BELIEFS AND MYTHS OF ANCIENT TURKS The Wolf symbolizes honour and is also considered the mother of most

Turkic peoples. Asena (Ashina Tuwu) is the wolf mother of Bumen, the first Khan of the Göktürks. The Horse is also one of the main figures of Turkic mythology; Turks considered the horse an extension of the individual -though generally dedicated to the male- and see that one is complete with it. This might have led to or sourced from the term ³At-Beyi´ (Horse-Lord). The legend of Timur (Temir) is the most ancient and well-known. Timur found a strange stone that fell from the sky (an iron ore meteorite), making the first iron sword from it. Today, the word ³temir´ or ³timur´ means ³iron´. Turkic mythology was influenced by other local mythologies. For example, in Tatar mythology elements of Finnic and Indo-European myth co-exist. Subjects from Tatar mythology include Äbädä, üräle, ekä, Pitsen, Tulpar, and Zilant. The Legend of Oghuz Khan is a central political mythology for Turkic peoples of Central Asia and eventually the Oghuz Turks who ruled in Anatolia. Versions of this narratives have been found in the histories of Rashid ad-Din Tabib, in an anonymous 14th c? Uyghur vertical script manuscript now in Paris, and in Abu¶l Ghazi¶s Shajara at-Turk and has been translated into Russian and German. Yer Tanr is the goddess of earth in Turkic mythology. With her husband, Gök Tanr , she was the parent of Ay Tanr , Umay, Ülgen, Koyash, and Erlik. As a fertility goddess, she was recognized as the giver of crops and abundance. In the spring and in the autumn ² before the beginning of the agricultural season and after the harvest ² she was worshiped with sacrifices of food. Earth Abode Symbol Parents


World Beautiful woman none Umay Ülgen Koyash Erlik Ay Tanr

T g i (Proto-Turki *te ri / *ta r , from a Proto-Altai *ta giri meaning oat or sky), is one of t e names for t e primary chief deity in the religion of the earlyTurkic (Xiongnu, Hunnic, Bulgar) and Mongolic (Xianbei) peoples. Worship of Tengri is sometimes referred to as T g ii . The core beings in Tengriism are Sky-Father (Tengri/Tenger Etseg) and Mother Earth (Eje/ azar Eej). It involved shamanism, animism, totemism and ancestor worship.


spelling of tengri in the Orkhon script. The oldest form of the name is recorded in Chinese annals of the 4th century BC, describing the beliefs of the Xiongnu. It takes the form cheng-li, which is identifed as the regular Chinese transcription of tängri. Later Chinese sources give a trisyllabic teng-ning-li or tengyi-li. The Proto-Turkic form of the word is reconstructed as *te ri or *ta r . The cognate Mongolian ta ara means "oath". Stefan Georg (2001) has suggested an ultimately Yeniseian origin, from a *t gVr- "high". Alternatively, an Altaic etymology *t`a giri "oath, god" would mean that the meaning "god" is primary, and "sky" secondary. The Turkic form, Tengri, is attested in the 11th century by Mahmud al-Kashgari. The Chinese word for "sky", Tian, may also be related, possibly a loan from a prehistoric Central Asian language. In modern Turkey Tengriism is known as the Gök Tanr ("sky god") religion,Turkish "Gök" (sky) and "Tanr " (God) corresponding to the Mongolian khukh (blue) and Tengri (sky), respectively. In modern Turkish, the derived word "Tanr " is used as the generic word for "god", or for the Abrahamic God, and is often used today by Muslim Turks to refer to God in Turkish as an alternative to the word "Allah", the Arabic word. Other reflexes of the name in modern languages includeMongolian: , Bulgarian: , Azerbaijani: Tanr . The supreme deity of the traditional religion of the Chuvash is Tur .

