Re: hunt

From: Torsten
Message: 65532
Date: 2009-12-10

> As for the nouns mentioned by Napier (and elsewhere by Torsten),
> OE <hu:þ> and OHG <hunda> (the latter glossed <praeda>, usually
> rendered 'booty') can be referred to a Gmc. st. fem. *hunþo:-, from
> a zero-grade paroxytone *k^n.´ta:- 'that which is incited or
> chased', i.e. 'prey'. The formation is parallel to Greek <díke:>
> 'way, custom, lawful right', originally 'that which is pointed
> out', from *deik^-. Latin <praeda> can also mean 'prey' ("cervi
> luporum praeda rapacium", Hor.) and another OHG gloss <herihunda>
> 'army-prey', i.e. 'booty' makes clear the military metaphor. The
> Gothic st. masc. by-form <hunþs> is attested only as the acc. sg.
> <hunþa> (Eph. 4:8), rendering Greek <aikhmalo:sían> 'captivity' (in
> this passage 'body of captives' would make no sense). As we have
> seen, Paul likes metaphors based on <aikhmé:> 'spear-point, spear',
> and Ulfilas likes to render them with derivatives of <hinþan>. The
> literal sense of Goth. <hunþs> was probably something like 'result
> of chasing', possibly with the implication of spears, if indeed
> there was a noun *hinþra- or *hinþan- in the sense of <aikhmé:>, as
> suggested earlier.

The hunting saga continues:

Edward J. Vajda
Siberian Landscapes in Ket traditional culture

'During the year, the Ket nomadized between summer encampments alongside rivers or lakes to winter hunting trails deep in the taiga. This age-old cycle was originally motivated by the need to congregate near fish runs in the warm season and to hunt big game and fur-bearing animals inland during the winter. It acquired more significance after the Russians imposed the yasak, or fur tax, which increased the need to go on inland hunting trips. Abandoning the river required the removal of fishing weirs and boats from the water before it froze. Low-lying areas connecting two bodies of water were used as boat hauling trails, or 'kapket', with a notch cut into a nearby tree to mark the spot where such a trail began (Donner 1933:57). Every family group had its own hunting trail, or 'kang'. Krejnovich (1969a:35) lists 22 such trails extending into the forest from the lower reaches of the Mountain Tunguska River alone. These trails were recognized simply from distinctive features in the adjacent natural scenery, such as hills or small bodies of water. According to Donner (1933:58), the Ket never used signs to mark their hunting trails of the type put up by the Evenki.'

A new possible connection between *kan,- and tree trunks:

'The departure of the family group in the fall from their riverine camp into the forest required an important ritual called "Feeding the Old Woman of the Road" (Krejnovich 1969b). This event reveals much about the traditional Ket conceptualization of the opposition between river and forest. The arrival of cold weather was a general time of foreboding for the Ket. The freezing up of the waterways deprived them of easy access to fish. The 'departure' of the sun into a more southerly trajectory across the sky coincided with the migration southward back to Tomam of most game birds and shamanistic totem birds. Changes in the seasons necessitated the group to remove fishing weirs and boats from the river, break camp, and move inland into the forest. As a safeguard against the difficult journey ahead, the shaman ceremonially 'caught' all the souls of clan members in a net, anchoring them at the riverside. It was thought they would remain safely fixed in the square openings of the net until the Ket returned to the riverbank during the next spring. The forest was believed to be filled with servants or daughters of Hosedam, sent forth to hinder the fall migration into the forest. To placate these malevolent beings, the Ket performed a ritual that involved fashioning an anthropomorphic figure called 'kangro' out of a fir tree. The crown was lopped off and the upper portion of the remaining trunk carved into a pointed head on which a crude face was gouged. Two parallel branches were left for the arms, with two for the legs. This image was set up in the snow in the vicinity of the fourth encampment inland from the river's edge. The Ket then proceeded to 'feed' it with a type of gruel made from the last remnants from the summer store of food. Though the image was not treated with particular respect, its 'feeding' was intended to placate the evil spirit into leaving the Ket in peace during their winter peregrinations through the forest. Traveling along some of the "big roads", or longer hunting trails ('kang'), required establishing over a dozen successive encampments (ytaq), most lasting for about three days (Krejnovich 1969a). During this migration, the family's progress was measured in terms of the amount of time it took the group to move during a single day. That distance was referred to as 'itang', or 'day-drag', a concept conveyed in Russian by the word 'argish'. Hunting trails were used by the same family group over many years.'

On the general orientation of the world in aignment with the big river:

'The Yenisei and other large rivers were conceptualized as giant trees, with the river mouth equated with the tree's base, or roots. The river was thought to be the mother of all of its tributaries, with the tributary mouth being a spot particularly endowed with spirit power. While diving underwater during her flight north from Alba, Hosedam was thought to have created many of the islands in the deltas of tributaries emptying into the Yenisei. The Ket gave offerings to placate the spirits of such islands when passing by (Alekseenko 1977:39). Also, as already mentioned, holai sites were normally set up near deltas to harness the power of the spirits of the river mouth.

All of these facts linked the east/west, south/north, and up/down dichotomies into one geographic unity. The east, the south, and the sky were the positive poles of their respective axes. The west, the north, and the mysterious dark spaces underground were places associated with cold, death, darkness, and the imprisonment of human souls.

A fourth extremely important geographic conceptualization concerned the opposition between river water and the inland forest. The Ket world was thought to float on an enormous sea and be surrounded by seven seas. These expanses of water were associated with the underworld or with Hosedam, who was thought to live at the place where the Yenisei emptied into the frozen sea. But bodies of fresh water on the land, particularly rivers, were familiar places of plenty and benevolence. In the Ket language, the adverb igda means both 'down to the river's edge' as well as 'downriver' and 'downhill', while at means 'into the forest' as well as 'upriver' and 'uphill'. The riverbank, in particular, was a zone of life-giving support, while the forest interior was more forbidding, though likewise vital during the winter months when the water was thickly frozen over. The Ket traditionally passed the warmer months near rivers and the winter months hunting upland in the forest. The positive image of the river vis-a-vis the forest was later partly erased by the increasing need for the Ket to meet the demands of the Russian 'yasak', or fur tax, by going deep into the taiga to hunt fur-bearing animals. Originally, the Ket were a riverine folk, or at least a major component of their ethnicity appears to have been. The river as a destination was therefore highly positive. Encampments near the riverbank were set up in a way analogous to those established on an east/west axis. The most prominent member of the camp pitched tent closest to the water, with less senior members occupying places increasingly more inland. Rivers were envisioned as feminine beings that could be counted on to yield bountiful life in the form of edible fish. It was forbidden to throw garbage into the water. One Ket folktale tells of a woman who carelessly tossed rotting fish heads into a river, only to have the offended river stop yielding up its fish. The rivers themselves, like the earth, were regarded as feminine beings and offerings of tea, tobacco, food or coins were made to them. Spring flooding often exposed the tusks of wooly mammoths. The Ket, apparently preserving no recollection of these beasts from real-life prehistory, regarded the bones and tusks as having been left by a huge underground tunneling creature, the tel, who was though to have gouged out the deep bends in the rivers. The 'tel' was regarded as a denizen of the underworld.'