Representations of totems and the image of the blue wolf in folklore

The most important totem common to all Turkic peoples is the Blue Wolf (Kоk bori). The Turkic people, including the Kazakhs, consider themselves to have emerged from wolves, and highly value the wolf for its difference from other animals. The wolf is a freedom-loving, proud, vindictive, strong animal, and the Turki attributed these qualities to themselves, thereby emphasizing the resemblance to a wolf. In the genealogical mythology of the Turkic peoples, a blue wolf or a blue wolf female is depicted as saving people from the enemy's environment, starting campaigns and feeding helpless babies. In the totemic, mythical worldview of the people, the Blue Wolf has become a holy animal. The article discusses from a scientific point of view the evolution of the image of the Blue Wolf (Kоk bori) in totem performances and folklore of the Kazakh people.

Keywords: Turkic-speaking peoples, Kazakh people, totemic concepts, folklore, the image of the Blue Wolf (Kok bori), the evolution of the image of a wolf.


The formation in the minds of our people of the concepts of “wolf”, “bori”, “hardened wolf” is the result of several centuries. It is known that this name, which adds meaning at every stage, is used not only for the name of a predator in the worldview of modern people. If you look at a wolf called “syrttan”, “arlan”, “predator”, “wolf” in the form of a “sacred animal”, you can see that it has deep roots. There are many legends, myths and works about the steppe that are firmly rooted in the steppe laws. The Turkic people, including the Kazakhs, consider themselves to have emerged from wolves, and highly value the wolf for its difference from other animals. Since the blue wolf is one of the sacred concepts in Turkic mythology, it is still relevant in our literature.

Obviously, any people had their own religious beliefs, depending on its origin. The worship of a particular animal has been formed long ago. We all know that these are called totem concepts. Our researchers also say that these concepts were born out of the concept of a human child. “Although the word “totem” has been a term in the world of science for two centuries, totem consciousness is a cultural phenomenon that goes back to prehistoric times, to the early era of humanity and among many peoples around the world” says Kairat Gabithanuly in his work [1; 16].

The most important totem common to the peoples of Turkic origin is the Blue Wolf (Kok bori). There are historical reasons why an animal belonging to the predators, called wolves, has become a sacred concept at the level of divine power in the entire Turkic community. Usually, when we say “wolf”, “bori”, we mean such concepts as bravery, courage, perseverance. Consequently, in ancient times, in the minds of people, such qualities were probably possessed by a god, a benefactor, a patron saint. People who believed in “origin”, “clan”, raised the concept of “Blue wolf” (Kok bori) to the level of “benefactor”, “patron” and made it a slogan. K.Gabitkhanuly told about why it is called “Blue wolf” in his work “Language in Kazakh mythology”: “Its name “Blue wolf” (Kok bori) does not come from the idea of a wolf in the sky, but from the idea of that a wolf of the color of the sky is a heavenly wolf, a sacred wolf. Therefore, the wolf is popularly called the “knight of God” [1; 31]. That is, we see that the concept of God is intertwined with the sky. The phrase “blue” seems to give the word “wolf” a sense of holiness and power.

The study of totem ideas and myths of the Kazakhs, the evolution of the image of the Blue Wolf in folklore has not yet received a comprehensive scientific examination. Because of the concept of the wolf, which is a common depiction in the literature of the peoples of the world, literary works are not only part of our spiritual values, but are still relevant to writers who have not yet written on this topic.

2. The image of the Blue wolf in the totem worldview.

If we look at the meaning of the word “totem”, we can see that the history of this word, which means “origin”, “relative” goes back to the language of the Ojbike tribe in North America. That is, for the first time the concept of “totem” was introduced to Europe by John Long, an English merchant and translator. In this regard, K. Gabithanuly writes in his work: “For the first time he used the word totem in his famous work “Memories of a Journey to the Indians” (published in London in 1791) and introduced the totemic beliefs and totemic customs of the Indians. Since then, the word “totem” has become a common scientific term for totem consciousness” [1; 16].

