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54. Vochko Of the Manchus

As shown, the general Manchu term for this group of spirits is vochko (vide supra Chapter XII). However, the Manchus also distinguish their own clan vochko and outsiders which correspond to dona above discussed. In Manchu they are called tulerg'i vochko, in explanation of which the Manchu say tulerg'i vochko is ejen aku (i.e. master not) vochko, or «spirit without master». Such ones may be, for instance, Chinese spirits. «Once a man was sick for a long time; he refused to accept the spirits; the shaman took them away and mastered them. They were of Chinese origin».

The Chinese, Tungus, Mongol, Dahur, and any other spirits may become tulerg'i vochko, but after certain time they may be included into cholo vochko and thus they may become Manchu clan spirits.

Amongst the spirits there may be one which after a certain practice becomes the principal spirit of the shaman who acts through this spirit. It is called talaya (dalaxa, Manchu Writ.) vochko, i.e. the spirit which headed (the other spirits).

Kojala vochko are called spirits which belong to the clans with which the shamans are connected (vide meaning of kojali in SOM).

When the spirits introduce themselves into the shaman on his call, the spirit call other spirits julen [342] while the shaman is called by them ejen — «the master», and he styles himself aj'ige ejen, i.e. «little master».

The Manchu system of spirits mastered in many respects is different from what we have seen among the Tungus of Manchuria. The first important difference is that the group of spirits is closely bound with the clan spirits and actually it is only a group of special spirits of the clan left by the shamans of preceding generations. The second characteristic distinction is that the Manchu spirits are much formalised and since the Manchus possess, at least at the present time, their own writing system although they formerly used Mongol and Chinese systems, it was possible to record spirits in the form of lists of spirits which were copied and recopied by the new generations. Such a list of spirits is called vecheku cholo bitxe, i.e. «spirits list book», or vecheku cholo gebu, where gebu is «the name». It may be noted that cholo gebu is almost a tautology. As a matter of fact, cholo in Manchu is an «honorific name», a special name used as substitute for the actual name, title, etc. being a «loan-word» from Mongol [343], while gebu is «the name». Such a list may contain a short description of all spirits. However, not all clans used to have them. At last, since the Manchus are accustomed to have pictures, — an evident imitation of other complexes, — they represent their spirits and in this way there are preserved even minor details of the spirits' accessories which may be figured in form of pictures. Such picture is called n'uryan (nirugan, Manchu Writ.). They are made in water colours in one, two or more large pictures showing all spirits of large size. So I have seen figures about thirty centimetres high.

Indeed, the lists of spirits and pictures of spirits are excellent documents for a detailed study of Manchu spirits. However, it is not enough to have these documents for giving a comprehensive description, for the same formalized symbols may be used in a different «sense». Yet, it is very difficult to have the lists of spirits which, as shown, are secret for outsiders, and one may happen to see pictures only on rare occasions of great performances (vide infra Chapter XXVIII) to which the outsiders are admitted only in exceptional cases.

I have at my disposal several cholo of different clans, e.g. kolg'a, wujala, nara, sagda, wuza and other. Almost a complete list of spirits is given in Nisan Sanan who belonged to the g'joro clan. Yet, I have seen two complete n'urgan. From what I know about the cholo and what the Manchus say about n'uryan of other clans, it may be supposed that the n'uryan of other clans do not differ very much as to their general character, — the uniformity is rather typical of the Manchu complex. I saw one of these n'uryan during several days without being disturbed, so I shall now give some details. The n'uryan consisted of four water colour pictures on cloth, made by a Chinese master, with all characteristic manners of Chinese bad village-painters.

The whole system of vochko consists of rows, — wur'i, which are sometimes also called faidan — the line of soldiers, etc. — Each row-line is headed by a principal spirit, — talaya vochko. The rows may be called by different names, e.g. poiyun, — of earth; sele, — of iron; toisun, — of brass; veye — of stone, etc. Every vochko has its definite place called soor'i.

FIRST PICTURE, in the middle of the first row in a pagoda, — luza (a Chinese word) — where there are «sitting» mafa saman mama saman, i.e. «honourable shamans, male and female». Beside them under trees there are standing two k'ilin vochko, i.e. the Tungus (k'ilin, vide SONT) spirits, the characteristic functions of which usually are that they have either a gun or a bow and arrows in their hands.

The second row contains various vochko either in luze or not; xele (speechless) mafa which is the chief of the row, is found there with a jar of wine; he is surrounded by batur'i (heroes) and mangi (endowed with great abilities), these vochko are represented as masters of their special abilities, e.g. one of them can take coins out of a kettle of melted metal; another one (fulg'an mangi) can go barefoot into a heap of burning charcoal; a third would put a red hot iron belt around his waist; a fourth can put on, instead of shoes, red hot iron ploughshares; a fifth can use a ladder made of swords turned with the sharp edges upward; a sixth would be put under the knife of the straw-cutter the handle of which would be pressed by several people, without harm to the mangi vochko; a seventh would perforate his sides with two knives, and so on.

