7 - KOJOJASH SWEARES AN OATH TO SUR EÇKI

When the white dawn broke,
When the Libra has faded away,
When the stars have vanished one by one,
When morning light fell on earth,
The sign of dawn appeared.
The skylark sang in the sky,
The head of white reeds swayed,
The morning wind was cool,
When a light breeze passed by.
Various living things woke up,
And prepared for the day.
Ulars[1] sang non-stop on the rocks,
All live living things woke up from sleep,
When the light touched the earth.
But Karïp’s son Kojojash,
Hadn’t left his house for long,
His heart was filled with sadness.
He quickly got up from bed,
Caught his horse who had
Golden hooves and copper wrists.
He tightly wrapped on his feet
His big leather šarïks.
His kise made of sole leather
He tied secure on his waist.
He took gunpowder in abundance.
He warmed water in a cauldron
And washed his barang clean.
He cleaned it, put it in kumdak
And tied with a white tasma.
He elongated the horse’s kömöldürük,
Shortened its girth [kuyushkan],
Tightened its two olongs,
The hunter mounted his horse.
Beautiful Zulayka then knew
That Kojojash was leaving for mountains,
While helping him to mount his horse,
Zulayka tried to persuade the hunter
One last time before le left.
The zealous hunter wouldn’t listen,
For he was used to hunting.
He hung on his right shoulder
His barang with six carvings
He said good-bye to his people,
He said farewell to all of them,
As if eager to take off,
The hunter set out [aduulanïp].
“Good luck, hunter,” they said,
"Your clan is Kïtay," they said.
"God has sent you to our fortune,
You, the only one of Karïpbay,
So that you feed us with deer meat,” they said.
Despite the words of Zulayka
The hunter didn’t stay behind,
He didn’t listen to her words,
“It is my usual hunting place,” he said,
The hunter set out on horseback
To the direction of Ala-Too,
The red slopes, cliffs and rocks,
The Kojojash of Kïtay,
Is the camel-sole hunter," they said,
“He has seen them all,” they said,
“No matter how many deer there were,
He killed them all,” they said.
The deer shot from the cliffs,
Came falling to his feet," they said.
Riding on the mountain slopes,
He went to many places.
Unable to find any sign of moving deer,
On a rock bed with white glacier
Kojojash rode in and out.
Not finding any deer there,
At twilight, but still day time,
“How is it that I have no luck?” he said,
“How is it that I lost my fortune?” he said,
“Not one soul found until twilight,
It is no good that I’m empty handed," he said.
"The cursed deer of mountain animals,
Where have they all run away?” he said.
“From time to time,
This was my usual hunting place,” he said.
“I have no luck [today],” he said.
Kojojash climbed up, they say,
Onto the pass of the white Song-Köl,
Not finding any deer there,
He rode fast on the slopes,
On the foothills of Ak-Toskok,
On top of Kök-Toskok [mountain],
Thirty kids and forty šebiš,
He saw grazing, they say.
Near the place of Kara-Üngkür,
On the foothills of Ak-Toskok,
Kojojash saw immediately,
Its spreading treasure, and
Slowly went into the kabak,
Quickly got off the horse,
Tied the horse’s legs securely
With the soft leather šider.
The leather box in his clothes,
He took out under his clothes.
He poured plenty of powder,
And pushed the powder with a ramrod
By pushing with an orphan ramrod
And by putting a long ramrod
He lit the fire on its ear.
“Fire at one shot,” he said
But he couldn’t light it.
The fish-like hammer and flint stone
He hit and got fire,
Put tinder under the wick
Into the cock made of steel,
Once again he pressed it on.
Hiding himself on the kashat[2],
Kojojash came closer to them.
He had eight carvings etched on his gun,
And poured oil with a double ramrod.
He had it tied with a white tasma,[3]
Those hunters who had used it,
Had to untie it in a week to wash it.
He had an embroidered kise on his waist,
And visited the Sarï-Arka mountain.
A leather kise is tied on his waist,
Those hunters who had used it,
Had hunted in the mount Mustak.
A kise is tied onto his collar,
Those hunters who had used it
Had hunted in the mount Kashkar.
