Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Myths and Traditional Beliefs about the Wolf and the Crow in Central Asia

Examples from the Turkic Wu-Sun and the Mongols

Namu Jila
Asian Folklore Studies, Volume 65, 2006: 161–177
(Link)

Abstract:
"In the Chinese chronicles Shi ji and Han shu there is a story about Kun-mo, the ruler of the Wu-sun, who was abandoned as a child but survived by being fed by a wolf and a crow. This story can be found among peoples of the Altaic language group, but it also clearly resembles the story of Romulus and Remus in ancient Rome who were said to have been taken care of by a wolf and a woodpecker. There is a possibility that the motif of a child fed by an wolf and a bird may have traveled from the Near East via Rome to Central Asia to the Wu-sun, although this may not be the case for modern versions of the story among the Mongols. However, the special aspect of the Central Asian tradition is that it always features the wolf and the crow as one set. It is, therefore, suggested that this may be due not only to cooperation between the two animals as is observable in nature, but also to religious beliefs related to these animals."

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