Other scholars also do not deny that the concept of totemism has since become very important in human life: “Totemism, as a widespread belief in the world, has attracted the attention of scientists from many countries. Among those who paid great attention to it, studied and expressed valuable opinions such scientists as John McLennan, Andrew Lang, James Fraser, S. Reinach, W. Wundt, S.P. Tolstov, D.E. Khaitun, N.A. Alekseev and L. Rasoniy” [2; 249]. One cannot but agree with the opinion of Adil Ahmetov. Because, when looking for works on totemism, the first who come to mind are James Fraser, S. Reinach, L. Rassoniy.

As for the animals, which are usually totems, they were treated in a special way. They were forbidden to kill or eat. People wore the skin of an animal that was a totem. People even added the image of “God” to their flag. This is stated in the work of Sigmund Freud “Totem and Taboo”: “Many tribes use the image of animals as a coat of arms and decorate their weapons them with; men paint a totem on their body or tattoo it on their skin” [3; 122]. And considering that the totem of the Turks was the Blue Wolf, as can be seen from the passage from Ogyznama:

“I was your kagan.

Take a shield and a bow in your hands,

Let this be a symbol of “good” for you,

Let “Blue Wolf” be our slogan” (from Ogyznam).

This is indicated by the following lines of the poet Suyunbai:

“My slogan is a wolf

A wolf is on my flag

I will raise my flag

And my enemy will run away”

Zhanibek Khan, who became famous during the campaign against the Dzungars, waved a flag with a wolf's head in front of the enemy or made a special noise and signaled the upcoming battle.

Over time, the wolf became a nagual, the patron spirit of people. There is a legend that blue wolves were the patrons of the nephews of Kaz dauysty Kazybek Abak kerey Zhanibek and Eset batyr. While Kerey Zhanibek slept, two wolves were playing on him, and Eset batyr was licked by the arlan. It should be noted that in order to exalt heroes who lived up to the country's expectations, they were associated with the sacred concept of the blue wolf. The strength and perseverance of these heroes grow and come from God himself. And wolves are carriers of the special grace of God.

The idea of a wolf is so deeply rooted in the minds of people that our ancestors are still inclined to give their children the name of this “sacred animal”. Examples of such names: Boribay, Borikul, Boltirik, Kaskyr, Kaskyrbai, Bori are popular in the country. The fact that in the epic “Alpamys batyr”, the common heritage of the Turkic peoples, the father of the protagonist is called Baybori is a manifestation of this tendency.

The names of Bori, who was one of the commanders of Altynorda in 1237-1238, Boribai Zhaubori uly, who was born in 1664 and became the slogan of the country of Matai thanks to his heroic deeds, and Boltirik Sheshen, who admired his eloquence, were also given to be batyrs. brave. And the fact that they grew up to live up to their names seemed to prove the truth of the belief that “the name of the child given at birth” has a direct impact on the magical power of the word.

Muhanmadiyar Orynbekov in his work “The Origins of the Kazakh Faith” summarizes the general characteristics of totemism as follows:

  1. The totem is considered to be the origin of relatives, benefactor, patron, and ancestor. The totem is endowed with powerful, miraculous abilities, evokes a sense of respect and fear.
  2. Totem-specific names and symbols are used.
  3. The identification of a person or group of people with a totem or symbol is visible.
  4. It is forbidden to approach, eat or kill the totem animal or plant.
  5. Totem rituals are used” [4; 165].

Totem worship is the spiritual anchor of ancient people. It is obvious that such beliefs are widespread among the peoples of Turkic origin. Rashid ad-Din was one of the first scholars to provide valuable commentary on totem beliefs. This is proved by the facts of Adil Akhmetov, who relied on the works of L. Rassoniy: “According to the data of Rashid-ad-Din, in those days the Turks, including every Oghuz tribe, categorically forbade hunting for such “ongans” as “hawk”, “golden eagle”, “Yellow golden eagle”, “falcon”, “saker falcon”, “peregrine falcon”, i.e. such ongans, after which the totems were named, which brought prosperity. L.Rasoniy also noted that in the XI century some Kyrgyz tribes were called cows, winds, turtles, falcons, and the Turks painted golden images of wolves on their flags, since they believed that they were descended from wolves. They say that the names of people such as Kokbori, Jacket, Bozgurt, Uki, Zhylan, Ayu, Turymtai, Akkus, Biday, Arpa (Kokbori, ortka, Bozurt, Үki, Zhylan, Ayu, Turymtai, Aes, Biday, Arpa) found in those days are associated with totem beliefs” [2; 250-251]. From this fact, we can see that the totem cult is so powerful that human names are named after the sacred totem animal.

