Altan morin-u namtar The Story of the Golden Horse


Cassette: 051-060
Transcription: hdl:11341/0000-0000-0000-275A
Transcription Number: Mo 14-20
Transcription Pages: 408 pp.
Recording: Sometime in 1993, Rinčindorǰi recorded the tale from the recitation of the bard Damrin of West Baɣarin.
Transcription Note: On August 24, 1993, Rinčindorǰi finished writing down the text. On December 8, 1993, Rinčindorǰi recorded a new version of the last section of the performance, 41 pp., and finished writing down the text on January 20, 1995. Rinčindorǰi also added notes to the text.
Peculiarities: -
Further Information: -
Language Archive Cologne: hdl:11341/0000-0000-0000-2712


PDFPages 1-8: The bard Damrin begins the performance of the tale, singing that the history of humankind is the mirror of the word, and to narrate the history of an ancient people is the endeavour of the bard, who transforms the events of history handed down from times past into “the tales of the fiddle” ( quɣur-un üliger ). The story the bard narrates is entitled “The Story of the Golden Horse”, dealing with the Tatars (i.e. the Mongols) whose homeland is in the North. The land where the Mongols live is described as a good place, where people live in peace under the rule of the virtuous King Kököge. The five species of domestic animals fill the plains. There are no rebels or robbers, and the bandits in the mountains have been subdued. There is in the land of the Mongols the Panshi, or Reclining Lion” Mountain with rock caves in which immortal hermits practise meditation.

Now the story tells us that the capital of the country is Saran-mandal. It goes on to narrate how three years earlier frontier patrols saw a golden light shining from a rock cave in Panshi Mountain, and how they went to Saran-mandal to inform King Kököge of the event. King Kököge took his ministers Odon and Aɣar, and general Ayungɣa with him, and when they reached Mount Panshi a golden horse came out of the rock cave. They tried to catch the horse, but in vain. Then an immortal hermit master came out of the rock cave, recited spells, took a red silk rope and caught the golden horse. The golden horse became the riding horse of his disciple Princess Tolitoɣos , King Kököge’s daughter. The discovery of the golden horse became known far and wide, and a song relates how warriors of many countries were greedy for the golden horse and wanted to steal him. The song now tells us that the events of the story begin in another place (song p. 8).

PDFPages 9-11: A song relates that the story begins in the land of the Tang empire, using these verse lines: “If you say where the clouds originate from / From the warm vapour of the Southern Ocean. / If you say where the events of the story originate from / From the land of the greedy Tang dynasty.” Then the song goes on to narrate that as soon as the Tang Emperor Li Songke hears that a golden horse has appeared in the land of the Mongols he wants to have the golden horse for himself and decides to send valiant generals with a force of ten thousand soldiers to steal the horse (song: pp. 9-10). Emperor Li Songke convenes an assembly of ministers and generals, and appoints Shi Jingtang commander in chief of an army of ten thousand soldiers. After this, the army sets off for the country of the Mongols.

