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44. Human First Soul And Olorg’i Fojengo Exteriorated

This is the simplest case of independent existence and activity of the soul, which can be produced consciously and unconsciously by the people. The case of unconscious leaving of the soul to escape from its placing, which is the human body (vide supra Section 43), is especially frequent during early childhood, so a special effort must be made for keeping the soul within the placing. With the growth of children the soul becomes stabilized. However, it may rather easily leave the body and yet without any cognized desire on the part of the owner (placing) of the body, i.e. the man. Yet, owing to a special effort the soul may be consciously and intentionally exteriorated in order to act (1) at a distance since the placing-body, as physical in its nature, cannot be transferred together with the soul; (2) in hidden form for not being recognized; (3) for dealing openly with the similar souls of other people now living or who were living and now are dead and whose souls have no more their placings; at last (4) for dealing with spirits the nature of which is similar to that of the soul.

Such an exterioration of the soul practically occurs very often during dreams when the people want to communicate with other persons and especially during the shamanistic performances. We shall later see that this operation is neither easy nor absolutely harmless, for sometimes the soul may not return to its placing and thus the person may die. Naturally, with the help of certain methods the soul may also be exteriorated by other persons too. Indeed, death is one of ways of exterioration but there will also be exteriorated the other component souls. The simplest case is when the soul is exteriorated by means of unconsciousness, e.g. a blow on the head etc. Yet, the specialists, like shamans also know how to call out the soul and they may re-introduce it into the placing (body) at their will. This side of the question will be discussed when other practical methods are described.

It should be pointed out that the first soul as well as olorg’i fojengo possesses a very important peculiarity, namely, it represents in its exteriorated form all parts of the body. When it is placed into another placing and the placing is totally or partially destroyed the soul will be also damaged in corresponding parts. Thus after the return of the soul into the original placing (body) the body will also suffer from the damage of the parts of the body corresponding to the damaged parts of the soul. This is the old conception of soul-shadow (an'an-fan'a-fojengo) which is the basis of «magic» methods for harming other people, widely used by «bad natured» persons.

BONG (BUN) AND IBAGAN. This is a special case when the first soul (and olorg'i fojengo of the Manchus) and also the second soul (and cerg'i fojengo of the Manchus) leave the body and the erga (the «life») ceases to show its activity, i.e. when the death occurs. Before the complete destruction of the corpse the dead person may revive, if the corpse is used by some spirit (or exteriorated soul) as a placing. The revived body would not possess the characters proper to the living person, because the second soul would be absent, but even physiological functions to some extent might be restored.

Amongst the Tungus of Manchuria, except the Reindeer Tungus, amongst the Manchus, and also the Dahurs, there are many stories regarding such cases. I shall first quote some of them in order to show the idea as to the phenomenon.

In the Birarchen and Kumarchen dialects such a revived corpse is called bon (rarely bun, also very rarely by a Manchu term buangi ibayan) (vide infra) which ought to be compared with Mongol, Durbut Beise, bong (compared by D. Rudnev with Mongol bok|| buy, — the «devil», in Russian translation chort which is a very doubtful translation). By the Tungus this term has been probably received from the Dahurs. The Tungus in explanation of boy would also say bong is a «fresh (i.e. newly formed) s'irkul» However, s'irkul is a generic name for all spirits left after the death of people and even sometimes spread over other spirits which may be malevolent. It is not a class of spirits by themselves but rather a «bad word» in reference to the spirits, which also in an abusing sense, may be referred to bad people.» In Manchu it is called ibaxan-ibagan (Manchu Writ.) corresponding to ilbayan-ibayan (Manchu Sp.). The translation given by I. Zaxarov is not correct. Ch. de Harlez gives meaning of bigan i ibagan: «ibagan, esprit follet habitant les montagnes, les rives des fleuves, les forets et les buissons» (op. cit. p. 21) which translation is also not correct [280], for it means merely «ibaga of non-peopled region». The Manchus, analogous to the Birarchen, would also call it xutu which term corresponds to s'irkul.

The bong may be formed in two ways, namely, at the period when the soul has already left the body, but death has not yet occurred; then a spirit, usually one of spirits of other people who could not reach the world of dead people, introduces itself into the body without soul which continues to live and act, but in an abnormal manner. Another case, which is still more common, is that when a spirit introduces itself into the buried corpse which begins to move and which may again have physiological needs. So that some cases of mental troubles following sickness, may be classified as bong especially if the sick person is used as placing by one of the burkan (vide infra). The formation of bong usually occurs during the droughts [281] and as a rule only during the period when the temperature is not low, in spring and summer. Bong has dark-red blood which is known from the experience of those who killed them, for after being shot, bong may die altogether. The reason why the Tungus shoot them is that when the boy are encountered by the people, the latter may become mad, so it is recommended that bong be shot at once. It is the same with the spirits. According to some Tungus who are supposed to have met bong, the bong are very short in stature, less than a metre tall, and they live on the meat of the badger [282]. This description is rather referred to the Manchu ibayan which are supposed by the Tungus to be somewhat different from bong [283]. Bong differ from normal people by long hair; they usually have a very small lower jaw or no jaw at all and some other abnormalities, - e.g. a third eye, - and for this reason they hide themselves from men. The bong axe. living on the meat of badgers which they hunt, while bong themselves are hunted by dogs and wolves which devour them. Most of bong are females. Here I give some cases.

