Woltu Falla/Texts

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Tsinakan text

This is translated from an inscription on a stele erected near Mūbaz by Sīnčen, the greatest of the Edak kings.


Sīnčen, čašum lu-jaga emblu-laš en-Kažžad ōa lu-mekat emblung-üdol ōa emblung-īb, siš-abi sip:

Isa sižrūm i na-lung-epela em-až-badö habben-ape, yega hel lu-llyaš čwoš īm wodud. Suš hel lu-llyaš sišen-abik sip: “Aga-badö graš edu-jaga wodud. A čwoš edu-zlaš sišen-upis. Siša a edu-naga habben-wodu. Dada jaja rōm na-lung-epela em-aga-badö siš-ape edu-fizzud wodu.”

Sižrum i, lu-mekat emblung-üdol ōa emblung-īb, na-lung-epela em-až-badö habben-ape, isa sižrūm i hel isa-lu-zlaš rōm čwoš īm wodud sišen-non, i isa-lu-žžamaš emblung-Ubaz petan-non. Išas sišen-sekkečem, ōa i aš-ton gatwol isa-lung-umu sišen-ūl. I sišen-abi sip:

“Až-daz, lu-twol emblu-zzö, suš lu-llyaš rōm ību edu-fizzud sišen-šekak ību sišen-jepak. Weša, až-daz, ga lu-ššallya kuin em-agā-laš habba-līpūk! Lu-zapūnim masupis!”

V-Ubaz lu-zlyega em-až-maba sišend-ratu. Ai sišen-ūl, ōa aš-idwa kūn ūmen-wodu. I žžaja rōm ību sišeñ-ñök sišen-upis ete ro zled. Išas petañ-eš. I edu-mačud ōa edu-bos edu-žžešša sišen-jöta, ōa išas isa-lu-laš en-Kažžad sišem-pila.


Thus speaks Tsinakan, the great king, king of the land of Kasadgad, brother to the sun and moon:

Before I sat on the throne of my father, all the foreign countries were hostile against me. The neighboring foreign countries spoke thus: "his father was a valiant king. He had conquered enemy countries. Then he became a god. But the one who now sits on the throne of his father is a child."

When I, brother to the sun and moon, sat on the throne of my father, even before I went to the foreign countries who were hostile against me, I went to the feasts of the mother goddess. I celebrated them and I lifted my hand toward the shining mother. I spoke thus:

"O my mistress, light of the stars, the neighboring countries who called me 'a child' have belittled me. Then, they have started to attack the borders of your holy land, my mistress! Strike the heathen down!"

The mother goddess heard the words of my mouth. She rose me up and strengthened my arm. I defeated those who rose against me in ten years. I have destroyed them. I captured prisoners, oxes and sheep, and I sent them back to the land of Kasadgad.

Gloss

Sīnčen,
Sīnčen
Sīnčen
čašum
čašum
mighty
lu-jaga
lu-jaga
the-Ndak.king
emblu-laš
emblu-laš
of.the-land
en-Kažžad
em-Kažžad
of-Kažžad
ōa
ōa
and
lu-mekat
lu-mekat
the-younger.brother
emblung-üdol
emblung-üdol
of.the-sun
ōa
ōa
and
emblung-īb,
emblung-īb
of.the-moon
siš-abi
siš-abi
NULL.AUX-speak
sip:
sip
thus
Thus speaks Tsinakan, the great king of the land of Kasadgad and brother to the sun and the moon:


Isa
isa
before
sižrūm
sižrūm
when.REL
i
i
1SG.NOM
na-lung-epela
na-lung-epela
on-the-throne
em-až-badö
em-aš-badö
of-my-father
habben-ape,
habben-ape
start.PST-sit
yega
yega
all
hel
hel
foreign
lu-llyaš
lu-llyaš
the-country.PL.NOM
čwoš
čwoš
hostile
īm
īm
1SG.DAT
wodud.
wodud
be.IMPERF
Before I first sat on the throne of my father, all the foreign countries were hostile to me.
Suš
suš
nearby
hel
hel
foreign
lu-llyaš
lu-llyaš
the-country.PL.NOM
sišen-abik
sišen-abik
NULL.AUX.PST-speak.PL
sip:
sip
thus
The nearby foreign countries spoke thus:
Aga-badö
aga-badö
3SG.GEN-father
graš
graš
brave
edu-jaga
edu-jaga
a-Ndak.king
wodud.
wodud
be.IMPERF
His father was a brave king.
A
a
3SG.NOM
čwoš
čwoš
hostile
edu-zlaš
edu-zlaš
INDEF-country.PL.ACC
sišen-upis.
sišen-hupis
NULL.AUX.PST-conquer
He conquered enemy countries.
Siša
siša
then
a
a
3SG.NOM
edu-naga
edu-naga
INDEF-god
habben-wodu.
habben-wodu
start.PST-be
Then he became a god.
Dada
dada
but
jaja
jaja
that.person
rōm
rōm
that
na-lung-epela
na-lung-epela
on-the-throne
em-aga-badö
em-aga-badö
of-3SG.GEN-father
siš-ape
siš-ape
NULL.AUX-sit
edu-fizzud
edu-fizzud
INDEF-child
wodu.
wodu
be
But the person who sits on the throne of his father is a child.


