Geser Boγda The Holy Geser


Cassette: 160-164
Transcription: hdl:11341/0000-0000-0000-2770
Transcription Number: Mo 82-83
Transcription Pages: 156 pp.
Recording: On June 6, 1996 in Sibartai District, Rinčindorǰi recorded the text from the recitation of the bard Uuγanbayar of Baɣarin West Banner
Transcription Note: On November 27, 1997, Rinčindorǰi finished writing down the text.
Peculiarities: The tale follows the structure and the style of the “tales of the fiddle” (quɣur-un üliger). It is divided into sections or chapters (salaɣa) of different length, and is performed shifting from recitative prose to rhymed sung verses to the accompaniment of the four-stringed fiddle (quɣur). The tale also employs fixed themes and formulaic expressions characteristic of the “tales of the fiddle.” Chinese narrative elements which were disseminated orally through the “tales of the fiddle” found their way into “The Holy Geser.” “The Holy Geser” incorporated orally transmitted tales (Mo 83). It shows features of the Geser epic as it developed in Baɣarin, and contains themes which can be traced back to the Mongolian version of the Geser epic printed in 1716 in Peking.
Further Information: Uuγanbayar of Baγarin West Banner was a herdsman native of Sibartai Sumu, which is also the place where the temple devoted to Geser is located. The cult of Geser is a living tradition in Baγarin. Aged 23 Uuγanbayar learned the tale "The Holy Geser" from an old herdsman nicknamed Old Quluɣu while they were tending their cattle (Mo 83).
Language Archive Cologne: hdl:11341/0000-0000-0000-271B


PDFPages 1-4: Before the bard Uuɣanbayar bard begins to narrate the tale “The Holy Geser“, he greets, in song, Rinčindorǰi, who returned to his homeland in Baɣarin to record the tale. The bard also tells us that the celebrated hero Geser was born in Mongolia.

PDFPages 4-8: The bard now turns to recitative mode, and begins to narrate the story of Geser. There is in Mongolia the famous Golden Qangɣai Mountain, the pasture-land of the Mongols, and on the southern slopes of the mountain lies a village, where a rich man known as Daruǰai the Rich lives. The name of Daruǰai the Rich ’s only daughter is Aǰu-mergen. When Aǰu-mergen was seven or eight years old, a man who looked like a wandering monk appeared at their door. Daruǰai the Rich invites the man inside and begins to inquire about him. From the man he learns that his homeland is a thousand miles away, and that on the border between Tibet and China there is Rasiyan Monastery, and that he is a monk who left that monastery. When asked why he left the monastery the monk says that he heard that Daruǰai the Rich has a daughter and that he has come to him to give his daughter an education. Daruǰai the Rich is very pleased and lets the monk give Aǰu-mergen an education.

PDFPages 8-14: The bard, at this point, turns to another section in the story, using the formulaic phrase “if you say where the events of the story begin”. Then the story goes on to tell that in the middle of China there is a high mountain called Mount Panlong, or Coiled Dragon, and that an enemy appeared on this mountain. The enemy is an enormous creature known as the black Asar Mangas ( manɣus, a many-headed monster) with twelve heads. He provokes strong winds, and sends down torrential rain and hailstones. He kills people and eats their flesh. He has armies of demons under him, and proclaimed himself Great King.

In the meantime, the fame of the black Asar Mangas has spread far and wide and people who lived around Mount Panlong fled in panic seeking a safe place to live. When these events reach the ears of Emperor Sabar-gereltü, who is the reigning emperor in Tibet, he dispatches a great army from Tibet to suppress the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads, but they were powerless against him. Then Sabar-gereltü decides to send a decree to King Altan-gereltü, who governs the City of Wood in the eastern part of his realm, with orders to recruit bold warriors and to send them out to fight the monster. King Altan-gereltü summons his ministers and officials to a meeting to confer with them about how to subdue the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads, but there are only a few men who are capable of subduing the monster in the City of Wood . It is at this point that we learn that King Altan-gereltü has a daughter named Roɣmo-ɣooa.

