'Lady Seteney and the Narts' Translation & Annotation by

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 30, 2016

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Submitted: September 30, 2016



  1. Seteney-Guaschere Nartxemre

Lady Seteney and the Narts


Kabardian text



Latinized Circassian text

Nart Eisoquexe yapx’u Seteney-guasche iy x’ibarir iynu zexax. Nart gupir zerixosch-zeroshazcher, iyquch’e schejascheu ximre sch’imre scha’uate Seteney-guaschem schitich’eu iy’er. Zimilhaghur iynu qi’opschier, zilhaghum x’ibarir nex’ iynizhu ei’uate. Adige schelhansch’em eizeghiu ts’ixu qixech’in zhiyxuep’er beiljili x’uqe?

Seteney guasche ghesch’eghuenischxueu qenexuaqe?

Nartxem ya sanexuafem iy bleghech’inir Seteney-guasche iy x’ibar ghesch’eghuenim teiuxuaqe? Ei’-eih, zche kued fiyghezeshiniy, bze kuediych’ iyghexuqueniy. Dene iy deizh Seteney-guascheu ziy gughum duneyr psor iyghelinda bzilhxughem iy x’ibarim ch’e schiyghuetinur? Zi zhip’em, psch’I qone, psch’I zhip’em, qaner bzhigheghenshesch, sit shhech’e zhip’eme, iy x’ibar dehexak’wem uxigheiy’eqim, at’e zexefxre, iynu sivogueu, nartxe ya zexesim, nartxe ya sanexuafem, nartxe x’ibar ch’ihim qidek’wueu, zexefxre Steney-guasche pezhim iy x’ibar xuede zisch’e’aiy, zhif’et! Ar nise pezhu bghuetaiy, abi qipich’am xuede duney psomiych’ qischilheghuaue x’ibarim qidek’werqimiy, zhif’et nex’ ghesch’eghuen zisch’em, arschhech’e ya zcher ‘uroxu, ya gur iyoxuex, zha’en yamisch’eu qizexone.

At’ane Bedinoqwe metejriy zhei’e:

- Schi’eqim Seteney xuede, qitexech’aqim dyapemiych’, dyauzchimiych’, aue abi qiylhxua, ei sosim qixiyxa que xuex’uam deiplhin xueysch, - Bedinoqwe ar schisch’otaje, a sanexuafer zexuasch’izh, k’whsh’i-hishxuexer:

  - Sit xuede, situ unexu, situ uxuzch, situ uxaxue?!

Ue qipquech’ariych’ siyu iyn, situ maxue! Udiynesch, Udiypsesch, ‘uexuu uiy’er diy guebdzejir eipxaue diy gurilhsch.

Araschiy, schimiuenu aqil, schimisch’enu bilim pxuefaschesch nobe schisch’edzaue! – Qizhira’e.

Abi xetu Seteney-guascher masch’eu qok’wate gupech’e:-

Psalhe qizzheif’asch zexessch’ech’inu, abi teitu siqisch’ech’inu, ziy gughu fsch’I ueghurligheriych’ x’uex’uf’ere guf’eghuech’e qivdepseunu psalhe fizot. Aue se ziguer zhis’ensch, eimik’w xemilhim.


Nartxe fiy xabzesch

’uexushxue ts’ixum teiflhheu,

 Qisch’exuench’iy mix’uu.

Apxuedem dey,

Sosriqwe xueiyzchu

Nex’izchif’exem yabghedetinu

Fiy nef’ schixue,

Aue maf’ox’uu zhizi’e psoriy

Nartim xelhitaue zhit’enqim

Nartim iy f’ir



Eizim iy pash’er iyghech’iu,

Iych’e iylhaghuam schimischteu,

Ley qilisim iymigheghuu,

Ghuegum teiheme eimizeshu,

Shaghdiyr qiyubidim, qixueneu,

Iyner ziteiplher ‘esch’emich’iu

F’ech’inu nart schimi’eu,

Ze’er qeimilu,

Blaghuer iy bzexebzaneu,

Iy p’em sch’emizagheu,

Sch’ilher iy uereshkuu,

Uafer iy shi’enu,

Nartizchiyblir iy bliguu,

Zheschiybl-maxuiybl ueyr iy qaruue,

Zeuer mighuschizhu

Ghasch’e ch’ih iy’eneu

Sosriqwe qeflhaghu!-

Yazhirei’e nartxem Seteney-guasche.