PDFPages 11-142: Now the story returns to the country of the Mongols . A song narrates that ten frontier fortresses enclose the country, that Jinlong, or the Golden Dragon fortress, is located on the northern bank of the Jinlong River, and that it protects the land like an encampment. In the meantime, King Kököge is giving a great feast to celebrate the discovery of the golden horse (song: pp. 11-12). The story goes on to narrate that the commanders and soldiers who guard the frontier fortresses have gone to Saran-mandal to join the feast, and that feast last for three years. While all are feasting, the Tang army cross the Jinlong River. Scouts rush to Saran-mandal to inform King Kököge that General Shi Jingtang with a force of ten thousand soldiers has come to steal the golden horse, and that he has sent his soldiers to capture the fortresses. Scouts also report to King Kököge that the Tang army has captured seven frontier fortresses of the Mongols. This prompts King Kököge to confer with his ministers Odon and Aɣar and General Ayungɣa about what can be done, and General Ayungɣa tells the king that the Tang army has come to attack the Mongols, and that he will select an army unit, choose an auspicious day for setting out against the Tang army, and make it retreat to Chang’an. Pleased to hear this, King Kököge appoints Ayungɣa commander in chief of the army. Ayungɣa musters his soldiers and dresses for battle. A song relates that Ayungɣa dons padded armour next to his skin. He also puts on many-layered armour such as luminous precious armour, fire armour and silver armour, covered with golden dragon armour. Golden dragons with mirrors on their mouths are drawn on the back of the armour and five flags are fixed in the middle of the mirrors. He ties his armour with a heavy steel belt and wears boots showing the head of a tiger. He pins the flag of military authority onto the collar, attaches the sword of command to his flank, and takes the seal of the commander in chief. He straps a quiver across his back and takes a two-bladed sword in his right hand. Then Ayungɣa sends for his horse, and horse-herders run to the rear camp to fetch the horse. People in charge of the saddle open the treasure room and two men bring it to the place where the horse is. Grooms put a blood-red halter and bridle worth ten thousand silver ounces around the horse’s head. They place a thick saddle-cloth over the horse’s crupper and a saddle worth ten thousand silver ounces over it. The pommel of saddle shows the image of the sun and moon at the front and the back. The saddle straps on the two sides flutter in the wind like wings. Thus adorned, the horse paws the ground with his hooves and rises his tale, flashing flames of fire from his eyes. The horse has the ability to gather the wind under his hooves. He has three wish-granting jewels in the middle of his nose, and the mantra oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ is written in the middle of his forehead. The horse’s name is Wise Chestnut. Ayungɣa mounts his horse and rides off (song: pp. 16-26). Then Ayungɣa gets off his horse and climbs the commander’s platform. This fact is repeated in song (p. 27). A song follows which describes Ayungɣa telling his troops that the thieving army of the Tang has invaded their homeland and that they should obey his orders, also warning them that anyone who transgress the orders will be put to death according to military law. After this, Ayungɣa has his ten thousand troops divided into five army units of two thousand soldiers, each headed by a general. Then he has each army unit arranged according to the five elements (fire, metal, water, wood, and earth), corresponding to the four cardinal points with the earth in the centre and their five colours (red, white, black, blue, and yellow). Sür-galdan is appointed general of the vanguard of the army in the south, with banners showing a red magpie. Sür-galdan is depicted as a warrior of formidable strength who can carry Mount Sumeru tied under his arm. He is six spans tall with a bronze-coloured face. He is dressed in blue armour and has a golden helmet on his head. He holds a lance with a long handle and wears a seven-starred sword at his side. Then Sülde-ǰanggiya is appointed general of the army in the west, with banners showing the image of a white tiger. Ayiǰi-mören is appointed general of the army in the north, with banners showing a black Garuda bird. Tuuǰi-mergen is appointed general of the army in the east, with banner showing a blue dragon. Sübegedei-mergen and Ilaγun-baγatur are appointed generals of the army in the centre, with banners showing a yellow tiger (song: pp. 28-35).

When the army is about to set out, Princess Tolitoɣos comes forward, holding weapon and followed by three hundred warrior maidens, and asks the commander Ayungɣa to take her along. At this moment, her father King Kököge intervenes and tells Ayungɣa that his daughter is bad at sewing, but she is skilled in arms. Thus Tolitoɣos takes a red rope, lashes it in the air and her golden horse arrives through the celestial sphere. A song relates how a golden light appears in the sky, how the horse comes before his owner, neighing with the voice of a foal, and how the golden horse is like diamond-hard weapons which arouse the enthusiasm of the troops. The song also narrates that the army sets forth to subdue the enemy, with their flags waving in the wind, and describes the commander Ayungɣa as an incarnation of the White Tiger star of the sky, while his horse, the Wise Chestnut, is described as a foal of the Southern Ocean. (song: pp. 38-43). The army headed by Ayungɣa reaches the Shizi frontier fortress and is met by the commander of the fortress, whose name is Qan-dalai. When the army is about to set out again Altan-süke and Mönggö-dösi, who are the paternal uncles of Princess Tolitoɣos, come to report that Tang troops have captured the Jinlong frontier fortress. Then scouts come to inform Ayungɣa that the Tang troops are deployed two miles away from the Shizi frontier fortress, and that there is also a letter from the commander of the Tang army which is to be presented to Ayungɣa. Ayungɣa reads the letter, in which the commander of the Tang army writes that the Tang dynasty rules over a land extending thousands of miles inside the Great Wall, that all their enemies have been defeated in their land, and that the Mongols are valiant and skilful people but they sent an army to block their path. If they hand the golden horse over to them, the letter continues, they will withdraw their army, but if they refuse to do this, they will let their horses trample the fortress flat and put the capital Saran-mandal to the sword. After reading the letter Ayungɣa becomes furious. He sends a reply, stating that the Mongols will fight the Tang army the next day.

