyurgun Bootur has made his challenge to his enemies and is awaiting their appearance. He informs his brother that the soul of Tuyaryma Kuo has flown by in the form of a white crane ("the spirit of the song she sang, the tear of her weeping eyes"), asking for help. Yuryun Uolan immediately goes on a quest to save Tuyaryma Kuo. The goddess of the earth Aan Alakhchyn-Khotun utters an algys and performs a ritual ceremony: divination on a spoon (this fortune-telling proves unsuccessful for Yuryun Uolan: the spoon falls to the ground concave side down, portending the defeat of the hero). She then allows him to drink milk from her breast, to give the hero strength.

Soon Yesyokh Kharbyyr arrives, a hero of the Abaasy, in the form of a monstrous eight-legged creature. He snatches Aitalyyn Kuo away and disappears. Nyurgun Bootur immediately sets off in pursuit of the kidnapper, and arrives in the Lower World, where he catches up with the enemy beside the Sea of Fire.

Having caught up with the enemy, Nyurgun Bootur cuts the heads off the three-headed snake on which Yesyokh Kharbyyr rode, takes back Aitalyyn Kuo from him and, turning her into a ball of wool, places her in the left ear of his horse, which he sends back, ordering the steed to return to him at his first call.

A great battle ensues between the warriors. During the clash, they devastate the Lower World. At the request of its ruler, Arsan Duolai, shamans escort the bogatyrs to the sacred golden mountain, "where the sun and the moon were born". But even there, the heroes' battle continues to wreak destruction, and the god of destiny Dyylga-Toyon (Lord Fate) sends the heroes to a remote and narrow rocky islet the Sea of Fire. Only two people can fit on the rock, pressed tightly against each other. There, Nyurgun Bootur the Swift, with the help of his older sister, the shaman Aiyy Umsuur, defeats the enemy by pushing him into the fiery waves.

One day Yuryun Uolan arrives in a rich country. Outside a luxurious yurt, he is met by three beauties bearing cups of kumis in their hands and invited to rest after his journey. Yuryun Uolan, not heeding his horse's warning about the treachery of the sorceresses, accepts the invitation. As soon as he enters the yurt and sits on the bunks of honour, they immediately break in two, and Yuryun Uolan falls into an abyss. The Abaasy, who had taken the form of these beautiful maidens, accompany his fall with wild laughter.

At the pleading of his horse, Yuryun Uolan is freed from the abyss by the shaman Aiyy Umsuur: she lowers a golden cord down to him, woven from the sacred hair of his divine father.

Yuryun Uolan then arrives in the underworld – in the realm of Uot Usutaaky – with whom he enters into battle. Turning into a huge fiery serpent, he coils around the body of Yuryun Uolan and commences to crush him. Yuryun Uolan shows resourcefulness – he makes a false promise to marry his enemy's sister, Kyys Kyskyydaan (the Screaming Maiden). Delighted, Uot Usutaaky releases him.

When Uot Usutaaky goes to obtain food for the wedding feast, Yuryun Uolan kills Kyys Kyskyydaan and tries to free Tuyaryma Kuo, but Uot Usutaaky quickly defeats him when he returns. In mortal danger, Yuryun Uolan bids farewell to his relatives and asks Nyurgun Bootur to help him.

On returning home after defeating Yesyokh Kharbyyr, Nyurgun Bootur the Swift sees that an arrow belonging to Yuryun Uolan has rotted and is dripping with blood.

Saddened and angry, Nyurgun Bootur the Swift immediately sets off on a new campaign.

Having reached the passage to the Lower World, the hero releases his horse to return home, and continues on his way, turning himself into a three-sided pike. When he arrives at Uot Usutaaky's dwelling place, the pike-Nyurgun tries to pierce the fiery serpent that Uot Usutaaky has turned into. But the enemy dodges him, and the pike pierces the core of the underworld – a vast stone pillar, half of which crumbles away like sand. Nyurgun Bootur then returns to his original form. In turn, the attempt of Uot Usutaaky, the fiery serpent, to asphyxiate Nyurgun by wrapping around his body also proves unsuccessful. Uot Usutaaky then takes on his own form too – a one-armed and one-legged cyclops. The fight begins. For thirty days the fight wages on, with neither party winning the advantage.