This is evidenced by the name of the intelligent and graceful Kurtka in the epic of our people “Kobylandy batyr”. In the epic, she showed her nobility. Kurtka, carrying a small yurt decorated with gold on the inside and silver on the outside, forty camels, forty slaves and forty maids, showed her foresight on the way. In the belly of the mare, the foal Taiburyl grew, which later became a friend and comrade of Kobylandy. Kurtka, that has felt a tulpar, appreciates the horse more than herself. Then, for forty days, she feeds the brown foal with the milk of a young mare, and then for forty days with the milk of a non-fertile mare. “Can your wisdom be compared with the king's?” - the image of the Kazakh beauty, who amazed such a hero as Kobylandy, was unique. No wonder they say about Kurtka: “What a pity that you were born a woman, If you were a man, you would become a real support for the people”.

The most important totem common to the peoples of Turkic origin is the wolf. In general, when saying “wolf”, “bori”, there comes to mind such words as predation, courage, perseverance. Therefore, in the mind of a person, a deity, a benefactor, a patron is probably characterized by such qualities. People who believed in “origin”, “clan”, raised the concept of “Blue wolf” (Kok bori) to the level of “benefactor”, “patron” and made it a slogan. K. Gabithanuly told about why it is called “Blue wolf” in his work “Language in Kazakh mythology”: “Its name “Blue wolf” (Kok bori) does not come from the idea of a wolf in the sky, but from the idea of that a wolf of the blue color of the sky is a heavenly wolf, a sacred wolf. Therefore, the wolf is popularly called the “knight of God” [1; 31]. That is, we see that the concept of God is intertwined with the sky. The phrase “blue” seems to give the word “wolf” a sense of holiness and power.

In a research article by Almasbek Absadykov, “The motto of Alash and the totem of a wolf”, it is proved that the word “Alash” is closely related to the concept of a wolf. They emphasize the importance of the concept “wolf” in the understanding of the ancient Turkic peoples, who considered themselves “descendants of the wolf”. “The name “wolf” is also found in the name of the Bashkir people of Turkic origin (bash+kir (head + wolf). In the Younger Zhuz of Kazakhs there is also a genus called “Kyzylkurt” [5; 2].

The meaning of the battle cry when attacking the enemy is not accidental. That is, the cry shouted out during the attack inspires the soldiers and gives them courage. During the battle, they chanted a battle cry, called for their totem ancestor for help, raised the flag and called on the soldiers to defeat the enemy.

In his work, K. Khalid says about the battle cry: “The Kazakh people have the word “battle cry”. It is pronounced for inspiration, encouragement, empowerment Each tribe has its own call. If there is a conflict with other tribes, they shout “Alash, Alash” [6; 72].

A. Absadykov claims that the word “Alash”, which played an important role in the life of the Kazakh people, comes from the concept of a wolf. “The ancient idea of the nomadic Mongol-Turkic peoples was the basis for the formation of the meaning of the word “Alash”, which gives the concept of a wolf. We believe that he was directly influenced by the ancient mythical legend about the origin of Genghis Khan. This is an ancient myth about Alan-Koga (beautiful), which tells about the origin of the Mongol tribes”. On the other hand, “in Mongolian, the word for wolf is chino, shina, shono. Totem, the spirit of the ancestors, who came to Alan Koga - was wolf. This is probably why the nomads of Turkic-Mongolian origin recognized themselves as descendants of Alan and Shono. As a result of the merger of the words “Alan” and “shyn”, the word “Alash” appeared, such concepts as “ancestors of Alash”, “call of Alash” were formed [5; 5].

In conclusion, the totemic image of the Blue Wolf has taken root in the minds of people as follows: 1. Wolf is a relative, an ancestor. 2. The wolf is a benefactor, helper, protector. 3. He is endowed with powerful, wonderful abilities, a sense of respect and fear. 4. People were named after wolves. 5. Symbols related to the wolf are used, that is, the image of the Blue Wolf is applied to the flag, which is added to the cry. 6. It is forbidden to kill a wolf.

