'Sauseriqo’s Provisions in the Afterlife' Translated & Annotated by

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



  1. Sauseriqo’s Provisions in the Afterlife

Schapsighe text


Once upon a time, nighttime fell upon a Circassian, while he was on his way to raid; he rested over an ancient hill and fell asleep. This hill turned out to be Sauseriqo’s tomb. While the man was sleeping over the hill, he saw the following vision:

Someone called and said:

- Weiy Sauseriqo!

- What? - Sauseriqo answered.

- Come join us! The Narts are holding a feast. – Said the voice.

- How can I come, I am accompanied by a guest. - Said Sauseriqo.

After sometime had passed, the same voice called again:

- Sauseriqo!

- What?

- Bring your guest and come!

- Let us join them dear guest. – Said Sauseriqo and accompanied his guest to the feast.

Once they arrived, the Narts were already seated merrily drinking and eating. They accommodated the guest, but kept Sauseriqo standing uninvited to eat. As the Narts completed their feast, they left the table, thus Sauseriqo ate what remained from their food.

The Circassian man asked Sauseriqo:

- What is the matter Sauseriqo? I did not encounter anyone superior than you amongst the invitees, why did they not invite you to the table.

- The reason is, - said Sauseriqo, - I was the last remaining Nart, and hence, no one was left to bequeath provisions for me in the afterlife. That is why I am being treated in this manner. Now go to wherever you are destined to be, and you shall attain what you seek. Once you return to your family, tell them: “provisions for Sauseriqo in the afterlife,” and prepare me some banquets.

The Circassian man reached his destination, and achieved his goal, and when he returned to his family, he prepared many banquets and said: “This is for the sake of Sauseriqo in the afterlife.” The people reached out their hands and ate from the food prepared.

After the man accomplished this, he returned to Sauseriqo’s tomb and fell asleep atop of the very hill, and saw a vision for the second time,

- Sauseriqo. – A voice called out.

- What? – said Sauseriqo.

- The Narts are having a ‘wine-festival’, come and join. – said the voice.

- I have a guest. – said Sauseriqo.

- Bring your guest along with you and come.

Sauseriqo accompanied his guest and both attended the ‘wine-festival’. The Narts warmly welcomed him, and seated Sauseriqo and his guest at the head of the table. The Narts performed the highest duties towards the guests.

This is how they narrate how Sauseriqo was served food in the afterlife.

(Hedeghel’e, Vol. II, p. 220)


*The Circassians believed in immortality of soul and life after death known as Hederixe, they also believed that upon death, food must be distributed and offered in abundance to ensure a safe and prosperous abode for the departed soul. Originally, a grand banquet and sacrifices were held in sacred groves under trees in the honor of the deceased (Jaimoukha [A], 2001, p.184).

This narrative displays the import of holding feasts and distributing food upon death, known as Hede’ws. As portrayed, Sauseriqo could not join the Narts’ feasts until the living held adequate feasts in his memory.


Submitted: September 30, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Zaina El-Said. All rights reserved.

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