Yuliya Suhrobova


In the article the folk tales are investigated which were created under the influence of cultural exchange between the Turkic peoples of the Crimean space. Despite the originality of oral folk arts, the fairy-tales of the Crimean Tatars, Krymchaks, Karaites demonstrate clearly marked typicality.

There is a bright technique of composing eastern fairy-tales in traditional folk arts of theCrimea. A great number of vivid characters of local origin coexist with Lukhman-Khekim, Iblis, sultans and padishahs, scoundrel Tilki or robber Amet, a wise donkey; you can even recall mysterious creatures which inhabited theCrimeain antiquity. Action takes place not only in the Crimea, but also in Istambul, Middle Asia,Egypt. In diverse Crimean-Turkic folklore you can come across both historical personalities such as Crimean khans Mengli-girey, Arslan-girey, Krym-girey, the Turkish sultan Suleyman the Wonderful, and all kinds of evil spirits (Shaytan is a moslem devil, Azhdaga); a lot of geographical realities of the peninsula appear there.

It is necessary to emphasize that in Turkic (as well as in other easten variants) fairy tales the role of judge is performed by a woman. In such fairy tales she has self-respect, behaves with dignity and is not presented as a worn out and scared woman as she was described in classical variants. She acts as a reliable person, adviser and helper to her husband. And may be in the life of the East and West, the crossing of which is theCrimea, the external obedience, humility of woman concealed her quick-wittedness and ability to overcome the most difficult obstacles.

It is of particular importance to mention the functional image of an Old Man of Wisdom in Turkic folklore. Domination in becoming of archetype of an Old Wise Man in Turkic myth creation is refered to the highest level – the deity of Tengri, a mighty being. Tengri, the sky-god, husband of goddess Umay, controls everything in the world and is characterized by such features as: creative (gives power to khaganate, creates the state); protective (defends Turkic people from enemies); controlling people’s fates (determines life span); punitive (punishes the enemies of khaganate, as well as sinful Turkic people).

The Turkic people of theCrimeadistinguish the spirits of earth and water and refer them to an independent category. These spirits live not in celestial sphere, not in the Underworld, but in an earthly sphere, just where a man exists. A man considers them to be his defenders who give him worldly goods, and punishers, who send illnesses for disrespect to them. Thus, a lot of Crimean Tatars believe that this creature in the image of white-bearded old man helps people by increasing their wealth, protecting their life and providing health.

The geatest semantic emphasis in the formation of archetypic image of an Old Wise Man is placed on gods of roads. The researchers of the Turkic mythological system characterize them in the following way: the god of roads on a bright horse is in constant motion, he establishes a relationship with a man and makes him happy; the black god of roads is the master of black way, he sends illnesses on people and cures them himself.

The direct connection of these gods with people and making people happy or unhappy, presentation of one of these gods in the image of a white-bearded old man approaches them to positive and negative modification of archetypic image of an Old Wise Man respectively, whose semantic center widens, and he obtains the functions of donator of happiness and master of way on the horse. All above mentioned descriptions to a greater or lesser extent are transformed in folklore of both native Turkic people of theCrimeaand Turkic people–migrants.

In the Turkic folklore tradition the role of an old man is not limited to mythological presentations; an old man is presented as a keeper of life experience, knowledge and customs, as if he passes into the category of ancestors, becomes intermediary between the living and dead, between people and spirits. The image of an old man, possessing the centuries-old experience and pure wisdom, becomes the point of connection of mythological, religious notions and particular, traditionally respectful attitude towards elderly people, wisdom, awarenesses of closeness of old people with the world of ancestors in the world outlook of Turkic people.

The cultural experience of Turkic people of theCrimeaobtained for ages, was condensed in archetypic image of an old man, synthesizing a mythological world outlook and sociocultural relations between people, an individual and  community (a group). The staging changes of archetype of a Wise Man in mythological and folklore traditions of different ethnos formed the archetypic image of Turkic culture. He symbolizes the spiritual and parental wisdom (of Great Father of sky) and own male dominance in the Turkic culture localized in the image of the Cultural hero.

What concerns the theme of ethnocultural parallels, the fairy-tales are a peculiar intertwined knot of various unique folklore traditions, in which dialectically the common Turkic origin of different people is combined with the local Crimean origin. Developing identically, the fairy-tales of Turkic people of theCrimeadepict the social contradictions, elements of spiritual and material culture of different epochs. In the process of historical interrelations the cultural exchange between people constantly occurred, that influenced fairy-tales as well. That is why this genre of Turkic people of theCrimeahas a lot in common as for subject, ideological problems, composition of work of art, determining the originality of folk arts of Turkic macroethnos of the peninsula.


fairy-tale; turkic fairy-tale; originality; typicality; macroethnos