Научная статья на тему 'The legend about Kondolon'

The legend about Kondolon Текст научной статьи по специальности «Языкознание и литературоведение»

Ключевые слова

Аннотация научной статьи по языкознанию и литературоведению, автор научной работы — Zavyalova O. Yu., Nikiforova E.L.

This article presents a new version of Legend of Kondolon, the main patron of the Manden hunters, recorded in 2016 in Nyagassolya village (Northern Guinea). We’ve done the analysis of this version and compared it with some other well-known versions of the myth about Kondolon and Saane. There are several variants of the myth about the founders of the hunters Kondolon and Saane. The text presented in of the article can be defined as a legend that explains the origin of the hunters’ main fetish Kondolon. Refs 10.

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Текст научной работы на тему «The legend about Kondolon»

UDC 398

Вестник СПбГУ. Востоковедение и африканистика. 2017. Т. 9. Вып. 2

O. Yu. Zavyalova, E. L. Nikiforova THE LEGEND ABOUT KONDOLON

Saint Petersburg State University, 7-9, Universitetskaya nab., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation

This article presents a new version of Legend of Kondolon, the main patron of the Manden hunters, recorded in 2016 in Nyagassolya village (Northern Guinea). We've done the analysis of this version and compared it with some other well-known versions of the myth about Kondolon and Saane.

There are several variants of the myth about the founders of the hunters Kondolon and Saane. The text presented in of the article can be defined as a legend that explains the origin of the hunters' main fetish Kondolon. Refs 10.

Keywords: Oral tradition, myth, Manden (Manding) people.


О. Ю. Завьялова, Е. Л. Никифорова

Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет, Российская Федерация, 199034, Санкт-Петербург, Университетская наб., 7-9

В настоящей статье представлена новая версия Легенды о Кондолоне, основном покровителе охотников манден, записанная в 2016 году в деревне Ньягассоля (Северная Гвинея).

Авторы дают анализ данной версии и сравнение ее с некоторыми другими известными вариантами мифа о Кондолоне и Саане. Охотничья традиция народов манден (Западная Африка) играет важную роль для африканцев. Это традиционный институт, не утративший значения и после распространения ислама. До сих пор в области Манден (Северная Гвинея) сохраняются союзы охотников.

Есть несколько вариантов мифа, повествующего о рождении братства охотников. Представленный в статье текст можно определить как легенду, объясняющую происхождение магического фетиша охотников Кондолон. По различным версиям мифа Кондолон и Саане — основатели братства охотников, брат и сестра (муж и жена или сын и мать). Библиогр. 10 назв.

Ключевые слова: устная традиция, миф, народы манден.

The hunting tradition of the West Africa, in particular that of the Manden, still plays an important role in the life of African people. It is one of the traditional institutions, which has not lost its importance with the advent of Islam.

Today, a lot of men in Manden, (the North Guinea), are included in the Union of Hunters. By the words of our informants who hold Manden tradition, only soldiers, the so-called "guardians of the quiver", earlier could become the members of the Union of Hunters (the materials of the expedition of 1999. Guinea). However, in the myth about Saane and Kondolon (Yusuf Cisse's version) it was mentioned that the first hunters did not belong to any clan or nation, they had no homeland, they lived where the wildfowl was (Saane herself was not born and she did not know the men, although she gave birth to Kondolon [1]).

The Union of Hunters is a supra-ethnic organization, not correlated with so-called clans (jamu), at least today that is so. It should be noted that the Manden have a concept of 'Donso' — a hunter, member of the Union of hunters, who was trained and passed the imitation ritual, and 'Cikela' — who is not a member of the union and can only hunt small

© Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет, 2017

animals or birds without nyama energy [1, 192]. According to the head of the hunting union in Balandugu, a hunter 'heals' the victim. For example, before carving and eating a squirrel a hunter must first cut off her tail and attach certain herbs to this place, which he always carries with him on the hunt, (only the members of the Union of Hunters has the right to receive it). Hunters differ from the cikelaw as only they are allowed to use the given means which they take from the soma (fetishers). According to the hunters stories donso differs from the cikela as he is permitted to buy this remedy from sorcerers (soma), or to produce it themselves. There are certain rules of hunting also, for example, you can't shoot a squirrel on the ground, it is necessary to wait until it climbs up a tree. Hunters are forbidden to kill any pregnant wildfowl.