The third row contains a dragon, snake, boa-constrictor with some human figures.

The fourth row contains a tree with five cuckoos and two other birds under a tree.

SECOND PICTURE. In the fifth row in a luza, — (?) mama and at the right side of her a shaman, the grandmother of the present generation. In the sixth row — a group of xexe vochko [which wanted to have a new shaman in the particular case described in Part 4 (vide Chapter XXVIII)] one of them receives a vochko from another woman shaman and the first one expresses thanks (by a special posture).

In the seventh row headed by m'ochan mergen (skillful in gun shooting) on horse back and in Chinese dress, there are eight k'ilin (Tungus) vochko who surround the head of this row.

THIRD PICTURE. In the eighth row there are represented p'oyun vochko [clan (strictly) spirits] which are headed by chuxajang'in (a military chief) (vide Chapter XII; jangin = jangg'in). In the ninth and tenth rows are located various spirits which could not be identified.

FOURTH PICTURE, which consists of three or four rows represents p'iyan vochko, — forest spirits, which are found only among the ici manju. Their chief is called onduri (II) (i.e. endur'i) there may be seen several k'ilin (Tungus) vochko with several gurank'jo (roe-deer); also several males and females near by which there are several spotted deer with four leaves of a red flower in each, in their mouths; there are two tigers which are being fought by two big birds of prey; there is also a blackfaced spirit with a leopard, j'achin tasxa saman [i.e. dark (black) tiger shaman]; there are many rocks, mountains and swift streams represented as characteristic of the region where these spirits live [344].

It may be noted that the above persons are dressed in old fashioned Manchu dresses and some of them have long and short coats characteristic of the present dress among the Northern Tungus of Manchuria. As another characteristic feature of the above described complex is that there are very few Chinese spirits (vochco) and a great number of k'ilin vochko (Tungus spirits), while Dahur spirits are absent. The shamans are dressed in their usual costumes with the brass mirrors. In one case the large mirror is surrounded by eight smaller mirrors.

Generally the type of ici manju (New Manchu) complex is different from that of fe manju (Old Manchu). In the first type there are many Tungus spirits, but the Chinese spirits are not numerous, the special group of p'iyan (taiga) vochko also is present and usually very numerous. Among them jachin tasxa saman (vide supra) is considered as a very important vochko. It has even a special sacrifice consisting of a cock and a boar, instead of a hen and a sow. Yet, the «New Manchu» spirits are supposed to be more mischievous and dangerous, e.g. A man who was drunk declared that he did not believe in the spirits. Soon after that two near relatives and all his children died.» Even copious sacrifice of sheep and oxen cannot help to win the spirits' sympathy. If the children should turn the placing with the faces to the wall almost surely there would be some diseases in the family and there will be needed a special sacrifice and prayers.

Every clan has its own complex of spirits, but there are many of the same spirits which are met with in several clans. These spirits are, so to say, ever and everywhere present as it is with the Northern Tungus spirits. The same spirits, e.g. the above mentioned mafa vochko and mama vochko, are found in most of the clans and still they are different in every particular clan.

* * *

Here I give a translation with notes of the list of spirits of the clan kolg'a (or kora). This clan is believed to be one of typical clans of the Old Manchus (fe manju) which has preserved its ritual and list of spirits. The original list of spirits had been in a good condition, so that it might be copied without great difficulties. I have chosen this list of spirits among several lists which I have because as stated it is typical and yet the MS. was in better condition as compared with other lists. However, this list is not complete in so far as detailed description of spirits is concerned. I cannot state whether these details are found in other lists which I did not see, or they are transmitted by oral tradition. It is very likely, and it will be later shown, that the Manchus did not record all details, and yet the record of spirits is undoubtedly an innovation.

* * *

«In the southern region there are open, clear mountains. In the middle of the mountains there are three rocks. In the middle of the rocks there is a beautiful walled town. In the middle of the town there are eight pairs of tree (1). In the middle of the trees there is an ornamented (many-storied building) pagoda (2). In this pagoda there were distributed (3) twelve rows (of spirits) headed; all governed by the leading spirit (4). Agjulan (5) shaman who stays (6) holding a drum, Erinbuku (7) assistant shaman who stays holding a javelin. Next comes a green tree. On the top of this tree there were cuckooing five kinds of cuckoos (8). On the first branch there was cuckooing Yellow Cuckoo; on the second branch there was cuckooing Red Cuckoo; on the third branch there was cuckooing Green Cuckoo; on the fourth branch there was cuckooing Streaked Cuckoo. Next comes spirits.

Agjana(9) brother (10) who rides a chestnut horse with a quiver on the left and on the right (11) attached to his sides and who stays holding a halberd

Chagjana (12) hero (13) who rides a roan horse with a quiver attached on the left and on the right and stays holding two swords.