PDFPages 14-26: Now the events of the story begin with an old man and an old woman, whose son is Geser. They live on the western border of Daruǰai Family Village on the southern slopes of Golden Qangɣai Mountain. In those days, poor people were hired by rich families, and Geser’s parents, who lived in poverty, were hired by Daruǰai the Rich to look after his cows. Geser, as a boy, is called the son Geser, and spoken verses relate how at the age of twelve or thirteen the son Geser helps his father to look after the cattle grazing around Golden Qangɣai Mountain (p. 16). Then we learn that the son Geser, extraordinary from birth, is exceptionally tall, his face is reddish brown, his hands and feet are huge.

One day, the son Geser puts the cattle out to pasture and decides to climb to the mountain. He comes to a thick forest and gazes far in the distance to enjoy the scenery. A song follows which describes how the son Geser fights against a huge dark brown striped tiger that comes out of the forest with its mouth wide open, stirring dust from its paws. The son Geser does not even know what a tiger is. When the tiger comes towards him ready to attack him, the son Geser tucks up the hems of his robe, pulls out his cudgel from his back and rushes at the beast. The son Geser dodges the tiger’s attack many times. Then he grabs the beast by its neck, strikes a blow in its muzzle with its cudgel, and kills it (song: pp. 17-19). The son Geser returns home carrying the dead tiger on his back. When the he enters the tent his parents are alarmed at the sight. The son Geser explains to them that the tiger attacked him, and that he killed it, thinking that it would cause harm to people and livestock. At that time the tiger of the mountain was regarded as the master of the mountain, and to kill it was considered a crime worth of punishment. Geser’s parents have no other choice but to take the tiger to Daruǰai the Rich and to seek his advice about how Geser should be punished for having killed the tiger. Accompanied by his father Geser carries the tiger on his back and the two of them come to the home of Daruǰai the Rich. The latter observes Geser, and impressed by his heroic appearance and courage does not punish him. He simply places a saddle over Geser’s back and hits him with a rod three times. After Geser and his father returned home, Daruǰai the Rich thinks to himself that the son Geser is a true man, and that his only daughter Aǰu-mergen is now fifteen or sixteen. Aǰu-mergen’s parents decide to marry their daughter to the son Geser. When they look through the lunar calendar to find the auspicious month and the day for the marriage, it turns out that they have to marry Aǰu-mergen to Geser on that day. They go to see Aǰu-mergen’s teacher to discuss the matter of the marriage with him, but the teacher is gone. The wedding feast takes place, after which Geser and Aǰu-mergen spend their lives looking after the cattle on Golden Qangɣai Mountain .

PDFPages 26-53: The narrative returns to King Altan-gereltü , who has received a decree from the Emperor, ordering troops to be recruited to subdue the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads. King Altan-gereltü makes inquires in all sorts of places, and when he hears that on the southern slopes of Golden Qangɣai Mountain there is a mighty hero whose name is Geser, he dispatches a messenger to Daruǰai the Rich urging him to tell Geser to come to see him at once. Daruǰai the Rich calls Geser and tells him about the decree, then Geser accepts the command and takes leave of his family. On leaving home, Geser has no horse for his journey. He has no armour, helmet or weapons. He has only two cudgels hanging from his back. Geser sets out on his journey on foot, walking towards the distant City of Wood. Geser’s journey is described in song (p. 30). When he has been going day and night, Geser reaches the City of Wood, which is entirely built of wood, hence the name City of Wood. Upon coming into the presence of King Altan-gereltü in his palace, Geser kneels down before the King. The King offers Geser a seat and tells him how the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads became the enemy of the whole world, and how he is inflicting suffering on the people. The King also tells Geser that to subdue Asar Mangas he urgently needs a brave commander who leads an army against the monster. When the King has spoken, Geser tells him that he heard that the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads has ruined the people and their land, and that the physical strength of the monster is truly prodigious. Geser asks the King to allow him to set out for war with a small force, because, he explains, if many people go to the land of Asar Mangas many people will die. When King approves this, Geser tells him that he is determined to march against the enemy, but, unfortunately, he has no armour to wear, no horse to ride, no weapon to hold to accomplish his mission. On hearing this, King offers to give Geser armour, weapons, and a horse. Geser enters the King’s armoury and sees armours aligned on one side of the room. He puts it on, but not even one fits Geser’s body. He heads to the arsenal. Here he grabs weapons and waves them to try them out, but there is no weapon to fit Geser’s hand. When informed of this fact by the armoury keeper, King Altan-gereltü is alarmed and wonders what Geser is going to do without armour and weapons. At this moment, Roɣmo-ɣooa comes forwards and reminds his father, King Altan-gereltü, of the armour, helmet, and sword his father once used and how these objects are worshipped in a temple where prayers are offered and lamps burn day and night. King Altan Gereltü is reluctant to give these objects to Geser, but Roɣmo-ɣooa insists that he should be generous with Geser for the sake of subduing the enemy and letting him win a famous and celebrated name. King Altan-gereltü reflects on this for a moment. Then he concludes that he would never wear his father’s armour, and that he should let Geser wear it so that he will be endowed with strength and will easily defeat the enemy. King Altan-gereltü summons Geser to his presence and tells him to go and have a look at armour, helmet and sword.