3.The image of the Blue Wolf in folklore.

The descendants of the Turks, who raised the flag with the image of the Blue Wolf and worshiped the Heavenly Kingdom, still delight the world with their victories in spiritual life and show that the creative spirit is not dead. In the chronicles and folklore archives, we see that the Turks, roaming the steppes on horseback, set examples not only of heroism and courage, but also of science and knowledge.

Despite the abundance of animals other than wolves in the vast steppes inhabited by Turkic tribes, there is a reason why they took this animal as their main totem. Comparing the commonality of the characters of mythology with the genetics of people, the beliefs of ancient times, we can see the differences, the main features. The field of mythology is a product of the beliefs of humanity in the era of early society. Knowledge of the origin of the peoples of Central Asia is a phenomenon characteristic of the Turkic peoples since ancient times. Myths about their origins began to appear. In this regard, it is obvious that the concept of a wolf occupies a very important place among the Turkic peoples.

The totem of the Blue Wolf is reflected in the ritual folklore of the Kyrgyz, Karakalpaks, Uzbeks and Tajiks. In particular, the Bashkirs associate their national name with the wolf totem. For example, Tibetans are descended from male monkeys and female Rakshasas (forest fairies); Mongols consider themselves the descendants of blue wolves and deer; telesty - from wolves and the daughter of the Hunnic king; and the Turks — from the Hunnic prince and the wolf. That is, the idea that we are descended from the blue wolf began from these times. The word “blue wolf” here means free, cruel, domineering. The blue wolf is one of the sacred concepts of Turkic mythology. The Turks call the wolf “bori” (in Mongolian - shino, chino).

The ancient Turks also called the wolf the Blue Kurt. Blue means blue, blue sky. And the Turkish word “Kurt” is the root of the Kazakh word “Kutrylu” - ablation, destruction. Therefore, the blue wolf is a special sacred animal sent by God that saved the Turkic tribe from death. The Khakass epic “Albynzhy” says that Ah Puur (White Wolf) was a reliable companion of Albynzhy batyr. In the Altai heroic song “Ak Toichy” the white wolf is also shown as a reliable companion of Ak Toichy batyr. They say that the name of the Bashkir people came from the worship of wolves. The name Bashkir literally means “Bas bori”, “Arlan wolf”, “Fierce wolf”, leading a pack of wolves. In Kyrgyz epics, the most famous heroes are called “fierce wolves”. The most courageous and brave Azerbaijanis call “having a wolf heart”, “son of a wolf”. The name Gook bori is widespread here. Turkmens and Uzbeks also worship the Gook bori totem at the ceremony of seeing off the bride. Given the bravery and courage of the wolf, the purpose of this rite is to give birth to strong offspring.

The epic “Book of Korkyt Ata” tells about the meaning of the sacred wolf in the life of its characters. The wolf is the most sacred animal worshiped by the Sakha leaders. In the Sakha legends, the nine great sons were like wolves.

If you turn over the pages of history, the wolves were worshiped by the Horde of the Polovtsians (Kipchaks and Kumans, that is, the steppe people), who consider themselves the descendants of this sacred ancient totem. Khan of the Horde Bonyak was the supreme priest of this sacred cult. The fact that we meet the concept of a wolf in genealogical myths, folk superstitions and customs, epics and genealogies is a sign that the blue wolf has risen to the level of the highest divine power in the folklore of the Turkic peoples.

The following examples prove that wearing various wolf limbs as amulets is also common in European countries. The fangs of the wolf were worn by the Turks as amulets. In Germany and France, the jaw of a wolf was hung on the door to protect it from intent and evil thoughts, and in Sicily, the tail of a wolf and one- third forty, bats, were hung in a barn to protect horses from the evil eye. In Russia, it is also believed that the wolf's tail prevents many diseases. The wolf's teeth and tail are worn to ward off evil forces, and its bile and skin are used for healing.

The worship of the wolf has been preserved even among Kazakh healers. When the witch doctor reaches the peak of witchcraft, he called the wolf for help. And the Kazakhs hung amulets in the new settlement to protect the animals from harm. The fangs and claws, mane and tail feathers of the wolf are hung on the headboard to protect the baby from the evil eye. That is, objects depicting the head of a wolf were a form of strength and heroism, nobility.