The next day General Sür-galdan, mighty in spirit, goes out to battle holding high a red flag. He is accompanied by three thousand soldiers. At this time, a warrior named Zhang Ai emerges from the enemy camp, and on seeing him, Sür-galdan points his lance at him and calls him a thief in a loud voice. A song follows which describes Sür-galdan reproaching the Tang army, who, not being satisfied with what they have, have come to invade the northern country. When Zhang Ai asks Sür-galdan to tell him his name, Sür-galdan answers that he should ask his lance this question. When the two enemies begin to fight against each other moving to and fro, a brown-coloured light arises from their weapons. When Sür-galdan charges at the enemy it is as if Mount Sumeru is shaking. It is as if the Milk Sea is trembling. It is as if the earth is sinking. The two of them are locked in combat, harbouring the same thought of killing in their hearts. After fighting forty rounds, Sür-galdan takes out his iron club and holds it to strike Zhang Ai, who cannot dodge the blow. The club breaks through his three-layered armour and tears his right shoulder apart. Zhang Ai turns back his horse and runs away. After Zhang Ai returns to the camp defeated, a general named Yao Zhong offers to go out and fight with Sür-galdan. When Sür-galdan raises his eyes to look he sees that Yao Zhong is an impressive warrior. He is over nine spans tall. On his body he wears steel armour and has a blue iron helmet on his head. He holds a huge sword and rides a dappled horse. When Sür-galdan enters the battle it is as if thunder is crashing in the sky. When he charges the enemy it is as if Mount Tai is pressing against a fox. After fighting three rounds, Yao Zhong can no longer keep up the pace and flees. While Sür-galdan rides after him pursuit, Yao Zhong takes out three arrows from the quiver and draws the bowstring as round as the full moon. Sür-galdan hears the twang of the bowstring, and manages to block the arrow with his lance twice. Yao Zhong shoots an arrow a third time, which hits Sür-galdan’s left shoulder. At this moment, the Tang and Mongol soldiers who have escorted the two warriors enter the battle, shooting arrows and striking with clubs. The Mongol soldiers take out loop-poles to catch the soldiers of the Tang soldiers with. The Tang soldiers do not know what a loop-pole is. Only when they are caught by the throat do they understand. Seeing what is happening to the Tang soldiers, Yao Zhong, who is still being pursued by Sür-galdan, is terrified. His courage leaves him, his soul parts from him and flees the battle scene. The Mongol soldiers drag away the captured enemies to their camp. That day the Tang troops suffer a defeat and retreat in disgrace (song: pp. 51-65). After Sür-galdan and his soldiers return to their camp, Tolitoɣos gives Sür-galdan a golden pill mixed with water to drink, and Sür-galdan’s wound is cured. In the meantime, Shi Jingtang, the commander of the Tang army, is wondering what a loop-pole which the Mongol soldiers have used in battle might be when the minister Shi Baoyu explains to him that he has heard that from early times the Mongol people have been experienced in the use of a loop-pole to catch horses, and this is exactly what they have used to catch their soldiers. On hearing this, Shi Jingtang decides to equip his soldiers with hook-shaped weapons so that they can use these weapons to cut off the leather loops.