Nyurgun Bootur suggests that both combatants pause to rest and sleep for another period of thirty days. Uot Usutaaky accepts this offer. They take an oath not to attack each other for the agreed duration. After this, Uot Usutaaky immediately falls asleep. Nyurgun Bootur the Swift goes off in search of the captives Uot Usutaaky has imprisoned in the dungeon. When he finds them, Kyun Dyiribine asks him to release all the forty-four Aiyy bogatyrs in bondage there, so that all of them together can then attack the common enemy. But Nyurgun Bootur does not agree with this. He says that he came here to free the prisoners, not to throw exhausted, barely alive people into the jaws of a powerful enemy. He will continue to fight alone. Then he asks Tuyaryma Kuo to beseech Uot Usutaaky when he arrives, stirring his pity with tears, to beg him to appear before her in his true form, on which he will try to attack him unexpectedly. This said, Nyurgun Bootur vanishes then and there, turning into dew.

Thirty days later, Uot Usutaaky arrives in his fiery serpent form. Not finding the enemy, he is alarmed and suspects some kind of deceit. Tuyaryma Kuo then weeps, reproaching him that he has never shown himself before her in his own form, but rather prefers to frighten her with this terrible guise than to caress her. She is always alone and it would be better for her to die than to be lingering on alone without a husband. Uot Usutaaky feels sorry for her; he assumes his true form, removing nine layers of armour. At this moment, Nyurgun Bootur suddenly appears before him and runs him through with a long smooth horn. In his dying song, Uot Usutaaky asks Nyurgun Bootur to finish him off. But Tuyaryma Kuo stops Nyurgun and asks him not to do this: with a second blow, the Abaasy can come back to life, acquiring a new, even more terrible power, and go on to cause innumerable disasters.

Having defeated his adversary, Nyurgun Bootur turns into a grey mouse, finds the living water hidden by Uot Usutaaky and revives Yuryun Uolan, who "wakes up" as if after a long slumber. Then the brothers release Tuyaryma Kuo and Kyun Dyiribine from their shackles. Nyurgun Bootur finds the forty-four heroes and frees them from the magic rope with which they have been tied. The liberated Aiyy bogatyrs thank Nyurgun Bootur for saving them, praise him, and promise to repay him with good for good, "if not to you, then to your descendants": this good deed he has done will not be forgotten. Saying goodbye, the liberated heroes fly off to their respective countries, some turning into a falcon, some an eagle, and others just by sitting on the clouds. At their parting, Nyurgun Bootur the Swift warns Kyun Dyiribine that in three years he will send Yuryun Uolan to woo his sister Tuyaryma Kuo and recommends he arrange a proper welcome for him.

Yuryun Uolan arrives at the abode of Sakha Saaryn-Toyon and Sabyya Baai-Khotun and presents himself as a suitor for the hand of Tuyaryma Kuo. But other rivals have gathered there too, for whom they have arranged a feast and games. Sakha Saaryn-Toyon explains that, at the behest of the god of fate Dyylga-Toyon, he who breaks the golden lady in which the soul of Tuyaryma Kuo is encased shall marry Tuyaryma Kuo. Yuryun Uolan breaks the golden effigy and wins the right to marry Tuyaryma Kuo. All the Aiyy people present rejoice and come to greet him. He weds Tuyaryma Kuo and, after the wedding feast and having stayed at his father-in-law's house for three days, he takes his wife home with him. Sabyya Baai-Khotun recites a farewell algys (wishing happiness and well-being to the young couple).

Yuryun Uolan and his bride arrive home. The wedding celebration continues for another nine days. At the end of the ninth night, the Abaasy bogatyr Uot Usumu kidnaps Tuyaryma Kuo. After a fruitless search, overwhelmed by grief, Yuryun Uolan loses his mind.