It is no coincidence that the wolf is the most common character in animal epics, the most common character in the folklore of any country. In the overwhelming majority of works, he is presented as a symbol that reveals the versatility of social life, expressing the worldview of people. For example, in the beliefs of the Turkic peoples, a wolf is a totem or nagual of a tribe, a wolf is a force that unites God and a person, or the possession of a shaman, a wolf is a person or a magician... In Kazakh fairy tales and legends, the wild nature of the wolf is described with great skill. However, despite his persistence and caution in nature, there are many aspects that intertwine in the form of a symbol of greed, stupidity and fear and create a negative impression in the mind of the listener. This complicates the structure of the wolf symbolism.

In the folklore of the Turkic peoples, the image of a wolf is found in a variety of genres: ritual poetry, epic songs, paremeology, folk prose. In all of these genres, wolves are depicted in three primary colors: blue wolf, white wolf and black wolf. This change in the image of the wolf is symbolic. It is known that blue and black wolves do not occur in nature. According to scientists, they are dark brown (melanistic), gray (chrome) and white (albino) [7; 10].

In almost all the myths of our people, the wolf is presented as the forefather, the regulator of the success of campaigns, an assistant from heaven. The main theme of mythological tales is the connection between the wolf and the mysterious world of magic. However, it should be noted that in most fairy tales the wolf is described as a stupid, evil, wild beast. We decided to look for the reason in the genre peculiarities of myths and fairy tales. The myths about ancient totemic ancestors are being replaced by etiological stories about the origin of certain animals in connection with their appearance or behavior. The disappearance of totemic beliefs and the formation of new knowledge about natural phenomena and wildlife are a prerequisite for the birth of fairy tales.

It is clear that the most important legends and myths can be found in the Chinese chronicles. This myth, cited by the Chinese chronicler of the III century BC, indicated in the work “Sun and Shadows” by Sabetkazy Akatai, proves that the idea of a wolf, bori is often associated with the emergence of a great state: “The wife of Khun Shanuy gave birth to two beautiful daughters. The princes considered these girls to be gods. Shanuy himself saying:

  • Can you hold such beauties in your hands? - dedicated his daughters to the gods. Shanuy built a high fortress on the northern side of the capital, kept his two daughters there and prayed to the gods day and night to accept them. Three years later, the mother tried to return her daughters, but the Shanuy refused, saying that the time had not come yet. A year later, the old wolf wandered around the fortress day and night, dug a hole under it and went inside. One of the girls said:
  • Our father locked us in this fortress to give to God. Maybe this wolf has something to do with God - and wanted to go to the wolf. However, the second girl got scared and shouted:
  • The wolf is an animal, do not insult your parents!

But the first girl did not listen to her, joined the wolf and gave birth to a son from him. This boy's descendants then created a large state” [8; 73-74].

From this legend, we see that humanity has worshiped the wolf god. This legend shows the unity of the ancient totem. If in the Kazakh legend of the Chenghis dynasty the object of the totem is a ray, in the legend of the Huns the male wolf acts as a male person. Totems are usually intertwined due to the intertwining of tribes and peoples. There is a reason for this phenomenon. Sabetkazy Akatay quotes in his work: “It is known that the Turkic Kaganate, which replaced the Hunnic hordes, suppressed tribal associations and established its political domination. As a result, the cult of various totems was abolished, and the politically dominant tribe was subordinated to the totem. It was the Blue Wolf, the ancestor of Asin, the dominant Turkic dynasty. The image of the Blue Wolf flies on the battle flag of the Turks” [8; 74].

In the fairy tales of our people, the image of the wolf is revealed comprehensively. If we look at the ancient tales of animals, we will see in some of them a very ancient, vague idea of living and inanimate nature. Such tales explain the mythical, religious beliefs associated with animals, the totemic notion that every animal has a wonderful magical secret.

It is important to remember that myths, religions and beliefs are the root cause of many fairy tales. At the same time, we see that the Kazakh people have a distant, vague idea, a semi-religious totemic idea of some animals, birds and beasts who recognized that these animals have a wonderful magical secret. Fairy tales show that they worshiped them because they believed in their miraculous power.