Arsulan (14) brother who rides a piebald horse, stays holding a javelin Arsulan strong hero who rides a white horse, stays holding a pair of clubs.

Erdemunga xele (15) valiant hero (16) stays holding a drum, this spirit is gathering all kinds of information; he investigates cases.

Ajulan brother (17) stays holding trihedral spear with tree teeth.

Sar'in (18) sister (19) and Ser'in'ju (20) sister stay both holding kerchieves.»

1. It was impossible to find out the kind of tree. In Manchu xandu is given by I. Zaxarov as «rice», which is quite correct. However, in the present text the Manchus understand xandu as a «tree». From the pictures which I saw I could not identify the kind of tree.

2. In Manchu luse [corr. luza (Manchu Sp.)] means «many-storied building». In the picture it appears as a pagoda. (Cf. supra).

3. samdame bixe, as it is in the text is not from the «verb» samdambi — «to shamanize», but it is «to be in rows with interruption» (cf. I. Zaxarow, samdame tarimbi) which I translate as «distributed».

4. The leading spirit of a row has above itself a leading spirit of the whole complex

5. Agjulan is a kind of bird which I could not identify. However, it is not a bird, but a man's name. The man was first a shaman in the clan and he has become a leading spirit of the whole complex.

6. As a special shamanistic expression the Manchus use «verb» dosimbi which in reference to the spirits means «to be stay in, to come into». In reference to the living men it is equivalent to «to be, to live».

7. Erinbuku I leave without translation. He was assistant shaman of Agjulan. The name is a composite one, — erin+buku (cf. for buku, infra footnote 13).

8. These five cuckoos are names of persons. I give translations of Manchu words for colours by which the cuckoos are distinguished.

9. Agjana age is the name of a spirit of minor importance. agjan is «the thunder», for age vide footnote 10. This spirit, when the man was alive, was brother of next spirit Chagjana.

10. The term age is common in the names of spirits of a secondary importance. However, it is not a term of relationship.

11. The word for quiver is omitted, but it is understood that «left» and «right» are quivers.

12. Chagjana seems to be a parallel formation to match Agjana (cf. footnote 20).

13. In Manchu buku referred to «very strong person», «wrestler» etc. I translate as «strong hero». This is a special group of spirits of a secondary importance, so to say, of third rank.

14. Arsulan literally «the lion» here is a man's name.

15. Erdemunga xele, where the first one is «wise, virtuous» and second is «the stutterer» is the name of a shaman who has become a spirit. In the lists of spirits one meets — with «stutterer», «dumb», «speechless» and others. Here the functions of the spirit are given while usually they are lacking.

16. baturi are almost equivalent to buku (vide footnote 13), but they form a special group of spirits and for this reason I translate it as «valiant hero».

17. This spirit helps in the case of very serious diseases. The meaning of the name is not clear.

18. Sar'in'ju literally «grey haired» (cf. I. Zaxarov sari, but sarinjambi, a «verb», has a different meaning).

19. gexe is analogous to age (vide footnote 10).

20. Ser'in'ju literally «liar, gossip, etc.». It responds to Sar'in'ju, analogous to Agjana — Chagjana; such doubled spirits probably originate owing to the stylistic requirements of the text of cob.

«The second row; in the northern region there is jagged rock. In the middle of the rock there is ornamented pagoda. In the pagoda there sat (1)

Balan (2) valiant hero who stays holding a drum

Agjan (3) Beise (4) who stays holding a javelin

Argudai brother (5) who stays holding a pair of swords

Argudai strong hero stays holding a toothed spear

juru Mergen (6) who stays holding a gun

Doxolo brother (7) who stays supporting a drum

Durgire Dutu (8) brother who stays holding a javelin

Argusan (9) brother who rides on the black horse and stays «holding a javelin

Argusan (9) strong hero who rides on the chestnut horse and stays holding a javelin

Sesereku (10) brother who rides a piebald horse and stays holding a pair of clubs

Sesereku (10) strong hero who rides a roan horse and stays holding a large halberd

Er'in'ju (11) sister and 

Ver'in'ju (12) sister, stay holding a pair of brass mirrors

jingel (13) sister and 

Ingel (13) sister stay holding ribbons

jingjil (14) sister and

Ingjil (14) sister stay holding a drum.»

1. There may be used in reference to the spirits either dos'imbi or texembi — «to seat», as it is used in the case of emperors, — «to seat on the throne», and in the case of people staying in a certain locality.

2. balan can be translated «fearless». This spirit is the first assistant of the first spirit of the complex Agjulan saman (vide supra) and it is the first spirit of the second row.

3. Agjan can be translated «thunder», (vide infra footnote 4.)

4. beise is a Manchu title, the second rank (the first is beile). This spirit Agjan beise is used when the soul «falls down» being frightened by the thunder. The spirit is indicated when needed by Xele Mafa (baturi).