The next day General Yao Zhong of the Tang army sallies forth to battle, accompanied by five thousand soldiers, while Tolitoɣos comes out of the camp to encounter Yao Zhong, escorted by three hundred maiden warriors and three thousand soldiers headed by generals. A song narrates that when Yao Zhong looks at the warrior maiden Tolitoɣos, he sees that she is wearing a green silver armour and a helmet with the image of a two flying Garuda birds. She holds a lance in her hand and wears a precious sword at her side. From the golden horse which she rides a bright light radiated which dazzles his eyes. Tolitoɣos tells Yao Zhong her name, and she also blames the Tang troops for coming to her country to steal the golden horse who is fated to be her riding horse. Yao Zhong enters the battle holding high a large sword. When Tolitoɣos comes into battle carrying a lance, and with the golden horse running fast, a golden light rises into the sky. When the two enemies fight against each other, their skills in battle accords with their splendour. They share the same thought of killing each other. After fighting twenty rounds, a golden light surrounds Yao Zhong that dazzles his eyes. His horse cannot move (song: pp. 73-75). Then Yao Zhong finds an opening and turns back. He moves eighteen paces away, and takes out a thing from the chest of his robe and lets it fly towards Tolitoɣos. As the story relates, Yao Zhong has been given a flaming ball by a strange Daoist magician, whose name is unknown. A song relates that when the flaming ball grazes her head, Tolitoɣos laughs and says that in her country ten-year old children use this kind of ball to play with. Then she takes a flag from the chest of her robe, waves it and the flaming ball became useless. Seeing this, Yao Zhong comes to fight Tolitoɣos again. Their weapons meet and their hatred remains one and the same. After fighting ten rounds Yao Zhong is defeated by Tolitoɣos (song: pp. 77-78). After this, Tolitoɣos orders the Mongol soldiers to enter the battle and kill the Tang soldiers. A song describes how the battle rages, and how the Mongol soldiers catch the Tang soldiers with the loop-poles, but the Tang soldiers have tridents with hooks and use these to cut off the loops (song: pp. 78-79). The fighting continues, and the Mongol soldiers throw clubs and cudgels with iron points one after the other at the Tang soldiers, injuring half of them. A song, at this point, narrates that the Tang soldiers flee the battlefield, and that the warrior Tolitoɣos and the Mongol army return to their camp. Tolitoɣos goes back to receive the praises of the generals and soldiers, who also express their admiration for the golden horse (song: pp. 80-82).

After returning to the camp, General Yao Zhong of the Tang confers with the commander Shi Jingtang, concluding that if they want to seize the golden horse they have to kill Tolitoɣos. Then a man named Yao Zhongyu comes before Shi Jingtang and offers to steal the golden horse that night at the third watch. As the story goes, Yao Zhongyu is a famous thief in the Tang country. Thus at the third watch of the night Yao Zhongyu comes furtively out of the camp. A song describes the thief Yao Zhongyu moving quietly and keeping close to the base of the wall of the Shizi fortress. The song goes on to relate that Tolitoɣos has taken the golden horse to the rear camp and tied him with the precious red rope her teacher has given her. The golden horse hears a noise coming from afar and weighs with the voice of a foal, and Tolitoɣos, who is inside a tent reading books, rises from her seat, grabs her precious seven-starred sword and goes out to see her horse. When she sees a golden light shining in the middle of night, the horse pawing the ground with his hooves and raising his tail, she realises that someone has come to steal the horse (song: pp. 85-89). Being sure that a thief has come to steal the golden horse Tolitoɣos hides on the other side to observe. A song relates that the thief comes near the golden horse, and as soon as he tries to untie the red rope the horse opens his mouth wide, raises his tale, hits the ground with his hooves, and from his head a golden light spreads in all directions. Fearlessly, the thief seizes the horse on the right side, but the horse will not move. At this moment, Tolitoɣos jumps out from the place where she is hiding, grabbing the seven-starred precious sword and points it at the base of the thief’s throat (song: pp. 90-93). When the thief Yao Zhongyu confesses that he has come to steal the golden horse, Tolitoɣos calls soldiers and has the thief tied up and handed over to the commander Ayungɣa. In the meantime, news has reached Shi Jingtang, the commander of the Tang, that the Mongols have captured Yao Zhongyu.

