The exhibition “Olonkho” is build upon the plotline of the Yakut folk heroic epos “Nurgun Botur the Swift” and is presented by works of Vasiliy Ivanovich Spiridonov – Barga Bahylay, people’s craftsman of Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Vasiliy Ivanovich takes an active part in Russian and republican research and practical conferences and exhibitions. He has won many arts and crafts exhibitions. The craftsman has his own unique style. Yakut epos olonkho characters, symbols and rites of the Yakut people, ethnographic elements are presented in his works. Wooden sculptures depict main characters of all olonkho songs, have three-D form and abound with small details from all sides, which strengthen their semantic component.

In ancient times
In warring, bloodthirsty times
Before the world changed,
Beyond the evil horizon Of the awful earlier years,
When the Middle World
Was not yet known.
As the thirty-five tribes
Emerging from everywhere,
To become the front-faced,
Human beings
With an ability to foresee;

The people of the Under World
Born wearing worn-out, ragged fur coats,
With teeth as sharp as a knife
Descendants of the famous tribe
Of Arsan Dolai (The Lord of the Under World)
And the famous old woman Ala Buhrai (His wife),
Not yet known as the thirty-six tribes
To the people with the reins on their backs
With foreseeing eyes;
The descendants of the Kun Aiyy family (The Sunny Deities from the Upper World)
The great old man, Ulutuyar Uluu Toyon (The Lord of Ajarais – demons – from the Upper World),
Born in the upper, inaccessible sky.
And Khotun Kokhtuya (His wife) with a shrill voice,
Not yet known as the thirty-nine tribes
To the people with the reins on their backs.
Tales about them
Were by no means on the tip of their sharp tongues.
The inhabited Middle World was created.
They say...

Creation of the Middle World, the birth of the defender Nurgun Botur from the gods

It is unknown if the smooth, white sky
Is held together by its edges;
It is unknown if it hangs on radiant ropes.
It is impossible to see
Where it begins at three shiny locks
Where the steps rise into the air.
It is impossible to see how it floats
Above the deathly nyuken etugen (Utugen, nyuken etugen, tuptur etugen, is represented in Sakha as a name of the Under World, hell, the place where monsters live).
No wings can be seen
Which lift it into the air.
The axis cannot be seen
Which rotates the earth.
But a mournful song,
A sorrowful toyuk (Toyuk – a traditional folk song of a melancholic character is heard).

After the great hot-blooded battle
Which shook the firmness
Of the vast surrounding sky,
Uluu Suorun Toyon’s tribes
Known as the pugnacious and boastful
Thirty-nine tribes
Settled on the right side
Of the southern swirling sky,
They say…

If you want to know
Who are the men and women
Of these thirty-nine tribes,
Here they are…

There are girls filthy with infectious disease,
Unable to give birth to a baby,
Looking like the curved skeletons
Of sacrificed horses.
There are boys infected with a dreadful disease,
Who have never experienced intercourse,
Looking like the skeletons
Of sacrificed horses turned upside down.
If you want an idea of their wealth
Here are the facts…

They have a stooping, tall, black stallion
Which has never covered a mare.
They have an emaciated, snorting black mare,
Which has never been mounted by a stallion.
They have a starving, skinny black foal,
Plodding along, dying.
So, these are the greatest devils
Of the southern white sky.

If I tell it as Argunov (Epic performer) did,
If I narrate it as Tabakhyrov (Epic performer) did,
All bright and lively,
Kinsfolk of the Under World who begot the tribes
Born wearing worn-out, ragged fur coats
And fetters on their feet
In the ruinous country of Ap-Salbaniki (Abyss – entrance to the Under World)
Who caused bloody death
In the hostile country
Of deadly Eluu Cherkechekh (Abyss – entrance to the Under World),
If you throw a burning noose
With eighty-eight loops
To pull out of the northern swirling sky
Eighty-eight great shamans,
If you tie them up
To push them into the gaping maw
Of that woman:
She wouldn’t be sated.
It was the great woman
Ala Buhrai, Aan Jahin (A great demoness, wife of the Lord of the Under World), their mistress.
Who was born wearing shackles.
Whose close relatives are covetous and stingy Khapsa Buhrai and Aan Jahin,
Whose wells are always empty.
Whose deceit is endless.
She was the mother of the Aan-Darahy kin (The demon’s tribe).
If you want to know
Who was that old woman’s man
Who he was to deserve her love.
To share her bed,
To climb on her.
To quench her thirst for love.
Here he is, her beloved man,
Arsan Dolai, Logayar Luo Khan –
Born wearing a worn-out, ragged fur coat.
With teeth as sharp as weapons.
Made of iron
With a big backside.
With legs that walked with a swing,
With a crooked nose.
Who became the father of evil relatives.
Who became the toyon of the deep abyss.
If you want to know
Who these best men
With yokes on their necks are.
What their future is,
How prosperous they are
Here it is...

