15 - MOLDOJASH RETURNS TO HIS PEOPLE

Moldojash fell asleep
He was asleep very hard.
When he woke in the morning,
Not just the yurts, but not a single rock was seen,
The yurt in which he slept was gone.
The young women were also gone,
He didn’t see what he saw last night.
The yurt erected with its kereges was gone,
His wife was sleeping in his arm,
Underneath he had a mat
Made from a half deer skin,
The boy found himself sleeping in open-air.
He realized that they were left alone,
What kind of a miracle,
He wondered in his mind.
“Am I dreaming or is it real?
When I first came I had seen
Beautiful beings, which I have never seen.
He got ready by putting on his clothes,
He woke his wife up, saying “Get up.”
He didn’t know what to do.
Moldojash thought for a moment
And set out to his people.
“To what kind of a place
Did Eški bring me?" He wondered,
"What kind of people were they?
I married the daughter of a kayberen,
Maybe it is some kind of an omen
Which signifies my power, he thought.
Deer have become my in-laws,
My wife, whom I chose to marry,
Didn’t leave, she stayed with me.
I’ve been away for a long time,
My Kïtay people back home
Must be worried about me.
Finally, I found and got to see
The place where my father died.
I traveled through many places,
The world is indeed vast.
There is no one who married a deer girl,
This is also my bravery!”
Taking his wife by hand,
The son of Kojojash,
Set out to towards his people,
Taking the shortest way to go.
He took his wife along with him,
He captured the goat by chasing,
And married the kayberen’s daughter,
This is Moldojash’s fortune, too.
After traveling many days,
They arrived safe and sound, they say,
To the camp of his father.
His people were offering an ash[1],
In honor of the two men,
Kojojash had died before, they thought,
He was punished by Eški, they thought.
His only son behind him,
Had gone in search of his bones.
Now the father and the son
Were both dead, they thought.
His kinsmen were the Kïtay tribe.
Since she married Sartkoshšu,
Zulayka gave birth to two boys.
His kinsmen were offering an ash,
By slaughtering a horse.
One boy was tending sheep and
Another one was tending lambs.
Moldojash heard them speaking.
One shouted “Kojojash!”
The other cried out “Moldojash!”
Seeing the two boys,
The spirit of Moldojash
Lifted up with joy and love.
Moldojash called them to his side
And said these words:
“You, two youngsters,
Why are both of you crying?
Why do you let your young souls suffer?
You came running and shouting from the ayïl,
What are you people crying for?
Why are you so anxious?
Please tell me, boys, what is the matter?
Why are you crying?”
Then the boys said these words:
“Even if we are young, we know.
Listen to our grief, brother.
Our mother named Zulayka
Is the daughter of Karakojo, we learned.
The man named Kojojash
Was our previous father,
Whom she married as a young girl, we learned.
We, Erkejash and Serkejash,
Are the sons of Sartkoshšu,
Who married our mother.
From the hunter named Kojojash,
Moldojash was born, they say,
And his is our half brother.
According to our mother,
Our previous father Kojojash
Was punished by Eški.
She said that he died on a cliff
Pursuing Eški, with whom he took an oath.
This is what we had heard
From the Kïtay tribe," they said.
"In his stubborn chase of Eški,
Kojojash, the hunter perished," they said.
"His son, Moldojash," they said,
"Had gone to search for him
And find his bones," they said.
"We have so much sorrow
That we can’t express it all.
Our mother weeps [every day]
For two of them are dead,
Turning our days into darkness.
Moldojash has also died long ago,
In searching for him.
Our camp is offering an ash
In honor their spirit by killing an animal.
This is our story if you want to know.
One was a our father and other our brother,
Loosing them both,
Our hearts burn in flames,
That is indeed our deep sorrow.”
Kissing on the cheeks,
Of the two boys who came together,
Moldojash then spoke to them,
Feeling bitter his heart burned:
“May your ash turn into a feast!
May your horses win the race!
May you become happy again!
May the end of this ash,
Turn into a feast, my people!”
The horses ran off to race.
Taking his wife by her hand,
Moldojash, the orphan joined, they say,
His own kinsmen, the Kïtay.
Everyone greeted him crying,
People were desperate to see him.
They went to the beauty Zulayka
And told her the good news.
Hearing that he has returned,
His people all quickly gathered,
They announced it as a feast,
Instead of calling it an ash.
Zulayka hugged him tight
And cried out saying “My foal!”
As if the long dead Kojojash,
Has been reborn.
His grandfather, Karïpbay,
Not believing his own eyes,
Fell down several times on the ground.
He hugged and kissed his grandson,
All his people were happy.
Moldojash returned and
Made his people happy.
Poor Karïpbay felt young,
His sight had become blurry.
People all struggled to take a turn,
Old men and women
Kissed his cheek
Saying that he is the only son from the late [hunter.].
The sorrow inside the people
Was gone now.
The ash turned into a feast,
For Moldojash returned alive,
From his search for his father.
Everyone saw him alive,
All, the young and old,
Men and women alike,
Rejoiced and laughed.
People stood in a long line,
They called the <>ash a wedding feast,
And announced to all the people.
According to the ancient custom,
They asked the kayberen bride
To throw butter in the fire,
And enter the yurt bowing three times.
Their wish was bestowed,
As if a bright spring has arrived,
They said that Kojojash
Was the real skilled [master] hunter.
"His son, Moldojash
Picked every piece of the bones
From the rock where his father fell," they said.
"He was created for the fortune
Of the many Kïtay people," they said.
They asked the boy
To tell everything what he saw,
He told them everything
What he had gone through.
His people had been mourning,
Now upon Moldojash’s return,
They became happy.
They were happy to see the boy,
Who had been gone far away
As if he had been lost.
His bride was the deer’s daughter,
They all thanked Moldojash.
The story of the hunter named Kojojash
Will be remembered among people.
He had been one of the skilled hunters
At his own time, they will say.
His father had died, they will say,
Falling from the Abletim cliff.
He captured Eški and married her daughter,
Look at his bravery,
The brave young man, Moldojash.
Long time ago,
His people rejoiced again
Getting their lost one back,
Their hearth lit up again,
Their dead hunter was reborn,
The ash they were offering,
Turned into a happy feast.
He caught Eški by chasing,
The bones of the hunter
Did not remain in wilderness.
All kinds guns were made
By human species.
He was a good son,
Who found his father’s bones.
They were people who once lived,
Moldojash rejoined his kinsmen,
With your kind permission,
I will end my song.


Notes:
1. Ash is a memorial feast offered in honor of the deceased a year after his/her death.

© 2004 Elmira K÷šŘmkulk´z´