Synopses & Reviews
The Caucasus has an extremely rich folk literature, almost unknown among English speakers, which includes myths, legends, magical tales, anecdotes, and proverbs.
The one hundred and one legends included in this book reflect the cultures of fourteen different ethnic groupstheir dynamism and the matters that concerned them: survival against external dangers, the risk of starvation, and the persistence of the family or clan as a coordinated group. Descended from an oral tradition, much of their knowledge was retained in memories and passed down the generations. Yet, with the introduction of the alphabet, the way of life they portray is rapidly becoming extinct.
The translation is derived from the manuscripts of Russian collectors working out of the Russian Empire in the late nineteenth century and from the Soviet Union in the mid-twentieth century. The text is a mixture of prose and verse, reflecting how the legends would have been performed by storytellers within the culture.
This volume includes a map, bibliography, appendix, glossary, keyword and theme analysis, and references.
David Hunt is an expert of Caucasus folk literature. He was awarded the McDowell Prize from the Folklore Society in 2008.
'A wonderfully rich collection ... A worthy contribution to our understanding of the Caucasus, and his introduction and glossary of deserving of particular praise.' --Andre Naffis-Sahely Times Literary Supplement
'This book has brought into light some of the hidden treasures of the Caucasus ... A major contribution not only to the study of the Caucasus, but also to world folklore.' John Colarusso, McMaster University, Canada 'Inventive and meticulous in rendering the extraordinary folk poetry of the many nations of the Caucasus ... [This is] essential reading for anyone seeking an insight into the cultures of the Caucasus.' --Donald Rayfield, Queen Mary University of London, UK
. an indispensable undertaking
Hunts anthology is a major contribution to the study of the folklore of the Caucasus and a worthy continuation [to] Caucasian ethnography and folklore
Hunt [is] a gifted storyteller, able to represent in a fascinating manner a wide selection of captivating narratives coming from the ancient cultures of Caucasia. Folklore
An incomparable collection conveying the poetry and romance of a rapidly vanishing folk culture
About the Author
David Hunt is an expert of Caucasus folk literature. A member of the Folklore Society for forty years, he has written published a number of papers on various aspects of the folklore of the Caucasus. He won the McDowell Prize of the Folklore Society in 2008.