'Lady Oshede’s Hill' Translated & Annotated 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. Lady Oshede’s Hill

Ch’emgwei text


Batniqo Sh’uts’e had arrived from Chirta to request Lady Oshede’s hand in marriage. Upon his proposal, Oshede told him, “I will not marry you unless you kidnap me.”

  • “I shall kidnap you then!” – Said Batniqo, and off he carried and kidnapped her.

On his way to return (to his village), Nart Teimriqo appeared and thrashed Batniqo to foil the elopement. Batniqo Sch’uts’a defied Teimriqo’s attempt, killed him, and continued his ride.

Once Batniqo crossed River Laba, a hero who lived on the Qozhewbe Hill attacked and hit him, attempting to thwart the elopement. However, Batniqo was able to repel the attack and plunge the hero to the ground. Thus, he continued to ride, and once he reached Quzchabe’s crescent, the hero recouped and attacked Batniqo once again, only this time causing Batniqo and Oshede’s collapse from the horse onto the ground.

Sh’uts’a Batniqo died, and his horse returned to Chirta. Once they (his family) returned with his horse to the scene, Sh’utsa was lying dead, and the wolves had eaten Oshede. They returned her dead body to her kin, and taken Sh’utsa’s body to Chirta. They buried Wshhada in that same mound and named it “Oshede’s Hill.”

(Hedeghel’e, 1971, Vol.7, p. 180)


*Elopement is a very old Circassian marriage tradition, which occurs upon the bride’s family refusal to her choice of groom. Therefore, both would plan an elopement known as K’wese, where the groom with a troop of friends abduct the bride (with her consent and knowledge), and place her at the home of a prominent clan elder, or in one of the groom friends house (Jaimoukha [A], 2001, p. 179).

The elopement should follow planned strategies and secrecy. The bride’s kin must not detect any details concerning the elopement; otherwise, attempts to prevent and impede the elopement will most likely develop by the male side of the bride-to be clan. This account displays a tragic ending to an elopement, where evidently the opossers had taken it to an extreme and killed both Betinqwe and Oshede.  The significance of impeding an elopement measures the groom’s wit and merit to marry the bride. Originally, if the groom fails to deliver his bride to his village, and caught by the opposers, the bride is returned to her home and is denied any contact with him. Thus, the groom would have proved his unworthiness.


The other momentous aspect of this account is the archeological importance Oshede hill involves. Oshede also known as Maikop hill is a prehistoric mound discovered by Russian archeologist Nikolay Veselovsky in 1897. The mound near Maikop contained the corpse of a tribal leader with his wife and concubines, together with an unrivaled collection of items dated to the middle of the third millennium BC (Jaimoukha, 2001, p. 39).

Excavations in the surrounding area also disclosed a series of 15 ‘sun worship’ temples distributed around the prehistoric quarter; however, Oshede is considered the largest ‘Bronze Age’ religious hub in the West-North Caucasus. (http://www.kavkaznews.net/ara/topics/maykop.htm) accessed December 15, 2009.



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