Looking down at the land of Gherkechekh,
Out of the corner of my eye,
I see dark, thick-set boys
Who have never loved women,
I see dark, skinny girls
Walking with their heads thrown back
Who have never been pregnant;
I see a short-legged, cross-horned, dwarfish bull Which has never impregnated cows.
For being deprived of this duty by Mother Nature - Its herd of cows keep away.
As their hindquarters are too narrow
For a bull to climb on.
To give them posterity.
They have hungry infected calves.
As black as willow bark.
Scraggy and short-legged
All covered with scab.
Starving to death.

After the severe, fiery battle which made
The resounding white sky shiver,
The great greedy misers.
The hot-headed daredevils.
Having created bloody death
Game from the place of Eluu-Gherkechekh,
Settled in the insidious Under World,
In the mouth of Ap-Salbaniki.
They became relatives of Ajarai-Khan (Lord of Ajarais - Upper World demons)
And there were thirty-six tribes of them...

If one speaks about the vast and wide
Middle World,
Where thirty-five tribes settled and lived.
If one repeats the Olonkho (The Sakha epic about the feats of heroes)
Sung by the grey-templed olonkhosut,
If one unburdens one’s heart
As the old woman Androsova (Epic performer, woman) did,
If one tells the story in the same words
As the deaf Beken (Epic performer) did,
If one makes up the tale with joy and pleasure
Of how three kins of Sakha
Were created and spread,
Here is how the story goes:

Behind the far and remote side
Of the dangerous ancient times
When the upper greedy tribes
Used to fly like arrows,
Before the changing, awful
Other side of the ancient times,
When the lower terrible tribes
With their mouths wide open, ran everywhere.
When the three kins of Sakha,
Front-faced and straight-nosed,
Had not yet come into being.
At that time with no end in sight,
A terrible trouble began.

Three legendary kins of that country
For several centuries attacked each other.
In blind violence and fury.
The frenetic battle began:
They struck and spiked each other,
Shrieking and yelling.
They broke their legs.
Smashed each other’s weapons to pieces,
Grasping each other’s breasts,
Seizing each other by the throat.
Poking each other in the eyes,
Twining like bending trees.
They were the reason for the grief
That lasted for centuries,
They were the source of the noise
That never ceased.
There was great hubbub and upheaval
And great roaring for thirty days and nights;
They struck blows to each other’s heads.
They punched each other’s temples.
A disaster which was never forgotten
Took place there...
The blows of axes and batases (Batas, a Sakha weapon, similar to a long, wide knife with a long handle)
Rumbled like thunder,
Bows and arrows
Struck like lightning bolts,
The strong western wind
Burst out howling,
Nine wild storms swirled.
Out of the western sky,
Rain and snow came down in sheets.
The sun did not rise,
There was a thick fog everywhere.
The moon did not appear,
It became as dark as pitch
So they moved around by touch.
Trying to grasp each other in the night.
They wallowed in the shadows.
They flopped around like frogs.
They waggled around like bugs… (Frogs, lizards, bugs, snakes - traditionally associated with evil in Sakha mythology)

The resounding dome of the sky
Swayed unsteadily;
The inhabited Middle World
Was plunged into turmoil.
Turned around and capsized.
Engulfed in flames;
It began to wobble up and down like a quagmire, The disastrous Under World was disturbed
Like water in a birch-bark bucket,
Blue, merciless flames
Came out of its four sides.
Between its four layers at the bottom
A spider would stay stuck.
The ninth stormy sky was shaken
Like water in a birch-bark bucket.
Burning furiously with blue flames.
Freezing with friable ice.
It had a single, whirlwind top
Where interminable sorrow settled
In the southern calamitous sky...

