DalalGa ritual


I. "The Ritual" -- pp. 8-141

2.3 – p. 29 "Manchu-Tungus groups believe that the souls of unborn children are represented by small birds".

2.3 -- p. 30 "The term amilaqu, to revive, has also the sense of to consecrate (an image)".

4.1.2 – p. 47 "the Xangai may be regarded as spirit-master of the game, able to send it to the hunters. Accordingly the game killed is referred to ... as QangGai-yin kesig, the favour or benefit of the QangGai".

fn. I.4:6 – p. 47 prohibitions which the Yakut attach to a freshly-flayed animal-pelt : "A woman may not touch it before it is dried; ... the offended animals would not return to that hunter".

4.2.1 – p. 54 "the muzzle of fur-animals ... is kept by south Siberian hunters as a talisman, a support of their "luck"".

4.2.2(i) – p. 58 "The Buryat epic Bu:xu: Xara Xu:bu:u:n lists among ... the bride’s dowry ... a white silk cloth which brings the dead to life, and a silver ladle which awakens the dead and retrieves lost objects".

4.2.4(a) – p. 62 rite for human corpse by Torguud tribe : "As the body is taken from the tent for disposal, a person who is staying behind makes the circular gesture with calls of qurui behind it. ... The actions are repeated on the first, and sometimes also subsequent, anniversaries of the death."

7.3.1 – p. 121 "Nayinai [fn. 18 : "< Ch. nai-nai "grandmother"], or emegen burqan, "old-woman deity", ... is responsible for deciding where a child is to be born, and for sending its soul into the mother."

fn. I.7:27 – p. 123 "Omsanmama, the corresponding deity of the Nanai, is the guardian of the soul-tree of each clan, in which the souls of its unborn little children live in the form of little birds ... . The deity send the bird-souls to women." (unborn souls = "migrating birds")

fn. I.7:31 -- p. 126 the "thirteen Altai" are "identified with particular mountains" by the Monc^oongo Tuvan-s.

8.1 – p. 132 "malaise is the loss of the patient’s detachable soul, su:nesu:, which may have wandered off, been driven out when its own suffered a fright".

8.1.2 – p. 134 "In a Buryat variant, the soul returns by way of a red cord which leads into the house from a tree outside, and is tied to the ritual arrow. The arrow is in a pail held by the shaman, who circles it while he calls the soul with cries of "a xuruj"".

8.1.3 – p. 135 "In a Mongol version of the Geser epic, the bones of two fallen heroes are collected in a little bag, while their souls su:nesu: are beckoned into two falcons by means of a dalaGa arrow. Later the souls are transferred to the bones, and the boys revive".

8.3 – p. 138 Teleut : "As the sacrificed horse dies, the shaman holds up to it a bread-roll called Tel. kurui ... . The bread is later eaten by the people of that tent and their family only; they value it greatly. ... in the Teleut case the bread holds only the life-energy of the horse".


II. "The Terminology" -- pp. 142-158

1.3 – p. 145 "The uttering of the cry qurui is invariably accompanied by a circular gesture."

1.4.1 – p. 148 "Nanai has : xorago- ... revive, come back to life ... It is sung in order to recall the lost soul of a sick man".

fn. II.1:16 – p. 148 "The same root appears in ... Nanai xora-, ... to survive, and perhaps in Nanai xoraliko, the name of a class of spirits; among them, the good ones bring luck in hunting, while bad ones bring women’s period pains".


III. "The Requisites" – pp. 159-209

2.1.1 – p. 160 "the Tibetan Bon "divination arrow", Tib. mda>-dar [fn. 1 : "mda> arrow, dar ... a flag"], ... has a shaft which branches into five spikes at the butt end, each feathered with vultures’ feathers, and it is hung with silken streamers ... and a mirror. ... It is kept point down in a tub of grain." "The arrow used in the most highly elaborated forms of the Mongol dalalGa ritual ... is ... the five-nocked turquoise [gem] white arrow ... . The shaft is white, and it is hung with silken gauze steamers kkib ... . Sometimes a mirror toli is hung from it".

fn. III.4:4 – p. 177 "Tuv. eren, the support of a spirit ... . The Tuvan eren is the equivalent of the Buryat ongGon".

fn. III.4:17 – p. 183 "Tuvan spirit-supports, Tuv. eren = Mo. ongGon".

4.3.1 – p. 187 "Among the Buryat, the Darxad and Urianxai of Xo:vsgo:l, and the Tuvans of Tuva, a beginner – that is, not fully consecrated – shaman uses a forked staff with three or more prongs (Darxad tayaG, Tuv. tayaq) instead of a drum for his shamanizing ... . ... the "whip" must be of tamarisk, suqai, wood; and a Tofa (Karagas) shaman’s invocation speaks of his three-headed tamarisk staff".


IV. "The Texts" – pp. 210-289

3.2.B – pp. 224-225 the benefits of religion ["Benefits indestructible as a rock of jade" (p. 225)]


benefits of __




28 – "Qormusta = Indra. Qormusta stands at the head of the 99 deities (tngri)".



32 – "Bisman = Namsarai, the god of riches" {Ku-vera}


Aeternal Heaven

33 – "Mo:ngke tngri"


77-layered Earth

34 – Etu:gen


7 old men

35 – "DoluGan ebu:gen, "seven old men", = ... Ursa major"

4.2 – pp. 246-247 species of migrating birds which arrive when specific varieties of livestock foal (give birth)


__ arrive

when snow of __ thaweth

and __ foaleth


[tundra swan (fn. 10)]


white mare




bay mare


"foreign" birds

[wooded hills (fn. 13)]

black mare


mandarin ducks

untouched steppe

piebald mare


yellowish geese


light-bay mare



"waters of the lakes"

"to be haltered"



"Yellow River [ice]"




"water of the springs"

grey mare




blue goat

4.2 – p. 248 species of trees which put forth foliage when specific varieties of livestock give birth

trees foliaging

livestock giving birth


black camel


sheep & goats



4.2 – pp. 248-249 woods composing catching-poles of adversaries


wood of __











5.2 – pp. 257-258 species of migrating birds which arrive when camels of specific colors calve (give birth), as taught by yoga-acarin


__ arrive

when __ calveth


white tundra-swan

pale-fawn camel



light-bay camel



black camel


ASIATISCHE FORSCHUNGEN, Band 117 = Krystyna Chabros : Beckoning Fortune : a study of the Mongol dalalGa ritual. Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1992.