Northern Khanty

The old man and the swans

A folktale about an old man whose wife and sisters metamorphose into white swans and come to visit him in his home.

Recording: The story was recorded in Katravozh in 1990 by Irina Nikolaeva.

Note: The text was published in Nikoaleva (1999).

Speakers

  • ur lɔr pŭtar-na wɔtem ńŭk-i ur χɔt lɔj-ə-s. śiti u-s-ŋən im-eŋən ik-eŋən. imŏsa pŏraj-na wan u-s-ŋən, χŭw u-s-ŋən, im-el ik-el pela law-ə-l: “iki, wɔs-na jăŋχ-a.” iki law-ə-l pa: “năŋ jăχ-l-ə-n ki, śi.” im-el law-ə-l: “năŋ jăŋχ-a.” im-el χŭw pa χŭw ănta u-s, imŏsaj-na im-el măn-ə-mt-ə-s wɔs-na pɔχəl măr-ə-m sij-na, pŏskan măr-ə-m sij-na. im-el măn-ə-m jŭpi-na iki jelən lajləs-l, păsaŋ elti ɔməs-l. imŏsaj-na χul-l-ə-lli: pŏskan măr-ə-m sij, pɔχəl măr-ə-m sij śi sijməll-ə-s. kim etm-ə-s pa śikəńśa wŭl lɔr kŭtəp-na χuləm nawi χŏtəŋ lat-m-el. χuləm nawi χŏtəŋ lat-m-el, jŏχi laŋ-em-ə-s iki, păsaŋ elti il ɔms-ə-s.
    forest lake vicinity-LOC grey cover-PROPR forest house stand-0-PST so be-PST-3DU woman-DU old:man-DU once time-LOC short be-PST-3DU long be-PST-3DU woman-3SG old:man-3SG towards say-0-NONPST old:man town-LOC walk-IMP old:man say-0-NONPST and 2SG walk-NONPST-0-2SG if DP woman-3SG say-0-NONPST 2SG walk-IMP woman-3SG long and long NEG be-PST one-LOC woman-3SG go-0-INCH-0-PST town-LOC herd make:din-0-NMLZ.PF noise-LOC [gun] make:din-0-NMLZ.PF noise-LOC woman-3SG go-0-NMLZ.PF behind-LOC at:home wait-NONPST table from sit-NONPST one-LOC hear-NONPST-0-SG.3SG [gun] make:din-0-NMLZ.PF noise herd make:din-0-NMLZ.PF make:din-0-NMLZ.PF noise FOC make:noise-0-PST out come:forth-0-PST and DP big lake middle-LOC three white swan sit-NMLZ.PF-3PL three white swan sit-NMLZ.PF-3PL homewards enter-INCH-0-PST old:man table from down sit-0-PST
    лес озеро vicinity-ЛОК grey покрыть-ПРОПР лес дом стоять-0-ПРОШ так быть-ПРОШ-3ДВ женщина-ДВ старик-ДВ однажды время-ЛОК short быть-ПРОШ-3ДВ длинный быть-ПРОШ-3ДВ женщина-3ЕД старик-3ЕД в:направлении сказать-0-NONPST старик город-ЛОК идти-ИМП старик сказать-0-NONPST and 2ЕД идти-NONPST-0-2ЕД if DP женщина-3ЕД сказать-0-NONPST 2ЕД идти-ИМП женщина-3ЕД длинный and длинный НЕГ быть-ПРОШ один-ЛОК женщина-3ЕД идти-0-ИНХ-0-ПРОШ город-ЛОК herd make:din-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ noise-ЛОК [ружье] make:din-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ noise-ЛОК женщина-3ЕД идти-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ за-ЛОК at:home ждать-NONPST стол от сидеть-NONPST один-ЛОК слышать-NONPST-0-ЕД.3ЕД [ружье] make:din-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ noise herd make:din-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ make:din-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ noise ФОК шуметь-0-ПРОШ из come:forth-0-ПРОШ and DP большой озеро середина-ЛОК три белый swan сидеть-НМЛЗ.ПРФ-3МН три белый swan сидеть-НМЛЗ.ПРФ-3МН homewards войти-ИНХ-0-ПРОШ старик стол от down сидеть-0-ПРОШ
    Near to a wooded lake there stood a grey tent. A wife lived there with her husband. Once, after a long or a short time, the wife said to her husband; “Old man, go to town.” The old man said: “Go yourself.” The wife said: “You go.” After a long or a short time the wife set off for town with the din of thunder, with the din of a gun. After his wife left, the old man waited at home and sat at the table. Suddenly the din of a gun, the din of thunder could be heard. He went outside and in the middle of the big lake three white swans were sitting. Three white swans were sitting, the old man came home and sat down at the table.
