LW/T 22: Abkhazian Folktales

Artikel-Nr.: ISBN 9783895867972
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Abkhazian Folktales

(with grammatical introduction, translation, notes, and vocabulary)

George Hewitt
SOAS, London

The inspiration for this introduction to folk-texts in Abkhaz (North West Caucasian) was the late Helma van den Berg's parallel collection of folk-literature for the North East Caucasian Dargi people (Dargi Folktales, CNWS 2001). The small volume entitled 'Oral Tales of the Abkhazians' (in Abkhaz) published in 2000 by the Abkhazian folklorist Zurab Dzhap’ua (Dzhap’wa) provided the source for the selection of the twenty texts which are here presented in original Cyrillic-based script and accompanied by IPA-transcription, morphological analysis, morpheme-glosses, annotation and translation; the volume starts with an extensive grammatical sketch of Abkhaz and ends with a vocabulary. Included myths describe the creation of the world, an Abkhazian version of Noah and the flood, man's relations with the Prince of the Dead, and God's expulsion of the Devil from heaven. The Abkhazian version of the Greek Prometheus is Abrskj’yl, and five stories relate the cycle of his birth, exploissts and death; an appendix presents for comparison a poem by the Georgian Vazha-Pshavela on the fate of the Georgian equivalent to this hero, Amiran. It is hoped that this book will complement the eleven Abkhazian tales gathered from Abkhazians in Turkey and published with French translation by Georges Dumézil in his Etudes Abkhaz (1967) and that it will at the same time contribute to a better understanding in the English-speaking world of Abkhazian society through its legends.

ISBN 9783895867972. Languages of the World/Text Collections 22. 340pp. 2005.

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