Under a spell, the three tribes
Pierced each other with spears...

Their tendons were too hard to bend.
Their body was too tough to be cut,
Their bones were too thick to be broken,
Their blood was impossible to shed.
They could not be killed,
They were immortal;
Three tribes sacrificed themselves
And fought to the death.
Piercing each other with stakes and spears:
Their eyes bloodshot.
Their bodies dripping with sweat
They dived into the ocean to cool their fury.
Unable to utter anything,
They only stammered.
They could hardly breathe
Sitting in a thick fog like shadows,
Swelling like a huge bellow.
They exhaled again and again.
Then they began to think it over:

'The resounding vast sky has swayed, has it not?! The life of the inhabited Middle World
Has changed greatly.
Has it not it, people?!
The disastrous Under World
Has been deeply alarmed.
Has it not, people?!
While the disaster is enough,
While misfortune is not too unbearable.
While we are still alive.
Let us begin talking of a peaceful way,
Let us put our heads together
To take counsel together...

At dawn of the vast blue sky,
Look at my fence,
Glance at my farmyard
And become a beautiful mare
Of the tremendous sky,
With firm muscles, a grey thigh
And opalescent brown spots
Above its front legs.
With large spots on its shoulder.
With a notched pattern on its croup.
With sacred marks
On its solid and massive ribs.
With a spotted nostril
And a good appearance
To welcome Ejen Aiyy (i.e. Ekhsit)
Appear, show yourself to me.
Caress me with your gifted hand!
Look at my vast bed.
At my generous gifts
Help me!
Talk to me
From the head of my bed,
Bless me
From the foot of my bed.
Take me onto your soft knees!
I plead with you for a boy
With a frightful and stubborn temper,
I plead with you for a girl
With a quick and angry temper!
Tell me clearly in Sakha
That you give me your blessing!
Treat me as a human being!
Treat yourself to my yellow ilgeh!
How tired I am
From the first labour pains.
How fatigued I am
By the second labour pains.
How my strong black liver Is troubled...
How heavily my big heart Is beating...’

She complained with moans to Akhtar Aiyyhyt,
She groaned out gloomily to Ejen Ekhsit...

As soon as she had finished,
A gust of warm air arrived
From the low yellow edge
Of the eastern sky
Fleecy clouds came up in a circle.
Nelbeldjin Ekhsit, Nelbeng Aiyyhyt
Who became an Ejen Ekhsit
For young women,
Who became an Akhtar Aiyyhyt
For elderly women,
Turning into a beautiful mare
Of a milky colour rose.
Took a peep at their dwelling.
Their golden nest.
The mare ran around it thrice
From the sunny side.
The mare snorted noisily thrice –
The blistering heat remained For three long months.
She neighed loudly thrice -
A white abundance
Fell down for three long years.
She exerted herself thrice —
Blue haze came down...

After that.
While the olonkhosut was looking around.
The mare rushed
Into the vast, spacious tuhulgeh (The image of the mare is connected with the cult of the horse in Sakha mythology)
She plunged her muzzle
Into a bowl full of kumis,
She gulped it down greedily.
Gurgling, expanding her nostrils,
Bending like a crane...
Then the mare quickly came up
To the spacious dwelling.
Pushed her head through the window.
When she strained to snort three times.
The white ilgeh filled the house
Up to the middle of the walls...
Afterwards, she stumbled
Over a welcoming seleh rope
And, turning into an impressive woman,
She relaxed, stepped lightly and slowly...

Holding fast in her right hand
The soul of a powerful boy
She turned it into a feathered arrow
Holding tight in her left hand
The soul of a girl
Having transformed it into scissors,
She flew into their golden nest,
The spacious dwelling.
Coming to the head of the bed
She started to chatter.
Coming to the foot of the bed
She started to give out her blessings.
Coming to the rear side of the bed
She cooed and conjured.
The dear grandmother (Traditional way of addressing old or norble ladies) khotun
Turning round in a welcoming way
She began to sing sincerely.
With deep feelings.
She started to bless
With her warm, soft hands
The chubby white waist
Of Sabyia Baai Khotun,
The foremother of Sakha.
She quickly took off her pants.
Sewn from lynx forepaws,
She began to stroke her two thighs
With her blessing hands...
She began to speak like a man,
Fluently and quietly...

