Maria Dordzhieva, About Snakes With Horns
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Terbish, B., & Churyumova, E. (2018). Maria Dordzhieva, About Snakes With Horns [Video file]. https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.24020
In this interview Maria recounts her encounter with a big snake that she claims was the spiritual master of a local place. Maria: We have a place called Ar Khar which is not far from here. There I saw a snake with horns in 1957. The female of that snake lived in Chernaya Balka. When we, Kalmyks, were on our way back from Siberia, we stopped in Yarlovoe. The next day we moved on to our native places. I arrived here on 6 June 1956. I narrowly escaped death from a snake in Ar Khar. We were in a car with a Russian driver. The snake attacked the car from behind and broke it. I survived. Bair: Was the snake big? Maria: It was huge! Later my brother saw its female in Chernaya Balka. When you see a snake with horns, do not get afraid. Put a white cloth in front of it. It crawls to the cloth where it sheds its horns. But we did not know about this back then. We got scared, cried, and ran away. I was crying. The driver also saw it and got scared. The snake attacked the car from the behind and broke it. Bair: Where did the snake have its horn? Maria: The snake was this big (shows). Its head was stretched out and it had a horn a bit smaller than that of a cow. We were collecting sorrel (for a soup) for a sanatorium. Later Vaska Molokanov also saw that snake. Bair: How did you know that the female of that snake lives in Chernaya Balka? Maria: When I went home, my mother’s girlfriends told me that similar snakes lived in the vicinity. Our elders rebuked me: ‘Why didn’t you put a white cloth on the ground? The snake would have shed its horn and left you in peace’. Bair: What happened afterwards? Maria: I got married, and in 1958 gave birth to my oldest daughter. In 1959 Badma’s relative worked in a dairy sovkhoz Buratinskiy. When he was riding a horse, he heard the milkmaids cry that they had seen a snake. He chased the snake on his horse. After that, no one saw the snake again. Bair: Again, how did you save yourself from the snake? Maria: I fell, cried and became ill. We were on our way to the first farm. There were three Kalmyk and one Russian girl with us. When I got ill, my uncles brought the lama Pyurvya Bovaev on their cart. He was already an old man. He looked at me and said: ‘Don’t worry. She will live a long time’. It turned out that I had polluted a place. I wanted to urinate, which I did behind the bushes. I was shaking off my dress when the snake came out. It is forbidden to urinate near water. After this incident, I stopped urinating in ditches. Snakes are the masters of land.
Snake, horns, spiritual master, traditional bans
Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.24020
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/