Characteri tics
Tengri was the main god of the Turkic pantheon, controlling the celestial sphere. The Turkic sky god Tengri is strikingly similar to the Indo-European sky god, Dyeus, and the structure of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is closer to that of the early Turks than to the religion of any people of Near Eastern or Mediterranean antiquity. In Turkic mythology, Tengri is a pure, white goose that flies constantly over an endless expanse of water, which represents time. Beneath this water, Ak Ana ("White Mother") calls out to him saying "Create". To overcome his loneliness, Tengri creates Er Kishi, who is not as pure or as white as Tengri and together they set up the world. Er Kishi becomes a demonic character and strives to mislead people and draw them into its darkness. Tengri assumes the name Tengri Ülgen and withdraws into Heaven from which he tries to provide people with guidance through sacred animals that he sends among them. TheAk Tengris occupy the fifth level of Heaven. Shaman priests who want to reach Tengri Ülgen never get further than this level, where they convey their wishes to the divine guides. Returns to earth or to the human level take place in a goose-shaped vessel. According to Mahmud Kashgari, Tengri was known to make plants grow and the lightning flash. Turks used the adjective tengri which means "heavenly, divine", to label everything that seemed grandiose, such as a tree or a mountain, and they stooped to such entities. Tengri is considered to be the chief god who created all th ings. In addition to this celestial god, they also had minor divinities that served the purposes of Tengri.


Seal from Güyüg Khan's letter to Pope Innocent IV, 1246. The first four words, from top to bottom, left to right, read "möngke ngri-yin kü ündür" - "Under the power of the eternal heaven" Tengri was the national god of the Göktürks, described as the "god of the Turks" (Türük Tängrisi) The Göktürk khans based their power on a mandate from Tengri. These rulers were generally accepted as the sons of Tengri who represented him on Earth. They wore titles such as tengrikut, kutlu or kutalmysh, based on the belief that they attained the kut, the mighty spirit granted to these rulers by Tengri.

The Mongolian Great Khans of the 13th century ideologically based their power on a mandate from Tengri himself, and began their declarations with the words "by the will of Eternal [Blue] Heaven." The Turko-Mongolic concept of a sky god has an analogy in the Daoist coinage of (with "blue" and "qi", i.e., "blue heaven") and derived Confucian concept ofTian Li. The four direction symbols of Blue Dragon (East), White Tiger (West), Red Phoenix (South), Black Snake-Turtle (North) in Chinese cosmology is also analogous with the four direction symbo l used in Tengriism. A severely damaged Greek language inscription from the times of Danube Bulgarian paganism is found on a column near Madara, Bulgaria, which is believed to have been used as an altar stone. The inscription has been interpreted as saying "(Kanasubig)i Omu(rtag), ruler (from God), was ... and sacri(ficed to go)d Tangra ...(some Bulgar titles follow)."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Tengri. (Discuss)

A cosmological diagram from an early 20th century shaman's drum.