Their beards are overgrown,
Their horns are big,
They graze on white glaciers,
There is no one herding them,
They fatten living on the cliffs,
They graze on blue glaciers,
There is no one taking care of them,
They fatten living on the ice glaciers.
One summer, the hunter had killed hundreds of them,
Those male goats which were too skinny
He killed in autumn when they were fat.
He had a kumdak carved out of white poplar,
And called his gun White [Ak] barang
For white is the beauty of one’s back.
Kojojash took his Ak barang now,
And went closer to them.
He secured the gun’s legs on the ground,
If it moved a bit, it wouldn’t hit the target, he thought.
The two kids that were on guard,
Caught a sight of him [the hunter].
They saw that hunter was there
And they also saw his gun.
Alabash was lying down,
The two kids came running
To their father.
She filled her udder with milk,
By trying to eat grass.
Poor Sur Eçki became tired.
When the kids reached their father,
The goat had fainted and fallen on the ground.
The two kids came and said this:
“We looked out, father,
The place which our mother told us,” they said.
"The black rock over there piled up like a jük,[4]
Was the sign she asked us to watch,” they said.
"His white iron gun
We saw clearly,
That shooting hunter has come,” they said.
“If you don’t do anything,
We will all perish,” they said.
“The exterminator hunter has come,” they said.
“Let’s go, lets run away,” they said,
“We can’t just perish, father,” they said,
“Because you don’t want to move.”
Alabash then got up and said:
“Children, don’t come panicking,
Don’t tell me the false news.
Go back there and find out,
Whether an enemy came to us.”
In order to confirm the news,
They listened to their father,
The two kids came back running.
The ready hunter didn’t stand still,
Hiding behind the grassy bush,
The head of reeds moved a bit,
The head of white reeds moved a bit,
By bringing the gun to his cheek,
He lifted his gun and aimed at them.
He closed one of his eyes,
Without moving its target,
He watched waiting and hiding.
The gun’s trigger made a “bïlk” sound,
The spark came out quickly, [jilt etip]
The smoke came out [burk etip],
The bullet reached them before death.
“Bang!” he fired at them,
The two kids that watched standing,
Quickly fell off from the rock.
The two kids fell off the rock,
The fainted goat, however,
Didn’t hear the sound.
Those remaining didn’t wait,
They all run to save their lives,
To the Kara-Üngkür’s cliff,
Not stopping the smoke from the gun’s muzzle
Not shutting the Barang’s sound,
Look at the gun of his,
The hunter killed whatever he saw.
He didn’t let go from that place,
Not even one kid alive.
When Alabash went up to the rock, [kangkayïp]
To look out [for his kids,]
Like a glacier sliding due to snow melt,
The hunter felled him with one shot.
The Sur teke fell on the ground,
He didn’t spare not even one,
All of them were slaughtered.
Their fat [blood] ran like water,
He killed them off not sparing one,
The offsprings of Alabash.
His hunting skill was great, indeed,
He boasted about it to himself,
Onto the top of the rocky cliff
Kojojash hunter went up now.
He reloaded his Barang,
“Is any of them alive?" He said.
"Where else they might be?” He said.
Sur Eçki, regaining her consciousness,
Heard the noise that came from a gun,
“He must have killed them all,” she thought,
Sur Eçki came running fast.
Kojojash wanted to shoot her,
And held the Ak Barang forward.
The hunter fired one more time
And shot down her kid following her,
Like a fur hat falling from the head.
Kayberen Eçki spoke then:
“Hunter, you have killed all the kids,
My heart is torn apart by this.
Now that all my kids are gone,
In the wilderness alone,
How can I live by myself?
I’m your true mother kayberen,
I have a request from you.
If your heart agrees,
Even if is he is old, please leave
My partner Alabash teke alive.
May you have a long life,
My famous, master hunter.
Don’t make your mother like me cry,
Don’t leave me alone in wilderness,
I don’t want to die in despair.
Even if he is old, spare him,
Even if he is old and crazy,
I want my partner next to me.
You’re your father’s only child,
You will never see any misfortune
For I, kayberen, will bless you.
