Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WELL WISHES, PRAISES AND INCANTATIONS)

Created: 2014-09-19 17:42
Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
Description: Well-wishes, or yoryal, are considered to be one of the most popular genres in Kalmyk ritual folklore. Like traditional praises (magtal) and incantations (tarni), they have an ancient origin and are closely connected with a belief in the magical power of uttered words.

Yoryals are expressions of warm feelings nourished by the utterer. They are uttered during celebrations, rituals and other important events. It is believed that the age of the utterer correlates with the power of the yoryal – the older the utterer, the more powerful the yoryal is. The Kalmyks start every important deed with a yoryal, be it a tea drinking ceremony, or before setting out on a journey, or while receiving guests, during present-giving ceremonies, name-giving ceremonies, weddings, funerals, and national holidays.

Although they can be composed on the spot or through improvisation by anybody, yoryals have a fixed composition. Every yoryal begins with an address to a person, proceeds with poetically formulated wishes, and concludes with a prayer to the supernatural to protect and assist the addressee(s).

Praises, or magtal, also belong to a genre of ancient poetry connected with magical rituals. Magtals have been uttered or sung to mythical heroes, clan ancestors, famous people and geological morphologies, such as mountains and hills. Examples of the latter are the 'Praise to the Altai Mountains' (Altain magtal) and the 'Praise to the Bogd Mountain' (Bogd uulyn magtal).

In the past, major celebrations were often accompanied by sporting events called erin gurvn naadn, or the 'three games of men', which included archery, horse racing, and wrestling. Winners, both humans and horses, were honoured with magtal praises.

As with tarni incantations, they have always had a special place in Kalmyk culture, with the help of which the utterer seeks to obtain security and protection from harmful people and malign spirits. Tarni incantations are usually whispered. Some incantations consist of only spells, others have a performative side to them as well. In the latter case, the utterer of a tarni is supposed to perform both parts correctly for the incantation to have an effect.
 

Media items

This collection contains 28 media items.

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Media items

Alexandra Sanzheeva, My Wish to Young People

   2 views

Alexandra utters a well-wish to young people so that they study well, have families, have many children, and never forget their native language. She also wishes them a life...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WELL WISHES, PRAISES AND INCANTATIONS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 11 Nov 2018


Anna Shurguchinova, Maria Mudzhikova, A Prayer of Blessing the Food

   2 views

A blessing for the food is an old Kalmyk prayer which combines both pre-Buddhist and Buddhist beliefs. Anna Andreevna Shurguchinova, who utters the prayer, memorized it from her...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WELL WISHES, PRAISES AND INCANTATIONS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 10 Jun 2018


Anna Shurguchinova, Maria Mudzhikova, Elizaveta Balchinova, The Prayers of the Baga-Burul Clan

   2 views

Anna reads prayers performed by the Baga-Burul clan of the Bolshederbetovskiy ulus. Anna starts her prayer with pleading, ‘Deities and gods, watch after us, who went astray and...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WELL WISHES, PRAISES AND INCANTATIONS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 10 Jun 2018


Galina Mamonova, My Well Wish to Young People

   1 view

Galina tells young people to remember Kalmyk customs, traditions and language.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WELL WISHES, PRAISES AND INCANTATIONS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 28 Oct 2018


Ksenia Kardonova, Incantations

   7 views

When children lose their baby teeth, they are not thrown anywhere. According to custom, such a tooth should be wrapped in bread and given to a dog with the following words ‘Dog,...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WELL WISHES, PRAISES AND INCANTATIONS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 6 Jun 2018


Leonid Khochiev, My Well Wish to Young Kalmyks

   4 views

Leonid utters the following well-wish: ‘May our descendants live better than our generation. May you not witness bad things as my generation did. May you stay in your native land....

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WELL WISHES, PRAISES AND INCANTATIONS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Fri 27 Jul 2018


Maria Mudzhikova, Anna Shurguchinova, A Well Wish for a Success in One's Work

   2 views

Maria and Anna say a well-wish for a success in one’s work. ‘Let your life be long. May you grow well and develop. May you live long in peace and happiness. Let your needs be...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WELL WISHES, PRAISES AND INCANTATIONS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 10 Jun 2018


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