Meanwhile, Tuyaryma Kuo is already in her ninth month of pregnancy. Uot Usumu leaves to find food for her, threatening to devour her child upon his return. Left alone, Tuyaryma Kuo asks the goddess of childbirth Nelbeng Aiyysyt to save the child from his terrible stepfather. Acting through the elderly Abaasy woman "Iron" Dyiegelikeen, Nelbeng Aiyysyt steals the boy during childbirth and hides him away in a secluded place.

The boy grows up alone, hunting for his food. When he gets older, the youth goes off in search of his parents. One day he sees nine celestial maidens sitting in nine nests on nine fir trees. The heavenly maidens tell him about his parents, about his uncle Nyurgun Bootur the Swift, and tell him his own name – Ogo Tulayakh (Orphan Child). Going further, he meets the warrior maiden Kylaannaakh Kyys Nyurgun (Beautiful Maiden Nyurgun), reincarnated as a white crane. Kyys Nyurgun asks the good spirits of heaven to give the boy a heroic horse and a warrior's weapons and clothing. She informs him about the fate of his parents and his uncle Nyurgun Bootur the Swift. Then she asks him to tell his uncle Nyurgun Bootur to come to her at once before she manages to cross his path herself. The boy is very surprised that a woman can compete with his uncle.

At the command of the god of fate Dyylga-Toyon, the heavenly shamans stop the storm and free Nyurgun Bootur from the magic spell that has put him to sleep. They inform him that in order to prevail in the forthcoming great battles against an enemy of equal strength, he needs to go through heroic hardening – to "bathe" in dead water. Nyurgun Bootur then "bathes" in the dead water (it breaks up a rocky cliff the size of a hill), turning into a nimble iron fish of the underworld.

After his hardening, Nyurgun Bootur immediately sets out to find the kidnapper of Tuyaryma Kuo and arrives at the home of Uot Usumu just at the moment the latter is getting up after falling in an unsuccessful pursuit of the new-born son of Tuyaryma Kuo, who was running away to his saviour.

Nyurgun Bootur demands Tuyaryma Kuo, but Uot Usumu does not want to let her go. The fight begins. The warring bogatyrs trample down the lands of the heavenly Abaasy and inflict innumerable disasters on them. The ruler of the upper Abaasy Uluu-Toyon (Great Lord) complains to the gods. As the heroes do not want to stop the fight and disperse peacefully, the gods take them and decide upon a terrible ordeal – placing them astride the heavenly fiery rope khalbas khara ("crying blood"), they decree "Let one of them survive and triumph".

Nyurgun Bootur the Swift sits down upon the khalbas khara, turning into a falcon, and passes the test, showing not only strength and dexterity, but also proving the righteousness of the cause for which he is fighting.

Uot Usumu fails to withstand this test and perishes. His sister, the Abaasy shaman Uot Kutaalai (Flaming Bonfire) saves his soul by magic and tries to raise a new (stronger and more terrible) hero out of him in an iron cradle. But Nyurgun Bootur the Swift, in the form of an eagle, defeats the shamaness, destroys the cradle, and in it kills the toad that bears the soul and embryo of this future monster.



After his victory over Uot Usumu, Nyurgun Bootur the Swift goes to meet his bride Kylaannaakh Kyys Nyurgun. But his thoughts are not about marriage, they revolve around revenge; all because she had expressed a desire to "cross his path" – to shed his blood, humiliate him, and turn him into her slave. The hero arrives in her country without meeting anyone. He enters a yurt, and she is asleep, stripped of her battle armour. Not wishing to disturb her sleep, Nyurgun Bootur lies down on another bunk and likewise falls asleep. On waking, he sees her in full armour, standing beside him. Her strength and beauty amaze the hero. To her question as to why he has come to visit her, Nyurgun Bootur forgets all notions of revenge and replies that he has come to woo her, and asks for an answer right away. Kyys Nyurgun recalls that she has defeated all her other suitors so far, and invites him to a duel, saying that everything will depend on the result of this struggle. She warns him that should she be victorious, Nyurgun Bootur will have to leave immediately. Nyurgun Bootur wins. Kyys Nyurgun is offended that he has humiliated her dignity by throwing her to the ground, and she challenges him to fight once more.