  • păsaŋ elti il ɔms-ə-s, wan ɔms-ə-s, χŭw ɔms-ə-s iki, imŏsaj-na lujt-ə-ŋ jɔs-pi χuləm niŋ, χănsəŋ săχ-pi χuləm niŋ, kurt-eŋ sew-pi χuləm niŋ jŏχi śi pit-s-ə-t. i jɔs-l-al-na kat-l-ə-t asar jiŋk-i i kew an, i mawi jiŋk-i i kew an. śiti law-l-ə-t: “iki, iki, iki, tăm tel-ij-en jeńś-i sa.” itta iki law-ə-l: “ma śiti năŋ tel ăn χŏl tu-l-em? iśi χɔrpi kurteŋ sew, iśi χɔrpi lujt-ə-ŋ jɔs-pi, iśi χɔrpi χănsəŋ săχ-pi niŋ ma pa tăj-l-ə-m. iśi χɔrpi mawi jiŋk, iśi χɔrpi asar jiŋk lŭw χălewət pa tu-l.” itta niŋ-ə-t χŭw pa χŭw ăn lɔj-s-ə-t, wan pa wan ăn lɔj-s-ə-t, kărem-ə-s-ə-t pa itta pa χŏl-na măn-l-ə-t pɔχəl măr-ə-m sij-na, pɔskan măr-ə-m sij-na.
    table from down sit-0-PST short sit-0-PST long sit-0-PST old:man one-LOC ring-0-PROPR arm-PROPR three woman decorated coat-PROPR three woman iron-PROPR scythe-PROPR three woman homewards-FOC start-PST-0-3PL one hand-PL-3SG-LOC seize-NONPST-0-3PL bitter water-PROPR one stone vessel one sweet water-PROPR one stone vessel so say-NONPST-0-3SG old:man old:man old:man this full-DIM-2SG drink-IMP.SG only that old:man say-0-NONPST 1SG so 2SG full vessel where bring-NONPST-SG.1SG same like iron-PROPR scythe, same like ring-0-PROPR arm-PROPR same like decorated coat-PROPR 1SG and have-NONPST-0-1SG same like sweet water same like bitter water 3 tomorrow and bring-NONPST that woman-0-PL long and long NEG stand-PST-0-3PL short and short NEG stand-PST-0-3PL turn-0-PST-0-3PL and DP and where-LOC go-NONPST-0-3PL herd make:din-0-NMLZ.PF noise-LOC [gun] make:din-0-NMLZ.PF noise-LOC
    стол от down сидеть-0-ПРОШ short сидеть-0-ПРОШ длинный сидеть-0-ПРОШ старик один-ЛОК ring-0-ПРОПР arm-ПРОПР три женщина decorated верхняя:одежда-ПРОПР три женщина iron-ПРОПР scythe-ПРОПР три женщина homewards-ФОК начать-ПРОШ-0-3МН один рука-МН-3ЕД-ЛОК seize-NONPST-0-3МН bitter вода-ПРОПР один камень vessel один sweet вода-ПРОПР один камень vessel так сказать-NONPST-0-3ЕД старик старик старик этот full-ДИМ-2ЕД drink-ИМП.ЕД only тот старик сказать-0-NONPST 1ЕД так 2ЕД full vessel где принести-NONPST-ЕД.1ЕД same любить iron-ПРОПР scythe, same любить ring-0-ПРОПР arm-ПРОПР same любить decorated верхняя:одежда-ПРОПР 1ЕД and have-NONPST-0-1ЕД same любить sweet вода same любить bitter вода 3 завтра and принести-NONPST тот женщина-0-МН длинный and длинный НЕГ стоять-ПРОШ-0-3МН short and short НЕГ стоять-ПРОШ-0-3МН turn-0-ПРОШ-0-3МН and DP and где-ЛОК идти-NONPST-0-3МН herd make:din-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ noise-ЛОК [ружье] make:din-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ noise-ЛОК
    He sat down at the table, sat a long or a short time, suddenly three women with rings on their hands, in beautiful fur coats, three women with iron scythes, three women came into the house. In one hand they carry a bottle with bitter water, in the other a bottle with sweet water. They said: “Old man, old man, old man, drink up all of this.” The old man said: “Where will I put your cup? I also have just such a woman with iron scythes, just such a one with a ring on her hand in a decorated fur coat. She will also bring me just such sweet water, just such bitter water tomorrow.” These women did not stand around long, they turned round and went off with the din of thunder, with the din of a gun.
