“Mammoths” in Russian Folklore


 

“A Mammoth Legend”

recorded in August 2004 in Russian language

by L.N.Zhukova from M.I.Toporov, the Nizhnekolymsk Yukagir.

There was a family of Yukagirs that roamed through the fenland. The eldest son helped his father to procure the animals, and the younger kids with their mother stayed at home.

One day father and the son went to the hunt, they came down to the lake and found big tusks sticking out of the land. They begin to swing these tusks and tried to take it off the land.

Suddenly the earth trembled under their feet, the tusks started a peg and a huge head of the animal appeared from the earth.

An enormous beast – mammoth got out of the earth, and the father with son fell into the dungeon.

A woman began to cry and shouted at the animal: – Why did you kill our earners – my husband and son! We’ll die by hunger! Now you’ll feed us!

The mammoth was going along the lake bank, he left dark spots where he stopped and bucked up.

The woman came up to the spots and found out that this is a wild deer! That’s the mammoth was: he left the food for woman and her children, so they won’t die by hunger.

Mammoth appeared for many times and feed the family of the died hunter.

One night the woman has a dream that the mammoth came to her and said: “I am leaving for good, instead of me there will be another one to feed you”.

The woman awaked of the rude hissing, she looked out of the house and saw wild, hairy, huge man running away. He left his procurement – wild deer near the house.

Since then the hairy wild man – Chuchuna – began to feed the family of the hunter.

He disappeared when the children grown up and became good hunters.

Source:

  • all-creatures.org
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