V. V. Illarionov, T. V. Illarionova, O. N. Dmitrieva
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018


This article is dedicated to olonkhosuts – carriers and keepers of epic tradition of the Sakha people who from the depths of centuries have created and have kept epic stories about epic heroes of an Aiyy in live oral tradition and have kept for us the Yakut heroic epos, a masterpiece of oral and non-material heritage of all mankind. The Yakut epos – olonkhо is the greatest monument of folklore reflecting in a bright art form the way of life, the world outlook and moral principles of the people, first of all, their century old dream of creation of peaceful life with neighboring people. In olonkho the internal essence of the Yakut people is completely revealed, their kindness, humanity and proud independent spirit which throughout centuries full of difficult historical events, has allowed Sakha people to keep their language, their original spiritual culture. The heroic epos olonkho is the main genre in the system of genres of oral and poetic creativity of the Sakha people. In their form they are large poetic legends consisting of 5–10 or 15–25 thousand verses and more, depending on the volume of the epic work. Sometimes larger epic texts are found. So, olonkho "Nyurgun Bootur Stremitelny", recreated by P.A. Oyunsky, contains 36 thousand poetic lines. The epic text "Tuigong" about three generations of epic heroes, written down in the 1960s according to the olonkhosut of the Ust-Aldansky district R.P. Alekseev and published in three books, consists of about 50 thousand lines. The term olonkho designates not only a genre concept, but also separate works of this genre which usually are called by the name of the main character: "Nyurgun Bootur Stremitelny", "Er Sogotokh", "Kulun Kullustuur", "Yuryung Uolan", "Muldju Bege", etc. Basing on biographical particulars of olonkhosut and other sources, it is possible to note that storytellers have kept over 300 various epic legends in remembrance. Among them an important place was held by olonkho about females: "Kyys Nyurgun", "Kyys Tuygun", "Kyys Debeliye", and Kyys Kyydaan» and their plots undoubtedly have reflected the most ancient layers of the archaic epos. Olonkhosut – the storyteller performer of olonkho, is the carrier of epic traditions of the people. Many olonkhosuts are hereditary storytellers: their skill and talent passes from father to son. However, the majority of olonkhosuts – are gifted people mastering the art of storytelling from masters of older generations. It is a long process of accumulation of skills and training of excellent memory. The art of storytelling demands from the olonkhosut first of all possession of a singing gift and the ability of penetration into the world of olonkho.

Keywords: Olonkhо, olonkho tellers, epic tradition, storytelling, epos, art, epic repertoire, carrier, keeper.

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