Mongol Oral Narratives

p. 9 Origin of Man

Udan Lama created everything ... . ... When he reached the age of one thousand he made heaven and earth separate entities and created a nine-story heaven, a nine-story earth, and nine rivers."

p. 9. Why there Are More Chinese than Mongols

"The hens and the men of the south are the ancestors of the Chinese.

Seven men got seven female sheep in the north. One of these men ... killed one of the sheep to eat at one. But after seven days, the remaining sheep became beautiful girls and married the men. They are the Mongols’ ancestors."

p. 10 Creation of the Earth

When the Buddha "was flying above the ocean to find a way to create the earth, he found a frog swimming north to south. ... Buddha threw golden sand at the frog and it became the earth where we now live. ... When the frog moves its legs or shakes its head, earthquakes occur."

p. 10 Whence the Wind Cometh

"There is an old woman who has a skin sack containing the wind. When she is angry, she opens her sack and wind blows on earth."

p. 11 Origin of Ursa Major

"two bothers met a man as they set out hunting one morning. ... The man answered, "I’m waiting for a bird I just now shot to fall from the sky." When noon came, the bird dropped from the sky." When noon came, the bird dropped from the sky ... . The three then became sworn brothers and went on and met four persons in succession : a man who could hear any sound in earth and heaven; a strong man who could pile mountains on top of each other; a runner who could catch antelopes; and a magician who could drink up the sea. These seven men became sworn brothers and defeated Magpie Khan ... . At last they became Ursa Major."

p. 13 Origin of Deity Bumal

"Qobolta stole a heaven cow while in paradise and killed and ate it on a snowy moutain. ... Qobolta cut the skin into strips ... and wrapped each cattle bone with a strip. Finally, he distributed the images to everyone on earth. He told them, "This is Bumal Deity. ..." They drew the image on cattle horns".

p. 20 body-parts of 12 animals as emblems of the 12 years of the 12-year [Jupiter] cycle; the camel repraesenting the whole of the 12-year cycle (the camel being reckoned as a composite animal)


of __



















crown [comb]






pp. 21-25 Origin of the Horse-Head Fiddle (p. 24 pursuit of Ladle by Noyan Tahar, culminating in the latter, with his troops, becoming mired in a bog [should be : immersed in Tohom River] {cf. pursuit of Mo^seh by Par<oh, culminating in the latter, with his troops, becoming immersed})

portion his horse-harness cast behind him by Ladle

topographic feature which it became, impeding the pursuers


"vine ..., tangling the officers’ horses’ feet"


Dure (‘Stirrup’) Marsh


Emeldaba (‘Saddle ridge’) Mountain


Tohom (‘Saddle-Blanket’) River

horse itself

wulagi (white-flowering plant [having (p. 25) "Flowers of silver."])

"With the only legacy from his father [Ajir, a waterbird (p. 21)], the wooden ladle ["The ladle had been made by Ajir from a red willow root." (p. 21)], ... Ladle fashioned an instrument, the horse-head fiddle and played ... the lark’s songs". [the lark, named Groom (Horse-Groom) Bird, was golden-feathered (p. 21).]

pp. 32-33 Seven Brethren

p. 32 "a mushroom growing in the trough" (for watering sheep) "became a twelve-headed black monster", who requaested of youngest of 7 brethren permission to eat him : that brother sent on a mission by relay to each of the other brethren, each dwelling a month’s journey further distant to the west.


brother’s function


was asked to be eaten


owned a dull knife


owned a black hone-stone


owned a cart for transporting the hone-stone


owned a bull for pulling the cart


owned a horse for catching the bull

p. 33 Argat

had owned the ability to catch horse, but stated "my ability has fallen into the river today."

Monster at Sacred Mountain Wutai

pp. 33, 35 Mongol

Odusseia, lib. 9

p. 33 "monster with one eye in the middle of his forehead" had human prisoners in


a room closed by the monster by a heavy stone;

ll. 240-3 "Then he lifted on high and set in place the great door-stone, a mighty rock; two and twenty stout four-wheeled wagons could not lift it from the ground, such a towering mass of rock he set in the doorway."

the monster of killing, cooking and eating the prisoners one at a time, day by day; while the monster "slept",


p. 35 the prisoners "pulled the red hot skewer from the fire, went hear the monster, rained it, and drove it deep into the monster’s eye."

ll. 380-3 "then verily I drew nigh, bringing the stake from the fire, and my comrades stood round me and a god breathed into us great courage. They took the stake of olive-wood, sharp at the point, and thrust it into his eye"

The man gave as his own name the name "Myself", so afterwards "many ghosts gathered and asked, "Who did this to you?" The ghost answered, "I am defeated by Myself.""

ll. 406-7 "Then from out the cave the mighty Polyphemus answered them: ‘My friends, it is Noman that is slaying me by guile ...’ "

ll. 231-280

ll. 360-409

p. 50 Geser H^an

"halfway up a great snowy mountain near Nuomuhan Village, Dulan County in Koko Nor there stood an iron stake ... . Geser Khan once tied the sun to this stake. ... Geser Khan caught the sun and tied it to the stake with a cattle-tendon rope. After Geser Khan and demon fought for twenty-one days, ... the rope was burned away. Then the sun slowly rose".

"Southwest of Golmod are ... ‘Sacred Mountains.’ ... Geser wrestled with a demon for ten years and then embarked on a twenty-year campaign to battle a twelve-headed devil prince. ... From that time on passerby, who ... spoiled wild fruit, bled without stopping". {cf. >aDAM (/DAM/ ‘blood’), who ate forbidden fruit; and the 12 species of fruit (Apokalupsis of Ioannes 22:2) produced by the tree of life}

"An arrow was stuck in a stone precipice by Cypress River in Yihegall, Western Village, Dulan County. ... the arrow was shot by Geser Khan. ... One day, ... Geser ... noticed that his white camel was fighting a demon’s black bull camel. Geser ... fired an arrow which passed through the black male camel'’ hip ... into the stone precipice."

PUBLICATIONS OF THE MONGOLIA SOCIETY, OCCASIONAL PAPERS, No. 16 = Mongol Oral Narratives : Gods, Tricksters, Heroes, & Horses. transl. by Nassenbayer et al.; ed. by Kevin Stuart. Indiana U, Bloomington, 1995.

also "Mongol creation stories" (partial contents of the foregoing myths)