In the fairy tales of the Kazakh people, a great role is given to beliefs. That is, mythical, totemic faith. One of these animals is the wolf in Kazakh fairy tales. Such tales include “The Wolf and the Boy”, “Syrttans”, “The Death of Syrttan”, “White Wolf”, “The Wolf-groom”, “Wolf Care” and others. We know that there are two types of wolves in Kazakh fairy tales. In one of the oldest forms, the wolf is depicted in the fairy tale as a wolf and as a sacred friend of humanity. In the second form, the wolf is described as an evil beast.

The tale “Syrttans” begins like this: “In ancient times, there lived one bai. He had a son - the only support and joy in old age. Once the son of Bai had a terrible dream, as if a huge black wolf wants to eat him, stretches his greedy mouth to his leg. The boy woke up in fright. The dream began to repeat itself every day. The boy lost his sleep at night and laughter during the day” [9; 55]. The story is connected with the prediction of the old fortuneteller. The event tells about the syrttans of the wolf, dog, young man and horse. In the tale, the wolf is depicted as a vivid depiction of strength, revenge and evil. The wolf-syttan intends to eat the only child. Together with the young man, a horse is born, who then became his faithful companion. Then the dog-syttan joins them. Thanks to the friendship between the horse and the dog, the wolf was defeated, the boy and the young man survived and passed the test with dignity. This story about the rivalry between the man, the dog-syrttan, horse-syrttan and the wolf-syrttan does not occur among other peoples. The belief in disrespect for animals is also reflected in this tale. In the fairy tale, people have respect and trust in the wolf, which formed the idea of the wolf as a syrttan.

The tale “Death of Syrttan” begins with a traveller who accidentally meets a wolf on his way. “Once a traveler was driving along the road; when he began to descend into a wide valley, a wolf syrttan followed him. Evening came, a wolf syrttan howled - fifty wolves came running. The traveler understood that his death was nearing, sent the horse to the tree, which was barely visible. He galloped faster than wolves, rushed to the tree, left his horse below, and climbed to the top of a tall tree to save himself” [9; 62]. As the plot develops, a traveler who has lost a dog that came to his aid must find to bai another dog-syrttan. This tale depicts the evil nature of the wolf.

In the fairy tale “The White Wolf” a young man marries a white wolf in a strange cave. The wolf tells her husband to endure forty days and be submissive no matter what he sees. For forty days she will be in the form of a wolf, after which she will turn back into a beautiful girl. She turned out to be very intelligent and noble. And he will bring happiness to her husband, who has endured this test.

In the fairy tale “The Wolf-groom” a young beautiful girl marries a wolf. At first, the werewolf takes on the form of a man, dresses in rich clothes and seems to be the most beautiful young man on earth. He woo a beautiful girl, takes her away and, in a secluded place, turning over on the ground, again becomes a hardened wolf. This tale at the same time reflects the disenfranchised, difficult position of the Kazakh woman, her bitter lot, but also describes the wolf as a cruel and strong person. He is exalted as a sacred magical enemy. That is, in this tale, he is described as an evil force that deceives a person.

In the works that appeared during the spread of the totemic faith, the animal is considered the progenitor. It descended from heaven in the form of light and became the progenitor of a brave and brave generation. The wolf's help when a person cannot find a way out of the situation is also associated with his totemic image. And the breastfeeding motive is a product of the ancient patriarchal era. Here the hereditary role of the wolf is completely excluded. A child's parents are often ordinary people. However, by the will of the Holy, the child survived and became a king. Here the wolf obeys the command of the Holy. The myths of Kazakhs, Tuvinians, Yakuts and Greeks, who consider the wolf to be the Tengri dog, are also the fruit of this period.

The laws of nature and the development of human society have contributed to the disappearance of the notion that worshiping wild animals is not harmful. This is because, although people consider animals to be relatives and avoid killing them, their harm to humans has not diminished. Thus, totemistic ideas about wolves are dispelled, and the image of a chthonic animal appears on the folklore scene.

Such beliefs contributed to the development of two views: “the wolf is a human-friendly spirit” and “the wolf is an evil spirit”. The wolf becomes a good spirit in the following cases:

  1. among shamans when participating in shamanic games. He intervenes and shows a way to cure the disease.
  2. in fairy tales, he meets the main hero, helps him achieve his goal and becomes a faithful friend.