«A man (Birarchen) was hunting alone. On his return from his daily work he saw a woman sitting in his wigwam and hiding her face. Then he gave her some meat which she accepted by extending her hand behind her. So he repeated the same experiment the next day, but this time instead of boiled meat he gave her a piece of raw meat which she ate. Then he decided, -it is a bad sign, he must kill her. He again returned to his wigwam, gave again some meat, asked her some questions to which she did not reply. Then he shot her; she screamed and ran away. Next morning he followed the blood traces up to a coffin near which a wounded woman, then dead, was found by the side of her new born baby. The man took the male baby-bong and educated him. During the childhood of the boy he once fell down and lost his power of speech; afterwards he spat out a large clot of blood. A few days later he began to speak again. When he was grown to manhood, the man who had educated him found him a wife and he married and had children.»

Another case. A man was hunting and met on his way a newly-erected coffin (on piles, vide infra, Chapter XVII). He heard screams of babies from the coffin, which he opened and in which he found new-born twin babies which he took with him. One of them died soon; the other was educated and was shown to me in the village Chelu in 1916. He was an absolutely normal boy. The Tungus believed that their mother was bong who ran away from the coffin. The boy was given a name indicating his origin.

Third case: «A man was successfully hunting. Coming back to his wigwam he found in it a woman. He asked her where was her home and which was her name. To all these questions she replied that she did not know (b'i os'im sara). Then they began to live together: she was cooking and looking after the man. Four or five days later he proposed her to share with him his bed and blanket which she accepted.. So they slept together. Then they returned (evidently to the permanent station or even village). Everything was good. She was working. Then they married. Three or four months later he again went for hunting (and took her with him). Once she was searching on his head for lice; then he did the same to her [284] and he discovered under the hair (on the head) an eye. He was so terrified (by his discovery) that he immediately went to see his clansmen. They decided that she must be s'irkul (bong). Then for some time he observed her without being noticed, — she was like a human being. Again a fear took him and he together with other people left her alone and migrated («nomaded») to a distant region.»

I have given here three cases considered by the Tungus as bong. However, the last case perhaps is not so, for the woman might have been one of those who from time to time run away from other ethnical groups and thus must hide themselves and their names, at the same time remaining unknown to the groups which they join. The «eye» under the hair is a pure imagination due to the fear of the unknown (origin of the woman). The hypothesis of bong is a justification of the fear.

According to the Manchus, ibayan is the corpse of a dead person which was entered by a xutu [285]. Ibayan is covered with hair and instead of normally walking it jumps. Such an ibayan may be produced from the corpses of people who died in a bad hour of the day when xutu haunt the place. The same may happen if a cat should jump over the corpse and in case the person died by a bad death (vide infra, Chapter XVII). Ibayan leaves the coffin and tomb during droughts [286]. When ibayan gets out of the tomb it moves only in straight lines and catches in its arms everything which may happen to be on its way. If it catches a human being the latter dies immediately. When ibayan is discovered then the Manchus gather the people from the village and kill it with an axe. The body is burnt to ashes. The bodies of the people who were killed by ibayan, also trunks of trees caught by ibayan, etc. must be burnt together with the ibayan. In the regions occupied by the Dahurs, the ibayan or bong are very frequent, especially in the region near Mergen, in the valley of the Nonni River.

The shamans sometimes call themselves ibayan in sign of self-abasement, for minimising their own importance, and say that they are similar to ibayan for they are possessed by the spirits, and not that the spirits are possessed by the shaman, which is supposed to be amongst the good shamans [287]. This might be a source of some misunderstandings with the translators into Chinese from Manchu, and from Manchu and Chinese into the European languages.