5. Argudai brother never comes (to the shaman), if there are sick people in the house; in general it comes also very rarely even in the new year sacrifice.

6. juru Mergen — this may be understood as «juru — wise», or «a pair of wise (men)». The Manchu hesitated as to the function of this spirit and even whether, there are two or one spirit. These are Tungus (k'ilin) spirits.

7. Doxolo age is «the lame brother» who takes human souls across the river in the world of dead people. This is a spirit which helps the shaman in this operation.

8. Durgire Dutu can be translated as «mumbling deaf». This spirit comes only once a year, the day of the yearly sacrifice.

9. I find no meaning of this name.

10. Sesereku can be translated «dishevelled» (cf. seserembi — «to make, to put in disorder»). This spirit is used when the shaman goes to the lower world and must visit dangerous «wild» places.

11. Er'in'ju sister helps in the case of sickness of females, both adult and children. The name is associated by the Manchus with erin «the time».

12. Ver'in'ju sister has the same functions. The name is a doublet of Er'in'ju but its meaning is not clear.

13. jingel is a kind of parrot; ingel seems to be a doublet. The functions of the spirits are not established.

14. jingjil is a kind of «golden hen»; Igjil is analogous to doublets in other cases, but the meaning is «silver hen».

«The third row; in the eastern region there are open clear mountains. In the middle of the mountains there are two pairs of trees; here is Veren Namu (1) walled town. In the middle of the town there is a beautiful pagoda. In the pagoda sat 

Seimenju (2) shaman who stays holding a drum

Daifu mama (3)

Ching-se (4) sister

Bai-se (5) sister who stay holding a pair of kerchieves

Ais'in Mengun Mujuxu (6).

1. Veren Namu literally is «small sea waves»

2. Seimenju saman is the first spirit of this row. It is used during the shaman's going to the lower world. During the sacrifice it sees that the rites (kooli) are correctly performed. The meaning of the name is not clear.

3. Daifu Mama is a female spirit helping in case of diseases of very small children. The name is from Chinese taifu used for designation of a rank.

4. Ching-se is a female spirit which comes only on the new years day. The name is Chinese, — «the grey snake».

5. Bai-se the same as Chingse; from Chinese, — «the white snake».

6. Ais'in Mengun mujuxu, — «golden and silver carp», — complex spirit fishes.

«The fourth row; southern (midday) direction; there are open

clear mountains. In the middle of the mountains (there is) a

thick pine forest. In this forest, being head (of the row) there

was sitting, covering the sky

Amba Daimin (1) who shades the earth

Narxun Daimin (2)

Alxa Daimin (3)

Kuri Daimin (4)

Keksere Gasxa (5)

Lebsere Gasxa (6)

Fulg'an Gasxa (7)

two G'joxun (8)

five Kilxu (9) all stay holding drums.»

1. Amba Daimin «the great eagle» which is the principal of the row. This spirit as well as other spirits of the group are shamans.

2. Narxun, — small.

3. Alxa, — many coloured, piebald.

4. Kuri dark brown.

5. Keksere Gasxa; gasxa are called all large birds of prey, as for instance kite, hawks, etc. Whether kersere is a classificatory name of a kind of bird which does not seem to be found in I. Zaxarov's Dictionary or it means «joyful» I cannot say.

6. lebsere gasxa; 1'ebsere does not seem to be clear, — whether it is a name or merely «fierce».

7. fulg'an — «red».

8. g'joxun — «falcon».

9. kilxu — «heron».

«The fifth row; western region; there are high «mountains. In the middle of the mountains there is a many-coloured (1) walled town. In the middle of the town, a many-coloured (1) pagoda. There were in rows

jatunga shaman (2)

jatunga assistant shaman who stay all holding drum (s)

Seletu (3) brother who rides a black horse right (quiver and) left (quiver) attached stays holding iron club

Seletu (3) strong hero who rides a horse with white hoofs right (quiver and) left (quiver) attached stays holding iron spear

Seletai (3) brother who rides grey-chestnut horse right (quiver and) left (quiver) attached stays holding a large halberd

jergule (4) brother who rides chestnut horse right (quiver and) left (quiver) attached stays holding a pair «of swords

jergule (4) strong hero who rides white horse right (quiver and) left (quiver) attached stays holding a pair of clubs.»

1. bochongo from bocho, — «the colour»; it may be also translated «bright».

2. jatunga shaman is the head of the row, jatunga is «sharp».

3. Seletu, Seletai — man's name from sele — «iron».

4. Meaning of the name is not clear to the Manchu

«The sixth row; in North-East-North region; there are great mountains. In the middle of the mountains there is a high mountain. In the middle of the mountain there are two pairs of trees. In the middle of the trees (there is) a shiny pagoda. In the pagoda sat 

Balen (1) valiant hero who stays holding a javelin

Agjan beise (2) who stays holding a pole-axe

Sergudai (3) brother who stays holding a narrow spear

Aisuldai (3) brother who stays holding a toothed spear

Beisuldai (3) strong hero who stays holding a drum

Sarxudai (3) brother

Sarxudai (3) strong hero who stay holding (?)» (4)

1. Balen is the head of the sixth row.

2. cf. second row, footnotes 3 and 4. The spirit helps to liberate the soul by producing thunder.

