Ulger

Ul’ger

 

the general term for Mongolian epic folk songs and folktales; among the Buriats the term is uliger. There are two types of ul’gers: iavgan (“afoot”) ul’gers and urtu (“long”), or baatryn (“heroic”), ul’gers. The first are folktales, and the second are epic folk songs, known also as baatarlag tuul’. The folktales are generally short, whereas the epic folk songs, which relate the adventures of valorous heroes who battle with the forces of evil, range from several hundred to several thousand lines. The ul’gers include very lengthy epics, for example, the Gesariada and the Dzhangar. The epic folk-song ul’gers that have been recorded are called tuuzh (“tales”).

In 1960 the Chamber of Ul’gers (Ulgeriin tankhim) was established in the Mongolian People’s Republic to promote the collection of ul’gers. Epic folk-song ul’gers are sung by performers known as ul’gerch to the accompaniment of the khur, a bowed stringed instrument, and of the tovshuur, a plucked stringed instrument. In modern times, ul’gers are also recited without musical accompaniment.

PUBLICATIONS AND REFERENCES

Obraztsy narodnoi slovesnosti mongol’skikh piemen: Teksty, vol. 1, fasc. 3. Petrograd, 1918.
Vladimirtsov, B. Ia. Mongolo-oiratskii geroicheskii epos. Petrograd Moscow, 1923.
Kozin, S. A. Epos mongol’skikh narodov.
Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Mongol ardyn baatarlag tuul’s. Ulan Bator, 1960.
Mongol ardyn ulgeruud. Ulan Bator, 1966.
Khalkh ardyn tuul’. Ulan Bator, 1967.

G. I. MIKHAILOV

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