You’ve killed all of my offspring,
Hoping to see more alive,
On the top of the cliff,
You, the hunter, are looking for more again.
Please bestow my wish,
If my words make sense to you.
I’m the only one remaining alive,
My wish is to keep Alabash,
Don’t leave our place deserted . . .”
Then the hunter said these:
“I know what you want,
You’ll get teke from me, but
Where will you go yourself?
If you can, just eat me up,
The only son of Karïp.”
Sur Eçki then said these words:
“So, Kojojash, you don’t agree
With my wish to keep Alabash.
May he go to heaven,
If I’m also killed by you.
I’ll agree with what you say,
If you’re a true hunter, indeed,
If I’m your only target left,
On the shady side of the white cliff,
Let me pose my white chest for you,
You can shoot me down, I’ll see.
It’s still not too late, please listen,
My only wish is Alabash,
Don’t make your mother suffer much,
Give my teke and get my blessing.
If you agree with my words,
And give me Alabash,
Even after I become old,
I’ll serve you as a teke. [tekelik kizmat]
If you don’t bestow my wish,
I owe you nothing, and you have no complaint,
You’ve killed them all now,
I may also one day,
Make you beseech me? [Jamandiging surarmin]
Don’t quarrel and get my blessing,
You’re alone, hunter, my light . . . “
Then the hunter said these words:
“I’m the famous hunter,” he said,
"Who hunted arkars[5] and kuljas[6] in the mountains,
And who shot down bears,
From cliffs and rocks.
Don’t keep saying the nonsense,
You, the foolish Eçki,
Together with your Alabash teke,
I punished both of you,” he said.
"You can hope for my death,
I won’t beg you in despair,
I can see what you are up to.
Let’s not shy away from words,
I want to know your greatness,
Go over to that shady hillside
And pose for me, don’t run away,” he said.
Eški, too, not sparing her words
Came forward to him, they say:
“Well, hunter, shoot me,” she said,
And posed straight for him, they said.
Not stopping its smoke from its head,
By aiming from various angles,
He ran out of his gunpowder
Thus was unable to shoot her,
Thus the hunter sat in vain till evening.
Alabash, as big as a mound,
Lay fighting for his life,
The hunter, not able to shoot Eški,
Went there angrily, they say.
The shamshar knife in his kise,
He grated on a black rock, they say,
“She wont’t give up her wish,” he said,
“She thinks that I fear her,” he said,
And cut off the teke’s head, they say.
His body kept shaking, they said.
Sur Eški, who stood knowing
That he’d ran out of powder,
Came running to his side.
Sur Eški spoke again thus:
“You refused to spare my partner, teke,
Why? You killed all my offspring
Did you have a revenge to take?
Despite my pleading you failed me,
Did you want to harm yourself?
Oh, hunter, you made me suffer,
Don’t get strong and boastful,
When death [kazat] comes and his days are over,
The hunter will also die.
All of us are mortals,
If I ask (God) to bestow my wish,
The Creator will give you to me.
Despite my pleading you shot back,
By killing off all my offspring,
At the time of my old age,
You made someone like me
Beg and cry many times.
So many words I spoke to you,
I’m your mother kayberen, indeed,
But you didn’t know my value.
If I get to live a long life,
I might live to see your death.
Kojojash,
I might also find your grave.
Kojojash, because of you
I might become lame.
When the severe, cold winter leaves,
And the sunny, warm spring arrives,
I may go to your mares’ herder.
I’ll scare away your kur stallion,
And make you chase him down,
If you’re a true hunter,
You can shoot your mother, hunter.
You, the only son of Karïp,
Let’s put to test our strengths.
Snow will melt and turn to flood,
When heavy snow and winter leave,
People will settle in the gorge.
If Eçki’s wish is bestowed,
One day, also Kojojash
Your tears will turn into a lake.
Wait, don’t boast now,
Sur Eçki will one day be satisfied.
If you take Alabash with you,
Your people will eat his flesh,
One day, with my lame leg
I’ll come to your camp in the Spring,
Then women will ask you to kill me for them.
I remain alone in the wilderness,
I can’t stay here, I’ll leave now.
I say farewell, my homeland,
Kara-Üngkür, the gorgeous place.