  • śit-et măn-ə-m jŭpi-na iki wan pa wan, χŭw pa χŭw ănta u-s, imŏsaj-na pɔχəl măr-ə-m sij, pŏskan măr-ə-m sij pa śi sijməlləs. iki kim ăŋkərm-ə-l pa wŭl lɔr kŭtəp-na nawi χŏtəŋ lat-m-al. nawi χŏtəŋ lat-m-al, jŏχi lăŋ-ə-s, păsaŋ elti ɔms-ə-s, χŭw pa χŭw ănt ɔms-ə-s, wan pa wan ănt ɔms-ə-s, imŏsaj-na itta niŋ jŏχi lăŋ-ə-s, kurt-eŋ sew-pi i niŋ, lujt-ə-ŋ jɔs-pi i niŋ, χănsəŋ săχ-pi i niŋ. i jɔs-l-na kăt-l asar jiŋk i kew an, mawi jiŋk i kew an. “iki, iki, iki, ma jŏχət-s-ə-m.” iki law-ə-l: “naŋ măn-m-en jŭpi-na χŭw pa χŭw ănt u-s-ə-m, wan pa wan ănt u-s-ə-m, iśi χɔrpi kurt-eŋ sew-pi χuləm niŋ, χănsəŋ săχ-pi χuləm niŋ jŏχt-ə-li-j-ə-s-ə-t, i lujt-ə-ŋ jɔs-pi χuləm niŋ. i jɔs-l-na kăt-l-ə-t asar jiŋk i kew an, mawi jiŋk i kew an. ma pa śiti law-s-ə-m: iśi χɔrpi kurt-eŋ sew-pi, iśi χɔrpi lujt-ə-ŋ jɔs-pi niŋ ma pa tăj-l-ə-m.” śi im-el pil-na pŏtər-l-ə-ŋən.
    that-3PL go-0-NMLZ.PF behind-LOC old:man short and short long and long NEG be-PST one-LOC herd make:din-0-NMLZ.PF noise [gun] make:din-0-NMLZ.PF noise and FOC make:noise-0-PST old:man out look-0-NONPST and big lake middle-LOC white swan sit-NMLZ.PF-3SG white swan sit-NMLZ.PF-3SG homewards enter-0-PST table from sit-0-PST long and long NEG sit-0-PST short and short NEG sit-0-PST one-LOC that woman homewards enter-0-PST iron-PROPR scythe-PROPR one woman ring-0-PROPR arm-PROPR one woman brilliant coat-PROPR one woman one arm-3SG-LOC seize-NONPST-0-3PL bitter water one stone vessel sweet water one stone vessel old:man old:man old:man 1SG arrive-PST-0-1SG old:man say-0-NONPST 2SG go-NMLZ.PF-2SG behind-LOC long and long NEG be-PST-0-1SG short and short NEG be-PST-0-1SG same like iron-PROPR scythe-PROPR three woman decorated coat-PROPR three woman arrive-0-IMPF-FREQ-0-PST-0-3PL one ring-0-PROPR arm-PROPR three woman one arm-3SG-LOC seize-NONPST-0-3PL bitter water one stone vessel sweet water one stone vessel 1SG and so say-PST-0-1SG same like iron-0-PROPR scythe-PROPR same like ring-0-PROPR arm-PROPR woman 1SG and have-NONPST-0-1SG DP woman-3SG companion-LOC speak-NONPST-0-3DU
    тот-3МН идти-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ за-ЛОК старик short and short длинный and длинный НЕГ быть-ПРОШ один-ЛОК herd make:din-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ noise [ружье] make:din-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ noise and ФОК шуметь-0-ПРОШ старик из смотреть-0-NONPST and большой озеро середина-ЛОК белый swan сидеть-НМЛЗ.ПРФ-3ЕД белый swan сидеть-НМЛЗ.