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Duel in the Form of a Wheel or Flame in Legends of Belief and Tales

Demény, István Pál (2003) Duel in the Form of a Wheel or Flame in Legends of Belief and Tales. Acta Ethnographica Hungarica, 48 (3-4). pp. 353-365. ISSN 1216-9803

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Abstract

One of the characteristics of the táltos (shaman) in Hungarian legends of belief is that from time to time they struggle with each other in the form of a bull, less often of a horse or deer, or in their own human form. In two rare versions known only in Hungarian, they struggle in the form of flames or wheels. The motif also occurs in the tale of the “Freeing a heavenly body” type, of which 8 Hungarian, 4 Romanian and 1 Slovak variants are known. In the Hungarian tales the transformation is recommended by the dragon and the wheels struggling with each other are in opposition principally in their material (e.g. wood, paper, ore/iron), and the flames in their colour (blue/red). The positive hero seeks help from a raven, a crow or his older brothers, and the helper most often pours water on the opponent. The heroes struggle beside a bridge. The hero/opponent/ blue/red opposition is known from Turkic-Mongol shaman struggles. Among the neighbouring peoples the material of the wheel, the colour of the flames and the form of help appear to be of Hungarian origin. The closest parallels to the motif of duel with helper derive from the heroic epic of the Yurak Samoyeds. It seems likely that the legends of belief go back to some old world of beliefs independently of the tale.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation / földrajz, antropológia, kikapcsolódás > GT Manners and customs / néprajz, szokások, hagyományok
Depositing User: xBarbara xBodnár
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2017 07:26
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2017 07:26
URI: http://real.mtak.hu/id/eprint/57311

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