Ten riism (tenger), or Ten rianism is a religion that incorporates elements of shamanism, animism, totemism and ancestor worship. It was the major belief of Xiongnu, Turkic peoples, Mongols, Hungarian and Bulgar peoples in ancient times.It focuses around the sky deity Ten ri (also Tan ri, Tanr , Tan ra, etc.) and reverence for the sky in general. Today, there are still a large number of Tengriist people living in Northern and Central Asia, such as the Khakas and Tuvans. "Khukh" and "Tengri" literally mean "blue" and "sky" in Mongolian and modern Mongolians still pray to "Munkh Khukh Tengri" ("Eternal Blue Sky"). Therefore Mongolia is called the "Land of Eternal Blue Sky ("Munkh Khukh Tengriin Oron" in Mongolian). In modern Turkey Tengriism is known as the Gök Tanr ("sky god") religion, Turkish "Gök" (sky) and "Tanr " (God) corresponding to the Mongolian khukh (blue) and Tengri (sky), respectively. Tengriism views existence as sustained by the Eternal Blue Sky, Tengri, the fertile MotherEarth Spirit Eje, and a ruler who is regarded as the Holy Spirit of the Sky. Heaven, earth, the spirits of nature and the ancestors provide every need and protect all humans. By living an upright and respectful life, a human being will keep his world in balance and maximize his personal wind horse power. It is likely that Tengriism was the religion of the Huns, Eurasian Avars, early Hungarians, and of the early Bulgars who brought it to Europe. It is still actively practised in Sakha, Buryatia, Tuva, Mongolia and in minorities of Turkey, in parallel with Tibetan Buddhism and Burkhanism. The Bulgar form of the name was Tangra. The Bulgars named a large mountain in the Rila mountain range of Bulgaria after him, only in the 15th century it was renamed to Musala (Mountain of Allah) by the Ottomans. A Turkish manuscript listing the names of the supreme god in different languages lists has "Tangra" for Bulgarian. A severely damaged Greek language inscription from the times of Danube Bulgarian paganism is found on a column near Madara, Bulgaria, which is believed to have been used as an altar stone. The inscription has been interpreted as saying "(Kanasubig)i Omu(rtag), ruler (from God), was ... and sacri(ficed to go)d Tangra ...(some Bulgar titles follow)." Another piece of evidence suggesting that the Bulgars were Tengriist is the fact that the name of the supreme deity of the traditional religion of the Chuvash, who are regarded as having a Bulgar language and being partially the descendants of the Volga branch of the Bulgars, is Tur , generally considered to correspond to Turkic Tengri (and thus Tangra). Nevertheless, the local Chuvash religion today is markedly different from Tengriism and can be described as a local form of polytheism with some elements borrowed from Islam.

The word Huma which has a Persian origin is reflected in Old Iranian Hum ya. In Arabic we find the term Bulah corresponding to Huma. The Sufi teacher Inayat Khan supposed that "in the word Huma, hu represents spirit, and the word mah originates from the Arabic "Ma'a" which means water."[ In Turkic mythology, it is referred as bird of Kumay or Umay which was used as a symbol of Çepni, one of the 24 tribal organizations of Oghuz Turks. Umay is the goddess of fertility and virginity in Turkic mythology and Tengriism.

In some variations, the Huma bird is said to be phoenix-like, consuming itself in fire every few hundred years, only to rise anew from the ashes. The creature is often referred to asbird of paradise. The Huma bird is said to have both the male and female natures in one body, each nature having one wing and one leg. .

Homa bird as a griffin-like creature in Achaemenid Iranian art. About 500 BC. Perspolis, Iran. The Huma or Homa bird is considered to be a compassionate bird. It is named asbird of fortune since its shadow (or touch) is said to be auspicious. The shadow (or the alighting) of the Huma bird on a person's head or shoulder were said to bestow (or foret ll) kingship. e Accordingly, the feathers decorating the turbans of kings were said to be plumage of the Huma bird. Sufi teacher Inayat Khan gives the bestowed-kingship legend a spiritual dimension: "Its true meaning is that when a person's thoughts so evol e that they break all v

limitation, then he becomes as a king. It is the limitation of language that it can only describe the Most High as something like a king." In Sufi tradition, catching the Huma is even beyond the wildest imagination, but catching a glimpse of it or even a shadow of it is sure to make one happy for the rest of his/her life. It is also believed that Huma cannot be caught alive, and the person killing a Huma will die in forty days.

Alp Er Tunga
Alp" "Al , yi it, Alp Er Tun a or Alp er Ton a (meaning: Brave Soldier Tunga; " kahraman, ahad r.", " er" " r, erkek, adam." ve " ton a" " e ür.") is a mythical hero in Turkic mythology and Turkish literature. In Turkic literature he is considered to be the same character with Afrasiab in the Persian Epic Shahnameh. And he is sometimes mentioned as a khan of Saka.
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O huz Khan (aka O uz Ka an) was a legendary and semi-mythological Khan of Turks. He is considered to be the ancestor of all Turks and credited to be the founder of the system of political clans used by Turkmen, Ottoman, and other Oghuz Turks. The various versions of the narrative preserved in many different manuscripts has been published in numerous languages as listed below in the references. The narrative is often entitled Oghuznama, or narrative of the Oghuz.

