The Book of the Nishan Shaman 09

Previous instalments: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

[Paweł has now completed the draft translation of the entire book (there will be 22 installments in all), and now the two of us are meticulously going through the translation, word by word, exhaustively investigating every possibility where there is anything strange about the text.  This particular installment proved to be the most challenging so far, especially near the end where we made some interesting discoveries.  Enjoy!  –RA] Continue reading The Book of the Nishan Shaman 09


In the fifth installment of The Book of the Nisan Shaman there is a word “caise” mentioned as being a kind of food that is prepared for Sergudai Fiyanggo’s funeral.  Pawel looked up the word in P. Schmidt, “Chinesische Elemente im Mandschu. Mit Wörterverzeichnis” in: Asia Major volume 7, 1932, and found a strange Chinese character.  He referred me to the entry in the dictionary:


I couldn’t find that character anywhere, and neither could several people I asked, so I sent the entry to Victor Mair.  After several days of hunting, he finally tracked it down.  He says that when he finally spotted it in Hanyu Da Zidian, 5.3164, he “laughed / sobbed bitterly / mournfully”.  The following is a guest post by Victor Mair: Continue reading Caise

The Book of the Nishan Shaman 04

Previous instalments: 1, 2, 3.

geli gisureki seci angga juwame muterakv, jain jabufi gisureme banjinarakv oho

geli [more]
gisureki seci [(he) wanted to say]
angga [mouth]
juwame muterakv [couldn’t open]
jain [joint of the jaws] dict. form: jayan
jabufi [stiffened and]
gisureme [speaking, words]
banjinarakv oho [didn’t appear]

He wanted to say something more, but he couldn’t open his mouth. His jaws stiffened and no more words appeared. Continue reading The Book of the Nishan Shaman 04