Household servants guide Geser to the temple where armour, helmet and sword are preserved and worshipped. Geser dons the armour, and it fits him perfectly. The armour is called Dragon and Garuda golden armour. He puts on his head a three-pointed helmet called Green Phoenix, and it fits his head perfectly. Near the armour there is a sword called Jade Dragon with a keen tip and a sharp one-edged blade. Geser grabs the sword in his hand and waves it, and it fits his hand very well. When Geser, clad in armour and holding the sword in his hand comes out of the temple, he looks resplendent and majestic. Because armour, helmet, and sword were granted to him by the King, people come to Geser’s side and bow to him. King Altan-gereltü, meanwhile, watches Geser in amazement, saying to himself that Geser is the fortunate man to wear this armour and helmet, and that he certainly has the power to subdue the monster. Because of this, he thinks, he should let Geser become his son-in-law.

Since Geser still needs a horse, he asks the horse herders to gather for him the thousands of horses of the King, and from among the horses there is one, whose qualities Geser especially admires. Spoken verses describe the horse as being like a celestial steed, swift and fine (p. 43). The horse herders catch the horse Geser admires and offer the horse to him. This is the horse King Altan-gereltü’s father once rode. The horse’s name is Wise Chestnut. When Geser gets the horse to gallop along a wide plain, he is no longer the Geser he was before. He causes the sky and the earth to shake and he becomes the hero Geser who has the power to subdue the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads. When the hero Geser has found the horse, a festive banquet, lasting for several days takes place in the City of Wood . Geser is now preparing to set forth against Asar Mangas. This event is narrated in song (p. 45). The night before Geser’s departure for the land of the enemy, a terrible wind, presaging the arrival of the Mangas, sweep through the City of Wood . A song narrates how in the darkness of night a whirlwind sprang up, causing damage to the City of Wood (song: pp. 46-47). Then the news comes that Princess Roɣmo-ɣooa has disappeared from her palace. A song relates how King Altan-gereltü and his subjects search for her: The many people shout loudly. /They search for the Princess, / The King of the country at their head. / They look for her in all direction. / After a whirlwind blew up, / No one knows where she flew away to (song: p. 48). It was the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads who came and carried off Roɣmo-ɣooa.

The black Asar Mangas with twelve heads carries Roɣmo-ɣooa under his arm and takes her to his mountain cave. There is a palace inside the cave, and the black Asar Mangas installs Rogmo Goa in this palace. Then he tells Rogmo Goa that he will soon become the destined great king, and that he wants her to become his principal wife. Roɣmo-ɣooa looks around her and sees hundreds or thousands of daughters of ordinary people who had been brought to that place by the Mangas. At this moment, Roɣmo-ɣooa thinks that, since she has fallen in the hands of the monster, she has no other choice but to deceive the Mangas into making him believe that she is complying with his wishes. When the Mangas asks Rogmo Goa to marry him that day, she refuses saying that she will do this only when the Mangas conquers the world and becomes a powerful king.