3. These are men's names. The functions of the spirits are not established.

4. It is omitted what the holding involves but the Manchus repeat apkai asu na xosoka without understanding their meaning. Asu may mean «net, coat of mail» but then «heaven» is not clear. Yet, asu may also mean «code of laws, regulations». The meaning of na xosoka may be understood as «parts of the earth», so the whole expression may mean something like «heaven law for all parts of the world». Although such an interpretation may be accepted, in the text it is stated that the spirit is «holding» something which must be one of usual things, as a drum, a spear, and other shamanistic paraphernalia. There may be made another supposition, namely, this phrase is a remainder of a fuller text which is now forgotten. Something of this kind has happened with the text concerning Erdemuga xele (vide supra, footnote 15). I suppose that in the full text there should be an explanation of all functions of all spirits, as I happened to hear at the election of a new shaman (vide infra Chapter XXVIII).

«The seventh row; there are the jagged rocks. In the middle of the rocks there is iron (5) row.

In this row are staying with iron helmets on their heads and

holding toothed spears

Sebexun shaman (1) and

Sersur'i (2) assistant shaman (each) stay holding drum

Sele — Seche (3) stays holding a spear

Sele strong hero stays holding a pair of clubs

Sele Mergen (4) stays holding a gun

Sele Sertu stays holding an iron bar

Sele Ser'in'ju stays holding ribbons (descending from the


Sele Wukun'ju sister

Sele Er'in'ju sister (each) stay holding a pair of brass mirrors.»

1. Sebexun shaman is very joyful, gay spirit. When he comes, especially at the new year sacrifice, everybody smiles and laughs. He says to everyone something «nice and good».

2. man's name

3. Sele Seche does not seem to be a complete designation of the spirit. For seche I have the translation, — «the sock of plough», but this is a man's name, in another text I have another meaning, - «turtle».

4. Mergen — «wise» (cf. Second Row, footnote 6).

5. For this reason the spirits have addition sele, — «iron».

«The eighth row; in the South there are high mountains. In the middle of the mountains there is jerg'iga walled town. There were staying (in row)

Ingelji shaman (1) who stays holding a drum

Ingelji assistant shaman who stays holding a spear

Durgire Dutu (2) who stays holding a drum

Belin belche (3) who stays holding a spear

Xorxodai (4) brother when it comes it steals things (4)

Doxolo brother (5) who stays pressing a drum

Imzin Mama (2) who stays holding a drum

two kun'jang teachers (2) who stay holding drum(s).»

1. This spirit is called when there are sick people. It is the head of the row. Ingelji is the man's name.

2. cf. Second Row, footnote 8,

3. Belin belche, — «dumb-deaf» or «olon» (vide infra Ch. XX). This spirit is never called when there are sick people.

4. According to I. Zaxarov «bold». The things are stolen by the spirit during the shamanistic performance (kleptomania?).

5. Cf. Second Row, footnote 7.

6. This female spirit helps in the case of smallpox. She also protects, takes care (ersembi) of the child. Imzyn is not a Manchu name.

7. Kun' jag sifu «Miss teacher» is certainly Chinese.

«The ninth row: in the West there are even mountains. In the middle of the mountains there are rows of pine trees. In the middle of the rows there is a great walled town. In the middle of the town there is a great pagoda. In this pagoda sat 

Wukun'ju mama (1) who stays holding a drum with two girl-attendants

jincho(2) and

inchol (2) who stay holding kerchieves.

Temture brother who rides a chestnut horse stays holding a javelin

Temture strong hero who rides a black (!!) horse stays holding

a trihedral spear with three (..?..)

Sarxudai (3) brother who rides a grey-chestnut horse stays holding two swords

Narxusan brother stays holding a drum

Narxusan strong hero stays holding an iron spear

Serxusan (4) brother

Serxusan (4) strong hero. Both stay holding drum(s)»

1. Wukunju ~ wukunjo «spleen» (cf. I. Zaxarov, «the bile, bladder») this spirit is head of the row.

2. These names may be those referred to «beautiful golden birds».

3. «grey haired»

4. «intelligent, quick, smart»

«The tenth row; in the South there are high jagged rocks. On the top of the rocks there are birch tree avenues. In these avenues were living

B'iren Buku Tasxa (1)

Tar'in Tasxa (2)

Muxan F'isu (3)

Alxa F'isu (4)

lebsere lefu (5)

Sajan Sulen (6)

Sajan Tasxa (7)»

1. «female strong hero tiger» which is head of the row.