Early next morning, the warrior Ayiǰi-mören of the Mongol army goes out to fight. Ayiǰi-mören is the son of Prince Duo Yan from Han state. Duo Yan has joined the Mongols and sworn an oath of brotherhood with King Kököge by drinking blood. His wife, Qongγor-badma, is a Mongol. Since she gave birth to her son by the Ayiǰi River, she named him Ayiǰi-mören, or the Ayiǰi River. A song narrates that Ayiǰi-mören comes into battle, escorted by three thousand soldiers, and begins to hurl insults at the Tang army. General Zhang Ai, the flag-bearer of the Tang army, comes out to encounter Ayiǰi-mören. Zhang Ai is wearing silver armour and a golden helmet and rides on a white dragon foal. He bears a sword at his side and holds a silver lance. Calling Zhang Ai a voracious thief of the Tang, Ayiǰi-mören tells Zhang Ai that if he surrenders to them, King Kögege will appoint him general, but if he fights against him, he will send him to the Ten Kings of the underworld. Now that Ayiǰi-mören has told the enemy his name, the two warriors begin to fight. Ayiǰi-mören enters the battle, rising an axe with a long handle, and when the two warriors’ weapons clash a dark red light rises high up and spreads out in all directions. They pull the horses’ bit and the stirrups with golden rings wipe off dust. The two warriors move back and forth, matching their fighting skills, and harbouring the same thought of killing in their hearts. After fighting forty rounds, Ayiǰi-mören presses his axe against the middle of the enemy’s back, and when he does this, it was like being crushed by Mount Tai. Zhang Ai is also a mighty warrior and furiously charges Ayiǰi-mören, but, after fighting forty rounds, Zhang Ai’s hand muscle goes numb. He flees, but there is no escape for him. Zhang Ai wants to pray to the Bodhisattva Ariyabalo but he has no faith. He wants to pray to his parents but praying is not enough. At this moment, brandishing his axe, Ayiǰi-mören comes up to Zhang Ai and cuts him in two in the chest. In this way the Tang army loses their flag-bearer. After this, Zhang Ai’s brother, Zhang Bao, comes out to fight Ayiǰi-mören to avenge his brother’s death. Without telling Ayiǰi-mören his name, Zhang Bao enters the battle holding a lance high, and his anger reaches the sky. It is as if a mountain of steel is crumbling. It is as if four seas of fire are boiling hot. After fighting twenty rounds, Zhang Bao is powerless, and when he seeks a way out, Ayiǰi-mören cuts off his shoulder lengthwise. Ayiǰi-mören puts the enemy troops to flight, and Ayungɣa of the Mongols beats the drum and calls back his army. On that day, the Tang army loses two generals (song: pp. 96-111).

Shi Jingtang, the commander of Tang army, confers with the military advisor, and it is decided to hang out the tablet of ceasefire and to dispatch envoys with a letter to Chang’an, requesting Emperor Li Songke to send reinforcements. At the same time, the minister Aɣar guesses that the Tang army must have asked for reinforcements, and tells his men that they should deal with the Tang army before they arrive. Thus Ayungɣa decides to make a surprise attack on the enemy. In the middle of the night, Ayungɣa assembles his generals and gives the order for them to break into the enemy camp from all four sides. Generals Sür-galdan, Sülde-ǰanggiya and other generals set out on their mission, each followed by two thousand soldiers.

In the enemy camp, the military advisor tells Shi Jingtang that, since he suspects that the Mongols are going to make a surprise attack, soldiers should evacuate the camp and prepare an ambush. When the Mongol generals and soldiers break into the enemy camp from all four sides, they find an empty camp. They have fallen into a trap. Then cannons thunder from all directions, war drums and gongs roar, and the Tang soldiers come out to do battle. A song narrates that when the Tang soldiers come out to fight the enemy, a fierce battle ensues, and it is as if the sky and earth are collapsing. It is as if the River Ganges is flooding. Soldiers of the Tang army shoot arrows from the places where they are hiding, others pierce the enemies with lances. Mongol soldiers catch the enemies with loop-poles. The Mongols fight hard, but they lose four thousand soldiers that day. As the battle rages, the golden horse neighs with the voice of a foal, and when Tolitoɣos goes out to see what is happening, she hears battle cries that reach the sky. She takes a sword, and riding on the golden horse she gallops towards the Tang encampment. A golden light arises over the encampment and a rainbow appears in the sky when she comes to fight in the enemy encampment. Tolitoɣos begins to fight with Shi Jingtang, the commander of the Tang army. After fighting twenty rounds, Tolitoɣos thinks that if she displays her strength she can defeat Shi Jingtang, and Shi Jingtang thinks that if he uses his talents he can defeat Tolitoɣos. After fighting sixty rounds, Shi Jingtang emerges the victor. Tolitoɣos moves eighteen paces away, recites spells and takes out a lance called “lone dragon” from the chest of her robe, and lets the lance fly into the air. The lance comes down, grazing Shi Jingtang’s shoulder, but, suddenly, a sword cuts off the lance (song: pp. 123-128). It so happens that the strange Daoist magician has come to help the Tang army, and it is he who cuts off Tolitoɣos’ lance with a sword.

