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The Spirit Lord's Bearkill (Mansi song)

The highest god, father mine
created me, the shyback oathbear.
I roam the sacred sootbarked earth
where the underlings dwell.
I wade through thickest kneehigh moss.
And found a moor’s sunwarm edge.
I chased after sleep, sound enough for neckchopping
I chased after sleep, sound enough for shoulderchopping.
One forepaw I used
for a pillow, tenflapped, trimmed with flaps
which my mother, the Moosj woman, had sewn.
The other forepaw I used as a cover
cut out at the neck, trimmed with swans
which my mother, the Moosj woman, had sewn.

Sleep, sound enough for neckchopping
I chased after.
One earlet of mine eavesdropped on the land
sacred land god dwelled in
heard the true oath’s swearingvoice.
One eyelet of mine is overcome by seven jolts of deepsleep.
On my flankerman’s flank a deepthroated
throatthunder is rumbling.
The bear’s three three leaps I leap
the bear’s four four leaps I hop.
I turn around
I twist
my sinewy necknape.

Look how I’m hunted by the whitehorsed man!
The white horse came to a halt at my side.
The sublime flaming sword of Torem appeared
the sacred flaming sword of Torem appeared.
A painsnouted horsefly stung
the sacred bear’s little mortal spot.

And I saw:
When I, sacred bear, had my four buttons unbuttoned;
when I, sacred bear, had my fur stripped off.
Into a threeribbed birchbark cradle
am I laid,
in a fourribbed birchbark cradle
do I wake up.
Just look!
I reach the lodge door
streaming with molten gold.
The many village women arrive.
The many village men arrive.
They play watergames.
They play squirtgames.
I am carried through the lodge door
streaming with molten gold.
I may watch the girls’ endless pastime.
May watch the boys’ endless pastime.
When I am let go
on my way to the great god
I come into the jangling of great money
on my way to the little god
I come into the jangling of little money.

Magibearheyhey!

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About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Translator:
Dorothea Grünzweig, Derk Wynand
Original language:
Vogul (Finland)
Issue:
Series 3 No. 5 - Transgressions

About the author

Dorothea Grünzweig

Translator

Dorothea Grünzweig

Dorothea Grünzweig, born in Korntal, Germany in 1952, studied German and English at the Universities of Tübingen and Bangor. A...

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Derk Wynand

Translator

Derk Wynand

Derk Wynand, born in Bad Suderode, Germany, has lived in Canada since 1952. He has published several works translated from the...

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