There is a great child
Born stepping
On the upper end
Of the three-layered
High, white sky
Whose father Alynga Sier Toyon,
Whose mother Aiyy Noraljin Khotun,
On its shining centre,
A brave warrior who has no equals
On the firm, outer world,
Who rides a fleet of foot black horse.
Born standing on the border
Of the clear, white sky –
Nurgun Botur the Swift
Who was appointed to settle
By order of Odun Khan
On the enduring Middle World.
We kept him under the spell
Of the fortune-teller of nine skies,
The sorceress of eight skies Aiyy-Umsur udagan ( Nurgun Botur’s sister, great shamaness of the Upper World)
Who has imbued him with raging violence Emanating from his mother-soul.
We have endowed him
With eighty-eight
Gunning tricks
Proceeding from his father-soul.
On the lower end
Of the double western, red sky.
On the heaving bosom,
On the high cope
Of its thick range
With a greyish radiance.
With a ruddy face...

Installation of Nurgun Botur, his brother Yuryung Uolan and his sister Aytalyyna Kuo in the Middle World

In an instant,
Before anyone
Takes a breath
Let them bring
That dear child
To the long-suffering, enduring Middle World From the three-layered
High, white sky –
He is expected to defend
His kind-hearted
Tribe of Aiyy-Khan
With the reins on their necks,
He is expected
To protect
His merciful
Tribe of Kun-Erken
With the reins on their backs –
And thus to spread and extend
The Uraankhai Sakha tribe...

For this divine mission to be fulfilled
He was given the great order,
The long future
To pass through the bottom of the evil abyss.
To reach the long-suffering centre
Of the enduring Middle World,
To soar like a pike above
The speedy Upper World,
All these we inscribed
On an eight-edged Pillar of stone
With fresh blood...

Bewitched by sorceries of eighty-eight
Clouds flying past,
Having cut the best chunk
Of a fierce blade,
Having picked the best part of the edge.
Of the awesome edge,
Voiced by ninety-nine
Furious daughters of ilbis, the spirit of war,
Having joined together.
Having combined as one,
Heated in the blood
Of the hard liver of a lion.
Fused in a clot of blood
Of a killer, speckled fish.
With young man’s
Lips and teeth
Reflected with a gleam on it
Three or four times.
From a distance of three-days-journey,
Thirsty for blood.
Talked about in forty-four
Frantic, colourful tales,
With a thirty-nine-notched,
Insatiable, eager blade,
With an evil blood clot,
With a deadly back,
With malign sides,
With a liking for hot blood,
With a contagious edge,
With the colour of thick blood,
With committed malice
A huge, long, sliding batas, -
The excellent blade was there...

With a hostile daughter of ilbis.
The spirit of war,
Beating up
With its sharp point,
With a liking for thick blood,
With young girls’
Eyelashes and eyebrows
Reflected with a shine
On its edge,
A blade thirsty for red blood,
With a screaming daughter of ilbis, the spirit of war,
With a colourful hilt,
A fierce spear.
The best of its kind,
Was there...

Glued with the gory bile
Of a killer, speckled fish,
Coloured with the blood
Of the hard liver of a lio,
With birchwood from a birch
Of the Khaman-Imen land,
With timber from a larch
Of the Kimen-Imen land,
Having torn into strips
The stretched back tendon
Of my lioness,
It had the bow-tension of a raging
Daughter of ilbis, the spirit of war,
Possessed by a selfish malice,
With a striking daughter of ilbis,
The spirit of war,
Having a bow
Made of the best piece
Of my forest animal’s back.
And a bow-string made of sinew
Smoked with a sooty birch bark
From the Tomon-Imen land,
Like the bend
Of an alaas-valley,
The size of the
Width of the Kennes stream,
The merry,
Splendid type
Of ivory bow
Which, swishing, shot up
At the elusive great sky.
Was there...

With the large wing feathers
Of my huge, nimble eagle,
With clinking beaks,
With snapping palates,
Breathing fire the size of a khollogos vessel (A barrel or a keg-like vessel for kumis storage),
The size of an island forest,
A clumsily-made
Evil arrows
By the name of Aan Tuona
Soaring up with a roar
From the enduring Middle World
To the layered sky,
The agile ones,
Were there...