From the series of stories regarding ibayan and bong and from the Tungus idea about them it is evident that there may be distinguished the facts (to be more exact, the Tungus ideas about the facts), the facts misinterpreted under the influence of this hypothesis, and further extension of the original hypothesis and modifications of facts under different stimuli, also their increase with the poetic imaginative creations. The factual side is rather simple: there are cases when the people, especially women, are buried when death does not actually occur, and the buried people are in a lethargic state or merely in the state of profound and long unconsciousness. Such occurrences amongst the Tungus groups may be more frequent than amongst some other groups for among the Tungus the practice of «exterioration of soul» is very common. The women are more susceptible to it than the men. Naturally, if the burial takes place during a cold season the body insufficiently dressed and not warmed is frozen within a few hours and death takes place because of the freezing. It is thus natural that the cases of bong are not observed during the very cold season. The facts of the women who give birth (I have heard of at least two cases, and the child of one case I personally knew) after their «burial» now are evident. The bong have blood and can be killed, they may be hunting, and hunt badgers. The reason why they hunt it is very simple: this animal runs very slowly and it is the only one which can be killed with a simple stick, — other weapons are lacking. The opinion regarding their physical features, as distinct from that of common people, is not uniform and some Tungus recognize in them no difference and even can marry them, as it is seen from case three. On the other hand, a woman buried and raised again from her tomb is helpless against wolves, or dogs when the latter are sent by man to hunt her. Yet, she, herself, knows perfectly well that she is a bong and thus she must behave as a bong is expected to do. Moreover, she knows that she may be killed and that nobody would believe that she is not a bong. On the other hand, she cannot stay in the coffin when she is awake for anyhow her hunger and her hope to restore her normal position would force her out of the tomb. It is not difficult, for among the Tungus the planks of the coffin are not strongly fastened and among the Manchus the coffin is only covered with earth. The second case, when the woman was not found in the coffin, is natural for she might have run away to obtain food for herself and naturally she could not follow the foot prints of the man who took her children, for she would know what her fate would be. Indeed, the small size of ibayan and their great number gathered for hunting badger, as well as another case, that of a small man, are cases of hallucination or even simple imagination, sometimes under the influence of alcohol (for which reason, according to the Tungus practice, people leaving for a long journey must not drink at all). The jumping of ibayan may also have a certain background of reality, namely, the legs of the corpse are usually tied with a piece of cloth, so that when the legs cannot be untied the only way of moving is by jumping. Whether this was ever observed or is a theoretical supposition of the Manchus I cannot now say. The attacking of people is also natural in self-defence and hope of possible escape from the fate of ibayan.

Indeed, since the fact of not-identified life is a fact which may heavily oppress the consciousness of the people who decide upon the burial, the cases of bong and ibayan must be represented as cases of an abnormal order, whence the naturalistic facts are supplied with the imaginary details and the number of cases is increased.

The Tungus thus solve two problems: they explain the state of lethargy as an effect of interaction of partial souls and in these cases they have a new proof of the existence of the multiple soul. As shown in the Tungus mind these cases are not spirits, but physical bodies serving as placings for errant souls (spirits). Therefore we cannot include these cases under the heading of spirits.

277. I use here term «exterioration» in the sense of physical removal, displacement of the soul. The same remark refers to «exteriorate».

278. Perhaps this is connected with the idea that the threefold souls are received later. The opinions regarding this delicate matter are not fixed. Some Tungus suppose that the twins have two souls and thus the death of one of them will not be followed by death of the other. It may be here pointed out that the recent investigations as to twins have shown that the uniovular twins very often die about at the same period. Seemingly, this fact did not escape the Tungus attention and they explained it by their hypothesis of soul. Yet, since this tendency is not observed in biovular twins the facts also did not escape the Tungus attention whence we have their hesitation as to the possibility of a generalization of their hypothesis.

279. It is very likely that the Manchus borrowed their theory from the Chinese. In fact, «Yin Chow (1122 B. C.) killed Pi Kan and dissected his heart to see whether it had seven openings» cf. E. T. Hsieh A Review of China anatomy from the period of Huangti. C. Med. Journ., 1920. Anat. Suppl., p. 8.

280. Still less is correct the translation of manggiyan (i. e. marngjan): ibagan-i duwali as «compagnon de l'ibagan» (ibid, footnote 8), for it actually means «of the ibagan clan» However even the Manchu authors of the dictionary — buleku — probably did not know the difference between ibagan and spirits which may enter the placings, for ibagan means the spirit and the placing together while mayjan is a spirit.

281. The drought is described as a natural but accidental phenomenon: tuk-sanin bulorduk juran, odinin urodukjuran, i.e. «the fog (steam, clouds) from the marshes comes out (while) the wind from the mountains comes out», so in this way there is no precipitation, the clouds are brought down to the mouths of the rivers and the region is affected by a drought.

282. An old man once met a group of bong which he frightened by shooting with his gun. They ran away and he found a badger with its legs tied as it is prepared for sacrifice. Another man saw a «short man» at whom he shot; the shot missed so a second was fired hitting the «short man» who screamed and disappeared. Then the man lost his way, He surrounded himself with three big fires that night for protection and when daylight came, his mind became stable but he was ill afterwards for a long time.

283. This Tungus inference is based upon the comparison of the evidences given by the Manchus and the Tungus relative to ibayan and bong respectively.

284. As to the lousing it may be noted that it is an expression of personal sympathy, as well as sexual love. Cf. B. Malinowski The Sexual Life of Savages and still in a broader setting of the problem R. Yerkes.

285. More exactly, the body is entered by one of the souls which are not admitted ilmunxan or the soul which could not reach him. When the second soul cerg'i fojengo leaves the body then such an errant soul (olorg'i fojengo) enters the corpse.

286. It ought to be noted that the Manchu burials are not made very deep in the ground (vide infra).

287. Cf. for instance in Nisan Saman the shaman calls herself by this self-abasing name.

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