'Seteney’s Death' Translated & Annotated by

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


  1. Seteney’s Death

Kabardian text

It was during springtime when Sosriqwe partook in a vicious atrocious war.  One night, Seteney dreamt that two white pigeons rested on a tree in their domicile, and began shredding off their feathers.

Seteney woke-up and said, “Calamity fell upon my son, may god have mercy on him.”

Once again, Seteney dreamt that two grimy puppies plowed a hole on the door entrance.

Seteney awoke and said, “God’s fury is upon us, and ruin must have fallen upon my only son”

Seteney fell asleep, and for the third time she dreamt that she was washing clothes with swamp rattans.

She awoke from her sleep, “We are doomed. God has struck adversity upon us”

Seteney dressed, and headed north but found nothing. She headed south and found nothing as well.

Seteney journeyed towards where the sun sets and saw none. She then headed east, reaching the very point where the sun rises, and by a wide valley, she found Sosriqwe’s’ left thigh.

-What miserable old age will mine be? This is my son’s left thigh. Said Seteney, and began searching for the remaining body parts. After a little while, she came across his right thigh. Seteney carried it, and placed it next to the left thigh. Then, she found his arms, head, and root and laid them in their original position.

-How can I bury him without washing his corpse? Said Seteney, and began searching for water. However, could not find a single drop in any part of the world.

Therefore, she began collecting dew in the palm of her hand from wild flowers and green leafs. That is how she washed Sosriqwe’s entire corpse except for his face. The dew was not enough to complete washing his face, and the brightness of then sun began drying all of the dew.

I cannot find any more water, what can I do? Said Seteney, then she threw herself on his corpse and began weeping over him and washing his face with her tears. As she washed his eyes, Sosriqwe opened his lids. Seteney grew blissful, and kissed his lips, only to perceive Sosriqwe breathing. In that moment, Seteney’s soul went into her son’s, and she fell dead onto the ground.

As Sosriqwe resurrected and found his mother a lifeless corpse, he deeply mourned. He carried her between his rams, and requested from Lhepsch to make her an iron grave and buried her within.

However, he only rested assure when he took out his own heart and placed it over the grave. So as when the sun sets, Sosriqwe’s heart would shine, and all would perceive Seteney’s grave from afar. However, as the sun rises, his heart would turn black as coal. They say a mother’s love to her children is unlike the children’s love to their mother. 


(Adige ‘Weri’watexer, 1963, Vol.I, p. 76) 


*This narrative is another exceptional paradigm of Seteney’s prophetic abilities. It demonstrates the reliance on the sub-consciousness and the authentic perception towards the realm of dreams. Essentially, it exhibits the instinctual bond and sacrifice a mother feels and performs towards her child. The other interesting feature of this narrative is the potency of water. Water and Seteney’s tears play the chief ingredient of Sosriqwe’s resurrection, delivering the equal perceptive they hold towards the soul and the water. This is confirmed following the equivalent nature both words correspond to, i.e. Psi: water, Pse: soul.

Submitted: September 30, 2016

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

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