Surprised at the behaviour of his bride, Nyurgun Bootur the Swift reminds her that he has received no order (from the gods) to offend the people of the Aiyy. He cannot fight with the bride, having come to marry her. But she is relentless, and the battle begins. Thirty days later, he defeats her and throws her to the ground. But at this moment, Kyys Nyurgun flies away, turning into smoke. She says that she will seek protection from the hero-sorcerer Alyp Khara Aat-Mogoidoon, and invites Nyurgun Bootur to try to catch up with her.

Nyurgun Bootur the Swift immediately sets off in pursuit. Arriving at the dwelling place of Alyp Khara Aat-Mogoidoon, Kyys Nyurgun asks him for protection from her pursuer, who unbeknownst to her is hiding right there, having turned into a bumblebee. Nyurgun Bootur is outraged by the behaviour of Kyys Nyurgun and is about to join battle with Alyp Khara. But at that moment he sees the brother of Kyys Nyurgun, the bogatyr Khaan Dyargystai, who has been flung into a fiery quagmire by Alyp Khara. Khaan Dyargystai asks Nyurgun Bootur to save him from certain death. Nyurgun Bootur, remembering his mission to always save those in trouble, leaves the enemy, turns into a falcon and enters the fiery quagmire, having previously called for aid to his elder sister, the shamaness Aiyy Umsuur (who immediately arrives). He cuts through the bloody mist of the underworld that surrounds the fiery bog, cuts the magic rope that bound Khaan Dyargystai into eight pieces, and he, having jumped out of the mire, immediately enters into battle with Alyp Khara Aat-Mogoidoon. The burning quagmire now envelops Nyurgun Bootur himself in a bloody haze, and the magic rope instantly wraps eight times around his body. Nyurgun Bootur the Swift, relying on two strong threads formed by the light beaming from the eyes of his elder sister Aiyy Umsuur the shamaness, severs the magic rope and jumps out onto solid ground. The two heroes quickly defeat the magician Alyp Khara Aat-Mogoidoon. They rejoice.

Only Kylaannaakh Kyys Nyurgun is unable to share their joy. She cannot forget how Nyurgun Bootur humiliated her, and is offended by the fact that he despises her for turning to Alyp Khara. Despite her brother's entreaties, she lunges at Nyurgun Bootur with her sword, misses, and hits a block of stone, which crumbles to dust. From the force of her blow a bloody flame shoots upwards, immense lightning flashes in the sky, and three thunderclaps are heard. The bride and groom fight without respite for thirty days.

Both people and the rulers of the Lower and Upper worlds complain about the bride and groom. The people of the Middle World say that those who were destined to save them from destroyers are the very ones who are inflicting destruction and death. The old people of the Middle World consider Kyys Nyurgun guilty for fighting with her betrothed and bringing disaster to people instead of getting married.

On the orders of the supreme deity Yuryun Aar-Toyon, six white celestial shamans separate the bride and groom, knocking the spirit of war that has penetrated into her flesh and blood out of her with a nine-tailed iron whip.

Having knocked the spirit of war out of her body, the shamaness revives Kyys Nyurgun with divine moisture. Once her blood and flesh are cleansed of the spirit of belligerence, she takes on a peaceful appearance and becomes even more beautiful. The shamaness Aiyy Umsuur tells everyone that Khaan Dyargystai and Aitalyyn Kuo are destined to marry.

Having received the blessing of his parents, Ogo Tulayakh goes to marry Khaachylaan Kuo. On the way, he meets his rival Timir Dyybyrdaan (Timir the Iron). In the ensuing battle, Timir Dyybyrdaan quickly defeats Ogo Tulayakh. Two young heroes called upon for aid by Ogo Tulayakh are defeated. Then Ogo Tulayakh calls Nyurgun Bootur the Swift for help. Nyurgun Bootur and Kyys Nyurgun come to the rescue. They quickly defeat Timir Dyybyrdaan and kill him.

