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Anna Mandzhieva, About Luugin Sum (A Dragon's Arrow)

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Dovurkaev, Karu 
Churyumov, Anton 


Anna relays a story she heard from her father-in-law who claimed to have found a luugin sum (a dragon’s arrow). There is a belief that only those who are supposed to find it, find a luugin sum. Having said this, not all who do find it can benefit equally. A luugin sum looks like a small lump of metal. It falls from the sky during lightening. Once fallen, it is only after about eight years that it resurfaces from under ground. The luugin sum is used in the treatment of swellings not only in humans but also in livestock. Especially cows and sheep that have their udder swollen, for example during suckling, can be effectively treated with a luugin sum by touching or massaging the swollen part with it. Anna keeps her father-in-law’s luugin sum on her domestic altar along with other gods. Sometimes she lends it to others in need. Anna points out that her luugin sum has helped many people. When people return the luugin sum they are supposed to give her white and red coins, which is a custom. Anna heard from her father-in-law the following legend about luugin sum. Once upon a time monks prepared an elixir of longevity in a cup. While they were away, a dragon drank the elixir and filled the cup with its urine. Upon their return, the monks decided to shoot the dragon down. But the dragon flew high up beyond their reach to the sun. Since then the dragon returns to earth during solar eclipses. It is the arrow with which it was shot that falls from the sky.



traditional medicine, legend, monks, dragon’s arrow, treatment

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.