English translation

Lady Seteney, Nart Eisoqwe’s daughter is a notorious character. Among a group of Narts, her name is a theme during their meetings. Her incomparable achievements echo over the lands and seas. The ones that had not seen her are fervent to know more about her. And the ones, who have already met her, narrate her legendary temperament.

Is it not already conspicuous to recognize that a being may well be created (from Seteney), and would gratify the Adige’s (Circassians) ambition? Didn’t the light of Lady Seteney descend as a grand miracle?  Weren’t all the conversations during the wine-festivity dedicated to her? O, how many tongues will tire, and many languages will hinder. Will the stories ever end on the woman who illuminated the whole world? If one story was told, another ten will remain.  And if ten were narrated, countless of untold stories about her will remain. That is because her core-captivating deeds are infinite.  Do you heed O Narts? I cry amongst your council, during your annual wine-festivity. Can you recognize? Or can the narrator of your grand actions identify anything similar to the true deeds of Lady Seteney?  Do enlighten me. She is the true bride, no phenomenon on this earth bear a veneer like her’s. O’ speak who knows any deeds grander than the deeds of Lady Seteney. Therefore, their jaws dropped, their hearts tumbled, and silence slowly berthed upon them.

Then Bedinoqwe rose and said:

- There is no equal to Seteney. No one like her appeared amongst us, nor will anyone similar (to Seteney) will appear after her. Nevertheless, we must see her newly born child, the one that she seized from within a rock, and espoused as her own son. – As Bedinoqwe ended his speech, all stood and concluded the wine-festivity. And with much difficulty, they were able to find Lady Seteney, and when she appeared, they courteously asked her:

- How are you, how bright you appear, how fair and vigorous you are? You are our eyes and our souls. All your affairs are our duties, and today you are endowed with wits that do not fail, and affluence that has no end. –They told Lady Seteney.

Standing amidst the gathering, Seteney walks a few steps forward and says:

- You have said words of value. I promise that I shall gratify your expectations, and may all the goodness you spoke of become your fortunes. However, I have words to say if it is apt to do so:

O Narts your custom

Demands you to bestow heavy burden on beings

That cannot be averted.

In this circumstance,

I request that you kindheartedly look

Unto Sosriqwe

And allow him to stand on the right-hand side

Of your kind elderly.

We do not say

That whoever greets saying

‘Blessed is your hearth [1]’,

Is a complete Nart,

But a true Nart is mustached and of full courage,


And does not forgive cruelty.

Who tiers not in journeys,

 And when he seizes a Schaghdiyr [2], he tames it,

No being escapes him

Nor can any being flee his power

He can demolish a dragon in one strike,

Effervescent he is.

The earth is his cradle,

The sky his fleece,

The seven giant Narts under his oxter [3].

Seven stormy days and nights is his power

There is no cure for the one, who stabs him,

A long life he will live,

I request you look upon Sosriqwe in this manner,

Said Lady Seteney to the Narts.


(Hedeghel’e, I968, Vol.I, p. 106)


* This saga represents Seteney’s majestic qualities most cherished by the Narts. However, it also implies a strong veneration connotation; the qualities that Seteney is described by, evidently propose the vigor of matriarchal rule amongst the Circassians, and her elevated rank amongst the gods. This account manifests the profound deference and gratification manner towards Seteney and her actions.

Seteney’s speech requesting to allow Sosriqwe stand among the Narts, also prevails Sosriqwe’s divine qualities, and may comply with sun-venerating facets; “The earth is his cradle, The sky his fleece,”. The relationship displayed between Sosriqwe and his mother Seteney is parallel to Thetis and her son Achilles.



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