The violent piece
Of an axe
Weighing ninety-nine puds (A pud, the old Russian measure of weight, is equal to 16.8 kg, or 37.038 pounds),
With the malice of stuffed, sacrificial horse
Striking down
The hardest skull,
Beating to breaking point
A sooty face.
Was there...

Playing around
And striking the temple,
Swinging around
And hitting the skull,
Thumping around
And beating on the belly,
Weighing fifty-five puds
Running and breathing heavily,
A voracious kind
Of a fiery Kuralai,
A bellowing bolas,
Was there...


Listen, Tuyarima Kuo!
If you are really fated
To keep your body and soul together;
If you are really destined
To gather your family together,
To keep admiring the sun,
To love your future daughter and son,
Then I am about to knock him down
From his throne to the ground,
I am about to break his bones.
Swim in the puddle of his blood,
Pull out his heart which is beating with evil
And put it on top of his open chest.
When you see your abductor,
Tell him:

‘Nurgun Botur the Swift threatened
To make me a maidservant
And treat me without mercy.
Grieving for his biggest loss –
His brother Urung Uolan
On a butterfly-white horse.
As for you,
He said he would
Stretch out your tendon or just shoot,
Because you are said to be so weak
As to lose your head with one of his kicks.
That is all he said,
And before he was gone
He laughed at us until his belly ached
That heaven’s son!
He also said he was going to ride
All your devil clan-like horses.
And break your neck
At the curve of eighty ways,
At the bend of ninety races.
But watch yourself while we are fighting
Do not be afraid of the thunder and lightning!’

But the girl, who went through
All the Earth’s misfortunes.
Began to both cry and bless him.
Revealing her worries...


‘Thank you, my saviour Nurgun Botur,
For your helpful advice!
It has calmed my little heart
And has given me a grain of courage...
I wish you all the good
That exists on the Earth;
I wish you good luck
For your help and mercy
Have I really lost
My dear friend
I was promised to?
Whom I was given
By my Ekhsit godmother,
Have I really parted with my beloved.
To whom I was destined
By my Aiyyhyt Mother?
Please answer me.
My brave brother!?
What sinful thing have I done
That I should let them destroy all Sakha people?
Why do I have such a pretty face
That attracts angels of darkness?’
She began to cry
The long-haired and pretty-faced Tuyarima Kuo. And two tears Like Russian pearls
Rolled down her shining cheeks.


'Stop crying, my child!
One cannot help
Dying people with their crying.
It seemed to me that
My dearest child, Urung Uolan,
My spirited brother
With the butterfly-white horse
That towers over
The highest fence.
Seemed to be alive.
His eyelids were twitching.
His bosom was moving
As if he were breathing.
It should not be so hard
To wake up a sleeping man,
To revive the deceased,
When you prevail over your enemy...

Good! My sister, Tuyarima Kuo!
Listen to me carefully!
When Uot Uhutaki, the demon’s son
With a fiery dragon for a horse,
Begins boasting in front of you
And shaming you,
Just show sympathy for his feelings,
Make his heart throb.
Make his knees tremble...

And when he reveals himself
And gets closer to you –
I will stop his ninety-nine transformations,
I will frustrate his eighty-eight tricks.
If I could only pierce his heart
With my sharp spear.
Suddenly, not giving him a chance to recover,
You would beget your long-expected child,
You would set up a family home’
Said Nurgun Botur,
Then turned away,
And disappeared like dust,
Turned into fog and mist.

Tuyarima Kuo,
Sat on the ground shocked:
She had never seen the ways
Of the Middle World warriors...

Kun Jiribineh
With the bluish-grey horse.
To show his thanks
Bowed three times...


‘Hurray, hurray!
Hurray, hurray!

Let ilbis, your sister, the spirit of war,
Appear in its real shape
In front and behind you!!
Let your brother, ohol.
Howl above and beside you!
Kill your enemy
And be triumphant!
Overpower your equal
And become famous!
Don’t tarnish
The good name Sakha,
Don’t stain the name
Of the Urankhai Sakha...

Oh, my dear child,
Fair-faced Tuyarima Kuo!
They say
That our hero
Was nurtured in the ways
Of the three Worlds,
He was taught the secrets
And eighty-eight tricks
And ninety-nine transformations
In the magic mountains
Of eight heavens...

