'The Narts Sickle' 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

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  1. Nartxe ya Ghubzher

The Narts Sickle

 

Kabardian text

 

Latinized Circassian text

Nartxe mesh bev qaxeiuech’ xabzet. Aue meshir qizaraxizchin ya’eteqimiy ‘ech’e schhemizh zirizure qipachizhirt. Ar ch’ih-lih x’urtiy meshir xizchezhirt. Zeguerim nartxem unafe yasch’asch, dyapech’e zhesh mazeghuexemiy schhemizh qipachinu.

Maxuem zhesch x’uxuch’e nartxer lezchasch. Pschiheschhem t’icaxeu mazesch’er dische shabzequm eischhu uafem qiyuvasch. Nartxer guf’eriy, shxen zerauxiu, tejxeriy schhemizhpitch xihasch. Zeixiharaue mazesch’er eixuex xuedeu qafesch’asch. Eiplhipeme, mazem iy ch’aper iyubidaue ‘e f’its’e ch’ih guerim iyriylhefexirt. Nartxer qeu’ebzchaue, schte’e-schtableu eiplheu schitt abi. ‘e f’its’e ch’ihim mazer iyriylhefexriy qurshim quiylhafasch. Arixxeuiy ch’if’ x’uasch, nem qisch’e’eber umilhaghuu. 

Eit’uane pschiheschhem mazesch’er argueru uafem qiyuvezhasch. Arschhech’e nartxer schhemizhipich zerixiheu argueru ‘e f’its’e ch’ihir qursh sch’ibim qide’epichriy maze ch’aper iy’ighu iyriylhefexiu sch’iydzasch. Pschiheschhe qesch’e apxuedu x’urt. Aratiy, nartxem meshim iy nique f’ech’a qirahel’ezhifaqim, adreyr xizchezhriy pilhelhizhasch.

Mesh qirahel’ezhar shxin yauxriy ghable x’uasch. Aue li zha’emiy, gheshxech’ zha’emiy gher iyrahech’riy mesh ‘uxizhighuaer argueru qesach. Nartxer maxue psom lazcheriy pschiheschheshxe yasch’inu t’isasch. Maze niquer ts’uuzhu uafem iytt. Aue argueru ‘e f’its’e ch’ihir qursh sch’ibim qide’epich’riy mazer iyriylhefexiu sch’iydzasch.

Nartxem yasch’en yamisch’eu guzevasch. Iyt’ane Seteney-guasche deizch k’wexeriy ya ‘uexu zi’utir zhira’asch. Seteney-guascher gupsiseriy mir chenjeschu qariytasch:

- Sosriqwe vgheshec, shu gupiy quevdzezhiy plhak’we vghak’we.

Nart Sosriqwe yagheshessch, shu gupiy quadzezhriy iyraghezhash. K’wem-lheym, k’wem-lheyre qurshim nesasch shu gupir. Sosriqwe iy Tx’uezcheym ueghuiysch iyriyxriy qursch sijim qiteixutasch. Midreyxeriy zir zim de’epiquriy qurshim qurshim dech’riy Sosriqwe bghuriuvaxesch. Arixeu zhesh x’uriy mazesch’er ts’uue uafem qiyvasch. Qizeriyuveu psi ‘ufe guerim deizh zi l’I f’its’e ch’ih qischtejriy lhapepts’iy ziysch’riy mazem iy ch’aper iyubidriy quriylhefexiu sch’iydzasch. Sosriqwe iy shabze zi’uiydzeriy triyghepsasch. Aue iy ghusexem yadaqim, iysch’enum degheplh zha’eriy. L’i f’its’ezchim maze iy zi ch’aper iy’itiu adreyr meshim qi’iyghaneure zi pxir x’un zeue qiyxiu yalheghuasch. Shu gupir zeplhizchasch, ar sit helemet zha’eu.

Sosriqwe iy Tx’uzcheym argueru sh’opsch ueghuiysch iyriyxriy qursch sijim eilhasch:

- Se qezghezezhixu fiqispeplhe! – zhiy’eriy.

Sosriqwe l’i f’its’em bghedelhaderiy iyjater qiriyxasch. Modreym maze niquer uafem qiriydzezhriy sch’epx’uasch. Arschhech’e Sosriqwe iylhriy qipeuvasch.

- Diy mazer zeribdighu uiy ‘er pizupsch’inusch, - zhiy’eriy.

- Them hetir iy’eme, adigaghem iy hetir plhaghume, siy ghugh qomisch’! – qeilhe’uasch l’i f’its’er. – Se slhech’iy a mazer qeishexirqim. Mi xekum ts’ixuu iysir zighashxer sere siy quesh nex’izchimresch. Siy queshim ‘esch iyghexu, se mesh sosch’e. Mazem siriymixme, siy meshir xizchezhinusch. Iyt’ane diy lhepqir shxin schhech’e zeteil’enusch.

- Hewe, - zhiy Sosriqwe. – Ar x’unch’e amal ziymi’esch. Deriy zheschch’e dimilazcheme, diy meshir mexizchezhriy dizetol’e. Mazer dizediymazesch: feriy qifxureips, deriy qitxuereips. Hewe zhip’ere, uzux’uensch’inschiy seizchezhinsch.

L’i f’its’ezhir ghiriy ghuelhizhasch:

- Sit mighuer sch’en, schhemizh zirizure qipischizhinsch, - zhiy’eriy.

Nartxem qaghezezhriy yalheghuar Seteney-guasche xua’uetezhasch.