PDFPages 53-79: The story returns to the City of Wood . King Altan-gereltü summons his high officials and the hero Geser to a meeting, and when they consult with each other, they all agree that it was the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads who abducted Princess Roɣmo-ɣooa, and that the hero Geser must set forth against him immediately. Geser selects an auspicious day on which to set forth and takes command of one hundred thousand soldiers of the government army. A song follows which describes how soldiers rush into the military camp flying banners, and how they assemble in all directions. Geser’s appearance as he enters the White Tiger Hall is also described in song: Near his skin / He wears brocade armour / Tied around the waist with silk straps. / The suit of armour over it / Is made of steel and gold. / A three-pointed helmet covers his head. / He holds a weapon in his hand. / His riding steed with a black mane, / The Wise Chestnut, / Is saddled and bridled (song: pp. 55-57). A song also relates how the hero Geser announces to the troops that he took command of the army on orders from King Altan-gereltü, and that they are setting out to subdue the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads to free people from suffering. Then tents and provisions for the army are loaded onto iron carts (song: pp. 57-58). After this, Geser and the army set forth, heading towards Mount Panlong. Now a song describes the army on the march, including praise of the hero Geser, who is setting out on a long journey to subdue the enemy and to bring peace and order to the country. The troops continue to march: Halting at midday to eat / After marching thirty miles. / Camping at night to sleep / After marching sixty miles. / Resting two nights / After marching one hundred and twenty miles. / They march at all times (song: pp. 59-60). Now Geser, in song, orders the troops to pitch camp, and then proclaims military law to the troops, saying: You are not to make transgressions of any kinds. / You are not to divide in groups of fifteen. / You are not to disturb the population. / All who violate the law / Will be executed (song: p. 61). The troops approach Mount Panlong, the land of the Mangas. There are no human habitations in the land of the Mangas. The hero Geser, at this point, for fear that the Mangas would kill all his soldiers, decides to leave them at a distance of five hundred miles from to build fortifications and protect the local people. Geser assembles the generals, the rear guards, and the scouts, ordering them that until he comes back they should not let the soldiers cause disorder. After this, a song relates how Geser travels alone towards Mount Panlong (song: pp. 64-65).

Geser comes near to the mountain whose top is shrouded in dark mist and a foul smell of dark suffering fills the air. Geser approaches the Mangascave on the edge of the mountain, and here there is a hollow under a huge rock, and a large gate which marks the entrance to the cave. A big tablet is set over the gate, and flags fly over piled rocks. A song narrates how Geser shouts at the Mangas to come out of the cave. Demons and patrols in the service of the Mangas rush inside, and addressing the Mangas as Great King, tell him that something bad has happened: A big man has come demanding that the King go out at once. The song goes on to depicts a furious Mangas, who threatens to catch Geser, boil his flesh and eat it. The Mangas holds a club in his right hand. He holds a cudgel in his left hand. He is eight spans tall, and his twelve heads cry arsang arsang. Then the Mangas comes out of the cave stirring up a cold wind. When Geser hurls insults at him, the Mangas laughs, and it is as if rocks were splitting open. Geser tells the Mangas his name, and that he has come to cut off his heads and to put an end to people’s suffering. The two of them begin to fight, turning to the left and twisting to the right. Geser fends off the blows of the enemy’s weapons. The song, at this point, praises the abilities of Geser’s horse, the Wise Chestnut: The Wise Chestnut is a fine battle horse. / He is no ordinary horse. / He attacks from all directions, / Stirring up a cold wind from his four hoofs. / When he battles swinging round and round, / It is as if rocks are crashing. / Never will you see a horse like this. The two enemies fight in every direction, matching each other’s strength. They fight eighty rounds (song: pp. 66-71). One day passes and the hour becomes late, and now the Mangas is hungry and thirsty. He tells Geser to wait for him there, and that he will come back after he has eaten and drunk. A wind blows and the Mangas flees from the scene of battle. When the Mangas comes back the two of them resume a battle that goes on for three days and three nights, yielding no victor. Geser loses control of the Mangas, and the Mangas flees into his cave. Geser has no other choice but to go back to his troops, only to discover that the Mangas broke into the encampment at night and killed many of his soldiers. Geser can do nothing but to put in order the remaining soldiers and to station them in a safe place.

