THE SHAMAN'S CREATION STORY

Narrated by Shaman Valentin Khagdaev

Transcribed from the film
In Pursuit of the Siberian Shaman

Illustrated by Wlad Quénu

The first earth was lost in the depths of the primal ocean. The earth was under water.  Then the Creator created the first bird and ordered it to dive to the bottom of the ocean.  It dove, but came back empty twice. Finally, it extracted the earth and brought it back in its beak. From that earth the Creator created the big earth.  But that big earth was again sinking into the depth of the primal ocean. Then he put the earth in his palms, took a pinch of clay from it, and created the second earth. He loaded that earth on a back of a turtle.

This earth was flat, there were no hills, no mountains.  And the ocean was flat.  All animals, all birds, all insects, and all plants were created. All birds, all animals, all insects, and all fish were all happy. And man was created the last. This man was the only one who was not happy.  Everyone was content except this man.

They lived for a long time. Many thousands of years passed. Man is still not happy. He curses the heaven and the earth, the sun, and the moon, and the Creator.  And then the Creator has sent a thought from the depth of the universe to the first mammoth and the first snake in order to ask what this first man wants.

That first man still had four legs.  The giant mammoth, who was holding the sky with his back, and the first snake approached the first man and asked him, “What do you want, you worm, earthly man? Why are you grumbling and whining?" Then, he raised one paw, looked at him and said, "Everything is flat! The earth is flat, the ocean is flat. I’m bored to death! That’s why I’m whining." Then the mammoth started digging the earth with his trunk.  Thus the mountains formed. The snake crawled in between them — thus the rivers formed. And no river flows straight, all rivers zigzag like snakes.

Ten more thousand years passed. All the animals, all the birds, all fish, all insects are happy. But man is not happy. He’s cursing the Creator. Then from the depths of the universe, the Creator descended on earth.  He convened all earthly creatures to discuss all earthly matters, including the fate of the first man. Back at these wonderful times, the first moose was running as fast as a horse along the Lake Baikal. And all of a sudden a Codfish dives out of the water, "Where are you going, Horned Moose?" Then the Moose stopped and said, "I’m running to the meeting of all living creatures."  "You are late!" says Codfish. "I’ve just returned from there.  Everything has been decided." Then the Moose stopped and asked, "So what have you decided to do with this man who is always grumbling?" Codfish hit the water with his fin and said, "It’s not good at all. Before, he had four legs, so he could catch some animal and eat it.  But they have made him of two legs. His front legs were bent like this, they became hands. His ears do not hear well now,  nor can he see or smell well.  Not good at all..."

Then the Moose asked, "Well, you've taken everything away from him, what have you given him instead?" Codfish hit the water with his fin and says, "We gave him intelligence.  We don’t really know what it is though. The Creator advised this."  At this point, the Moose began crying. Back then, the Moose had four eyes, two on the top and two below.  The Moose was crying and crying, and cried his two upper eyes away. Now there’s just a little dimple above his eyes. As he was sobbing, the Moose said, "Oh, living creatures. You must know.  Now there won’t be peace for a bird in the sky from this man.  Not even a swimming fish will have peace from this man. Not even a running animal will have peace from this man."

And that was what happened, that was fulfilled...