2. «male tiger».

3. «male leopard».

4. «piebald («spotted») leopard».

5. «fierce (attacking) bear».

6. «white lynx».

7. «white tiger».

«The eleventh row; in the East there are even mountains. In the middle of the mountains there are high «rocks. In the middle of the rocks there is stony row. In this row are ranged

Karanga (1) shaman who stays holding a drum

Karanga assistant shaman who stays holding a javelin

two k'ilergi (2) brothers who stay holding two guns

k'ilin (2) strong hero who rides a white grey (3) horse and stays holding a gun

k'ilerchan (3) brother who rides a black horse and stays holding a gun

kiilin (2) assistant shaman who stays holding a spear».

1. Karanga, kara. — «black». This is the head of the stony row which is chiefly, if not exclusively, a Tungus row.

2. k'ilergi, k'ilerchan are modifications of k'ilin, — «the Tungus».

3. «white-grey» colour is used when horse has mane and tail darker than other parts of the body.

«The twelfth row; in the North there are Earth spirits, the earthy row. In the row there are ranged

Naijulan (1) shaman who stays holding a drum

Argudai brother who stays holding a spear

Alire (2) Mangi (3) who stays holding a toothed club

Sujara (4) Mangi who stays holding an iron club

Fangkara (5) Mangi who stay holding two swords

Sele Sese (6) who stays holding a spear

Mudur'i (7) nine fathoms long

Jabjan (8)eight fathoms long

Checherku Meixe (9)

Aisin Menggun Inggali.(10)

This shaman named Laju of kolg'a clan lived in Ajige In (Small Ing village) seventeen lis (11) southwards from the «town» (12).

1. Naijulan=na+i+julen, i.e. of earth spirit(s). It is the head of the row.

2. «supporting, helping».

3. mangi, vide infra.

4. Sujara, — «leaning», «pressing against».

5. Fangkara, — «falling down».

6. cf. supra Seventh Row, footnote 3. It has been explained by the Manchus as «turtle».

7. Mudur'i is a spirit which helps the shaman with water.

8. jabjdn i.e. the boa-constrictor.

9. «mad snake».

10. «golden-silver small bird».

11. One li is about half of a kilometre.

12. From Aigun city.

* * *

The above given text of the list of spirits of this clan does differ in many respects from the short review of spirits observed in the previous section in the pictures of wujala clan. I have seen several other lists and I find that they are subject to variations. However, all spirits may be classified in the groups of (1) old shamans males and females, the founders of shamanism, who are usually called «shaman» and who are assisted by their «assistants»; (2) the female group which is sometimes separated; (3) the group of on buku, batur'i and mangi; (4) the group associated with the animals; (5) alien spirits; (7) varia.

1. Cuxa jangg'in is a spirit which was formed of the soul of a military chief (vide infra); it is included in all groups of p'oyun vochko whence among the New Manchus it has been included in the group of saman'i vochko. As to the clan spirit called Cuxa jagg'in, according to the Manchus. «they adopted this spirit as a real clan spirit». This spirit is also regarded as first founder of shamanism. It may be noted that Chuxa jang'in is included in the group of the shaman's spirits amongst those clans which have no regular p'oyun (clan) saman i.e. usually amongst this New Manchus [345]. Amongst the Tungus this spirit is known as burkan responsible for the diseases spread over by the soldiers and by the people who stayed in the barracks. Its placing is made as a picture of a. jagg'in (i.e. the «colonel», two jalan jagg'in and some soldiers (among the Goldi cf. P. Simkevic, Add. 21 and 22.)

Mafa and Mama Saman are very old shamans whose names are sometimes lost. They are found in many clans. When the Mama vocko comes the shaman smokes several pipes one by one. These are sometimes equivalent to sagda ejen vochko saman, i.e. «old master spirit shaman».

Naijuian saman is a spirit which was formed of the soul of a shaman of the same name. This spirit helps the shaman to find the cause of disease. The etymology seems to be nai, — «of earth», julan, — «spirit». The same spirit (nai vocko in Nisan Saman) helps in finding the soul of dead people.

Neibuntu is a spirit which was also formed of a shaman, but in Nisan Saman it is mentioned as spirit giving happiness, (cf. neibuntu endur'i, — the eleventh spirit of the series of twelve endur'i, I. Zaxarov). Agjulan saman and Kitan'ju mama are sometimes used for helping children, so that there are some people who were cured with this spirit and who are called by these names.

2. The female group is sometimes separated by the Manchus themselves into a special row in which they are called xexe (geye, gege) vochko. However, they are merely souls of female shamans with no particular functions.