After defeating Timir Dyybyrdaan, Ogo Tulayakh and the young warriors – the brothers of the bride – go to woo Khaachylaan Kuo. Nyurgun Bootur the Swift goes home with his wife Kylaannaakh Kyys Nyurgun. There they give Aitalyyn Kuo in marriage to Khaan Dyargystai.

Source: The Olonkho Information System web portal.



About Gavril Kolesov
Gavril Gavrilyevich Kolesov (03/08/1932 - 08/31/1997) was a Yakut actor and writer, recognised as an Honoured Artist of the RSFSR (1983) and People's Artist of the Yakut ASSR (1971).

In 1950, he was accepted at the age of eighteen into the choir of the Yakut Radio Committee. He gave his first performance of the olonkho Nyurgun Bootur the Swift by P. A. Oyunsky in 1954. From 1957 to 1997 he worked as a singer at the P.A. Oyunsky Yakut Drama Theatre. He portrayed a number of strong character images in dramatic and musical performances. In 1957, he came to Moscow to take part in the 6th World Festival of Youth and Students.

In 1968, from the 5th to 25th September, Gavril Kolesov performed the full text of the olonkho Nyurgun Bootur the Swift at the Melodiya company's Leningrad studios. The academic supervisor of this unique recording was I.V. Pukhov, Candidate of Philological Sciences, senior researcher at the USSR Academy of Sciences' Gorky Institute of World Literature, and author of a monograph on the olonkho. In total, this recording of Nyurgun is eight hours in duration, comprising an almost complete recitation of Oyunsky's text. The olonkho consists of nine double-sided long-playing Gigant records".

Nyurgun Bootur the Swift is the greatest masterpiece of Yakut folk art, recreated at the turn of the 1920-30s by P.A. Oyunsky, the founding founder of Yakut Soviet literature, a poet, the greatest connoisseur of the olonkho, and a folk storyteller-olonkhosut. The consolidated poetic text of the olonkho Nyurgun Bootur the Swift comprises over 36 thousand lines of poetry. "This work has rightly been equated by specialists with the feat of E. Lönnrot, who provided us with the holistic text of the Kalevala epic" (A. Mordinov).
"Nyurgun Botur the Swift" perfomed by Vitaly Nikiforov
About Vitaly Nikiforov
One of the most prominent figures in the modern epic tradition and winner of numerous reviews and competitions of olonkho performers. Winner of the youth award at the 3rd Republic Competition for Olonkho Performers held in 2021. Vitaly is an admirer and connoisseur of the work of Gavril Kolesov.
"Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta" perfomed by folk group "Dolun"
About olonkho "Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta"
Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta

The full text of the olonkho Dyyrybyna Dyyrylyatta Kyys Bukhatyyr was recorded by the folklorist P.N. Dmitriev from the lips of the Namtsy olonkhosut P.P. Yadrikhinsky-Bedyeele (1970), and was published in 1981 by the Yakutsk book publishing house.

The creation of mother earth. Aal Kuduk Mas – whose top stretches to the three-tiered heavens in the Upper World; its mighty roots grow impetuously, pushing through the earth into the Lower World. Alaas Khotun Daladyky, where the old man Aryly Toyon and the old woman Karemes Khotun live in wealth and abundance. They have only one sadness in life – no children. But then one day, Dzhylga Khaan, the deity who rules fate, shows them mercy, and Karemes Khotun becomes pregnant. Soon she gives birth to a boy, Toyon Dyollyuyut. Soon after the birth of her son, the old woman becomes pregnant again and gives birth to a daughter, Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta. Close in age, the children rapidly grow to maturity.

One day, the messenger Soruk Bollur appears, sent by the old man Andy Baalyr Toyon and the old woman Chyorkyoi Yotyumekh Khotun: Their daughter, the beautiful Syralyma Kuo, has been abducted by the bandit Timir Chokhchordoon from the far northern side of the Middle World. Soruk Bollur conveys the old people's request that Toyon Dyollyuyut become their protector. The hero agrees and begins to prepare for the campaign. Before his long journey, Toyon Dyollyuyut asks the spirit of fire to guard and protect his native hearth until he returns. The hero then sets out to rescue Syralyma Kuo from the captivity of Timir Chokhchordoon.