For Manden region, as for the whole West Africa, hunting is an important part of life. Twenty years ago, the informants believed that a person who did not belong to the Union of Hunters could not become president. This institution is very important and influential. Manden life values have formed largely on the basis of the hunting tradition. The most common example is Manden accentuated hospitality to a stranger. Rules and regulations are reflected in the folklore and indicate close interaction between people and nature, strong dependency of the society on the world of nature and of spirits, which, in spite of the Islamization of the 21st century, is still relevant.

Hunters have become the most zealous guardians of traditions. The places of worship of spirit-patrons of the clans or villages are now being forgotten, while the hunters' rituals and places of worship of hunters' patrons are still relevant as we found it out during our expeditions in 2014, 2016.

Being in many ways the keepers of all the society's traditions, the hunters have also their own rich oral tradition. They have their own griots also, but if the ordinary griot receives his profession from the birth, the hunters griot is elected according to his talent, and can belong to any cast. At the same time they have a lot of functions besides the reciting of hunting legends; they also perform the 'fasa' — praise songs or melodies, conduct ceremonial events and keep hunters' history.

In 1236 after Sunjata Keita had defeated Sumaoro Konte and founded the empire of Mali, the oath of hunters in Kurukan Fuga was given during the adoption of the Manden Charter or Manden Kalikan [2]. It has become one of the bases of the hunting traditions as well as the base of all Manden society. Thus the hunters' oath itself is directly related to the formation of the Mali Empire and the establishment of relationships' order in it. The main points of the oath of hunters are: maintaining of norms and rules of society, providing the population with food, the abolition of slavery, torture and humiliation of others, keeping the balance with nature, protecting the savannah.

Reasoning of these statements can be found in the myth about the first hunters, Kondolon and Saane, founders and patrons of the Union of Hunters (in different versions1 they are husband and wife or brother and sister). We know more than 20 versions of this myth. We can doubt the origin of some of the oath's items and respective articles of the Charter. For example, slavery was prohibited by the both oral documents, but it disappeared only half a century ago. However, it was not the slavery in the European

1 Yusuf Tata Cisse believes that personages of Sanene and Kontron go back to Muso Koroni and Keni, ie Niakale N 'Djatara and her twin Teliko, associated with the sun. The myth represented by Yusuf Cisse also tells about the origin of names Kondolon and Sana'a.

meaning, but a social mechanism of adaptation which was included in the so-called "caste" division of the Manden society.

During an expedition in 1999 in Niagassola (the Upper Guinea) when we were collecting the historical stories about origins of the villages, members of Tarawele family told us that they had derived from a family of slaves. Earlier their family had been the only one to be sacrificed to the spirit-patron of the village, thus the wellbeing of the whole society depended on them. Human sacrifice had been demanded almost by all the spirits-landowners and spirits-patrons, later it was replaced by sacrifice of a bull. In the legend of Kondolon the need of human sacrifice to the spirit-patron is also mentioned.

Basically all versions of the myth explain the origin of the Union of Hunters («children of Sanene and Kondolon»), names of its founders, and the basic behavioral standards supported by all hunters.

Our task is not only to give a new variant of a legend about Kontoron that was recited by Samaja Jaku Dumbuya the hunter griot (from the Jaku village), written down in Niagassola, but also to compare the general motives with some other variants of a myth about Kontoron and Saane. Now there are more than twenty versions of a myth about hunters' ancestors. The following variants were taken for the analysis and comparison:

1. The Version written down by Yusuf Sisse and introduced in his article «Le mythe des divinités tutélaires de la chasse: Sanènè et Kôntrôn» [3].

2. The Version by Drissa Diakité Kuyatè [4].

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3. Baala Jinba Diakite [5].

4. And the version written down by Ch. Bailleul, recited by Z. M. Kulibali on December, 13th, 2008 in village Falaje (historical area of Beledugu).

5. Version written down during expedition of 2016 to Guinea, recited by Samaya Jaku Dumbuya the hunter griot (from the village Jaku).

