'The Gods Wine-Vessel' 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. Thexem ya Sanexubzcher

The Gods Wine-Vessel

Kabardian Text



Latinized Circassian text

‘Waschhemaxue iy schhegum Mezithe, Amisch, Thegheledj, Sozresch, Lhepsch sime Psathe schizexwesaxeu Sanexwafe iy’et. At’e, iylhes qesixuch’e t thepelhitexem Sanexwafe yasch’et. Sch’ilhem xet nex’ l’ighe iy’eu teitmiy, ariy yashertiy zi sanexwebzche iriyghafert, sch’ilhem schizeik’we ts’ixu ts’ik’wxem ya hetirch’e. Thexem yadeifa ts’ixur nartxe yaghelhap’ert. Apxwedewre iylhes ’ejiy eik’wech’asch.

Thepelhitexem ya Sanexwafem themadew schisir eizi Psathetiy qetejriy zhiy’asch:

- Xet eittin diy sanexwebzcher, ts’ixu ts’ikwxem ya ts’ech’e xet eidghefenu? Xet nex’ lhesch Sch’im teitxim yaschischu?

- Nartxe ya themader Neseren Zchach’e! – zhei’asch Sozresch.

- Hewe, Qanzh iy qwe Scheweiiy nex’ schak’weschxwe Nart Xekum iytqim. Abi xwefaschesch diy sanexwbzcher, - zhiy’asch  Mezithem.

- Hewe, Gwegwenizch nex’re a bzcher nex’ zixwefasche Nart Xekum iytqim. Ar nartxe ya qx’wax’we teimich’sch, - zhiy’asch Amisch.

- Hewe, X’imisch nex’ xwefaschesch diy sanexubzcher. Abi nex’ ’ek’welhak’we mesh sch’ench’e Nart Xekum iysqim, - zhiy’asch Theghelej.

- Hewe, -zhiy’eriy qetejasch Lhepsch. – A fe ziy ts’e qiyf’wa psoriy fschiygheghupschezhinu Nart Xekum l’i qiralhxwasch. Se siy sijiw sch’iqatiyblch’e xewch’awe schitar qixiychifriy nex’ kuuzhu xiysezhasch.  Ar sch’alesch, sch’ale petmiy abi nex’ lhesch nart sch’igw qiyx’waqim.

- Xet ar zhixwep’er? – sch’ewpsch’asch psoriy.

- Sosriqwesch, abi iy ts’er! Arasch diy sanexwebzcher zixwefascher! – zhiy’asch Lhepsch.

Artiy, Psathe wnafe iysch’asch Sosriqwe qaschew thepelhitexem ya sanexwbzchem iyraghefenu. Lhepsch yaghek’weriy Sosriqwe qiragheshasch.

Psathe sanexwebzcher qiyraschteriy Sosriqwe qizhiriy’asch.

- De thexem mir bzchesch, iylhes qes ze dizexos ‘Waschhemaxue iy schigumiy Sanexwafe qize’udox. Sch’ilhem schizeik’we iy ts’ixw ts’ikw’xem ya ts’ech’e zi zaqwe qidoshriy mi zi bzche zaqwem iydoghafe. De eighafer sch’ilhem teitxem fiy’eqim mipxwede fade. Mir tehexem ya fadesch! Met, eifet! – Psathem sanexwebzcher qiriytasch Sosriqwem.

Sosriqwe sanxwebzchem  scheifam ’ef’ische qischix’uasch, zafem iyguiy qiyghezhenasch.

- Arasch wqisch’etshariy diy bzche zaqwem wscheifach’e k’we, k’wezh iyji, - zhiy’asch Mezithe.

- K’we, k’wezh sch’ilhem teitxem yaxwe’wetezh thexem diy fadem iy teilhijagher, -qisch’iyghwasch Theghelej.

Sosriqwe schitt mix’eiwe zafem iy gur qiyghezhanawe, iy guri’upsriy qixwiyghek’wawe.

