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Archive for the ‘everyday-tales’ Category

Today I bring you a Mongolian folktale that is at once funny and thought-provoking.

Did the Khan Have a Head?

A long time ago there lived a khan, a lord, who had a very violent temper. He was so volatile that all the people were scared to even look at him.

Khubilai Khan

Is this really Khubilai Khan's head?

One day the khan set out for a long journey and his ministers, his entourage of servants and his guides were riding with him. They rode and rode until the khan wanted to take a rest underneath an isolated tree. His servants spread out a cushion on the ground for him to sit on. But the khan complained about his seat saying: “I am a khan and so I can’t possibly sit with you on the ground like a dog. Arrange a raised seat for me!”

The servants became very anxious and asked each other: “But how shall we arrange a raised seat for our khan on this flat ground?” When they didn’t know what else to do, they said: “Let’s bend this tree down and seat our khan in a raised position.”

But as soon as they had pulled down the top of the tree and had laid the khan under it, the tree’s top snapped back up. Pulling the khan with it, before he fell back down onto the ground. The servants hurried to help the khan up again. But when they rested him comfortably back against the tree, they realised that his head was missing! (more…)

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Tului Khaan with Queen Sorgaqtani

Today I bring you an example of another genre of Mongolian folktales. One that tends to be somewhat socially critically. In Mongolia, they are called everyday tales.

The Tale of the Khaan and the Badarcin

Once upon a time there lived a khaan, that is, the Mongolian equivalent to a king. On one very normal day, he suddenly announced: “I will leave my throne to the man telling a lie which makes a sitting man stand up and a sleeping man wake up.” (more…)

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