The complete version written down during expedition of 2016 to Guinea:

Kontoron, bon, an be se ka do fo a ro komi a basilama. Kontoron tun ye jinei bolo kungo kono. N kan Fakumbe min ma ni, Fakumbe o y'a soro a te bere bo. O y'a soro a ma bonya kosebe. A fa k'a soro, fa ke sa, ba fana ke sa. A dilen tere min fana ma o ka lamo o fana ke sa. Sisan mogow nana a ye dugu kono k'a fo konin nin ye den min ye nin te den na marata ye.

Parce que adamaden-o-adamaden ni i be here soro i te ke togotigi ye f'i ka tooro folo quoi. I n'a fo e ye recherchir mina ye. Ko damina ka gelen quoi. Ni ye ko damina toorota caman be da i kan. O de koson n'a fo tellement ko nunun ka jan, i bere ko damina n'i ma se, mogow be se ka faamupali soro a la yoro min na. N'i ma se ka se olu ma doron a be ke i n'a fo mogow te kun ye i ka kuma la quoi.

A toorolen dugu kono o ro mogow ye kuma ko jina le ko subaga ye. Ko ni a tora dugu kono yan, a na a fa ni a ba ni a rominabaga nunnu bee faga paminman ye. A bee dugu fana ci tan kayi ka taa ka waa a lafili kungo kono a deninama. A y'i ka taa o cogoya la ka waa a lafili kungo kono. Fakumbe, a ye kasila kungo kono a deninama, a te se ka foyi ke a yere ye . Duga min yaaralan, nin duga o le k'a ye ko e! nin denin ye kasila depuis kunun. Ko nin fen do ye vraiment a hine nana duga nin na. Duga k'a ta komi jina nunnu ani dugaw kerenkerenneyala ani donsow bee ye fen kelen ye quoi. O k'a ta o cogoya la o k'a soro jine kuntigi nin o muso ko Kafubaga den tun t'o bolo.

O ka den nin ye duga bolo. Duga ko o ma ko ne waalen ka waa den nin soro ka tile fila ye nin ye ka i kasilan ko mogoninfinnu te son nata ka waa lafili. Kungo kono ko ne k'a damun ne ye do ye su le damun na an te panama damun na. O ko nalen ko ka na di i ma k'a balo. Done n'a sera a be se ka ke dugaw jigi ye don do.

Ala nana denin ka ko diya jinake nin muso ye. Jinake muso ka den nin na don ka ladon kana ke fo ka ko don quoi. O y'a soro Kontoron nin ole tere jinake nin bolo, jina donsoke nin bolo falan na. San wolonfila-o-wolonfila, a ye tun be mogoninfin do mina k'a ke ka Kontoron nin son. Kontoron a basilama sisan quoi. N'o te dooni ne te se fen fola o kan ole donsobaw ta ye.

San wolonfila-o-wolonfila a ye tun be jine bila k'a mogo do pini k'o ke ka basi nin son. San wolonfila nana ka na se a bere mogo pini fan bee ro mogo kapalen soro la. Ala k'a ke o ro jina do ye o ko ko an yere pa gwalen mogo pini ko mogo ye an yere bolo yan. K'an te Kankubaga den nin mina ko ko ke ko k'a pa fake nin son ninan wa? O ko fo jinake ye: jinamuso le fariman ka teme jinake kan. A le donsoke a muso le se a la, a le somake a muso de be se a la. Jinake ko ko a ne fe se ka fola de fo ne a y'i d'an f'a ye bawo ne bara f'a ye a be ko be lan kan. Paree que ko den t'a bolo den min don nalen kana di a ma nin, a den ka di a ye. Ne bara f'a ye, a be ko ke lan kan. A ye nalen ka na fo jinamuso ye. Jinamuso ko ko ale n'a soro k'a fo mogo ma ale ta nin ko nin te ke Kontoron son la ye feu!

A nana a ye jan fa nalen bonya n'a ka bonya. Kontoron min yere sonto y'a di ale yere tellement a ke y'a kun na a y'a ko kuru lon. Ale yere k'a ye a la nin den nin hinana a ni a ladiya n ye min y'a dusukun don. A y'a lon fene a be ke fen min di don nata quoi. Paree que mansake fitini i b'a don depuis a dogomanin fitini. A y'a ye k'a fo nunun ka janfa in. N'an mena pe fe a be se k'a ke ni ale sara a y'i bee ko k'a la soit a be se ka ke do be se ka ko gbere ke min be se ka bope nin ale ta ye. Mun te ke le o ro, fo a ke a mabo a la. A keto fen min yere fana nofe, a ko kuru be fo pitini ye ka tila ka Kontoron nin ta k'a di Fakumbe ma.

