§ Широкогоровы §
toggle menu

39. Buga

The term buya (buga, boya, boga) is known in Nerc. Barg. RTM. Khin. Bir. in the sense of greatest,omnipotent, ever-existing, all-knowing being, which is responsible for the existence and regulation of life, who directs the whole world. The same starter is used in the sense of «heaven-sky» not only in the dialects indicated, but also in Nerc. (Tit.), Ur. (Castr.) and in its modification, boa (Oroci) (Goldi, Olca Grube). Its meaning is also extended to «world» in the dialects indicated and in the form boa (Oroci) (Goldi, Grube) huge, boga (Neg. Sch.). Also in the same dialects it may be used in the sense of «locality» and «earth» which is also met with in Ang. Irk. (Tit.) as well as in the forms boa (Goldi, Grube), boya (Kum. Iw.) bogo, baha (Udsk.), bug (Lam.), boaw (Enis. Czek. — «Gegend»); it may be supposed that Manchu boixon -the earth, ground-soil, country etc. as well as puhhuo (Nuichen, Grube) ought to be also compared [247].

I do not suggest which was the original meaning of buya in the Northern Tungus dialects. It might be one of the above indicated meanings, — «heaven», «world», «locality» etc. and it might be «highest being» as well, later on extended over «heaven-sky», «world» «earth» and «locality». One thing is evident that in the great majority of cases, in all Tungus dialects including Manchu, we have this stem in one of the meanings of the complex known among the Tungus of Transbaikalia and Manchuria, well established by my investigations.

Thus buya amongst these groups may be understood as «highest being», «world», «earth», «heaven-sky» and «locality» (i.e. the world that the speaker knows). In so far as buya, a highest being, is concerned, it is not anthropomorphic and it is not one of the spirits which will be later discussed. The buya cannot be introduced by human will into any placing, or human body. The Tungus have no picture, or idea of its appearance. According e.g. to the Birarchen the buya regulates the life of man and animals. The relations between the animals and man are «established» by him. In this form it is rather a «law of nature». For this reason some Tungus say that there is no need for legal regulation of hunting — the animals will suffice for ever. Buya may not be disturbed with the request to send animals: this request ought to be addressed to bamaca (etc.) {vide infra Section 41). The name buya is often used in common speech, as it is in the European languages especially before an organised anti-religious movement gained numerous groups in various populations, i.e. when this name was not yet tabooed as a sign of «backwardness». However, in Tungus it is not used in a direct sense when the reference to it is made. Generally speaking buya is not of the same every-day-importance as the spirits discussed further which are subject to him on the same footing as human beings and animals, as well as «inanimate» nature.

In enumeration of the dialects (groups) in which this conception and starter are found we do not see some Tungus dialects. This is not due to the lack of this conception «highest being» -«world» — «heaven» — «locality» etc. which may be suspected among the groups which use buya in a broad sense of «world» etc. but it may be due to the intrusion of alien terms, and sometimes alien conceptions. In fact, such is the case of the Tungus of Manchuria who begin to introduce a new term, namely julask 'i endur'i (Bir. Kum.) which may also be used as julask'i buya, and simply julask'i (and julask'i). The latter means «South», and endur'i is recently borrowed from the Manchus (vide infra). However, since among the Manchus there are many endur'i, julask'i specification must be made pointing to the location -«clear sunny region of the heavens». Owing to this the term for buya is now nearly replaced by julask'i. Together with the introduction of the new term — endur'i — there have also been introduced some new conceptions borrowed from the Manchus.

It is very interesting that among the Tungus who had fallen under the strong influence of the Orthodox missionaries, this term was perhaps also dropped [248]. The term for «god» was borrowed by the missionaries from the Tungus term for the spirits or even better to say, for the spirits' placings (vide infra) savak'i. We have, thus, in Enis. dialects xovak'i, xovok'i, sovok'i in Lam. xauki (Schiefner), xeuk'i etc. which were perhaps introduced amongst the Tungus by the missionaries. It must thus be expected that the old term will not be found in those records, and yet it may be expected also that the old conception of buya will be covered by a new one «god» with an old Tungus starter savak'i. For this reason the term savak'i is not met with amongst the Tungus who were not strongly influenced by the Orthodox missionaries, e.g. in Transbaikalia, in Manchuria and in Amur Region. We meet there with other terms used for Christian God, namely, in Barg. Nerc. also Ur. (Castr.), Nerc. (Tit.) it is burkan, which is borrowed from the Mongol (Buriat) burxan, in Tungus referred to the spirits of alien origin (vide infra). Among the Barguzin Tungus dayacan is also met with in the same sense. In the Amur region we meet with endur'i which was used by the missionaries as the term for Christian «God». All of these terms were used by the Tungus not in the sense of buya, but in the sense of a new alien conception. However, the introduction of a new conception and new terms, even those borrowed from the Tungus, may be easily followed by the investigator who will also see the loss of the old conception and terms. One of the interesting cases of partial loss and substitution is a new conception of julask'i of the Kumarchen which approaches very near to the conception of buga, but this may be better understood when we describe the conception of apkai endur'i among the Manchus.

