Fetisova Lidyia (Vladivosrok, Russia)
The Ulchi Narrative Folklore in the System of the Folk Arts of the Amur Peoples
(57th Annual Meeting of the PIAC Vladivostok, 2014)
The Ulchi is one of the Tungus-Manhu peoples. The investigations of ethnographers evidence on extreme heterogeneity of this ethnic community; in its forming in the different historical stages there took part not only the Tungus-Manhu (the Nanaians, Orochi, Evenks, Negidal, Udeghe, Oroki) but also the Paleoasians – the Nivkh and the Ainu too. As for the language the Ulchi is more close to the Nanaians.
So as the Ulchi culture was functioning in the zone of compact ethnic contacts the folklore heritage of this people had got peculiarities characteristic for all the Tungus-Manchu. Like the most Tungus speaking ethnic communities the Ulchi called with the term ningma (n) all the diversity of narrative genres that could be correlated with European tales. In this folklore layer as inter genre units tales about animals and of magic-heroic character are especially marked out. The texts are satiated with realistic details reflecting social and life mode not only hunters and fishermen of the Lower Amur but their neighbors from the territory of the North East China. It’s worthy to note that the Ulchi’s enemies in the tale epos are often not mythological personage but the representatives of a concrete ethnic community, in particular, the Manchu.
The group of narrative genres, the contest of which is considered to be trustworthy, is marked with the folk term telengu. It includes cosmological, tribe, trade and the other myths; shaman legends; historical and toponymy traditions; hunting stories. Many Ulchi telengu have got quite compound structure; sometimes they have many subjects that makes them related with the Nivkh texts of such a kind.
Besides, in the Ulchi folklore there existed a specific genre of not-tale prose pokto or sudali that contains the rules of performance of rites – the way of rituals everybody could go on for the luck attends the life of the community.
Thus, the Ulchi narrative folklore is distinguished a special peculiarity not only in the subjects but in genres too.