ჰეროიკული წარსულის მისტერია ხალხურ გადმოცემებში
Representations of the past - whether true or fi ctional - are the property of both the collective and of and the individual and are refl ected in various genres of folk narratives. This paper examines the mystic heroes of Georgian folklore in the context of international motifs of a “sleeping hero”, according to epic and fairytale plots. In 1947 Georgian folklorist Mikheil Chikovani collected and prepared for publication all variants of Amiraniani, 92 texts written down in Georgia from the early 19th century until the 1940s (Chikovani, 1947). In these texts there are also other fairytale and epic heroes who are already dead when meeting Amiran but they still remain active adversaries: Tsamtsum, Ambri, an unknown giant and others. Some archival texts of Amiraniani contain an inserted story about a speaking skull telling about old times, when milk oozed from broken bread, but now evil rules the world. While studying the traditional stories of Europe and Middle East, Stith Thompson noted that it is diffi cult to draw a sharp line between actual beliefs and fi ction and “many traditions strongly attached to particular places or persons have tendencies to wander, so that it is frequently hard to determine the original location or person about whom the legend grew up.” (Thompson, 1977: 264). A motif has a broad defi nition that enables it to be used as a basis for literary and folkloristic research. It is a narrative unit, and as such it is dynamic, which determines with which other motifs it can be combined. Thus, motifs constitute the basic building blocks of narratives. On pragmatic grounds, making a clear distinction between a motif and a type is not possible because the boundaries are not distinct (Uther 2004: 10). Folklorists often use the terms “collective unconscious” and “collective memory” for explaining the meaning of the term “tradition” (Guenon, 1997: 139). In the earliest period of the study of Amiraniani there appeared many theories. The majority of scholars considered the legend of Amiran as a pre-Christian myth. In the scholarly literature, since the 19th century, especially in the works by Caucasiologists and Orientalists, Amiran has been often compared to the Greek Prometheus, because both characters were punished by being chained to a mountain. Other scholars regard the tale of Amiran as a myth infl uenced by Christian religion. From the perspective of folktale study, the cycle of Amiraniani presents well-known motifs as follows: Culture hero still alive [Mot.A570], Culture hero asleep on the mountain [Mot.A571], Culture hero (divinity) returns [Mot.A581], etc. In the 19th century, when in Europe countries raised literary, scholarly and ideological interest for folklore, collecting of traditional oral narratives was essential in those regions which were under the control of great empires. Folklore genres such as folktales, epic stories, ballads, legends and memorabilia were associated with the romanticized concept of heroic past of the national history. It is not surprising that folkloric texts, recorded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries reveal legendary characters as symbols of heroic past. Collective memory works eff ectively for those heroes, whose deeds are monumental. The images of the heroes became popular much thanks to the concept that they never die. In the oral narrative tradition the motif of immortal heroes organize experience in a permanently memorable form.
ზეპირსიტყვიერება, ეპიკური სიუჟეტი, საზღაპრო მოტივი, oral narrative, epics, fairy-tale motif
იაკობ გოგებაშვილისადმი მიძღვნილი ქართველოლოგიური სამეცნიერო კონფერენცია, თეზისები, 2021 გვ.: 43-48/ KARTVELOLOGICAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE DEDICATED TO IAKOB GOGEBASHVILI, Abstracts, 2021, p.: 43-48