Basi Kontoron nin donya le so nin. K'a di Fakumbe ma. O dankurun ye tun yala n be se ka mun fo a kan n na min men n karamogo i la o le o di. O to ye yen a be se k'a fo mana ro. Ni a men ko Kontoron an ye a basilama min lon a ma sorolen tanni.


"Well, we ean tell something about Kondolon as a magie device. Spirits had it in the savannah. I'm going to tell you the story of Fakombe2, and he was still a baby those days. So he didn't happen to grow up yet. When he was born, his father died and so did his mother. He was given to a woman to grow him up, — and she died too. And then people of the village eame to him and assumed that this ehild should not be kept.

For all people to reaeh happiness and to beeome a well-known person, it is neees-sary to undergo a hardship at first. And here, Fakombe's hardships in the village were that people began to say that he was a spirit or a malieious soreerer. That if he was kept in the village, he would kill all inhabitants, just like he did it with his father, his mother and his wet nurse. While he was still small, he was thrown out to the savannah. Fakombe eried in the savannah, beeause he was still just a baby. He eould not do anything by himself. There

2 Fakombe is mentioned in a Charter of Manding art. 37. Fakombe was nominated ehief of hunters» [6, p.11]. Griots said that the aneestor Fakombe had been elevated to the rank of hunters proteeting deity that supervised in the Bush [7].

was a vulture3 walking in the savannah, he saw Fakombe and said: «How! This child here has been crying since yesterday». The vulture felt pity for the baby. The vultures, as well as spirits, have always helped each other with hunters. Therefore the vulture took Fakombe and brought him to the leader of the spirits. His wife was called Kankubaga, and she did not have any children.

She saw the baby in the hands of the vulture. The vulture told that he had found this child having been crying for two days after bad people had thrown him out in the savannah for the scavengers to eat him. «But I eat only offal, I do not eat alive beings, — said the vulture. — I came to give him to you so that you will raise him, after all he can once become hope for the vultures».

On a God's will, Kankubaga liked the baby a lot. She began taking care of him and raised him, Fakombe started learning some things. The head of the spirits happened to have a magic means — kondolon. He stored in a temporary outhouse in the savannah (falan). Every 7 years one person was chosen to be sacrificed to Kondolon. We are talking about Kondolon as a magic means or of him as a fetish. Telling stories about him himself is the privilege of the heads of hunters.

Every 7 years it was charged to one of the spirits to find the person to be sacrificed to the fetish. The time has come, and the spirits were looking for a suitable person all over the village. One of them asked why they were searching so much when they already had a man in the first place. He said: «Why can't we just take the child of Kankubaga this year if his father agrees? » The head of the spirits answered: «The wife of spirit is stronger than the husband. And the hunter's wife is stronger than him; the fetisher's wife is stronger than him. Perhaps, you go and talk to her? If I speak to her, she will get angry at me. Because she does not have children of her own, but since that day she has got this boy, she has got so much joy from having him. If I suggest her giving him, she will get very angry at me». And they left to have a talk with Kankubaga. She told them that it was her child, and it in any way was impossible to be sacrificed to Kondolon.

She went to a remote place, all further and further. She knew all history of Kondolon, so she took him with her in the form of a magic means. Kondolon saw the child in her hands and felt pity for him. He knew, who he was destined to become in the future. Because you can recognize a future governor even when he is still small. He told Kankubaga: «If we keep him, then before his death he will do everything he is capable of. If he dies now that someone another will grow and become that, which he is destined to become». So they kept him. Then after some time she told all to the kid, and gave the magic Kondolon to Fakombe.

That is how the magic means of Kondolon has been brought home and has been given to Fakombe. This history which I can tell you, it is how I has heard it from my teacher. And you can hear the rest in the epos. If you hear amongst us "Kondolon" whom we know it in the form of magic means, here is how it has appeared.


Kondolon ye jon kun?

Donso basi ma Kondolon bo!

Dibi Kondolon ye jon kun?

3 Duga or dugamasa is considered sacred and its stories are sung by griots and hunters. Kakoli of Wagadou had the cult of the vulture.

