Song 13 Tölge üǰekü “Examining the Divination”

In: Qorčin Mongol Shamans and Their Songs
Elisabetta Chiodo
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This song was sung by the shaman Mendübayar of Küriye Banner.

The shaman Mendübayar invokes the spirits of divination, addressing them with the terms “friends” (nököd-üd) and “messengers of fortune-telling” (üǰelge tölge-yin elčid). Mendübayar asks them to help him to establish the cause of the trouble he was called to resolve.

Friends451 of my mind,
I myself turn towards the door.
My messengers of fortune-telling,
True diviners,452 he hi ya
Diviners,453 thoughts of my mind,
You, who come to the place you rule,
From what did the cause come? he hi ya
My messengers454 of fortune-telling,
True diviners,
From what did the trouble455 come?
How do I know the cause [of it]? he hi ya
Even if it456 stays in the pen it cannot hide,
Even if it escapes moving stealthily,457 it cannot go out,
Take charge of it and tell the truth quickly!
If you point your finger at it, what is to be done? he hi ya

Page 1:2 has nököd-üd, the double plural of nökör, meaning “friends, companions”. The nököd are spirits associated with divinatory practices. They are also called anda “friend(s)”, as shown in the commentary on Song 7.


Page 1:4 has the word mergen meaning “diviner”.


Page 1:5 has the word sibsigür, singsigür. For tölge sibsi- “to divine”, see Lessing Mongolian-English Dictionary, p. 695. For singsi- “to divine”, see Sečenčoγtu, Mongγol üges-ün iǰaγur-un toli, p. 1554. The word sibsigür, or sibsigül, is a deverbal noun from sibsi-, denoting the act of sibsi-, viz. “diviner, the one who practises divination”. The suffix -γul /-gül forms nouns designating names of occupations. See Poppe, Grammar of Written Mongolian, p. 46. On -γul /-gül / -γur /gür, see also Poppe, “Mongolian -γur and Evenki –wūn”, pp. 257-258. Note that the spelling sakiγur, deriving from the verb saki- “to protect, to guard”, appears in other shamanic songs, instead of sakiγul. See, for example sakiγur-ud mini “my protectors” in Kürelša, Küriye böge mörgöl-ün tobčiya, p. 373.


Line 9 has elčed for elčid.


Page 1:11 has ö (öge), meaning “trouble, disease, conflict”. See Mongγol kitad toli, p. 266.


Referring to the evil spirit which caused the trouble.


Page 2: 2 has quluγayilan instead of the correct qulaγayilan; qulaγayila- means “to steal”, meaning “to move stealthily like a thief” in the present context.

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