Geser returns to the mountain and challenges the Mangas to battle. When the two opponents fight, they soar into the air, ripping up the soil and causing the tree and the rocks on the mountain to crack. A song narrates how they fight one another, without either vanquishing the other. Geser fights the Mangas for a long time, and when the battle comes to an end, Geser realises that fighting the enemy in that way it does not work. Thus he takes his bow of gold and steel and from among his arrows of gold and steel he notches one to the bowstring. He draws the bowstring to the full and lets the arrow fly, aiming the shot at one of the Mangas’ heads on the right. The bowstring twangs until it roars. The force of the arrow is such that it flies chirping. It cuts off one of the Mangas’ heads. The Mangas lets out a shriek, rolls on the ground and disappears from view (song: pp. 75-76). Geser has no choice but to go back to his army unit and to regroup his troops.

Geser and his army begin to march towards of the City of Wood. As they reach the City of Wood, Geser goes into the presence of King Altan-gereltü and gives him an account of what has happened in the land of Mangas. Geser tells the King that his army has suffered heavy losses, and that he is now determined to go alone to fight the Mangas. Thinking that his daughter has been taken away from him, and also considering how much suffering the Mangas is causing to the people, King Altan-gereltü allows the hero Geser to go to subdue the Mangas alone. Geser selects an auspicious day for setting off, takes leave of the King and comes out of the City of Wood. A song relates how Geser travels towards the land of the Mangas , crossing mountains and fording rivers (song: p. 79).

PDFPages 79-155: Now the story turns to Geser’s family. Three years have passed since Geser left home, leaving behind his aged parents and his wife Aǰu-mergen on the southern slopes of Golden Qangɣai Mountain . Meanwhile the news is being spread that Princess Roɣmo-ɣooa was promised to Geser, that the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads caused damage to the City of Wood, and that he abducted Roɣmo-ɣooa. There was also news that the hero Geser went to Mount Panlong to fight a battle, and that his army was badly defeated, but no news of Geser himself was heard for three years. Geser’s parents begin to worry about their son. They bow towards Golden Qangɣai Mountain and pray for him to the Bodhisattva Ariyabalo. As for Aǰu-mergen, who has learned her battle skills from a wandering monk, she would have liked to join her husband in a distant land, but at the same time she hesitates to leave Geser’s aged parents by themselves.

At this time the hero Geser is travelling in the direction of the remote Mount Panlong . Along the way dusty winds rage, darkening all around. The road becomes invisible, and the hero Geser loses his way. This event is conveyed in song (pp. 82-83). Geser continues to go and approaches a village, without knowing in what place he is. As he moves on, an old man walks towards him. His greyish-white beard reaches to the lapel of his robe, and he walks with the help of a cane in his right hand, and holds a pouch in his left hand. Geser gets off his horse and greets the old man, who asks Geser his name, where he comes from, and where he is going. Geser tells the old man his name, and he also recounts how he lost his way while he was traveling towards Mount Panlong determined to subdue the Mangas. The old man tells Geser that the village where he has arrived is called Qi Family Village, and his name is Qi Dagong. After inviting Geser into his house for a rest, the old man warns Geser against the Mangas, because, he says, the Mangas is a terrifying being and to defeat him alone is not easy. The old man, as it turns out, is a diviner. He tells Geser that he would make a divination in order to find out in what manner he will subdue the Mangas. After three days, the old man urges Geser to return home. He tells him that, according to the divination he consulted, there is another person skilled in combat in his family and if he takes this person with him it would be possible to subdue the Mangas. Geser agrees to return home. He takes leave of Old Qi Dagong, promising that he will come back to him to repay his kindness when he has killed the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads and has conquered the enemies in the ten directions.

The hero Geser starts his journey, heading north-east towards Golden Qangɣai Mountain . A song relates how Geser travels day and night, thinking how his aged parents have missed him more than three years, and how he is moved to tears when he sees his homeland (song: pp. 90-92). Shedding tears, Geser sees his homeland with its silken green plains, the azure-coloured hollows, and the livestock dotting the landscape like inlaid pearls. Approaching home, Geser dismounts from the horse and wonders what has become of his family: are his parents still alive? Is his wife still at home? He was thinking thus when in the distance someone appears who is shielding the eyes with the hand. Geser recognises his mother who carried him for ten months. Geser’s mother does not recognise her son. She goes back and tells Aǰu-mergen that someone who looks familiar is coming to their tent. Aǰu-mergen walks out of the tent, looks into the distance, and recognises Geser at once. All rejoice at Geser’s return.

