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Myths, narratives, stories and other oral genres
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Evenk used to have a memory store of myths, historical narratives and stories, which were sung or told, nimngakan. The storyteller would have a voice and a tune for each of his heroes. It would take several days to tell or sing the whole story, and the audience came from as far away as possible. The content was transmitted from one generation to the next. Today these myths and stories have practically disappeared and storytellers like Anfissa Pavlovna Avelova are scarce.
The storyteller has often been assimilated to the shaman (Varlamova-KËptukË 1996 and 2000). Both have a special relationship with the spirits. Both exercise a function that requires the biggest audience possible. Moreover, the term nimngakan designates both the part of the ritual in which the shaman talks with the spirits, and historical or mythical narratives. In the taiga, it also applies to the place where a shamanistic rite is held.
There is also a whole variety of oral genres, childrenís songs, riddles, jokes, all full of wordplay.

Author(s): A. Lavrillier
Date created: 2003-09-09 - Date modified: 2004-04-14

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