Legend of Oghuz Khan is believed to be formed around 2nd century B.C. but it was first recorded in 13th century. Oldest version of the story can be found on an Uyghur manuscript in the Turkish manuscript section of the Paris Bibliothè ue Nationale. This version of the O uzname(Book of Oghuz) tells the legend of Oghuz Khan, and is untouched by the Islamization of Turks and reflects pre-islamic Tengriist and shamanistic themes. Later versions are "Tarih-i O uzan ve Türkan"(History of Oghuzs and Turks) section of Cami-üt Tevarih by Rashid-ad Din, another manuscript found in Uzunköprü and was written in Chagatai language (published by Nam k Orkun at 1935) and eçere-i Terakime by Abu'l Gahzi Bahad r Khan. This later versions are more islamised yet still features shamanistic supernatural themes. 





The anonymous Uyghur vertical script narrative of the 14th century preserved in the Paris manuscript was probably already being modified to fit somewhat with stories of the Mongol Con uest, as Paul Pelliot has shown. But it does not have any suggestions of Oghuz Khan's later significance as Islamizer of the Turks, and it does not include the figure of Moghul (Mongol) as an ancestor of Oghuz Khan. Ab ¶l-Gh z ¶s 16th century version roughly follows Rash d ad-D n¶s already Islamized and Mongolized (post-con uest) version of the early 14th century. But in his account Oghuz Khan is more fully integrated into Islamic and Mongol traditional history: the account begins with descent from Adam to Noah, who after the flood sends his three sons to repopulate the earth: Ham was sent to Hindustan, Sam to Iran, and Yafes went to the banks of the Itil and Yaik rivers and had eight sons named Turk, Khazar, Sa lab, Rus, Ming, Chin, Kemeri, and Tarikh. As he was dying he established Turk as his successor. Turk settled at Issi Kul and was succeeded by Tutek, the eldest of his four sons. Four generations after him came two sons, Tatar and Moghul, who divided his kingdom between them. Moghul Khan begat Qara Khan who begat Oghuz Khan. For three days he would not nurse and every night he appeared in his mother's dream and told his mother to become a Muslim or he would not suckle her breast. His mother converted and Ab ¶l-Gh z writes that Turkic peoples from Yafes to the time of Qara Khan had been Muslims but then had lost the faith. Oghuz Khan restores Islamic belief.

According to legend, Oghuz is born in Central Asia, as the son of Qara Khan, leader of Turks. He starts talking as soon as he was born. He stops drinking his mother's milk after one time and asks for k m z(an alcoholic beverage made by horse milk) and meat. After that he grews up supernaturally fast and only in forty days he becomes a young adult. At the time of his birth, lands of Turks was prayed upon by a dragon named K yant. Oghuz arms himself and goes to kill the dragon. He kills the great dragon with his lance and cuts his head. After Oghuz kills the dragon K yant, he becomes a hero of the nation. He formes a special warrior band from the forty sons of forty Turk nobles. But his Chinese stepmother and halfbrother who is the heir to the throne, become jelous and convince Qara Khan that Oghuz was planning to dethrone him. Qara Khan decides to assassinate Oghuz at a hunting party. Oghuz learns about this plan and instead, kills his father and becomes the khan. His stepmother and half brother flee to China. After Oghuz becomes the khan, he goes to steppes by himself to praise and pray to Tengri(Sky-God). While praying he sees a circle of light coming from the sky and there is a supernaturaly beautiful girl in that light. Oghuz falls in love with the girl and marries her. He has three sons which he names Gün(Sun), Ay(Moon) and Y ld z (Star). Later, Oghuz goes hunting and sees a supernaturaly beautiful girl inside a tree. He marries her and has three sons which he names Gök (Sky), Da (Mountain) and Deniz (Sea). After his sons are born, Oghuz Khan gives a great toy (feast) and invites all of his beys (lords). At the feast he gives this order to his lords: "I am became your Khan; Let's all take swords and shields;