The hero Geser has not yet defeated the enemy. He has not yet won a celebrated name. He has not yet put an end to people’s suffering. He can find no peace, and turning from one side to another he thinks about Old Qi Dagong, who told him that there is a person skilled in combat in his home, but he does not know who this person could be. When, one day, Aǰu-mergen, tells Geser that she is willing to go to the land of the Mangas with him, Geser tries to dissuade her from doing this, because, he says, the Mangas is a ferocious being and he might capture her. Only when Aǰu-mergen tells Geser that his second wife, Roɣmo-ɣooa, is no match for him while she has skill in arms, does Geser realise that the skilled person mentioned by Old Qi Dagong is none other than his wife Aǰu-mergen. Having the two of them decided to set out together, they select the day of the tiger as the auspicious day for starting their journey. Afterwards, Geser tells Aǰu-mergen to wear armour and helmet, take weapons, and saddle the horse.

Aǰu-mergen walks to her native home and tells her parents that she and Geser are about to go to the land of the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads. Hearing this, her parents become sad and do not want let her go. Aǰu-mergen, however, comforts them, reminding them that Geser is a capable warrior, and that she has learned her skills from a wondering monk. Then a song relates how Aǰu-mergen enters the treasury room. Here she dons armour, showing the image of nine Garuda birds around its collar. On her head she puts a silver helmet, bearing the images of two flying Garuda birds. She wears boots with floral designs. In her right hand she holds a white silver spear. She adorns her horse with saddle and bridle. The horse is the White Dragon foal. Then she rides home to meet Geser (song: pp. 101-103). Seeing her, Geser is delighted. Now Geser and Aǰu-mergen take leave of their parents and set out on their long journey, heading towards Mount Panlong . A song praises Geser and Aǰu-mergen who set forth to destroy the Mangas, the enemy of the people (song: p. 104). Halting at midday to eat and sleeping at night, they continue their journey in the direction of Mount Panlong.

When, along the way, Aǰu-mergen asks Geser what the Mangas looks like, Geser says that the Mangas is two zhang tall and has twelve heads over his body. He holds two clubs in his hands, and when he comes out to combat he causes the sky and the earth to shake. On hearing this, Aǰu-mergen tells Geser that when they reach the cave of the Mangas, he should call the Mangas out, after which they will fight him together. A song relates that, as they come near to the entrance of the Mangascave, Geser challenges the Mangas to battle. The demons that live in the land of the Mangas rush inside and tell him that the big man, who came before has returned for combat. Hearing this, the Mangas grabs two hammerhead clubs. When he appears at the mouth of the cave a whirlwind blows causing the rocks and the trees to crack. The song goes on to describe the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads coming out of the cave. He sees Geser and laughs aloud, and when he comes down from the mountain to fight Geser the rocks and the trees make thunderous noise (song: pp. 106-107).

Geser, continues the song, tells Aju Mergen to keep away from there and to watch from afar while he fights with the Mangas. When Aǰu-mergen raises her eyes to look at the Mangas she sees that his appearance is terrifying. The song describes the appearance of the Mangas, and how the Mangas fights with the hero Geser, carrying along a cold wind. It also tells us how Aǰu-mergen intervenes in the battle. When she notices that the Mangus is overcoming Geser, she pulls down the bow from her back. She fits an arrow to the bowstring, and stretches it wide as the full moon. She lets the arrow fly, aiming the shot at the base of the throat of the Mangas’ head on the right. At this moment, the Mangas looks confused around. He does not know where the arrow came from. His head goes rolling to the ground. The Mangas falls to his knees in a daze, looks at his head, and his head returns on top of his body again. Aǰu-mergen shoots ten arrows, and one head falls down, but as soon as it falls down the head sticks to the Mangas’ body in no time. In the meantime, the hero Geser pushes his spear through the base of the Mangas’ heart, but the spear does not penetrate his body. The Mangas is resistant to weapons (song: pp. 108-112). Nevertheless, the Mangas is weary and confused, and flees into his cave. Geser and Aǰu-mergen chase him in vain.

