'The Giant who the Narts chained to the Mountain' Translation & Annotation by

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 30, 2016

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Submitted: September 30, 2016



  1. Qushhem Nartime Radighe Iynizcher

The Giant who the Narts chained to the Mountain

Hek’wtsu (Hekusch) text


Latinzed Circassian text

Nartme gue’eghufo ya’agh. Eizchme anah ts’ich’ou, eizchme anah mach’exer schihaghu ash’ischtighep ijiy agu xaghech’ischtighep –iyspme yazaoschtighexep, qaux’umeschtighe nah.

A xabzem teteu repesexu, Iysp-guaschem iyl’ X’imischizcheriy schimi’ezcheu, iqo Petereziy rech’odigheu iyzeqo dedeu qizenim, nart xaser zexet’ishiy, Iysp-guaschem, neozch dedeu schititiy, sci’ach’eu fex’uschtim teguschi’ahighex.

Xasem unasho ziyiyq’uagheu schitagh, tiyghehaghech’ tiyschi’ach’ ighedaxeu shidi iyghojiy texetigh; tiynart lhepq ighesh’uagh, ilhitagh. Uaseu qitiytighemje tidezek’wzchini faiy. Aiy qixech’ireje Iysp-guascher psaou dunaeim teti nesifeje ghesch’onighe fitiy’eu t’igheneu qittafe. Igu xezighech’rem. Psech’odiyshe ish’agheje tlhitesct. Aiy iuasejiy iygho felheghuscht.

Ar unashou agheutsuiy, xaser zexech’izchigh.

Afediz pemish’agheu zi mafe gorem Iynizch-shhabghem nartil’ixer demiseu ziqitiyghafiy, Iysp-guasche iyune zeteriyutiy, milhkou iylhar zepiriysh’iy, itame tiriydziy eizchezchigh…

Zeuzche ish’e zex’um, neozcher eilhe’ugh:

- O sich’al, nepe-neuschim sifech’ozchigheu, eimik’w shide qisapsh’ere? – qi’uiy.

Iynizcher qipimilheu, ish’eschter ish’agh.

Ash fedizeu petinxeya, nartxeriy qesizchighex, rex’ugheriy alheghugh. Asch teteu zezchem nart Lhepsh iqo qeijexiy, Iynizch-shhabgher qixineu qaghek’wagh.

Zinesim ish’eschtigh: nart lhepqir chch’igum ilhaqo teti nesifezche zeriymiutischter. Artiy, iynizchim nart Lhepshi iqo qizech’iyubiy ch’igum qiteriy’etighich’igh. Igu iylhigher: qi’etin nequ ‘aeim riydzixine iuch’ineu arighe.

Au eizch zeregughaghem fedeu rex’ughep: zei’etim, nart Lhepshi iqo qe’abiy iynizchim ishhe zesh’ureiyubiyich’iy its’its’igh, zejem qizexeriyghet’ishagh. Iubitiy qizeteriypxiy, nartme adezchi qilheshugh. Mideje paplhexeu hazireu schisighexetiy, Iynizch-shhabgher apashhe ralhhiy, unasho terash’ihagh.

A unashom teteu, qushhem ch’iralheshuiy, qushhe zadem ch’iraxiy, ghuch’ ‘ex’u-pshex’uiyblije zetirapxem xeradagh.

Xeradiy, ipashhe p’este t’ek’w aghet’ilhitigh: mafere ischximiy ziymigheschxech’eu, chesh ch’ots’im p’asteu ipashhe ralhhaghem fediz qabze rex’uzcheu, qiyhix’ou, inibe eitx’ozchi zepitineu, ijiych’ nequm dech’ire pser ‘ilheghoy, au eishoniy imilhech’eu, mafere tighem qipich’irem inegu riyzcheu, iq’upsh’exer igheqepeu, psexexighor qesigh sh’osh’eu, au chesch zix’oje  otepseu qeixirem qighenex’uzcheu, - ajauscteu nartxer shidiy iybghiy shipqenighem febanexeu, yagucha’ aghetsech’ezcheu, xabze pite axelheu repseuxeuschtigheu adighe l’izchime qak’wetezchi.