Donso men mana Kondolon ta,

I min'i sidi yanfa ma,

I min'i sidi kanunkeba ma,

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Kondolon d'i faga fuu!

Kanunke basi te Kondolon di.

Fakome la fida ye jon ne kun?

Sobo faga basi ma Kondolon bo.


For whom Kondolon is neeessary?

Any means eannot be eompared to Kondolon!

For whom gloomy Kondolon is neeessary?

The hunter who uses Kondolon,

If you have made treaehery,

If you have made adultery,

Kondolon will kill you!

Kondolon is no love potion.

To whom are grasses of Fakome neeessary?

Any means for murder of animals eannot be eompared to Kondolon.

The given version is not a myth about the origin of hunters where Kondolon is person or spirit. First of all it is a legend about the origin of the magie hunters' fetish with the same name. Just like griot Samaya Dumbuya has said: "only the hunting-griot masters ean tell the myth about Kondolone and Saane". The presenee of the fetish and the legend about its origin of the Manden hunters is the partieular feature of this version; anyway it has mueh in eommon with many variants of the basie hunting myth.

1. One of the first written variants of the myth (though with some religious motives, whieh, however, do not disturb the basie plot) has been presented by Youssouf Tata Cisse [3]. This is the most eomplete variant, whieh tells about the origin of names of the main hunting mythology's eharaeters, and also explains sourees of the hunting traditions and standards of their behavior.

There is a variant of the myth narrating about the birth of the hunting brotherhood. It was in Kombi, the eapital of Wagadou, there the hunters lived: Siriman and Kadiali or Simbo. They wanted to ereate a real brotherhood of hunters, preaehing grandfather's eourage, fearlessness and honor. Bida, the immortal snake4, still lived there. Sphinxes5, the avatars of great governors of Wagadou, and lynxes only eame into this overgrown savannah. Two young Kakolo6 (maninka aneestors), Simbo and Siriman, went hunting for lynx to show that, in spite of the hostile environment, they were deseendants of their aneestors Diaruw. On their way they met a Kakolo woman whose parents lived on other side of those lands — she was earrying a ehild on her baek. Suffering from thirst, the hunters killed the ehild and took away the ealabash with water from the woman. God punished them making them quarrel: their dogs tore eaeh other, and then the hunters also killed one another. The woman threw stones on their bodies damning them. Then

4 Immortal snake, whieh lived in Wagadou and required human saerifiee. [8, p. 241-251].

5 Sunjata was also ealled «Sphinx» see ibid. volume 2

6 The author eonsiders them to be the "maninka aneestors" (ka koro — to be old), though kakolo eould be 'kagoro' — a sub-group of the Mande.

God asked her what she wanted — after all he had made justice having killed hunters and their dogs. But the woman answered that she could never revenge for the murder of her innocent child. Then God inhaled life in bodies of the both hunters again. They revived and swore that they would become children for this woman. 'Saa nene' and 'kotoron' means respectively 'the cold of death' and 'to come back [to life]'. They followed the woman to her village and performed the redemptive ritual and a ritual to propitiate animals which they would kill and bring for her. The hunters gave an oath (kalikan) that they would be harmless as children were, and established the ceremonials based on any soul's protection.

The body of the killed child was buried in a place named 'dankun', which was corresponded to the space, belonged simultaneously to three areas: to inhabited land, wild thickets where wildfowl lived, and to cultivated lands (crossing dugu, wula and nako).

And since then all hunters of the Manden world are called "the children of Sanene

and Kontron".

2. Version of Drissa Diakite [9], in which we can find the name of Fa Kome, is of interest for us also. The given plot is similar to our variant as there is not only a personage Fa Kome, but a woman transmits all the secrets to hunters by means of Kondolon (though in this version, she is a spirit). But it should be noted, that in the version written down in Niagassola the fetish Kondolon is "animated" in some ways — «it liked the boy and he warned the wife of spirit that the boy would become a great leader».

According to this version Saane was a daughter of Fa Kome, the legendary hunter. She was friends with Kondolon, the forest spirit which enabled her to master the secrets of the savannah and the language of its animals and Kondolon allowed telling all the secrets to all other hunters. So Saane and Kondolon have taught hunters all their secrets and so hunters worship them exactly as their spirit-defenders.