- Iyjiriy, x’unu schitme, zi bzche ceivghefezh! – sch’elhe’wasch Sosriqwe.

- Hewe, de diy xabzeqim zi bzche nex’ibe sch’im schizeik’wexer eidghafew! – zhiy’eriy iydaqim Psathe. Arschhech’e Sosriqwe f’ischew zilhaghw Lhepsch qepselhasch.

- Eivghafe, iyjiriy zi bzche, - qepselhasch Amischiy.

- X’unsch at’e, fe qomim eivghafe schizhif’ech’e, iyreife. Awe, iyghasch’e lhandere zeithe xabzer mequte. De psomiy xwetshiywe schitarzi bzche zaqwesch, - zhiy’asch Psathe.

- Xabzer zeripsch’asch, - zhiy’er Mezithe qetejriy T-he Ch’adem schheschiwvasch, bzcher iy’ighu.

Mezithe ziyghex’u bzchem iyzu sane qischriyghaxwem, Sosriqwe abi bghedehasch

- Mir sit? Iy sch’er wmilhaghu, plhaghur qiygwesch’ich’iu?

- Mirasch thexem diy saner ziret ch’ader!

- Situ ghesch’eghwen! – zhiy’asch Sosriqwe.

- Ghesch’eghwenur abi iy lhasch’em xelh sane zhirlersch. Ar qizerich’irsch. Abi gwasch’aghew sch’etirsch. Ar zighech’ siy lheschighersch, - zhiy’asch Theghelej.

Sosriqwe ar schizexiyxim sane ch’adem eiplh xwedre ziysch’eriy ch’adem bghedihesch, psinsch’ew ch’ader qiypx’watriy, fe fizefe fader ts’ixu ts’ik’wxem ya fade wx’w! – zhi’eriy, fader ‘Waschhemaxue  iy schhegum qischixif’iyxweriy sch’lhem qitriydzasch. Thexem ya ch’ader sch’im zeriteixwew zegwelhelhriy abi iyt saner Nart Xekum iylhedasch.

Sanexum xelhu zhilexeriy sch’im zerilhe’eseu sch’im qixech’izhich’izhasch. Sane qech’axer nartxem schlheghum Seteney gwasche deizhiy, - Mi qech’igher thexem ya fadesch, - schizhiy’em, Seteney saner ch’adem iyriylhheriy abre mive tiriy’ubezhasch.

Iylhes nex’ demich’iw sanexw qisch’iyxwam abre miver ch’adeschhem qitriydzasch. Ch’adem iyt sanexum nartxer xefich’riy gw zhan x’waxesch. Abdeizhim qischisch’edzawe nartxe qasch’asch sanexw zerasch’ sch’ich’er. Sanexum iy ts’ech’e iylhes qes Sanexwafe uasch’inwiy yawxesasch.


English translation

On the summits of mount ‘Waschhemaxue, Mezithe [1], Amisch [2], Theghelej [3], Sozeresh [4], Lhepsch [5] amongst others gathered, to pay a visit to Psathe [6]. The Gods gathered, to attend the annual ‘Godly Wine’ festival held every year to commemorate the bravest, strongest, and the most famous man on earth. Thus, present him with a toast on the behalf of all people. Those who lived on earth venerated the distinguished hero, as it was an honour to receive an invite from the gods, and raise a toast with them. This tradition carried on for many years.


Psathe, the leader of the ‘Godly Wine’ festivity stood and announced:


- To whom shall we present our toast this year? Who is the strongest man on earth? And who is the most distinguished?

- Neseren Zchach’e, the Narts leader. – said Sozeresh

- No, Qanzch son of Scheweiiy is the master of hunt on earth. He is most worthy of our toast. – said Mezithe.

- X’imisch deserves our toast. There is no one in the Narts Land who is better than he is in farming. – said Theghelej.

- No, - said Lhepsch while rising from his seat, - The Narts Land has bore a being that eliminate all the mentioned. He was able to lift my anvil from the depth of the seventh earth, and pierce it deeper than it originally was. He is still young; however, the Narts Land has not yet seen anyone stronger and braver than him.