When spring brings sunshine,
All animals and migrant birds,
Enjoy singing on green flowers.
When snow and ice melt on slopes,
When the light breeze blows [kerimsel]
If it is not sinful,
I’ll take my revenge from you.
Despite my pleading you didn’t spare,
My teke’s beard on his chin.
I thought you were a wise man,
Kojojash, I’m saddened by your deed.
Among these many animals,
I’m leaving this place alone.
You’re the only son, indeed,
Of your father named Karïpbay.
If my death doesn’t take me away,
I’ll swear you an oath,
My struggle against you won’t end.
If she mourns you and remains a widow
My thirst will be satisfied,
Your dear partner Zulayka,
Is your beloved wife, indeed.”
Then the hunter spoke,
Among the words that Eçki spoke
He liked none of them.
“I have killed kayberen many times,
Don’t rant too much, sly Eçki,
From the very beginning,
God has made you my enemy.
I’ll follow my dream,
You want to kill me with your curse,
Oh, you, aimless Sur Eçki,
Don’t discourage my hope.
I’ll shoot you one day,
I just cut off your Teke’s head
Whom you held so dearly.
If you find the way, Sur Eçki,
Put me in trouble, I don’t care.
You may start wishing death,
To the fellow hunter Kojojash.
I’ll suffer when I experience
The harm caused by Sur Eçki.
Walking lamely in the Spring
If you arrive to my camp,
I won’t spend my powder in vain,
Instead, I’ll catch you by pursuit.”
Then Sur Eçki said these words:
“When I come walking lamely,
You, please catch me by hand.
If I don’t keep my promise and get lost,
May my soul perish in the wilderness.
May the blue sky with high summit,
And the earth with a flat chest curse
The one who refrains from this vow.
When I come walking lamely,
If you don’t catch me on your foot
Instead pursue me with your gun,
May you be cursed by God first!”
Vowing to him with her words,
Sur Eçki stood before him.
Kojojash then said these words:
“To die on the day of judgement
Is written on our forehead.
If you come walking lamely,
During the yellow snow[7] in spring,
If you indeed come to me,
If I don’t catch by chasing
Without shooting with my gun,
I give my words to you now,
May I wear on my head,
My wife Zulay’s pants!”
“Thank you,” said Sur Eçki,
And jumped quickly at that time
To the black rock on teskey [8].
Like two people holding hands,
Eçki didn’t fear him for he had no bullets,
And took off with a gesture of farewell
Passing by the hunter’s side.
She secured her promise well,
And assigned the exact time.
Eçki left saying she’ll come back
This coming spring after winter.
Thus an enemy was found in the wilderness
To the noble hunter Kojojash.
Their vows were very strong
Neither of them could escape.
Saying farewell, Eçki left,
The foothills of Kara-Üngkür,
Were filled with kayberens’ blood.
Together with her Alabash,
The master hunter destroyed them.
Kojojash came walking
And quickly skinned for himself
The hide of Alabash.
He loaded meat on his horse
And covered it with the hide.
Its buchkak was touching the ground,
Making herself the hunter’s rival
Eçki now became his foe.
The rest, he cut off their necks,
And piled them up on in one place.
The hunter came to his camp,
People watched with surprise at
The hide of Alabash.
Kojojash made them so happy,
The small number of Kïtay.
His lucky kin people enjoyed
The benefit of his hunting.
He asked his people to clean its intestines.
All the remaining story
He told his people now.
His dream, which he saw at night
Turned into such a story at daytime.
Thus Kojojash stayed at home for the whole winter.


Notes:
1. Ular is a wild mountain turkey.
2. Kashat is a higher elevation of a riverbank.
3. Tasma is soft leather made from a goat’s skin.
4. Jük is a piled up quilts, mattresses, and pillows which are stored in the tör, a place which is opposite to the door of the yurt.
5. Arkar is a female deer.
6. Kulja is a male deer.
7. Light snow which falls in springtime.
8. Küngöy (from "kün," sun) is a term denoting the sunny side of a mountain and teskey would be the shady side.

© 2004 Elmira K÷šŘmkulk´z´