The inference which can be made from these facts is that the conception of «highest being» and the term for it buga (with modifications), are very old and they are accepted by the Tungus groups who are not at present under a very strong alien influence. Indeed, the Tungus know nothing as to the «origin» of this conception, so in their mind it has existed for ever in their complex. In this form it has already been described by me [249] and was used by W. Schmidt [250] for further analysis and comparison.

APKAI ENDURI of Manchu Sp. in Manchu Writ, is transcribed as abkai enduri. It means the «enduri of heavens». It is the principal spirit of the world. All other enduri, spirits of all classes, men and animals are found under his control. According to some Manchus apkai endur'i is a complex spirit, and there is no such individual spirit. However, this point of view is probably a new and modern adaptation, for even during the ceremony of sacrifice, the endur'i are distinguished and apkai endur'i is considered as an individual spirit. In other Tungus languages we meet with only the loan of the term endur’i. It is thus confined to the Southern Tungus groups. This word seems to be borrowed from Indra, for as will be shown, it is not isolated as an element of the original complex in which Indra is found. In some Tungus dialects it is found in the form andura, endira (Khin.) andur'i (Bir.). As to the origin of the idea «spirit of heaven» it may be connected with the Chinese t'ien and seng. According to the Manchus apkai endur'i has seven daughters. Yet he is not indifferent to the female sex: apkai endur'i, is thus a male. This is, of course, the Chinese complex of Yin-Yang. The Manchus, however, believe that the idea of enduri is essentially their own and that the Mongols have no such a conception. More than this apkai endur'i may be responsible for sickness of the people whom he wants to punish or on whom he merely avenges himself. The country, where this spirit is living, is located in heavens. It is ever green, with good water, good fruits, especial]y good mangga mo, — «oak trees». There are no human beings there. Thus apkai endur'i, as compared with the Tungus conception of buga, is quite different. Although he is very powerful, he is a spirit supplied with all human characters. Therefore he is treated as a human being. The Manchus address their requests to this spirit in many a case, e.g. when the clan would be divided into new exogamic units; at the wedding ceremony when the newly concluded marriage is announced to him; for taking oath of friendship the friends together pray apkai endur’i and become «like brothers». This last custom is not of Manchu but of Chinese origin. Yet, the spirit is regularly addressed every year, and also in the case of conflicts with the other spirits, for luck in business and life in general, and so on. The spirit accepts the sacrifice, which will be described in a special chapter, and it has its own placing. Such a one is erected in the middle of the inner yard, in front of the principal house between the house and gate, in the form of a wooden screen with a high wooden post. It is called ingb'e; in Chinese houses it has a different function.

Such is the conception of the Manchus who do not very much depend upon the books in which the same spirit may be again adapted to the Chinese t'ien-seng and to the Chinese complex in general. We have some written documents on this spirit known to the Manchus of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries, namely, Kang Hsi's dictionary of Manchu language (nianju gisun i buleku bitxe) and special treaties on the Manchu rites (kesi toktobuxa manjusai vecere metere kooli bitxe) with a preface written by Chi'en Lung. In both documents we find indications as to the practice of the cult of heaven (abka) also known to the early Manchus. Chi'en Lung opposed abka to fucixi (Buddha) and enduri. However, in the new rite the first place is occupied by Buddha (in Kun-ning-gung), a Buddhistic temple) and the second place is occupied by sangsi enduri. The latter with a good reason is identified by L. Langles [251] as Chinese (Shang di). The latter seemingly is sang di, which in Chinese is also referred to the Christian God, and in this sense used only in recent time. Such a shifting of importance of the formerly used apkaho the second place, after Buddha and its replacing by the newly discovered Christian sangsi was due on the one hand, to the Chinese influence and on the other hand, to the idea of introduction of the Buddhistic complex and some knowledge of Christianity among the Manchus. In fact, at the beginning of the Manchu activity in China the Manchus very often used «heaven» (abka) in the sense approaching that of the apkai endur'i which was usually translated into Chinese as t'ien. After the Manchu settlement in China this conception gradually disappeared from the complex and the Chinese shang-ti replaces it as one of the group enduri {sagsi enduri of the ritual), while the first place is occupied by Buddha which might become the «national» or better official, state religion of the Dai Tsing. Thus the old Manchu complex in Peking, at least of the XVIIIth century, greatly changed. However, the new spirit sagsi enduri did not reach the Manchus living in the Aigun district and they preserved the old notion and term apka.