ПРФ-3ЕД homewards войти-0-ПРОШ стол от сидеть-0-ПРОШ длинный and длинный НЕГ сидеть-0-ПРОШ short and short НЕГ сидеть-0-ПРОШ один-ЛОК тот женщина homewards войти-0-ПРОШ iron-ПРОПР scythe-ПРОПР один женщина ring-0-ПРОПР arm-ПРОПР один женщина brilliant верхняя:одежда-ПРОПР один женщина один arm-3ЕД-ЛОК seize-NONPST-0-3МН bitter вода один камень vessel sweet вода один камень vessel старик старик старик 1ЕД прибыть-ПРОШ-0-1ЕД старик сказать-0-NONPST 2ЕД идти-НМЛЗ.ПРФ-2ЕД за-ЛОК длинный and длинный НЕГ быть-ПРОШ-0-1ЕД short and short НЕГ быть-ПРОШ-0-1ЕД same любить iron-ПРОПР scythe-ПРОПР три женщина decorated верхняя:одежда-ПРОПР три женщина прибыть-0-ИМПФ-ФРЕКВ-0-ПРОШ-0-3МН один ring-0-ПРОПР arm-ПРОПР три женщина один arm-3ЕД-ЛОК seize-NONPST-0-3МН bitter вода один камень vessel sweet вода один камень vessel 1ЕД and так сказать-ПРОШ-0-1ЕД same любить iron-0-ПРОПР scythe-ПРОПР same любить ring-0-ПРОПР arm-ПРОПР женщина 1ЕД and have-NONPST-0-1ЕД DP женщина-3ЕД товарищ-ЛОК говорить-NONPST-0-3ДВ
    After they left, over long or short, suddenly the din of thunder, the din of a gun could again be heard. The old man looked out and in the middle of the big lake a swan was sitting. A white swan was sitting, he went into the house and sat down at the table. He sat for a long or a short time, suddenly a woman entered the house, a woman with iron scythes, a woman with rings on her hand, a woman in a decorated fur coat. In one hand she was carrying a bottle of bitter water, in the other one a bottle of sweet water. “Old man, old man, old man, i have arrived.” The old man said: “After you left, over long or short three women with iron scythes, three women in decorated fur coats came, three women wit rings on their hands came. In one hand they hold a bottle with bitter water, in the other one a bottle with sweet water. I said: “I also have just such a woman with iron scythes, with just rings on her hands.” This is how they talked.
  • wan u-s-ŋən, χŭw u-s-ŋən, lŭw im-el χuləm pŭs jăŋχ-ə-s wɔs-na. χuləm pŭs jăχ-m-al ewəlt χuləm χănaŋ niŋ-ə-l pil-na χuləm pŭs jŏχt-i-li-j-ə-s, iki nemŏsa ewəlt ănt uś-ə-s. imŏsa pŏraj-na ńil-mət-ti im-el pa măn-ə-s, ńil-mət-ti im-el pa măn-ə-s, wɔs-na măn-ə-s. iki jelən lajləs-l. ńil-mət-ti jŏχət-m-al-na im-el jŏχt-ə-m-na iki śiti law-ə-l: “imi, imi, χănsəŋ săχ-pi χuləm niŋ, lujt-ə-ŋ jɔs-pi χuləm niŋ, law-ə-l, pa śi jŏχət-s-ə-t.” lŭw itliji jeməl-man u-s-ə-t. ŏχsam-l-al il tal-man u-s-ə-t. ŏχsam-l-al pelək pŭs-s-ə-lal ja! iki, lŭw im-el χuləm χănaŋ niŋ-ə-l. iki mŭnti numəs-l, amt-ə-s. “ma, law-ə-l, tɔmətta numəs-l-ə-m tɔŋχa, law-ə-l ătti, pa im-et jŏχt-i-li-j-l-ə-t. śiti ewəlt, law-ə-l, nes ătti năŋ, năŋ nes, law-ə-l, jăχ-m-an.” im-el law-ə-l: “śit-l-an pil-na, law-ə-l, ma śi jăχ-s-ə-m, law-ə-l, a năŋ, law-ə-l, ănt uś-l-en,” law-ə-l.
