Shor storytellers were the caretakers of their peoples culture, history and lore and would ‘unleash’ a tale that, to their listeners, was “something tangible, corporeal, animate,” they were magical and protective, told to bring joy to both people and spirits; and even on the printed page and in translation you can still catch a sense of this.
Many westerners might regard a book like this as a record of a disappearing culture and while unfortunately it is that, it is also much more than that; for many cultures are still known by wisdom different from modern ways; they hold a more direct knowledge of human foibles and fate.
This slim volume contains but two of this store of stories and leaves you wanting more. Enthralling adventures of mythic and heroic ancestors told in the voice of the people, passed down from voice to voice through the generations; you may find these tales difficult to begin with, for they are unlike the style of storytelling we are used to in the west and involve characters and a culture unknown. These are ‘wild’ tales of the hero or heroine defending hearth and home or journeying to find true love and while the themes are familiar, the manner of their telling is not – but persevere, for they are told in the authentic oral tradition and they will take hold of you.
We sometimes find the tales of others hard to interpret but if we stop listening because we don’t understand or find them difficult, we belittle both them and ourselves; but be assured, even though the familiar ‘Once upon a time’ may be missing – the hoped for ‘happily ever after’ is not! Recommended.
Book Details: Alexander and Luba Arbachakov. Shor Shamanic Epic Folktales. Moon Books (31 May 2019). ISBN: 978-1789040067.
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