Sižrum
sižrum
when
i,
i
1SG.NOM
lu-mekat
lu-mekat
the-younger.brother
emblung-üdol
emblung-üdol
of.the-sun
ōa
ōa
and
emblung-īb,
emblung-īb
of.the-moon
na-lung-epela
na-lung-epela
on-the-throne
em-až-badö
em-aš-badö
of-my-father
habben-ape,
habben-ape
start.PST-sit
When I, brother to the sun and moon, sat on the throne of my father,
isa
isa
before
sižrūm
sižrūm
when
i
i
1SG.NOM
hel
hel
foreign
isa-lu-zlaš
isa-lu-zlaš
to-the-country.PL.ACC
rōm
rōm
that
čwoš
čwoš
hostile
īm
īm
1SG.DAT
wodud
wodud
be.IMPERF
sišen-non,
sišen-non
NULL.AUX.PST-go
i
i
1SG.NOM
isa-lu-žžamaš
isa-lu-žžamaš
to-the-feast.PL.ACC
emblung-Ubaz
emblung-Ubaz
of.the-mother.goddess
petan-non
petan-non
EMPH.AUX.PST-go
before I went to the foreign countries who were hostile to me, I went to the feasts of the mother goddess.
Išas
išas
1.SG.NOM>3.PL.ACC
sišen-sekkečem,
sišen-sekkečem
NULL.AUX.PST-celebrate
ōa
ōa
and
i
i
1SG.NOM
aš-ton
aš-ton
1SG.GEN-hand
gatwol
gatwol
shining
isa-lung-umu
isa-lung-umu
to-the-mother
sišen-ūl.
sišen-ūl
NULL.AUX.PST-lift
I celebrated them, and I lifted my hand to the shining mother.
I
i
1SG.NOM
sišen-abi
sišen-abi
NULL.AUX.PST-speak
sip:
sip
thus
I spoke thus:


Až-daz,
aš-daz
1SG.GEN-goddess
lu-twol
lu-twol
the-light
emblu-zzö,
emblu-zzö
of.the-star.PL.ACC
suš
suš
nearby
lu-llyaš
lu-llyaš
the-country.PL.NOM
rōm
rōm
that
ību
ību
1SG.ACC
edu-fizzud
edu-fizzud
INDEF-child
sišen-šekak
sišen-šekak
NULL.AUX.PST-call.PL
ību
ību
1SG.ACC
sišen-jepak.
sišen-jepak
NULL.AUX.PST-insult.PL
My goddess, the light of the stars, the neighboring countries who called me a child have insulted me.
Weša,
weša
now
až-daz,
aš-daz
1SG.GEN-goddess
ga
ga
3PL.NOM
lu-ššallya
lu-ššallya
the-border.PL.ACC
kuin
kuin
holy
em-agā-laš
em-agā-laš
of-2F.GEN-land
habba-līpūk!
habba-līpūk
start-attack.PL
Now, my goddess, they start to attack the borders of your holy land!
Lu-zapūnim
lu-zapūnim
the-infidel.PL.ACC
masupis!
masupis
defeat.IMP
Strike the infidel down!