- At’e schhe siy deizh fiqek’wa? Fik’wuiy flhaghuar Lhepsch zheif’ezh, qazheriy’asch Seteney.

Nartxer Lhepsch deizh qak’weriy yalheghuar xua’utezhasch.

Lhepsch eiuval’eriy zhir maze iysch’asch.

- ‘au, mibi daue uriyxen?! – zhiy’eriy iy ch’aper qiygheshriy bash f’iyuch’ezhasch.

- Qif’enen schhech’e, - zhei’eriy qazshiridzeu diypch’izhasch. Ghubzhe f’iyschizhriy nartxem qariytasch. “fik’we, fixe” – zhiy’eriy.

Eit’uaneu eiuval’eriy mazem xuediyz x’uue ghubzheshxue iysch’riy l’i f’its’em xuiyghehasch:

Dyapech’e diy mazem qireimi’use, iy sabiyxeriy shxin schhech’e iyreimighal’e, - zhiy’eriy.

 

English Translation

The Nart lands were abundant with crops, however they did not acquire a tool to harvest their fields; they used to pick the wheat flowers one by one. Thus, the crops would dry and fling on the fields before they reap.  Therefore, the Narts decided to continue picking the wheat flowers under the moonlight throughout nighttime.

The Narts worked all day until darkness set, and as they began eating their supper, they witnessed the crescent appear in the heart of the sky like a golden arch. Delighted by the crescents’ radiance, they hastily completed their meal and began labor. A little while after they began picking the crops, the Narts visualized the crescent plunging onto earth. And when they looked closer, they saw a dark, long hand seizing the edge of the crescent and pulling it towards the earth. The Narts were staggered at what they saw, and watched in bewilderment as the long Black Hand pulled the crescent behind the high mountain summits.

 As soon as the crescent disappeared, complete darkness covered their fields. The following night, the crescent reappeared in the sky. However, once the Narts began picking the crops, the same Black Hand reached up to the sky and began pulling the crescent behind the mountains. Every night, the same thing would occur. The Narts were only able to pick half of the crops amount. The rest of the seeds scattered and vanished.

Famine struck because of the scarce sum of harvest, but the Narts maneuvered the shortage by eating mutton and dairy until the subsequent harvest began.  The Narts worked all day, and at night, they sat to eat their supper as the crescent glittered in the sky, but yet again, the long Black Hand resurfaced reaching from behind the mountains and began pulling the crescent. The Narts perplexed and surmounted with worry. Then they informed Lady Seteney of what had occurred and requested her help. Lady Seteney contemplated and advised them the following:

- Request from Sosriqwe to mount his horse, escorted by a group of horsemen and send him to discern the matter. 

As Lady Seteney advised, Sosriqwe was propelled with a group of horsemen. The knights journeyed strolling and leaping until they reached the mountains. Sosriqwe whisked his horse Tx’uzchey three times and ascended the mountain summit in a blink of an eye. He assisted the remaining knights in ascending until they all stood on the summit next to Sosriqwe. As nighttime rested and darkness divulged the shining crescent in the sky, a black lofty man rose from the riverbank, stood on the tip of his toes, seized the crescent, and began pulling it towards the earth.

Perceiving what happened, Sosriqwe prepared his bow and pointed it towards the tall black man, but his fellow knights prevented him, and advised him to linger and observe what will arise next.

The black man pulled the crescent illuminating the prairies, and then he gripped one end of the crescent and began cutting and heaping the crops from the field. The knights looked at each other in astonishment.

Sosriqwe mounted Tx’uzchey whisking him three times, descended from the mountain summit, and said:

- Wait for me until I return.

Seizing a sword in his hand, Sosriqwe charged towards the black man. Perceiving the attack, the black man pitched the crescent towards the sky and fled. But Sosriqwe leapt and landed afore him.

- For God’s sake! For the sake of Adigaghe [1], spare me my life! – Begged the black man- I heave the crescent from the sky because of need. My older brother and I feed the people of this land, my brother herds the cattle, and I harvest the fields. If I do not yield the fields with the crescent, my crops will scatter and disappear and my people will die from hunger.

No – said Sosriqwe- that cannot be. We will also die from hunger if we do not work during the night. The moon is for us all; let it shine for the both of us. If you object, I shall cut you into pieces.

The tall black man laid down crying:

- O my misfortune, what can I do. I shall yield my crops one by one.

The Narts returned and informed Lady Seteney of what they saw, so she told them:

- Why did you come to me? Go and inform Lhepsch of what happened.

The Narts came to Lhepsch and informed him of what they saw. Then, he stood in his black smithy and fashioned an iron crescent.

- Strange! How can you harvest with such a thing? He said. Then he held one of its ends, bent it and placed a stick within.

- It must have teeth to grip the crops – He said, and designed teeth on the sickle. He presented it to the Narts and said, “Now go and harvest.”

He stood in his place again, fashioned a large sickle in the size of the crescent, and sent it to the black man saying:

- From now on, let him stay away from our moon, and spare his children from hunger.

(Hedeghel’e, 1968, Vol. I, p. 220)

 

*This account portrays another paradigm of innovation through observation, and reveals the early days of agricultural society establishment among the Narts. Sickle formation undeniably formed a crucial development point in raising crops, and prior to iron discovery, archeological findings in North West Circassia present an assortment of stone-made sickles, that date back to 4000 years ago, found in tombs inside the dolmens. Sickles belonging to the Bronze Age era have also been allocated in archeological expeditions in the area.  These sickles along with an assortment of tools were inserted with dead corpses upon burial (Qermoqwe [H], 2001, p. 232).

 

 


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