Nart Sosriqwe

Sosriqwe: (Eastern Circassian dialect), also known as; Saosiriqo, Sousiriqo, Sosriqo (West Circassian dialect) Sosriqwe is the primary character in Nart sagas, enclosing qualities that portray him as a paranormal being closer that being of a god. He is also known as Sausiriqo, Sausiriqwe, Sauseriqo, Sosriqo, or Sausiriq his name varying from one Circassian tribe accent to the other. The appearance of Sosriqwe seems to have appeared in the developed stages of the sagas, representing an epoch of modernization (Ozbek, 1988, p. 132) and a form of religious credence. Sosriqwe is the youngest of all Narts and is distinct in terms of his physical appearance from that of the Narts. His body was metallurgic, and some sagas report that Sosriqwe was darker in color and smaller in stature. These attributes possibly link Sosriqwe’s birth with a new era the Narts entered upon, denoting their integration with other nations and peoples. He also grew very rapidly, signifying the consciousness of time, and his birth was revolutionary; born from a rock, he emerged hot as fire and turned into iron after being dipped in water, which may denote the shift from the Stone Age era to the Iron Age era. Simultaneously, he is also reported to have been born naturally from Seteney’s womb, after she joined with the Narts shepherd Sos. Nonetheless, Sosriqwe’s curious origin and birth ingredients suggest that he could be the product of an ore or a meteor, referring to a comparison between Sosriqwe and the significance of iron to earth. He is the "light" and the "golden shield" of the Narts, just like the sun brings color to landscape, Sosriqwe introduced the Narts to different dimensions such as iron, wine, and fire, and characterized by being the bravest and strongest. The heroic attributes that Sosriqwe enclose, were at large due to his unequaled boldness, not owed to his clannish lineage, which was an important feature of a Narts overall allure and honor. Sosriqwe's unusual birth has caused much controversy and speculation. His atypical birth placed Sosriqwe as the black sheep of the Narts; his patriarchal ambiguity portrayed him as illegitimate rejected by the Nart community. Simultaneously, Sosriqwe was depicted as a trickster character, prevailing over other Narts by employing magic, blasphemy, and ploy. Nonetheless, he was the Narts’ redeemer who served them through many great deeds, and at many times rescued them from calamities. Portrayed as a demigod, Sosriqwe controlled the weather, obeyed by the sun, moon, thunder, and rivers. He was also able to transform himself into various shapes. Sosriqwe contained a distinct attribute that eventually caused his death in one of the sagas, i.e. his vulnerable knees. Until the recent past, the Circassians highly venerated Sosriqwe; he was a character most cherished, his stories were most favored, and attributes most admired. Once his name was pronounced in gatherings, people used to stand in reverence for his memory and heroism.

*Sosriqwe shares common attributes with Germanic Siegfried, Greek Achilles, and his birth with the birth of Christ and Egyptian Horus.

Submitted: November 13, 2018

© Copyright 2023 Zaina El-Said. All rights reserved.

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