V-Ubaz
v-Ubaz
the-mother.goddess
lu-zlyega
lu-zlyega
the-word.PL
em-až-maba
em-aš-maba
of-1SG.GEN-mouth
sišend-ratu.
sišen-ratu
NULL.AUX.PST-hear
The mother goddess heard the words of my mouth.
Ai
ai
3SG.NOM>1SG.ACC
sišen-ūl,
sišen-ūl
NULL.AUX.PST-lift
ōa
ōa
and
a
a
3S.NOM
aš-idwa
aš-idwa
1SG.GEN-arm
kūn
kūn
strong
ūmen-wodu
ūmen-wodu
cause.PST-be
She lifted me up, and she made my arm strong.
I
i
1SG.NOM
žžaja
žžaja
that.person.PL.ACC
rōm
rōm
that
īm
īm
1SG.DAT
sišeñ-ñök
sišen-ñök
NULL.AUX.PST-rebel.PL
sišen-upis
sišen-hupis
NULL.AUX.PST-destroy
ete
ete
with
ro
ro
ten
zled
zled
year.PL.ACC
I defeated those people who rebelled against me in ten years.
Išas
išas
1SG.NOM>3PL.ACC
petañ-eš
petan-yeš
EMPH.AUX.PST-destroy
I utterly destroyed them.
I
i
1SG.NOM
edu-mačud
edu-mačud
INDEF-slave.PL.ACC
ōa
ōa
and
edu-bos
edu-bos
INDEF-ox.PL.ACC
ōa
ōa
and
edu-žžešša
edu-žžešša
INDEF-sheep.PL.ACC
sišen-jöta,
sišen-jöta
NULL.AUX.PST-capture
ōa
ōa
and
išas
išas
1SG.NOM>3PL.ACC
isa-lu-laš
isa-lu-laš
to-the-land
en-Kažžad
em-Kažžad
of-Kažžad
sišem-pila
sišen-pila
NULL.AUX.PST-send
I captured slaves, oxes and sheep, and I sent them back to the land of Kasadgad.

The Outlandish Knight

“Honlin edu-beras sišen-wodu uga-lung-ibal,
Ōa sišen-wodu īm;
A sišen-abi rōm ai hel isa-edu-llyaš noneñ-ezul
Ōa ai nonen-čin.”

Lu-swossa sišen-non daba isa-aga-navor
Lu-beraš aga-lu-pišil;
Ga sišen-ižnon gerit ümu ōa tetu v-o,
Wos llyaršoša isa-v-öti.

“Modu, Üzal, modu, uga daba agā-navor;
Masap jaja ege īm;
Apo i eš ümu sswossa wol ūmen-gōmi, ōa
Ak lu-mamin non-wodu.

“Mapeša, Üzal, mapeša agā-vvodu en-šülo;
Masap gaja ege īm;
Ga galer lanē ōa galer twolin siš-idrak
Waba v-üwa na-v-üdūng.”

“Nīn i yega a-vvodu en-šülo ada-peša
Nīn makazil uga-īm;
Jaja hūmu wodu, rōm edw-attisa gamakel
Edu-swossa ussiš-īan.”

A sišen-em, aga-boga ümu isa-lu-swossa,
A anal sišen-tešši;
Lu-swossa abu sišen-abūwa na-lu-morda
Ōa sišen-ček na-lung-öa.

“Medu sirul, medu sirul, mardu ego em-mada,
Medu, sirul – i nom-masiš!
Apo lyöku eš ümu sswossa wol ūmen-gōmi, ōa
Lu-mamin lyökung ūmen-gōmi.”

Notes

This is a traditional folk song from the middle Woltu valley. There are many different variations; this particular version is taken from a book on the culture of the Fáralo peoples written in Ussor in the late eleventh century.

The lines alternate between long and short lines of about fourteen and seven syllables respectively, but the exact length of the lines is not fixed, and there is not a great regard for metre or rhyme. (However, it should be noted that in a few places the nominative article v- is substituted for the accusative lung- to keep the lines short – relatively common in verse, and sometimes also in speech.) This is in stark contrast to formal poetry and courtly songs of the period, which were much more structured, and generally adhered to strict rules of metre. Much more attention was paid to stress patterns, and words tended to be chosen so that long vowels were arranged in certain set ways. Alliterative verse was also a device much used in formal verse, imitating old Lasomoran style.

The knight (peras, noble warrior) of the title is a čessod, which we might translate as "fairy" or "elf". These mythical beings were a common feature of folklore in the Isthmus region, particularly among the Isthmus peoples themselves; indeed, they passed into Fáralo tradition from the Faraghin and Feroj. The nature of these beings varied between stories, but they were almost always considered to have powers of magic that humans did not. Some considered them lucky to see and friendly to humans, but they were unpredictable, sometimes dangerous, and – as the song shows – occasionally vicious and amoral.

The other character, the unnamed maiden (swossa), is evidently an unmarried noble girl. As befits her station, she is described as having fine silken clothes and a white horse as a steed. The fairy knight (who is, despite his cruelty, clearly a stickler for good manners) consistently addresses her with the formal second person pronoun ak, and also uses the term of address Üzal. Both of these are polite forms; Üzal, roughly "mademoiselle", is reserved for unmarried women of the upper classes (though the word on its own also means "bow" or "figurehead").