3. In the version of the myth by Baala Jinba Diakite [5] the Hunter Mambi stole a magical fetish of Kontoron from the spirit-protector of the savannah called Nyama. He killed the spirit and buried his head in dankun. Besides Kontoron Mambi also took a musical instrument Sinbi away from the spirit, only Nyama himself could play it. This plot is similar to a story about the magic balafon of Sumaoro in the epic about Sunjata. This famous balafon which now is stored in Niagassola has a large quantity of nyama concentrated in it, so it was wrapped up in a winding sheet so that the energy would not spread. The griots may play it only a couple of times a year on great occasions (for example, on a funeral of great griots).

Mambi also took Nyama's wife with him, later a daughter was born, and they named her Saaneba, she inherited fetish Kontoron and became a great hunter. After her death, Saane and Kontoron became objects of hunters' worship.

Almost all versions of the myth about Sana'a and Kondolon explain that the basic knowledge and skills of hunters and their fetishes (boli or basi7) were in one way or another obtained from the spirits. In some versions guardian-spirits appear (jine or jina), in others — dwarf-spirits living in the forest (wokilo or komokodonin8). In Niagassola hunt-

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7 basi — fetish, magical means. In Nyagassolya the word usually means a magic tool basi (more) may be a remedy, usually in powder form; however, here it means an idol, a kind of a thing containing a magical power Nyama.

8 Our informants in Niagassola and Balandugu told us that komokuru/komokudunin are spirits of small height (1-1,5 meters) with long straight hair ("similar to pineapple ") and long arms. They live

ers told us that the spirits who hunt and can help hunters are called gère, komokodonin or wokilo, the later, however, is more dangerous and vecious than gère9. Spirits (jine) to Manden often serve as teachers or assistants; they are the true owners of the land, so they largely appear in all the legends about the origins of villages, epic legends and fairy tales. Hunters say that they and "spirits are engaged in the same activity" — they watch over the order in the savannah. So in the version before us, it is the spirits play a major role in saving Fakombe, though they should offer him to a fetish. And when the people wanted to kill him, then it is the savannah animal and spirits who rescue him, and through him the people are given a strong fetish and the hunting secrets.

In one version of the myths recorded by Charles Bailleul in 2008 in the village of Falaje, a killing of a pregnant hyena10 was followed by a removal of the dead cub and its burial. In other versions — motif of the infanticide is also found in the myth about Kon-dolon. In many fairy tales and legends there also are motives of killing or wounding of a spirit's child (by mistake) that leads then through the redemption to friendship and mutual assistance between spirits and humans. Often it is a story of persecution or attempted murder of the child by people from his village, and then the animals or spirits help him and save him. All this shows the relationship of two worlds, emphasizing the inhostility of the alien world and the need for mutual understanding with it. For hunters it is important to take care of young animals in the savanna and pregnant animals, in order to maintain the population. This prohibition specifically is stipulated in the oath of hunters.

The main subject of almost all variants of the myth is dedication (mother to son, brothers or husbands11). Most of the known variants of this myth focus on the origins of hunting system of relations, «the code of honor», rather than on the origin of their union. The citizens of Niagassola claim Sana'a and Kondolon to be hunters, brother and sister, but no one could answer why a woman had been going on a hunt, which is contrary to all norms of behavior in Manden. Much more logical is to assume that they were two brothers (as in the first version of the myth), that is consonant with the story about the brothers in the epic about Sundiata.

in forests, not far from rivers, they ean often be found in the branehes of the mango tree. They know all mysteries of the forest. Some told that komokuru ean give you a headaehe, if you meet him in the savannah. Some reeoned that wokilo and wokulo and komokuru are the same ereature, others elaimed them to be different. In Conakry In Conakry told that they are to live in forests and their feet are turned baekwards (the same in Mali). The deseription of these spirits ean be found also in the artiele by Youssouf Cisse « Les nains et l'origine des boli de ehasse ehez les Malinke » [10].

9 In Balaninkoro these spirits were deseribed as fat dwarves with long hair of a major strength, having blaek skin, being able to speak to humans (deseription similar to komokodonin and wokilo). They ean live anywhere: either in the savannah, or in the village. Some people say that they are usually invisible, although one of the informants, Bala Keita (Niagassola) elaimed that these spirits ean be seen and even talked to, but they ean also kill a man. Among the bamana gwede is a hunter spirit of short height.