And as an evil spirit, he commits the following atrocities:

  1. lycanthropes (ancient Greeks), agyzmal (Abkhazians) infect people.
  2. they kill travelers and eat cattle. This leads to population losses.

Thus, it is necessary to note the following plot similarities in the presentation of the image of the wolf in myths and fairy tales:

  1. A wolf and a man get married. According to the myth, as a result of such a marriage, an entire nation is born, which becomes a powerful, fundamental nation. The wolf is depicted as having a higher consciousness. And in a fairy tale, the marriage of a wolf and a man leads to adventure. The main thing here is not to tell about their generation and upbringing, but to tell how to overcome the difficulties and obstacles encountered on the way to achieving the goals of the main character of the tale.
  2. Union of wolf and man. According to mythological legends, the wolf came to oppressed people in the form of light from the sky and saved them from death. He guides us on hiking and moving.

The absence of a totemic concept of the human mind radically changed the content of animal tales. Our ancestors, who were afraid of natural phenomena, put man, his perseverance and cunning in the first place. In accordance with such changes in the consciousness of people, the following groups of tales about wolves arose: archaic tales telling about the life of the people, etiological tales, satirical tales.

In archaic tales, the wolf is clearly depicted as an animal. His behavior, actions and harm to humanity are shown. The second group of tales - etiological tales contain features inherent in the nature of the wolf. One of the most striking features of a wolf is its howl. Undoubtedly, the howl of the wolf, shaking the earth and ripping through the night, frightens a man.

The English naturalist O. Tanner said: “Experts do not know exactly what makes wolves howl. Perhaps this is how they signal to the strayed members of the pack, or warn neighboring packs that their territory is here, or transmit some other, not so obvious messages. Some believe that wolves, like humans, simply sing when they feel like it” [10; 62]. And in the Kazakh folk tale “Why does the wolf howl?” the reason for the wolf howling is explained as follows: “In ancient times, there lived a poor man named Halyk. So he took several roots, made a decoction of them and received a potion. He pounded the roots and sprinkled them near the barn. The one who was the most voracious and impatient rushed first. Oo-oo-oo! - he howled suddenly and fell down dead. Since then, the wolves howl: oo-oo-oo!” [9; 110)]. Kazakhs also have the idea that wolves talk to each other. For example, in the fairy tale “Surmergen” the wolf warns with the help of a howl that he will eat a shooter, and in the fairy tale “Stupid wolf” the howl shows that the wolf who was deceived by the sheep “Saying that he will bring the kid” will still howl and wait for him to this day.


The words “Holy”, “Blue Wolf” are sacred, dear and revered for the entire Turkic community. It is obvious that this concept has been preserved in the hearts of all Kazakhs, the so-called “nomads”. The totemic image of the Blue Wolf was closely associated with the spiritual culture of the people. The concept of a wolf, which once became a patron saint, is still inseparable from the spirituality of the people. The legends, myths and tales depicting wolves in folklore show this in two ways. On the one hand, this is a man's friend, on the other, his enemy. The firmness of a seasoned animal is the key to the formation of a national character. The concept of “descendants of the Blue Wolf” has always been present in the Turkic world. The wolf is an all-round, complex character that reflects the religious beliefs and worldview of people, both as a totem and as a predator. A holistic image is revealed from myths, legends, fairy tales, the functions of evolutionary development are revealed.

Thus, the image of the wolf gradually developed and appeared in written literature. In Kazakh literature, this has become a topic that requires special skills. If you look at the formation of the Blue Wolf as a separate artistic image in such works as “Kokserek” by M. Auezov, “Wolf-Bori” and “Camel Breeder Kambar” by M. Magauin, “A hardened wolf without a herd” by G. Kulakhmet, “A hardened wolf" by D Ramazan, “Tuazhat” by A. Altai and other works, you can see that he changed greatly from totemic-mythical concepts and images in folklore to the level of a classical image. The task of the day is a comparative, typological scientific study of the evolution of the image of a wolf in Kazakh and world literature.


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Year: 2021
City: Karaganda
Category: Philology