Kut(divine power) will be our sign; Grey wolf will be our uran(warcry); Our iron lances will be a forest; Khulan will walk on the hunting ground; More seas and more rivers; Sun is our flag and sky is our tent." Then he sends letters to the kings of four directions, saying: "I am the Khan of Turks. And I will be Khan of the for corners of earth. I want your obedience." Altun Khan (Golden Khan) on the right corner of earth submits his obedience but Urum (Roman) Khan of the left corner does not. Oghuz declares war on Urum Khan and marchs his army to west. One night, a large male-wolf with grey fur comes to his tent in an aura of light. He says "Oghuz, you want to march against Urum, I want to march before your army". The grey sky-wolf marchs before the Turkish army and guides them. Two armies fought near river til (Volga) and Oghuz Khan wins the war. Then Oghuz and has six sons carry out campaigns in Turkistan, India, Iran, Egypt, Syria, with the grey wolf guide. He becomes the khan of four corners of the earth. In his old age Oghuz sees a dream. He calls his six sons and sends them to east and west. His elder sons find a golden bow in the east. His younger sons finds three silver arrows in the west. Oghuz Khan breaks the golden bow in to three pieces and gives to his three older sons Gün, Ay and Y ld z. He says: "My older sons, take this bow and shoot your arrows to the sky like this bow." He gives three silver arrows to his three younger sons Gök, Da and Deniz and says: "My younger sons, take this silver arrows. Bow shoots the arrows and you be like the arrow." Then, he passes his lands on to his sons, Bozoks (elder sons) and Üçoks (younger sons) at a final ban uet. (Ab ¶l-Gh z identifies the lineage symbols, tamga seals and ongon spirit guiding birds, as well as specifying the political hierarchy and seating order at ban uets for these sons and their 24 sons) Then he says: "My sons, I walked a lot; I saw many battles; I threw so many arrows and lances; I rode many horses; I made my enemies cry; I made my friends smile; I paid my debt to Tengri; Now I am giving my land to you."

Ötüken (Old Turkic: , Ötüken yï Mount Ötüken, , , / , , , / , , Ötüken jer Land of Ötüken) is one of the names given to Mother Earth in Tengriism. According to this ancient belief, the mood of the Yer-sub and Ötüken could be seen in the trees¶ condition. If the trees are healthy and strong and are bearing a lot of fruit, it is believed that Ötüken is satisfied with humans. A prayer dedicated to Ötüken was once directed to a grand tree. Later, the word was used to describe the sacred mountain of the ancient Turks. It was mentioned by Bilge Khan in the Orkhon inscriptions as, "the place fro where the tribes can m be controlled." A force called qut was believed to emanate from this mountain, granting the local potentate the divine right to rule all the Turkic tribes. Although never identified precisely, Ötüken probably stretched "from the Kha ngai Range of Central Mongolia to the Sayan Mountains of Tuva, at the centre of which is the Orkhon Valley", which for centuries was regarded as the seat of the imperial power of the steppes.

Asena (asen ) is the name of the one of the ten sons, whom mythical female wolf gave birth to, in old Turkic mythology. It is associated with a Göktürk ethnogenic myth "full of shamanic symbolism".But Ziya Gökalp mentioned to Asena in his article titled "Türk devletinin tekâmülü" (Küçük Mecmua magazine: that was published in 1922 in Diyarbak r) as follows: According to Chinese people, Asena means wolf. In Turkey many people believe that Asena should be the name of female wolf.

The Grey Wolf Legend
The legend runs as follows. After a battle, only an injured young boy survives. A she -wolf finds the injured child and nurses him back to health. He subsequently impregnates the wolf which then gives birth to ten half-wolf, half-human boys. One of these, Ashina, becomes their leader and founds the Ashina clan that ruled the Göktürks and other Turkic nomadic empires.

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