10 The episode with the murdered hyena has no logieal eontinuation in the version transeribed by C. Bailleul and is probably a rudiment of the earlier versions, a motif praetieally forgotten that lost its meaning. However the hyena was a totemie animal of one of the most influential seeret eommunities, it was a symbol of wisdom and longevity (traees of whieh ean be found in the arehaie fairy tales), after disintegration of this eommunity the image of a hyena has beeome a symbol of foolishness and greediness, as it is deseribed in the most fairy tales.

11 In different versions Sanene ean be Kondolon's mother, wife, sister or she-friend. Referenees to badenya m fadenya are quite often — matrilineal or patrilineal relation between brother and sister simultaneously, — it is an aspeet often aeeented in the epies of the West Afriea.

Yu. Sisse suggests Sanene being a mother to Kondolon, as a mother's love is more pure and faithful12. In the Manden epic tradition a mother or a matrilineal sister is usually the source of absolute support and sacrifice to a man, but not his wife. A wife in the stories and in the hunting tales will soon act in the form of traitor. In the legend recorded in Nyagassolya theme of motherly love is also great, although the mother of Fakome was not biological, but her love and devotion to him is even more pronounced. Kondolon in some stories protects a hunter from an unfaithful wife; rejection from adultery is included in the hunters' oath (for hunters who spend all day and night in the bushes the question of adultery is very relevant), which, in turn, can speak in favor of the version about the wife and husband. But it seems to us that it is more recent myth variants, as the theme of love and loyalty is especially not typical for classical oral traditions of the Manden. The recorded version of the legend does not include explanation of the concept of dankun, although the hunters in Nyagassolya and Balandugu go there (dankun) as to a place of worship (soliyoro), where only members of the Union of Hunters can come. They worship Kondolon and Sana'a there and make sacrifices. In some versions of the myth dankun is a burial place (of a child, the head of Kondolon, or of a spirit called Nyama). In the version recorded by Bailleul there is no explanation of the emergence of the dankun, but the motif of the murdered baby hyena echoes in the story of the child who was killed (although there is no its further development) and states that it was laid on the ground, where we can see the similarity with the explanation of the dankun. Anyway, in most cases dankun if referred to as a burial place of great Nyama energy. The specificc feature of the version told in Nyagassolya is that Kondolon is a fetish and not a spirit or a person, there is no Sana'a, but the story Fakombe, great hunter, is told.

The above versions of the legend of Kondolone Sana'a are very different. The second one claimed to be the fundamental myth seems really more archaic, but the appearance of God as an active protagonist is doubtful, because this character is not typical for the traditional myth Bamana. The myth itself is aimed primarily to explain the origin of the ethics of hunters, and also gives the etymology of the origin of the names of the founders of the hunters. The version of Nyagassolya stands apart as devoted not to the hunters themselves, but to a fetish carrying their name. Note that in Nyagassolya everyone is familiar with the version about a man and a woman (husband and wife or brother and sister), the hunters who became the founders of the Union of Hunters. This legend storyteller himself directly pointed that he cannot tell the myth of Kondolon and Sana'a, as it can only be done by a head the hunting union and union chief griots hunters. In our version there are key points similar with versions Baala Jinba Diakite, where Kontoron also as a potent fetish, derived from a spirit, is also involved, as well as the wife of the spirit. In addition Kôntôrôn Manbi managed to win Sinbi.

There also is a similarity with a version of Drissa Diakite, where hunter Fa Kome Saane's father, who becomes patron of hunters along with his friend Kontoron.


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12 Yu. Sisse quotes the hunters who claimed saying Sanene was Kondolon's wife was blasphemy [1, p. 178].

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For citation: Zavyalova O. Y., Nikiforova E. L. The legend about Kondolon. Vestnik SPbSU. Asian and African Studies, 2017, vol. 9, issue 2, pp. 220-229. DOI: 10.21638/11701/spbu13.2017.209.

Received 01.12.2016 Accepted 28.02.2017

Контактная информация

Завьялова О. Ю. — кандидат филологических наук; jontan@mail.ru Никифорова Е. Л. — nikikatileo@gmail.com

Zavyalova O. Yu. — PhD; jontan@mail.ru Nikiforova E. L. — nikikatileo@gmail.com