Having caught sight of our welcome visitor,
I am very happy...
Destined to help the Sakha kin,
The glorious hero
Of the Middle World,
A braveheart,
He is intended to defend
The Urankhai Sakha;
A roughneck
Of the Middle World,
He is sent from high above
For our protection...

Having such a defender as he.
The Urankhai Sakha
Will never degenerate
And vanish –
Only he can fight
The mighty enemy
Hand to hand.
He is the best man
Among the people,
He is the best giant
Among the Sakha.
His face is shining
Like a flash in the night,
His eyes are burning
Like a flash of lightning.
Here is a good man,
Beaming like three rays of sunshine,
Here is a distinguished man,
And no one is wiser!’

Such were Kun-Jiribineh’s words…

The abduction of Tuyaryma Kuo by the warrior-abaahy Uot Uhumu


‘When will your fight come to an end?
When will we call each other
Wife and husband?
When will we have Alaha-Jie, the sacred house?
When will we light up Aal-Uot, the sacred fire?
When will we kiss while sitting or lying?
Waiting for your return,
My back has become numb
And the back of my head aches...’


'Aar-tatai! Alatan!
Oh, my golden-breasted birdie.
How you missed me...
Oh, my golden-breasted skylark,
How you yearned for me...
Oh, my little birdie
Just let me cheer you up.
Oh, my little skylark
Just let me stroke you!’

His heart began to beat faster,
He himself got excited,
And threw open
His nine-layered armour...

As soon as he did this,
The daring warrior
Of the Middle World
Suddenly appeared before him...

He speared Uot Uhutaki oburgu
With his lengthy sword
As if he were a birch-bark bucket
And gashed his black liver,
Stabbing his strong heart.
And cutting through his guts...

Renowned in the Under World,
The demon was surprised
And uttered a groan:
‘Oh, tatat! Tatat-khalakhai! ( An interjection expressing sudden fright)
Oh, the heads of nine cranes!’ (An exclamation by an Abaahy stunned by an unpleasant surprise)
He fell down,
Sobbing and wheezing;
He began quivering
Like a fish prepared for frying,
And writhed in death convulsions,
And broke out through the wall of the dwelling,
And ran out to the street,
Spurting blood...


'Ker-bu! Ker-bu!
Do they not see?
He who is robbing in the night.
He who has the fur feet,
The swindler from the Under World,
The brazen-faced.
The bow-legged.
The bloody-mouthed
Black cheat!
You were none other than the one
Who was sacking the Aiyy people
With the reins on their backs.
By fabricating the lie
Of eighty-eight clouds flying by?!
You were none other than the one
Who was abducting the Kun-Erken people
With the reins on their backs.
By setting up ninety-nine magic spells?!
For all your crimes.
For all the evil caused by you,
I put you down.
Then I controlled you,
I leaped on your back
And ripped open your fat stomach...

Until I make you
Tell your mother
Words that you never told,
Until I draw out
Cherished mysteries of yours
That you never told
Even to your father —
Say goodbye to your rotten world
With its waning moon!
Hurry up and say goodbye
To your native home,
To your sacred fire
And to your copper idol
The size of a manure heap!’
Said the warrior of the Middle World…

The daughter of Venus — Cholbon Toyon
Was whipping
The bloodthirsty
And naughty body
Of his wife-to-be
With a nine-branched
Iron stick,
She ripped Her thick skin
And shed her black blood
To the nine huge bonfires...

The vicious blood of
Kys Nurgun
Full of red worms
Flowed down,
Her mighty muscles
Full of huge snakes
Streamed down

When the daughter of
The Pleiades - Urgel Toyon
Poked her ribs
Nine times and
Pierced through
Her hard heart
With the three-pointed stake –
A lizard
Jumped out of it...

The daughter of the Star — Sulus Toyon
Caught the lizard
With the star-shaped spear
And threw it
On the nine huge bonfires...

The daughter of the Yellow Star
Sang a blessing song
And put the copper bone of
Kiritinay-Tikaray on
An arangas-coffin,
The daughter of the Moon – Yi Khotun
Yibaljin udagan,
Clapping her hands,
Conjured the evil spirits out of her,
Drove out her anger and rage.
The daughter of the Sun - Kun Toyon
Kegeljin udagan
Poured into the mouth of
Kys Nurgun
The yellow ilgeh:
Sprinkled her
Silver bones
With the white ilgeh:
She wiped her forehead.
With immortal Elbet Menge Uuta water of life,
Poured the sacred water into her heart
And rubbed her joints
With Elbet Menge Uuta elixir of life,
That could fix the broken,
Ease the pain
And revive the dead,
The new flesh grew
On her bones,
The new skin grew
On her flesh,
The new blood
Flowed in her body...