3. The group of buku, batur'i and mangi is subject to great variations in clans and in individual shamans. These are spirits of shamans or like — shamans, people of various origin who succeeded in mastering fire, their own bodies etc. Buku in Manchu and Tungus means «strong», being near to the well known bagatur, batur etc. of the Mongols and Turks, also known among the Tungus, in Manchu (Writ.) baturu, also baturo and batur'i; mangi etymologically may be connected with manga, — «strong», «endowed, talented, good» etc. This is a group of heroes also found among the Northern Tungus and Goldi. In this group there are spirits which are good with mastering fire, jaya («fire», cf. jaxa, Manchu Writ.), baturo or tua (fire) vochko or jaya f'ikur vochko [jaya f'ikur = jaxa de fekurembi (Manchu Writ.), — «to jump into the fire»]. Mafa and mama are also used instead of baturo. Amongst the Chinese (nikan) shamans this spirit is called xosen laoje (vide supra) also used by the Manchus who do not speak Chinese. It is supposed that if this spirit enters the shaman the latter may handle the fire, so he may go with bare feet into the burning charcoal, jump on the burning wood put into a cavity made in the earth etc. and he and his dress as well would not be burnt. There is a special group of spirits which use all kinds of arms and instruments. One of them may be skilful with the lance, another with the spear, third with long knives, sabre, etc. During the performance all these instruments must be present, at least in symbols [346]. Among the group magi there are, for instance, Maitu, Aljidai, Baitu, Sergudai, Lukserc lefu, Arsulan («lion»), Inggalji. In Nisan Saman there are also mentioned Neibuntu (this spirit is sometimes one of the important spirits, cf. supra), Tuak'antu, Baturo saman and others. All these names are merely names of spirits which may also be names of persons. The whole group may be called mangi. However, it is considered as a group of minor importance. When the shaman acts with the help of these spirits he takes off his head-dress (vide infra). They are never separately prayed but only together with other spirits. Generally, they always are ordered as servant-like spirits. This group of spirits is essentially based upon the ritual side. It is especially numerous among the Chinese.

4. The groups of spirits associated at least by names with the animals is very numerous, especially among the New Manchus who have b'iyan group. As amongst the Northern Tungus these are not animals, but manifestations assumed by the spirits. The animals are also found together with different spirits of the first two groups. The animals used are: tiger (tasxa) and bear (iefu), — all shamans have them; lion (arsulan, — an animal which is known only from books including the term); wolf (n'uxu, n'oxu), — not all shamans have it [347]; fox, snake, boa-constrictor (jabjan), dragon (mudur'i) which is regarded by the Manchus as an animal actually living, deer; the roe-deer (g'jo) is sometimes considered as a complex spirit, but some Manchus doubt as to its existence. Among the domesticated animals as manifestations there are found only dog and horse [348] (morin vocko). Generally the Manchus admit that there admit that there may be formed a special spirit from the animals, very old and wise (cf. supra). When the animal manifestations are used the shaman imitates the voice of the animals, but does not sing. Among other animal spirits there is one which is very important, namely, mujuyu n'imaya vochko, — «the carp fish spirit», — a wooden placing for which is made among the New Manchus. When the shaman has this spirit he may go under the ice like a fish. The bird manifestations are not numerous; — there are very many cuckoos, falcons, and hawks; the latter is more important than the others and it has a special sacrifice (the shaman eats raw pig's liver and drinks a half cup of fresh blood). Yet there is one more vocko considered as very important, namely, amba daimin vochko, i.e. «great eagle spirits which comes into the shaman, as well as the boa-constrictor and the dragon, very rarely and which is a complex by itself. The groups of spirits of natural phenomena are very small among the Manchus. There is only one namely agjan vochco (the shaman produces sparks with flint), which is considered as an important, but very rare spirit.

5. The groups of alien spirits is numerous. It comprises the Tungus (k'ilin) spirits and Chinese spirits. The Tungus spirits are met with almost in all clans, while the Chinese spirits are common among the Old Manchus. Under the name of alien spirits I include only those spirits which are so cognized by the Manchus. However, in the Third Group there are many spirits which are of Chinese origin, but they are not separated from the whole group as alien spirits. Perhaps many spirits in the First Group are also of alien origin.

6. The group of ancestor spirits as such is introduced only by the New Manchus into their series of spirits. However, most of the shaman spirits in the list of old Manchu spirits actually are also ancestors, but they function as shamans and not as ancestors.

7. The group here separated comprises the spirits such as, for instance, mongodai nakchu which plays its part in the lower world (vide supra), also doxolo age, i.e. «the lame brother,» who carries the souls of dead people across the river. This group may also be increased with all other spirits connected with the lower world.

It ought to be also added that the spirits are also surrounded by their assistants who may have various functions. These may be actual assistant shamans (Jar'i) or they may hold some special position and have particular duties, or even to be mere servants attending the needs of their masters. In such a position are found spirits called gege (also geye, gexe) («sister»), some mangi, buku, batur'i and k'ilin. The names of the subordinate spirits sometimes remain unknown to the Manchus. and still more often they are a repetition of the names of principal spirits. The animal manifestations are also increased with the birds which are not used by the shamans. They play chiefly a role of a crowd surrounding important spirits, e.g. the distinction of different colours of cuckoo is far from the actuality. Generally, the Manchu complex of spirits is usually built up of elements which are required by aesthetism and convention.

