'Seteney's Flowers' 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. Seteney's Flowers

Kabardian text

 

They say that the Nart giants came to ruin after they lost their Lady Seteney. Seteney was the Narts companion throughout their audacious victories battles; when the enemy stroked, Seteney valiantly repelled their attacks. In the vast arid lands, she was their guide to prolificness, and when they hunted, Seteney divulged the tracks for a profuse hunt. Lady Seteney was indispensable to the Narts.

They say that Nesren son of Schoqal refused to further consider Lady Seteney as the mother of all Narts, and rejected to obey any of her orders.

-If we are true men, we should elect a male leader, and obey orders from a man.

Schoqal also said: A man who is lead by a woman, is equivalent to a dumb man.

When Lady Seteney heard of Schoqal's words, she became overwhelmed with sorrow. Hence, packed her belongings and departed to the outskirts of Qenzhalischhe [1].

It is said that a great drought struck the Narts land upon Lady Seteney's departure. The running waters turned dry and the springs depleted with only a few water drops dribbling.

 

The great Narts gathered and held a grand celebration to gain favor with the gods to aid them overcome the drought. With great difficulty, they managed to gather water for drinking and meat broth.  The Narts raised great fires and placed the cooking caldron with meat inside. However, the fire would soon fade away before the meat cooks, and the water inside the pots would dry before the meat is cooked.

The Narts dashed from one end to other in search for water, helplessly with no luck. Therefore, they propelled Axumid [2] to fetch water from a well by Mount Qenzhalischhe's versant.

As Axumid reached closer to Qenzhalischhe's versant, she heard beautiful hymning in which captured her heart and soul,

Uey Uey

Like a flower's head held high

Turquoise eyes shining like the stars

Surrounded by golden silk

O -you- who light the snowy mountain summits

O' eyes' grace

Bearer of gladness and delight

And bequest of the Narts intrepidity

O life's beauty

You captivate who ever lays sight on you

All yearn for you

You are the youth's undying hope

Our cherished love

 

Axumid froze in enchantment as she listened to the singing. Suddenly the voice disappears, she lingers for a few moments in hope to hear the singing again. Then, Axumid descends to the mountains versant only to see bright flowers shining against her face. Without awareness, she hurls herself amid the soft grass embedded with flowers.

 

The Narts waited long for Axumid's return; their food was burning and the meat in the pots was burning. And when no sign of Axumid prevailed, they sent Melechipx’w [3] to reveal what had befallen.

As Melechipx’w reached the same mountain versant by Qenzhalischhe, she hears the very hymning:

 

Uey Uey

Like a flower's head held high

Turquoise eyes shining like the stars

Surrounded by golden silk

O -you- who light the snowy mountain summits

O' eyes' grace

Bearer of gladness and delight

And bequest of the Narts intrepidity

O life's beauty

You captivate who ever lays sight on you

All yearn for you

You are youth's undying hope

Our cherished love

 

The singing stopped. Intrigued, she moved towards the well at the mountain abyss. As she descended, the same scenery, which met Axumid earlier, mesmerizes Melechipx’w; a banquette of shinning flowers facing her being.

 

The Narts were anxious for her return, their food was burning, and the meat in the pots was burning. And when there was no sign of Melechipx’w arrival, the Narts propelled Adiyixw [4] with two buckets in hope to fetch water and find Axumid and Melechipx’w.

 

And so Adiyixw hastily set of with the two buckets. As soon as she reached the mountain versant, she also, became impeded by the very hymn once again

 

Uey Uey

Like a flower's head held high

Turquoise eyes shining like the stars

Surrounded by golden silk

O -you- who light the snowy mountain summits

O' eyes' grace

Bearer of gladness and delight

And bequest of the Narts intrepidity

O life's beauty

You captivate who ever lays sight on you

All yearn for you

You are the youth's undying hope

Our cherished love

 

Adiyixw could not contain herself from what beauty she heard, and disregarded her main mission of bringing back water to the Narts. The two buckets slipped from her hands, and she charged into the green field where a banquette of flowers and green grass embraced her within.

From where Adiyixw laid, she watched the bluest skies decorated with light soft clouds, floating as birds flock.

 

Worried and distressed, the Narts waited for Adiyixw. However, no sign prevailed. The food and meat in the pots were burning without water.

What possibly may be done? The Narts released the pots with the burnt meat, saddled their horses and all traveled towards Qenzhalischhe.