- Who is he? – The Gods asked collectively.

- Sosriqwe is his name, and there is no one more worthy of our wine-vessel than he is.

Hence, Psathe decided to invite Sosriqwe, and sent Lhepsch to bring him and present him with the Godly Wine vessel.

Psathe raised the Gods toast and told Sosriqwe:

- This is our “Gods toast”; we convene every year on ‘Waschhemaxue summit to commemorate our annual festivity. Every festivity, we call upon the most distinguished man on earth, and present him with one toast on behalf of all humans. This drink is not obtainable on earth…here, drink it. – said Psathe and handed Sosriqwe the wine.

Once Sosriqwe drank the wine, he mesmerized by the taste, whilst his heart rejuvenated.

- Now, the matter we called you upon is over, and since you drank our wine, you may now leave.  – said Mezithe.

- Go and describe to people the savour of the Gods elixir. – said Theghelej.

Sosriqwe’s heart enthralled by the taste of Gods liquor.

- If it is apt, do bequeath me with yet another cup of wine. – requested Sosriqwe.

- No, it is not our custom to give humans more than one cup. – Psathe refused, however Lhepsch who loved Sosriqwe dearly said:

- It is all right, giving him yet another cup will help him describe the taste of liquor more accurately to humans.

- Give him another. – said Amisch.

- If you all believe that we should…then do give him another, but this way, we are violating our tradition on this occasion. – said Psathe.

- The traditions are our making. – said Mezithe while walking towards the wine cask, and as  he was filling the cup, Sosriqwe drew near him and asked:

- What is this that cannot be discerned, and has such a strong scent?

- This is the cask where we store the Gods elixir. – answered Mezithe.

- How strange it is! – said Sosriqwe.

- The phenomena lies in the seeds found at the bottom of the cask, and by my innovation, the taste developed the piquant and extraordinary savour. – said Theghelej

Once Sosriqwe heard this, he drew near the cask as if he were looking at it, then swiftly lifted the cask and said,

- “Let the Gods elixir become known to humans”, and he hurled the cask from the mountain summit onto earth.

As the wine cask landed and burst onto the Narts Land, the grape seeds scattered on earth and began growing. When the Narts saw the grapes, they picked them and gave them to Lady Seteney. Sosriqwe said, “This is from the Gods liquor”. Hence, Seteney placed the grapes in a wooden barrel and covered it with a big stone. After one year had passed, the stone flew off the wooden barrel, and the Narts drank the wine, which captivated their hearts. Ever since, they learnt how to make wine, and accordingly, the Narts held an annual celebration called the wine-festival.


(Jirandoqwe et al. 1951, p. 41) 


*Wine discovery is a radical point in time to the Circassian cultural and traditional development, this interesting account imparts wine innovation and making amongst the Narts, which originally was an exclusive drink exchanged only amongst Gods known as Thepelhite Sanexwafe or the ‘Godly Wine’. The festival was conducted once a year, possibly at the turn of the Circassian New Year, i.e. early spring season, and it also when the bravest and most notorious human is bestowed to spend a day with the gods. 

Portrayed as a human, Sosriqwe wished his own people to experience the ecstasy of the wine’s effect, which later developed into an annual festivity lead by Lady Seteney. Moreover, while Sosriqwe wished his fellow humans to taste the wine, he also exposed cultivating the grape seeds process; a method that was only known to the God of agriculture Theghelej. The remarkable aspect of this account is the link between elixir and godliness, the taste and effect of wine embellished the Narts hearts, It is also worthy to note that the word Thepelhite, literally translates to God-like, renders the divine effect wine was perceived by the Nart gods. In a theoretical sense, it proximate them to a higher state of being.

Thepelhite Sanexwafe, the Narts ‘Godly Wine’ corresponds with Haoma, the sacred plant that was transformed into a divine drink, which played a feature role in Zoroastrian ritual. 


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