SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Track 2: Olonkho 'Kyys Debiliye'

Olonkho 'Kyys Debiliye' is part of the epic storytelling genre, and is made up of four parts:

  1. Introduction - setting up the place, time, and characters
  2. The Arrival of Kyys Debiliye
  3. The Second Song of Kyys Debiliye
  4. The Song of War (Readying to fight evil spirits, and calling on helpers).


From the distance of the ancient years full or disturbance and trouble
On the other side of the battles of history
Beyond the invisible line of evil years that have sunk into oblivion
Something, that the mind of the Sakha cannot unravel,

Mysterious, unreachable bright white sky
Like a velvet carpet falling from above
Being born
Getting wider, stretching, growing.

Under this primordial bright clear sky
Were two-legged creatures that have perishable bodies
And hollow bones
Who got to like battles
Who got to know discord
Who have vulnerable minds
And anxious souls
These had to multiply.

With the cold windy West sky
With the heavenly kind Eastern sky
With the insatiable greedy Southern sky
With the ferocious stormy Northern sky
With drying waters that rise again
With falling trees that grow again,
Eight-rimmed, eight-edged
Six hooped
With disturbances and anxieties

In splendid attire
In serenity and calmness
The primordial Mother Earth
Like a silver pendant
That adorns the horned hat with feathers
Glowing and blooming as it was created
As it turned out.

Song 1: The Arrival of Kyys Debiliye

Syai, Noyon!
Since when did you come to be so familiar with me
That you ask for my protection?
Since when did you befriend me
So you beg me to defend you?

When the mighty masters
Of the bright white sky
With their stern decision
Separated from careless living, and rejected by my
Numerous kinfolk
Sentenced me for obvious wrong-doing
Into the domain of impiety

My mighty heart was too weak
To disperse my heavy thoughts
To drive away my sad thoughts,
Did you every appear then?

Holding the wooden vessel choroon filled with mare's milk kumys
You never said 'Hello', Or bringing a gift of meat
You never came to visit me.

Only when hardship came to you
Only when misfortunes over-burdened you
Only when your sorrows multiplied
Only then did you need me.

Song 2: The Second Song of Kyys Debiliye

Now on the lands of Western Siberia
On her immense bosom
Establish a comfortable hearth
On her uninhabited space,

To sort out a life for our descendants
To rid it from evil spirits
To rid it from black filth
My time has come.

That is why I beg the righteous justice of
Yrung Aar Toyon:
Let Udagan Aytalyyn, who has the eight-fathomed
Who is glorified by her algyses
To clear off this invisible evil
To drive away the evil spirit of Abaasy
To send it to the lands of Western Siberia.

This, I, with my jointed body, bowing down, beg you
This, I, with my neck, ask you for!

Song 3: The Song of War

Buyaka! Buyaka!
This deadly cliff, the formidable Kyrpyaky
Of which Taas Ensilgen is the Spirit Master
Anelder Taas Engsilgen
The Lord and my grandfather!
Your glorious name pronouncing
I, with my neck, bow my head!
Hearing about your ferocious glory
I, with my spine, bend my back.

If you ask 'Who comes here?' I will answer:
The girl who you sentenced
Who was born in the clean and dustless
Snowy white sky,
Kyys Debiliye Buhatyyr.

The girl who on the edge of the slippery Lower World
Near the open jaws of hell, and established a camp
Slyly and swiftly
Fidgeting and lightly
Claws Dygyidaan Bege
Of the unshakeable Middle World
Troubling the abundant life,

In order to save their fat souls
So that descendants of Uraankhai
Will never have the smoke of their hearths broken,
In order to keep the happiness of the humankind
I have come.

The spirit of the pass of Suksulla Khaan
On the Southern edge of the deadly cliff
Has bones of honourable men hanging from it
Toyon Turantai the elder!

The spirit of the pass of Khaan Chuguya
On the Western edge
That is paved with gristle from the larynx of the fallen
Khan Ergien, old woman!

The spirit of the pass of Timir Jigisken
On the Northern side
Where seven days travel away from it one can still hear
its thunder
Honourable Jebin Kulukhai, old woman!

The spirit of the pass of Delbirge Khaan
Decorated with the hair of horses
Traded by the Yeyekhsit tribe
Honourable Nelber Ye Khotun, elder sister!

Smile having looked here
Grieve having looked there!

That bloodthirsty Ilbis Kyysa:
Turn her into a girl seven year's old
And put her on the crown of my head, I implore you!

That voracious Osol Uol:
Turn him into a boy three year's old
And put him in my right armpit, I implore you!
Requests have a measure
And entreaties a limit!