He rides so fast that his horse jumps nine fathoms with each hoof beat. And suddenly he sees a birch-bark summer house, from which a beautiful Aiyy girl emerges. She introduces herself as the daughter of Dyasyagei Toyon and Sidiriin Khotun, the beautiful Uyullaan Kuo. The Aiyy maiden says that they are destined to become husband and wife. Toyon Dyollyuyut believes her words and turns aside from his path. And so the bogatyr falls under the evil spell of the Abaasy maiden and plummets like a stone down into the Lower World. In seven long days and nights, the heroic horse succeeds in loosening the kerekh post to which he is tied, and runs away to his native country. The hero's horse reaches his native country, Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta understands that some misfortune has befallen her brother and decides to go to the rescue. The girl's parents bless her before setting out on her long journey. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta puts on heroic clothes, dons armour, and makes her way to the tree Aal Kuduk Mas. Aal Kuduk Mas reports that the hero-maiden's horse is to be found on the south side of the vast sea in a copper stable. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta finds her horse and goes in search of her brother. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta at the entrance to the Lower World. Unexpected advice from the bogatyr's horse. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta passes through the gates of the Lower World by cunning. A verbal skirmish and duel with the udaganka (shamaness) of the Lower World, Obot Khobochoi. Obot Khobochoi begs for mercy, but Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta kills the Underworld udaganka. Continuation of the journey through the gloomy, terrible Underworld.

Suddenly, The Abaasy Timir Chokhchordoon with nine humps on his back attacks Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta. After a verbal altercation, a fierce battle begins, lasting thirty days and thirty nights. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta overcomes the Abaasy.

Liberation from imprisonment of the brother and the beautiful Aiyy from the sorcerer's fetters by the power of a magic word. At the call of Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta, her faithful horse appears, bringing yellow ilge butter. With the help of the ilge butter Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta returns the life force to her hero brother and Aiyy maiden. The road home again. Toyon Dyollyuyut and Syralyma Kuo thank Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta for coming to their aid. With a blessing, the hero girl escorts her brother and the Aiyy maiden to the land of Syralyma Kuo. Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta returns home. Her parents arrange a feast in honour of the return of their daughter.

Source: Digital Archive of the Olonkho Institute (s-vfu.ru).
About folk group "Dolun"
Beside the solo performance of olonkho epic poetry, there also existed a group form of performance, in which the characters' monologues and the narrative part of the olonkho were shared out among several olonkhosuts. One contemporary successor to these traditions of group performance is the Dolun collective, founded at the Arctic State Institute of Culture and the Arts in 2016.

The collective's repertoire covers several areas: traditional performance of the heroic olonkho epic, Yakut folk songs, and the traditional folk songs of the peoples of the Arctic. Featuring in this stock of recitations and songs are the Yakut heroic epic Dyyrybyna Dyyrylyatta, Er Soǧotokh, Kün Nyurgun, and Süüleldyin Bootur, along with folk songs of the Yakut, Chukchi and Even peoples. The artistic director of the group is the doctoral candidate of culturology Zoya Strekalovskaya.

Awards of which the team is laureate and recipient include the grand prix of the "World of Siberia" International Festival of Ethnic Music and Crafts in Krasnoyarsk, the All-Russian Competition of Storytellers: "Epics of the peoples of Russia" in Karelia, the "Tavrida" All-Russian Youth Festival, and the "Russia of many faces" All-Russian Youth Festival, as well as numerous reviews, competitions and festivals at the federal republic level.

In this video, the team performs an abridged version of the olonkho Warrior-Maiden Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta by P.P. Yadrikhinsky-Bedeele. This olonkho was recorded by the folklorist P.N. Dmitriev in 1970, and is one of the best known examples of the Yakut epic. The text of the olonkho has been published twice to date: in 1981 in the Yakut language and in 2011 with a Russian translation. According to N.V. Yemelyanov's classification, Warrior-Maiden Dzhyrybyna Dzhyrylyatta belongs to the type of olonkho that concerns the defenders of the Aiyy tribe and the Uraangkhai Sakha.

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