The most gorgeous girl
In the whole world.
The beauty beyond thought,
Was lying here...
She became ten times
Better than before...

Six udagam,
Chanting the praises,
Began blessing her
With a protective song...


We, the chosen ones,
Who can revive the dead,
Who are destined from above
Who are fated from above.
Are bringing you
To life...

We are sent from above
To revive your dead body,
We make you
May your heart
May your joints

The ones who have protective powers
Are blessing you...

We will make your blood run,
Open your eyes
And wake up
Your sleeping body...

Our bells ring,
The ones who have ringing bells
Are singing to you,
The ones who have magic powers
Are blessing you...
- As six udagans
Sang their song,
'How long I have been sleeping!’ —
She got up

The people of Aiyy-Khan
Said in j oy: 'Aikhal!’,
The people of Urankhai Sakha
Cried in merriment: 'Urui!
They kissed three times
Their upper lips so passionately
That three bowls of blood
Rushed to their lips,
They kissed
Their lower lips six times
So that six bowls of blood
Rushed to their lips...

The vicious mind
Of Kys Nurgun
Faded away
Her thirst for blood
Went away
As though she was never
Addicted to the fights,
She became so pretty,
So modest
And so quiet,
The best woman
To marry,
Her beauty
Glowed and dazzled.
She looked
Graceful as a swan,
Slim and slender
As a crane.
She sparkled
Like the sun,
And dazzled
Like the moon,
Her smile
Was so sweet
And her eyes blinked
So gently...

People were so glad
That they would give birth
To the three Sakha tribes,
That they would create
The four Sakha tribes.
They gave
Large Toyon sergeh
So their happiness
Would last
For nine centuries,
They gave
Birch chechir
So their blessing
Would last
For eight centuries,
They tied
Seleh ropes made of mane
So their joy
Could last
For seven centuries.
They made
A wide and vast.
Joyful and bright
Esekh festival — tuhulgeh
On a beautiful copper surface of
Their blessed Motherland,
On a swollen dale of
Their white alaas,
On the high range of
Its highest top.
So the sun
Will always
Shine on
The beautiful meadows of
Their Motherland,
So the moon
Will always
Light up
Its grand dales...
They threw
A great Esekh,
A luxurious feast,
To the right
Horses were slaughtered,
To the left
Cows were butchered.
The feast was
Overflowing with food...

The settlement of peace on the Earth and final feasts

People were celebrating
And having fun
For thirty days
And thirty nights,
The greedy eaters
Had their fill here,
The mighty fighters
Wrestled here,
The cuckoos
That never cuckooed in spring
Called joyfully,
The wild doves
That never came here in summer
Called merrily,
The girls were singing
Like white cranes,
The boys were singing
Like grey cranes...

That is how the Omolloon story
Was told in beautiful detail and wondrous words,
That is how the Olonkho
Was told there as all Olonkho should be told.
If their destiny
Was to be a human being,
Who could ever shadow
Their dazzling bright future?!
If their fate
Was to be Sakha,
Who could ever spoil
Their happiness?..

Credits: Story

Alexey Ivanov, awarded Excellence in Culture, curator and coordinator of the project on inclusion of regional museums of Yakutia into the project "Google Cultural Institute" (e-mail:

Also took part in the exhibition organization:
Elena Gorokhova, curator of the exhibition “Nurgun Botur the Swift” Olonkho”
Vitaliy Sleptsov, museum curator
Alexander Bozhedonov (Storm), photographer

Exhibition text:
Book edition: “Nurgun Botur the Swift. Yakut heroic epos Olonkho”, Yakut Book House, 1975
Olonkho ‘’Nurgun Botur the Swift’’ by Platon A. Oyunsky. Original translation from the Sakha language supervised by Alina Nakhodkina. Renaissance books, 2014
Music: Gavril Kolesov, Leningrad Disc Recording Studio, recording of 1962, remastering of 1997.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions (listed below) who have supplied the content.
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