As we have seen apkai endur'i is not like the Northern Tungus buya, — but is a spirit, anthropomorphic and one of the class endur'i. This fact is perhaps indicative that the old conception apkai- buya was replaced or even lost, prior to the Manchu coming into political power, for there may be, as a matter of fact, no cult of buya with the sacrifices, regular prayers, and all ritualism necessary for influencing spiritual but anthropomorphic «beings» enduri. It may also be noted that even in Peking the Manchu complex sagsi endur'i occupied a special position, for the shamans (a special kind of shamans vide infra) were not in charge of serving it, while it was so with Buddha, and amongst the Manchus of Aigun the apkai endur'i may be served by the shamans. Even in this respect an overlapping of the complexes is evident.

When apkai endur’i was introduced among the Tungus populations of Manchuria it received further modifications. First of all, the term apkai endur'i has been modified into julask'i endur'i (Kum. Bir.) or merely julask'i which is a designation of the spirit according to its location in the southern section of the heavens. Further he may be called ejin, — the master, ruler, chief etc. Second, this spirit is now addressed in cases such as the division of clans, success in hunting, declaration as to a new shaman, infectious and other diseases, and on many other occasions which formerly were not of sufficient importance for the disturbance of buya, still preserved in the complex of these Tungus. Third, this spirit is served with a sacrifice and importuned with regular prayers. Fourth, this spirit, according to some Tungus, introduced the knowledge of making and keeping the fire. It is considered as a guardian of the house, which shows a strict relation between man and spirit. Fifth, this spirit has a permanent placing, — a post with a bunch of straw and the vertebra of either a roe-deer, or of a reindeer (Cervus Elaphus), or of a wild boar; after the sacrifice, two anthropomorphic placings, which are used probably for placings of the «servants» of the spirit, are thrown far away from the place of sacrifice for freeing the spirits-servants. One may now see that this spirit is still nearer to the spirits described below than to the Manchu apkai endur'i. Amongst the Khingan Tungus endira (or andura) burken is in the same position, and it may be supposed is of the same origin but curiously, in addition, it has to be explained by burkan {vide infra) and he has horses of different colours, — white, black, red and chestnut. The horses are connected with the rain, lightning etc. which is indicative of the complex character of this spirit. In this form it is still further from apkai-buya and even Manchu endur'i.

In the previous lines I have mentioned that endur'i was used by the Orthodox missionaries for translation of the Christian term «God» into Goldi. Among this group the conception of apkai endur'i, buya, julask'i etc. has not been recorded. However, I. A. Lopatin gives a note from which it is evident that the Goldi have this conception [252], in a form perhaps very near that of the Manchus. However, no details are given so that it is difficult to say to which group the Goldi enduri belongs. It should be pointed out that the «sky-heaven» amongst the Goldi is known under the Northern Tungus terms boa (bo-va, booni — in Samagir, and Samar respectively, cf. P. P. Schmidt, S. S.).

From the above shown facts it is thus evident that among the Northern Tungus the conception of endur'i as a new and previously unknown spirit, has overlapped buya of the old complex, which resulted in a partial loss of the old complex. We may suppose that among the Manchus this process is still more advanced, if it is agreed that Ch'ien Lung's statement is correct. Among the Northern Tungus who happened to be under the Russian influence, the old complex was superseded by the new one (for the Tungus), namely, the Christian God which was given the absolutely misleading names such as «savak'f», «endur'i» etc [253].