Geser and Aǰu-mergen move away from Mount Panlong . They go through a forest in the mountains, and in the distance they spot a man carrying a big load on a shoulder-pole. The hero Geser draws his sword, and when he emerges from the forest shouting “watch out for the sword!”, the man becomes frightened and drops his load. Geser asks him who he is, where he is going, and what he is carrying. The man says that he is going to deliver provisions for the Mangas, but what he is carrying is not the sort of food the Mangas would eat. The Mangas, he says, took women to his cave in great numbers, and the food he is carrying is meant for them. Hearing that the man is in the service of the Mangas, a furious Geser comes at him with his sword held high. Geser is on the point of hitting him with the sword when Aǰu-mergen stops him, saying that they should instead join forces with the man. Aǰu-mergen asks the man to tell them about himself, and the man tells them that his name is Zhao Li , and that he has served the Mangas for several years. The man also says that he hates the Mangas, and that he would help them to kill him. On hearing this, Geser sets aside his sword, and the three of them begin to discuss which stratagem they could use in order to enter the Mangascave and kill him. Zhao Li tells Geser and Aǰu-mergen that the Mangas eats an enormous quantity of human flesh, and that after eating he falls asleep without awaking for three nights and three days. Inside the Mangascave it is as bright as day, he says. When the man reveals that the person to whom he delivers the provisions is Roɣmo-ɣooa, the principal wife of the Mangas, Geser and Aǰu-mergen rejoice at the news.

Geser gives Zhao Li a letter, asking him to hand it to Roɣmo-ɣooa. Zhao Li puts the letter in the breast of his robe and walks to the Mangascave. Here he meets Roɣmo-ɣooa and gives the letter to her. Roɣmo-ɣooa replies to the letter and gives it to Zhao Li. In the letter she writes the following: “Esteemed hero Geser, since in your benevolence and wisdom you have come to subdue the monster, I will help you from within. Today the monster is tired after fighting for many days and he is eating his fill of flesh. When he is sated he falls asleep for three nights and three days. You should come at this time and kill him while he is asleep”. Having read the letter, Geser and Aǰu-mergen follow Zhao Li to a village on the south-west on the mountain a spend the night in Zhao Family Village. Roɣmo-ɣooa, meanwhile, is using all kinds of ruses to makes the Mangas fall into a deep sleep. She feeds him with human flesh and serves him fine drinks.

Geser and Aǰu-mergen are waiting for the next day at Zhao Li’s home. They tell him how they fought with the Mangas, how they cut off his heads, and how his heads joined his body again. While the three of them are talking to each other like this, Aǰu-mergen says that, since she has studied many books on the art of war, in her opinion, if they do not cut off his head in the middle of his many heads the Mangas will not die. The next morning comes, and Geser and Aǰu-mergen saddle their horses. They are about to leave when Aǰu-mergen says that they should not hurry, and that they should instead send Zhao Li ahead on the pretext of delivering provisions so that he could spy out the land. Otherwise, she adds, they would not know what traps have been placed for them there. Zhao Li bundles the provisions and raises the carrying-pole to his shoulders ready to go, and Geser gives him a letter for Roɣmo-ɣooa. Zhao Li walks along the secret path leading to the abode of the Mangas. On reaching it, Zhao Li hands both the provisions and the letter over to Roɣmo-ɣooa. She answered the letter and tells him that the action will take place the next day.

In the meantime, the Mangas has eaten and drunk. He stretches out and yawns, but he cannot go to sleep. Roɣmo-ɣooa goes to his side and asks him what is wrong with him. The Mangas tells her that he is troubled by the thought that Geser might enter his home. Roɣmo-ɣooa says that Geser is not worth being worried about, because Geser might be a valiant warrior but he cannot reach this secure palace under the mountain. Moreover, she says, Geser is afraid of his abilities and will not dare to approach. Persuaded by Roɣmo-ɣooa’s words, the Mangas falls asleep, and Roɣmo-ɣooa goes outside the palace and meets with the girls who were abducted by the Mangas, promising them that they will soon return home.

