The Girl and Mangimi
Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories
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Submitted by: Yuri Klitsenko

[Ed. Note] We find it very interesting how much violence and lack of love is depicted in this supposed fairy tale for children.  It is totally ungodly, but does add insight into the culture.

Fairy tale «The Girl and Mangimi» was written down by Xenia Ivanovna Voronina-Salatkina. K.I.Voronina-Salatkina was born in 1912 in settlement Botalina, Kirinsky area of the Irkutsk region, in a family of Evenki nomad. Her parents wandered on the small rivers of Chaika and Chuja - inflows of the river Lena. The first fairy tales she has heard in the childhood from the mum Agrippina Tihonovna Salatkina (1873-1959), then began to write down fairy tales in Evenki language, to process them and to collect.

«The Girl and Mangimi» fairy tale plot: Evenki nomads has moved from the river to the big lake; the daughter on a reindeer left camp to  returns to collect the forgotten toy representing reindeer; the evil ghost mangimi finds a toy and pursues the girl, devouring feet and a body of a deer; escaping the girl flies on a head of a reindeer; relatives do not transport the girl through lake; lake waters part to let the girl pass and to absorb mangimi (K.I.Voronina-Salatkina "Borbolen: Evenki folk fairy tales, legends, legends", Krasnoyarsk, 1987).


G.M.Vasilevich's collection «Materials on Evenki (Tungus) folklore», Leningrad, 1936, contains a similar fairy tale of Sym river Evenkis (№ 42, Gurivul). Changing the place of nomadic camp Evenkis have passed the river; the girl together with a reindeer and a dog returns on the other bank where the bear plays with girl’s forgotten toys; the bear catches girl wishing to swallow her up; the fox releases the girl; parents do not wish to rescue the daughter; in despair the girl sings: "a rock, a rock, slip, slip; crush, crush my father, my mother, my uncle, my aunt"; ostyak (foreigner) transports her by the boat; the girl says to the bear that she has waded the river; the bear enters into water and sinks.

Analyzing Sym version, A.N.Varlamov marks: «If to penetrate more deeply into the meaning of the text connection with Evenki funeral ceremony can be traced… The girl escapes from a bear who is going to eat her up, overtakes her parents and asks them to help her to pass the river to reach them. All relatives refuse to assist her. From this it is clear that the girl have been compelled to return purposely. Dialogue of the girl and a bear specifies reindeer and dog as animal sacrifices at a funeral ceremony. And the girl herself was sacrifice to a bear-spirit» (A.N.Varlamov, Game in Evenki folklore, Moscow, 2007).

In a fairy tale «The Girl and Mangimi» flight of the heroine on a head of a reindeer also can be connected with Evenki funeral symbolism – the girl, probably, has been “given”, “left" to the spirit: «Mangimi has caught up and has torn off hind legs and body of a reindeer. The reindeer runs on two forelegs. The girl sits on his neck clinging for a head. The reindeer keeps on running. Mangimi has ended eating reindeer’s body and again pursues the girl. Mangimi has caught up and has torn off foreleg of a reindeer. The reindeer flies, jumping on one leg. Mangimi has eaten reindeer’s foreleg and continues pursuing. Has caught up and has torn off the last foot. The girl has straighten her hands and flies on reindeer’s neck».

«The girl has run up to lake and began to ask:

- Mother-lake, please, hide your waters into the earth! All water of lake has left at once into the earth. The girl on a dry bottom of the lake has run across to the camp, has looked back and sees: mangimi has run up to lake and passes the lake on a dry bottom. The girl again asks lake:

- The mother-lake, please, flood mangimi with waters!

The lake was quickly filled with waters, and mangimi got drowned».

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