English Translation

The Narts were very compassionate, they never assaulted nor mistreated who were smaller and fewer than them. At all times, they protected the Iysp nation and never fought against them.

While they retained this approach for life, the Old Lady Iysp was left all alone after the death of her husband X’imisch and the loss of her only son Peterez.  Hence, the Nart council assembled to discuss the issue of the old Iysp Lady to find means to support her circumstances.

Our “Iysp Lady” has always been our pampered bride; she poured splendour upon our lives and work.  She respected us Narts and adequately cared for us. We must repay her accordingly, and care and respect her as long as she lives on this earth. Whoever mistreats our Lady Iysp will be considered to have committed “One Hundred” sins, and shall be punished consequently.

The council collectively agreed to the decision and left the meeting.

Soon after the decision was made, and in the absence of the Narts, a seven-headed beast attacked and destroyed Lady Iysp’s home seizing all her belongings carrying them on his shoulder.

When the Lady Iysp saw what the beast did, she pleaded:

-My son, why do you perform such shame upon me while my days are only few on this earth.

The seven-headed beast carried on disregarding Lady Iysp’s plea.

Once the Narts returned and learnt what befell Lady Iysp, they called upon (Nart) Lhepsch’s son and dispatched him to fetch the seven-headed beast.

The beast knew that he could never be able to defy any of the Narts as long as his feet stood on earth. Therefore, when Lhepsch’s son arrived, he grabbed him and attempted to hurl him off and destroy him. But the giants’ plan did not work accordingly; Lhepsch’s son seized the beast’s head, firmly squeezed it and cried out loudly hurling the beast to the ground. Lhepsch’s son chained the beast and dragged him before the Narts.

Upon the Narts council edict, the beast was dragged to the mountains, hanged on a vertical summit, and chained, his arms and legs seven times with iron.

After he was hung, they would place a small plate of (p’aste) porridge in front of the beast:

 The seven-headed beast would eat the plate of porridge during the daytime and remain hungry, and at night, the porridge plate would replenish. His stomach tore in torment from hunger. The beast would see the river flowing, thus will be unable to quench his thirst. The sunrays will burn his face and lips leading him to believe that his life reached an end, but as the night sets, the dew revives his soul.

Those were the Narts, they always advocated for truth and justice, and delivered their promises according to their strict traditions. This is how our Circassian ancestors narrate the story of the Narts. 

(Hedeghel’e, 1968, Vol.I, p. 250)


* This narrative displays one of the strongest features of the Nart/Circassian tradition; the Nart Council. The council concept is a meeting, which includes a number of prominent elders of the community, acting as a tribal administration resolving social and economical issues relative to all community members.  The council members displayed in the sagas are to certain extent ambiguous; although it is mentioned that Narts such as Bedinoqwe, Sosriqwe, Seteney and many others took part in the Narts meeting, however, the main body of the council were vaguely described. Some of the sagas portray them as humungous giants in comparison to the existing Narts. There were six to eight figures that compose the Nart Council and they were essentially wise and divine. It could possibly be a metaphoric notion for God or a higher power.

Despite their prominent position and partaking roles in most sagas, the council members infrequently participated in the Narts journeys and warfare; they assembled in an area called the House of Alej where most Olympic Games, wine-festivals, and ceremonies took place (Qermoqwe [H], 2001, p. 18). Alej could be a derivative from Greek Alex meaning “defender.” Alej is also “Circassian” in ancient Greek (Qermoqwe [H], 2001, p. 18).

It was considered a high privilege for the Narts to take part and become members of the Nart Council.

The council or ‘Xase’ in Circassian language is an ongoing tradition relatively playing a considerable role amongst Circassian communities in the North Caucasus, and Circassian Diaspora communities across the globe.

The Xase may also correspond to The Great Hall: King Arthur’s Round Table.

The other interesting element in this story is the controversial ‘Iysp’ characters found in this saga and amongst many. The Iysp’s are portrayed as small people in comparison with the Narts, which may be a description for humans. The Narts lives interlinked with the Iysp’s; they married them, bred from them, and acted as their guardians, concluding in a close relationship amongst each other.


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