A song tells us that early in the morning Geser and Aǰu-mergen don short armour, take their weapons, and leave their horses at Zhao Family Village. Zhao Li shoulders his carrying-pole and leads the way to the Mangascave (song: pp. 133-134). The closer he comes the harder the terrain is. Zhao Li enters a narrow tunnel, fighting his way through rocks and trees, while Geser and Aǰu-mergen march behind him. They enter the Mangascave and see that in it there is a fine palace shining with a bright blue light. Informed of their arrival by Zhao Li, Roɣmo-ɣooa goes to meet Geser and Aǰu-mergen and tells them that the Mangas is asleep. When asked how they can kill the Mangas, Roɣmo-ɣooa says that the Mangas told her that his body is resistant to weapons, but if a spear is thrust through the mouth in the head in the middle of his many heads, the weapon will run all the way through, and it will go on penetrating every part of his body. Once his head in the middle is cut off, she adds, the other heads become useless. Geser now entrusts Roɣmo-ɣooa and Zhao Li with the task of moving the numerous girls, who were abducted by the Mangas, out of the cave, because, he says, should a fierce battle ensue it would be dangerous for them.

Geser and Aǰu-mergen go directly to the Mangas’ palace and find that the Mangas is asleep. Geser flies into a rage at the sight of the monster. A song relates that Geser strides forwards and comes to his side and Aǰu-mergen comes to the other side. They take out their swords from the sheath and both pierce the Mangas’ mouth in his head in the middle with them. The Mangas lets out a powerful cry. His head in the middle is cut off, and the Mangas tries to rise from the bed, but he tumbles down. All his heads are rolling on the ground in every direction, while his palace crumbles. Geser and Aǰu-mergen transfix the Mangas’ aorta with their weapons, and blood gushes out, and the magic and supernatural powers of his body are all destroyed as a result ( song: pp. 139-140). Spoken verses relate how the hour of the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads who troubled the earth came to an end (p. 140). Geser and Aǰu-mergen chop the Mangas’ body into bits and scatter these into a hole in the middle of the cave. They look around and see that the demons which were in the Mangascave are all dead.

Geser and Aǰu-mergen do not know what magic power there is in the Mangas’s cave. It shines with a bright blue light. When they ask Roɣmo-ɣooa to tell them what the source of the light is, she says that the cave shines with a bright blue light because there is a jewel in a box under the Mangas’ throne, and a light radiates from that box. They search for the box and find it, and inside it there is a glittering pearl emitting a bright blue light. The moment they take the pearl and go out of the cave, the cave becomes dark. After this, Geser and Aǰu-mergen smash the Mangascave and covers it up with rocks and trees. When this has been done, Geser makes proclamations in all directions to announce that the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads has been subdued.

As for the thousands of girls, who had been abducted by the Mangas, they are taken to Zhao Family Village and preparations are made to send them home. When news of these events reach the people, who once lived in the vicinity of Mount Panlong, they begin to move towards their homeland, guided by Geser. A song describes how people travel homewards, and how they praise and revere the Holy Geser, the great hero (song: pp. 145-146). People also present Geser with gifts of gold, silver and well-fed cattle. Geser will not even accept a small part of it. When Geser has settled the people in their homeland, he with Aǰu-mergen and Roɣmo-ɣooa set out towards the City of Wood. Here King Altan-gereltü grants favours to Geser and presents him with livestock.

The deeds of the hero Geser became known far and wide and everybody all over the world begins to worship Geser. People in his homeland, praise Geser as the supernatural being who subdued the Mangas, and invoke him as a holy person. They make a portrait of Geser, build a temple in his honour and have made offerings to him ever since.

A song also relates how Geser and his two wives come out of the City of Wood and travel towards Golden Qangɣai Mountain (song: pp. 150-153). The tale is brought to a conclusion with a song in praise of Geser, who after defeating the black Asar Mangas with twelve heads, returns home, and goes on watching over his cattle. Should enemies of the people arise, Geser will go wherever they are and will subdue them so that the people will enjoy peace and happiness.