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55. Spirits Of Other Tungus Groups

Amongst the Tungus of Transbaikalia who still speak Tungus, I have found two systems in practice, namely, one among the Nomad Tungus and another among the Reindeer Tungus. For instance, the Mankova Tungus have adopted the Mongol (Buriat) spirits onggun but call them seven. Such are for instance, ketal which is a very mischievous and dangerous spirit; kolultu which has been formed from a girl who ran away into the mountains and died there; tanag 'ja, a spirit [from tanag, — «insane, idiot» (Bir. Mank.) ] which produces in the shaman an effect of «insanity». There is no doubt that the spirits are only partly the same as amongst other Tungus groups in Manchuria.

Amongst the Reindeer Tungus of Transbaikalia there is a different complex, but my information is not complete, so that in order to avoid misconception of their system, I shall not now present these facts. The complex of mastered spirits amongst the Reindeer Tungus of Manchuria is also different, for it includes a special series of spirits haja which may be identified as ajy of the Yakuts. However, since shamanism does not exist among them any more these spirits are known only from the traditions. Among the Kumarchen Tungus there are spirits of the same type as amongst the Birarchen, but among the Khingan Tungus there are some spirits recently borrowed from the Mongols and a special group of spirits of minor importance called chuvun.

The system of shamanistic spirits among the Dahurs, as it may be seen from the previous sections, contains several spirits of the same names and type as among the Birarchen. Indeed, since the Dahurs speak a Mongol dialect and since the penetration of Lamaism among them still stronger than among the Tungus, the list of spirits is still richer in purely Buddhistic elements. However, I have no complete list of this group [350].

I have to abstain from the comparative analysis of the Goldi Goldi complex. The authors who gathered material among the Goldi, namely, P. Simkevic and I. A. Lopatin submitted it to a classification and remodelling and adopted a simplified terminology which does not correspond to the actual groups distinguished by the Goldi themselves and which should not be confounded. Owing to this, with the exception of enduri, the group of spirits which are not mastered by the shamans does not figure in the list of I. A. Lopatin. However, it is absolutely evident that some of these spirits are not at all seven (seon), i.e. the spirits mastered, but belong to some other class of spirits, as for instance, juli (vide supra),[351] also dusxu and g'irki. From the description of the Goldi spirits it is evident that they distinguish male and female roads (I. A. Lopatin call them «husband and wife»), also the subordinate manifestations of bucchu and ajexa, various animals and especially tiger [352], bear, leopard, snakes, birds, insects, dragons etc.

According to the Birarchen the complex of Goldi spirits is composed of a half of spirits known amongst the Birarchen and they have a great number of Manchu spirits which is quite natural for the Sungari Goldi are one of «New Manchu» (ici manju) groups. The Amur Goldi have a large number of pictures n'urxan (I. A. Lopatin) (n'uryan of the Manchus). According to the Birarchen, the Goldi complex also includes a great number of Dahur elements [353]. Yet, the whole complex called by I. A. Lopatin dusxu [354], according to this author perhaps with a good right, is supposed to be borrowed, through the Manchus from the Chinese.

350. N. N. Poppe has given «a short sketch of shamanism» among the Dahurs (Dahur Dialect, pp. 8-14) from which it is rather difficult to form an idea as to the spirits. No list of spirits is given and some confusion of facts may be suspected. In fact it is not indicated on which occasion the shaman was singing; whether this was the shaman who was speaking, or his spirit introduced into the shaman (ibid. pp. 26-31). Seemingly this was an animal (a fox?) manifestation of a complex, — Otos uging, Gen'c'i lam, Orc'ing dog, of southern «road». It may be noted that the second component was a Lama (Buddhist priest). Indeed, to speak about «spirit-protector» among the Dahurs, as N. N. Poppe does, without giving evidence is impossible for among their neighbours, the Tungus and the Manchus, the shaman is master of spirits. This seems to be so among the Dahurs as seen from the text recorded by N. N. Poppe, e.g. p. 27. However, on p. 28 mentioning of «master» is referred to the chief spirit of the complex borcoxor, — «spotted pea», — a name received by Otosuging after her crying (ibid. p. 12). Thus, borcoxor probably is only one of onggor — corr. seven — which is a complex spirit headed by Otosuging alias borchoxor.

351. I. A Lopatin insists upon the fact that he did not find any other term for spirits except seon. It is very possible for since in the language gradually worked out by the Goldi and the investigator, the Goldi used term «seon» in reference to all spirits as the Tungus do with the Russians when they use «burxan», «bog» of Russians also savak'i. In fact, the terms like burkan and fuch'k'i might also exist amongst the Goldi, for they were connected with the Manchus whence they might have fuch'k'i. Generally speaking many a term although distorted may be analysed and compared with Northern Tungus, Manchu and Dahur terms as we have seen in the case of seon, juli and others. However, such an analysis without a detailed description of spirit, is very risky, so I like better to abstain from it altogether.

352. Indeed, amban seon (abbr. ambanso) is not «the Tiger» as I. A. Lopatin thought, but is is «great mastered spirit» which may have the tiger as one of its manifestations; doonta is not also «the bear», but a special group of spirits.

353. It may be supposed from the time when the Dahurs were political masters of the region, i.e. before the settlement of the Manchus on the banks of the Amur River.

354. This seems to be a technical term for the kind of placing and not the name of spirit.

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