The familiarity of the Manchus with their spirits (they are actually too numerous) is not equal. In fact, the shamans usually have at their disposal very few spirits, and many of them are no more disturbed by the shamans. The lists and pictures which are used are not detailed enough, so that about some spirits the Manchus know no more than we can know from the same documents [349].

341. When the Tungns go hunting they have a stick on the sharpened end of which they fix a piece of burning agaric. This is an important element in the Tungus complex for they cannot sometimes produce fire and without it may easily perish.

342. The etymology is not clear. I. Zaxarov gives a word julexen, — the «evenness, equality», — which seems to be of the same stem. Cf. also jal (RTM), — the «companions in hunting, comrades».

343. Cf. I. Zaxarov, p. 948; cf. Mongol cola, colo (Kowalewsky, p. 2204); it has been borrowed by some Turkish dialects (cf. W. Bang Turkologische Briefe, 1932, p. 99) as sola ~ shola.

344. It may be also noted that every n'uryan includes a spirit called sakda sefu saman («old teacher shaman») which I have failed to locate in the given n'uryan.

345. It may be noted that korg'a clan is one of the New Manchu clans, but they have no such a spirit because in the matter of spirits they formerly fused with korg'i which was an old Manchu clan.

346. The Manchus formerly used arms made of iron but at the present time they are usually made of wood.

347. There is also a special spirit known under this name which is not mere manifestation but complex by itself — n'uxu vocko. This spirit in very strong and mischievous.

348. Among the New Manchus this spirit plays rather an important part and it is used chiefly in the taiga. As a rare and exceptional case the Manchu make anthropomorphic wooden placing without legs and without arms, and put it in the hollowed trunk of a tree. Indeed, it is not an ordinary animal manifestation.

349. As I have already shown, the Manchu books treated by Ch. de Harlez and L. Langles actually are books treating the ritual of the clan spirits and some other spirits picked up as important ones, from the point of view of g'joro clan. From this point of view they are of little use for us. The sources regarding Manchu shaman spirits, in so far as I know, are confined to the work of A. D. Rudnev (New data, etc.). It is absolutely evident that the source of information was not reliable at all, and he did not know very much about shamanism. A professional spy of a low standard, liar, half-sinofied, an individual who spent a long time abroad, — naturally be could not be seriously used as source of delicate information regarding shamanism. Indeed, he knew something about it when living amongst his native people and when be could use his knowledge he did it by supplying A D. Rudnev with pictures and meaningless songs, as for instance all Fragments of songs (op. cit. pp. 18-19). In fact, the text of the first fragment is a collection of words which happened to come to his mind for keeping A. D. Rudnev busy, so he sang:

[ko xo i ke xo — oi kai kouko xo i]

gereneiweichen mini boje baiya bade

[oi kai kou]

jarai sini be'je donzi

tetxa bi bwori jambi

What is here placed in brackets consist of meaningless «refrains» with which ignorant people begin to imitate the shamans. Geren is supplied with ei which is not needed; the whole expression geren vecin means «all spirits»; mini boje is a refined expression used only by the educated Manchus which I do not meet in common shamanistic texts, - it is an imitation of the supposed-to-be known «high Manchu style». Baiya bade in a shamanistic text is meaningless, for baiya is «I prayed» and bade may be only a compound suffix ba (accus.) + de (dativ. — locat.). Since he could not compose another sentence he used again a short «refrain» and continued; dzarai is not clear sini boie dondzi is again half literary imitation, — «listen»; tetxa is a distorted tere utxai which may mean «after that», instead of mini boje he used this time common bi, forgetting his high style; baori is used in a wrong way for it should be in Manchu Sp. baobairi; baori may be used only by the people who do not know Manchu Sp. ri in this function (direct.) is not used alone but always with ba (accusat.). The whole fragment is very simple: he begins to sing, he does no find what he can sing and says, — «listen to me who prays I will now go home». The other fragments are in the same style. All of them show that the man did not know his own language and was just abusing A. D. Rudnev's confidence. The pictures and their interpretation are the product of ignorance and intentional abuse of confidence combined.

The conceptions of relationship between the shamans and other spirits are interpreted in the most fantastic manner. Indeed, «God» and «devil», — Bog and Chort of A. D. Rudnev's notes, — have no thing to do with shamanism. As to the spirits, the informer collected various names together and supplied various spirits with the characters and functions not typical of them. Yet, there are mixed up even purely Chinese spirits which the informer happened to remember.

From the above remarks it is evident that this material has very limited linguistical value and it has no value at all from the point of view of information regarding the spirits. Therefore, I believe that this material as misleading, intentionally wrong, must be rejected in toto.

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