    short be-PST-3DU long be-PST-3DU 3 woman-3SG three times walk-0-PST town-LOC three times walk-NMLZ.PF-3SG from three elder:sister woman-0-3SG companion-LOC three times arrive-0-IMPF-FREQ-0-PST old:man nothing from NEG find-0-PST once time-LOC four-ORD-TRANS woman-3SG and go-0-PST four-ORD-TRANS woman-3SG and go-0-PST town-LOC go-0-PST old:man at:home wait-NONPST four-ORD-TRANS arrive-NMLZ.PF-3SG-LOC woman-3SG arrive-0-NMLZ.PF-LOC old:man so say-0-NONPST woman woman decorated coat-PROPR three woman ring-0-PROPR arm-PROPR three woman say-0-NONPST and DP arrive-PST-0-3PL 3 everybody cover-CVB be-PST-0-3PL kerchief-PL-3SG down pull-CVB be-PST-0-3PL kerchief-PL-3SG side open-PST-0-PL.3PL DP old:man 3 woman-3SG three elder:sister woman-0-3SG old:man soon think-NONPST be:glad-0-PST 1SG say-0-NONPST yesterday think-NONPST-0-1SG DP say-0-NONPST DP and woman-PL arrive-0-IMPF-FREQ-NONPST-0-3PL so from say-0-NONPST seems DP 2SG 2SG seems say-0-NONPST walk-NMLZ.PF-2PL woman-3SG say-0-NONPST that-PL-2SG companion-LOC say-0-NONPST 1SG FOC walk-PST-0-1SG say-0-NONPST [but] 2SG say-0-NONPST NEG find-NONPST-SG.2SG say-0-NONPST
    short быть-ПРОШ-3ДВ длинный быть-ПРОШ-3ДВ 3 женщина-3ЕД три times идти-0-ПРОШ город-ЛОК три times идти-НМЛЗ.ПРФ-3ЕД от три старшая:сестра женщина-0-3ЕД товарищ-ЛОК три times прибыть-0-ИМПФ-ФРЕКВ-0-ПРОШ старик ничего от НЕГ найти-0-ПРОШ однажды время-ЛОК четыре-ОРД-TRANS женщина-3ЕД and идти-0-ПРОШ четыре-ОРД-TRANS женщина-3ЕД and идти-0-ПРОШ город-ЛОК идти-0-ПРОШ старик at:home ждать-NONPST четыре-ОРД-TRANS прибыть-НМЛЗ.ПРФ-3ЕД-ЛОК женщина-3ЕД прибыть-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ-ЛОК старик так сказать-0-NONPST женщина женщина decorated верхняя:одежда-ПРОПР три женщина ring-0-ПРОПР arm-ПРОПР три женщина сказать-0-NONPST and DP прибыть-ПРОШ-0-3МН 3 everybody покрыть-КОНВ быть-ПРОШ-0-3МН kerchief-МН-3ЕД down тянуть-КОНВ быть-ПРОШ-0-3МН kerchief-МН-3ЕД сторона открыть-ПРОШ-0-МН.3МН DP старик 3 женщина-3ЕД три старшая:сестра женщина-0-3ЕД старик soon think-NONPST be:glad-0-ПРОШ 1ЕД сказать-0-NONPST yesterday think-NONPST-0-1ЕД DP сказать-0-NONPST DP and женщина-МН прибыть-0-ИМПФ-ФРЕКВ-NONPST-0-3МН так от сказать-0-NONPST seems DP 2ЕД 2ЕД seems сказать-0-NONPST идти-НМЛЗ.ПРФ-2МН женщина-3ЕД сказать-0-NONPST тот-МН-2ЕД товарищ-ЛОК сказать-0-NONPST 1ЕД ФОК идти-ПРОШ-0-1ЕД сказать-0-NONPST [но] 2ЕД сказать-0-NONPST НЕГ найти-NONPST-ЕД.2ЕД сказать-0-NONPST
    Over long or short, his wife went to town three times. While she went the three times, the sisters came three times, the old man knew nothing. Once she went off again for the fourth time, for the fourth time his wife went off again, went to town. The old man waited at home. When she went off for the fourth time, when his wife arrived, the old man said: “Wife, three women in decorated fur coats, three women with rings on their fingers came again.” They were all shy. They were covered with kerchiefs. They undid the edge of the kerchief–oh!–they were the three sisters of the old man’s wife. The old man thought then a bit and was happy. “I,” he said, “thought yesterday different women came. But it is you, you who have come.” His wife said: “I also came with them. You didn’t recognise me.”