Some facts may be here quoted for showing that the idea of buya, as it is shown at the beginning of the present section, is also known amongst the neighbours of the Tungus here discussed. According to L. von Schrenck (op. cit. Vol. 3, pp. 107-108) among the Gilaks, the term yzigy (Grube) is referred to a being absolutely «good», whom they do not represent, to which they do not pray, or offer sacrifices. Amongst the Mongols there is also a being similar to buya which they call tegri, as supreme being, heaven. Amongst the Buriats there are several tengri having no images and living in the heavens. They correspond to the special enduri (cf. C. Z. Zamcarano, op. cit. p. 391). I. A. Podgorbunskii gives for «good» (of the Russians) burxan, which is analogous to what we have seen among the Tungus. Near to the Mongol tengri is perhaps the Yakut conception of tangara, which is the «sky, category of benevolent spirits» and «god» (E. K Pekarskii, Dictionary, pp. 2551-2552). However, V. Sieroszewski (cf. Yakuts, pp. 651-652) gives a different definition of Ajy tojon which, according to him, is a manifestation of the supreme power which is not benevolent, nor malevolent, which is not a being, but the «Being» in general. He is located in the seventh heaven (sky) and he does not interfere with human affairs; it is useless to address to him any prayers and sacrifices. As a matter of fact, this description gives us an almost similar picture of buya [254]. Together with the above mentioned parallels there may be also compared the Chinese conception which, according to its meaning, is not a spirit but the «principle of nature» is not a being and it is not supposed to be honoured and is not influenced by the sacrifices and prayers.

The above facts show that the Tungus conception of buya is not at all an isolated phenomenon and it has its parallels amongst other ethnical groups living among the Tungus and influencing them. At the present time, I think it is impossible to restore the spreading of this conception and to establish its origin. Perhaps this idea belongs to very old conceptions such as, for instance, «soul» and thus its initial starting centre is lost for ever, and even perhaps is not human in the sense of «homo sapiens» as a zoological species.

247. P. P. Schmidt compared this stem with Mongol bogdo («holy») and old Persian baga («god») (cf. Neg. p. 240). This may be still extended for we meet with bugas — «god» of the Kassites (cf. N. D. Mironov Aryan Vestiges, etc. pp. 145-6) and naturally Russian and Slavonic bogu («god»). The Manchu, Japanese, Korean and Northern Tungus ba~ba~pa- the «place», «locality» etc. may be perhaps regarded as a modification of boya—> bowa —> boa = ba. As a matter of fact in the above indicated dialects buys has this meaning as well.

248. I am not sure of it, for the dictionaries of these dialects were made by the missionaries and travellers who did not go very far in their investigations. In fact, as a rule a Tungus always gives those swords and meanings which may be better understood by the question. Therefore it is very likely that being asked the name for «god» or «highest spirit», he would give that which was already used by foreigners, e.g. savaki, enduri, etc.

249. Opyt, 1919, p. 14.

250. Cf. Der Ursprung der Cottesidee, Vol. III, 1931.

251. Ch. de Harlez (op. cit p.p. 14 — 15) did not want to accept this connection but he could not oppose any other explanation to both L. Langles and C. von der Gabelentz. As a matter of fact sangsi is not a Manchu name and the Manchus had another name for their own spirit — apkai enduri. The reason why t'i (Chinese) —> s'i (Manchu) is probably that in Manchu t+i in which t is palatalized t' is used almost exclusively in the Chinese words; s'i in Manchus linguistical complex is nearer to the Chinese t'i than to the Manchu ti cf. tingeri || singeri in Manchu.

252. This investigator says (op cit. p 211): «The form of enduri is so diffuse and its cult is so simple that the strangeness to the Goldi psyche strikes ones eye. But most surprising is its nonconformity and even hostility to the shamanism. Enduri never patronises the shamans and the latter never address him in their prayers.»

253. This description corresponds to that ot buya and enduri amongst other groups. These characteristics of enduri have brought I. A Lopatin to the idea that enduri is of Chinese origin, which idea I cannot, naturally, share with him.

254. Cf. E. K. Pekarskii (op cit. p. 48) urun ajy tojon. S. V. Jastremskii (op. cit. p. 5) describes it as an anthropomorphic and human being a spirit. However, the situation amongst the Yakuts is greatly handicapped by two conditions; namely the introduction of the Christianity which long ago began to penetrate the Yakut complex (the Russians appeared amongst the Yakuts at the beginning of the seventeenth century) and the fact that most of the investigators were not indifferent to that it was possible to discover and in which way their discoveries might help the cause which brought them to Siberia (most of them were political exiles). Yet at that time the ethnographers in gathering their data usually followed questionaires (vide supra Chapter III) and approached the groups investigated basing themselves on their own ethnographical complex. So the adaptation of the facts to the theories was not rare amongst them.

Электропочта shirokogorov@gmail.com
© 2009 - 2021