 

Who knows? Did they travel long or short? Nevertheless, after they traveled far enough, the Narts reached cave Qanzchilischhe.

 

Then, the heavenly hymn infiltrated through the hearts of those mighty knights. The Narts jumped of their horses mesmerized by the phenomena of the voice and listened in awe:

 

Uey Uey

Like a flower’s, head held high

Turquoise eyes shining like the stars

Surrounded by golden silk

O -you- who light the snowy mountain summits

O' eyes' grace

Bearer of gladness and delight

And bequest of the Narts intrepidity

O life's beauty

You captivate who ever lays sight on you

All yearn for you

You are the youth's undying hope

Our cherished love

 

The hymning voice escalated, echoing high throughout the region towards where the sight extended. The Narts stood aligned unable to make any sort of movement.

Right there and then 'Aschemez pulled out his flute and resounded melodies according with the song. With him, the Narts repeated along, their voices rising with every sigh, until the mountains and water streams echoed back.

Amidst, Axumid, Melechipx’w, and Adiyixw regained their consciousness, raised and sang the hymn alongside with the Narts.

 

The Narts saw the shining flowers and became entranced by their beauty. And in one leap, they mounted their horses descending into the ample mountain chasm. There, they saw an old man sitting by a grave reciting the same lament. Next to the old man, the Narts stood and listened to the lament yet again. Axumid and her friends stood along each holding a garland of flowers.

- For who is this grave Themade [5]?

The elder lifts his head in despair and in a poignant voice says:

- What is your need to know of it? How can I explain to you my son?

- If there was no need for us to know, we would not have asked, inform us and we shall comprehend

- It is for our mother Seteney, the mother of all Narts my child. This lament is dedicated for her

- Lady Seteney? 'Aschemez inquired

The elder man began reciting:

 

- World notions are her making

And all the beauty in the universe is her reflection.

She was the companion of our – Narts' - victories

And in our long pathways, she was the comrade of our sagacious battles.

When the enemy assailed with strikes

She fought alongside with us

And when we walked through arid lands, she was our guide to abundance.

She was our Sun during daylight and the moon at night

All those flowers you see are a token from her

They grow only for Seteney

Blossoming twice

The lady –Seteney - appeared twice a day in her full elegance.

The elderly man's eyelids sealed, whilst his head sloped to the side. He never opened his eyes again.

The Narts buried his body next to Seteney's grave. Axumid and her friends placed flowers on their mounds.

 

They say that the Narts used to meet twice a year by mount Qanzchilischhe's versant, during "Seteney's flowers" bloom. Their voices would raise singing:

 

 

Uey Uey

Like a flower’s, head held high

Turquoise eyes shining like the stars

Surrounded by golden silk

O -you- who light the snowy mountain summits

O' eyes' grace

Bearer of gladness and delight

And bequest of the Narts intrepidity

O life's beauty

You captivate who ever lays sight on you

All yearn for you

You are the youth's undying hope

Our cherished love

 

(Hedeghel’e, I968, Vol I, p. 81) 

 

* Seteney's Flowers is one of the chief sagas, denoting more than one vital aspect. In this account the lady and mother of all Narts Seteney represents all what is precious and beautiful; she is prideful like a blooming flowers posture. Like the sun she is the source of power to the Narts abundant life; she lights the snowy mountain summits and she appears twice a day; sunrise and sunset, -which may signify sun veneration, and its association with matriarchal age power.In the lament, Seteney represents aspects of what the world at the time corresponded to; the world notions are her reflection and she is the bearer of eternal youth, and only she –Seteney- knew the route to victory, in which she endowed the Narts with. These characteristics shaped what sort of life the Narts lived under her guidance. Nesren Schoqal's position towards disobeying the mother figure is a revolutionary act symbolizing the shift from matriarchal into patriarchal supremacy; the masculine consciousness towards dominancy and seizing power is displayed as an unfortunate decision. It brought drought and misery to the Narts land. Although they held a grand celebration seeking, the god's abet, however, the god's seemed to have also ostracized their choice. Their rivers and water springs dried out, their meat becomes burned, and their fires die out. The lament sung by the elder man signifies the image of the life giving figure, hence, the Narts who were propelled one after the other were captivated by the goodness of the age they went against. And with the elder man death, the era of matriarchy became vivid only within the words of the lament.

 

 

 


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