  • “ma, law-ə-l, ănt uś-l-em. itliji, law-ə-l, jeml-ə-m niŋ-ə-t. itliji, law-ə-l, jeməl-l-ə-ti, ma χălśa săχat niŋ-i-l-ə-n uś-l-ə-lam?” pa śi law-ə-l, im-el law-ə-l: “mŭŋ-ə-t śi, lujt-ə-ŋ jɔs-pi χuləm niŋ, kurt-eŋ sew-pi χuləm niŋ, χănsəŋ săχ-pi χuləm niŋ, law-ə-l, ma śi, law-ə-l, jewi-l-am pil-na jăχ-l-ə-m. śikəńśa kat jew-em măn-ə-m-s-ə-ŋən pa itta mŏsa jăχ-l-ə-ŋən.” itta im-eŋən ik-eŋən itta wŭl ńurəm pŭtar-en-na wɔtem ńŭk-ep χɔt-ə-n itta tăm χătl mŏsa lɔj-ə-l.
    1SG say-0-NONPST NEG find-NONPST-SG.1SG everybody say-0-NONPST cover-0-NMLZ.PF woman-0-PL everybody say-0-NONPST cover-NONPST-0-2PL 1SG from:where then 2PL-0-PL-0-ACC/DAT find-NONPST-0-PL.1SG and DP say-0-NONPST woman-3SG say-0-NONPST 1PL-0-PL FOC ring-0-PROPR arm-PROPR three woman iron-PROPR scythe-PROPR three woman brilliant coat-PROPR three woman, say-0-NONPST 1SG FOC say-0-NONPST sister-PL-1SG companion-LOC walk-NONPST-0-1SG DP two sister-1SG go-0-INCH-PST-0-3DU and DP what walk-NONPST-0-3DU that woman-3DU old:man-3DU that big glade vicinity-2SG-LOC grey cover-PROPR house-0-2DU DP this day what stand-0-NONPST
    1ЕД сказать-0-NONPST НЕГ найти-NONPST-ЕД.1ЕД everybody сказать-0-NONPST покрыть-0-НМЛЗ.ПРФ женщина-0-МН everybody сказать-0-NONPST покрыть-NONPST-0-2МН 1ЕД from:where тогда 2МН-0-МН-0-АКК/ДАТ найти-NONPST-0-МН.1ЕД and DP сказать-0-NONPST женщина-3ЕД сказать-0-NONPST 1МН-0-МН ФОК ring-0-ПРОПР arm-ПРОПР три женщина iron-ПРОПР scythe-ПРОПР три женщина brilliant верхняя:одежда-ПРОПР три женщина, сказать-0-NONPST 1ЕД ФОК сказать-0-NONPST сестра-МН-1ЕД товарищ-ЛОК идти-NONPST-0-1ЕД DP два сестра-1ЕД идти-0-ИНХ-ПРОШ-0-3ДВ and DP что идти-NONPST-0-3ДВ тот женщина-3ДВ старик-3ДВ тот большой glade vicinity-2ЕД-ЛОК grey покрыть-ПРОПР дом-0-2ДВ DP этот день что стоять-0-NONPST
    “I,” he said, “didn’t recognise you. All you covered women, all of you covered yourselves, how should I recognise you?” The wife said; “It’s us, three women with rings on their hands, three women with iron scythes, three women in decorated fur coats, it’s me that came with the sisters. Then two sisters left and are walking still.” The grey house of the old man and the old woman near to that big glade is still standing.