A song recalls how the Daoist magician made Tolitoɣos’ lance useless, and it goes on to narrate that Tolitoɣos flies into a rage, hurling insults at the Daoist magician and fights with him. When the Daoist magician realises that he cannot defeat Tolitoɣos, he resolves to defeat her by magic. He causes a net to come down that presses against Tolitoɣos from above. Then he causes another net that entangles Tolitoɣos from below. Tolitoɣos laughs. She recites spells, takes out flying swords from the chest of her robe which cut off the nets. Again the Daoist magician fights with Tolitoɣos, and after fighting twenty rounds, Tolitoɣos produces the yin yang mirror his teacher has given her. Seeing this, the Daoist magician produces a flaming ball that breaks the mirror in pieces. Although Tolitoɣos has defeated the Daoist magician once, her magic mirror is smashed. A song repeats that four thousand soldiers of the Mongol army have been killed in battle (song: pp. 130-139). After this, a letter with the names of the soldiers who have been killed in battle is sent to King Kököge from the Mongol camp. The King reads the letter, and then he says that he has heard that a Daoist magician has joined the Tang army. When he asks what should be done to defeat him, Prince Duo Yan and his wife Qongγor-badma, who are on his side, offer to set out to help the Mongol army. Thus Duo Yan and his wife set out for the Shizi frontier fortress , escorted by five thousand soldiers. In the meantime, the Daoist magician is suggesting to Shi Jingtang, the commander of the Tang army, that they should hang out the ceasefire tablet for three days, during which time he will prepare something. Many times the Mongol army challenges the Tang army to battle, and, since nobody comes out of the camp, they conclude that the Daoist magician is up to something.

PDFPages 142-183: Now the story returns to Panshi Mountain where, as a song narrates, the hermit master lives who gave Tolitoɣos the golden horse. The master’s name is Bailian, or White Lotus. One day, the master Bailian has a ringing in his ears and his eyes twitch. He consults a divinatory book and finds out that his disciple Tolitoγos has been defeated in battle and the magic mirror is smashed (song: pp. 142-144). The master Bailian calls his young female disciple, J̌ulan-gerel, and tells her that a strange Daoist magician has fought with Tolitoɣos and made her magic mirror break in pieces, and that the Daoist magician is also preparing something bad. For this reason, master Bailian continues, J̌ulan-gerel should leave the mountain and go to offer her services to her country. A song describes the master Bailian telling J̌ulan-gerel that her father lives in a village located on the left bank of the Jinlong River, south of the Golden Qangɣai Mountain, and that he took her to Panshi Mountain when she was three years old. Then J̌ulan-gerel prepares to leave. Her mount is an eight-branched unicorn magic stag, and her weapon is a huge precious sword. When J̌ulan-gerel is about to leave, her master hands J̌ulan-gerel a letter, in which he writes that J̌ulan-gerel is to be given in marriage to the warrior Ayiǰi-mören. When J̌ulan-gerel sets off on her journey, her teacher waves a flag three times that dispatches the protective deities. A song narrates how the magic stag soars into the air, how a dais made of an eight-leaved lotus rises into a cloud, and how J̌ulan-gerel sits down on it. A pleasant wind rustles, and a gentle rain falls from the clouds, making flowers bloom on the ground. Upon reaching the Shizi frontier fortress , J̌ulan-gerel brings the cloud down, and the cloud goes back and settles over the rock cave in which her teacher lives (song: pp. 149-152).

A song narrates that, meanwhile, the Daoist magician is preparing a trap five miles away from the camp of the Tang army. Inside the trap, the Daoist magician puts forty-nine black dogs, forty-nine black foxes together with forty-nine pregnant women who swear curses. He also pours impure blood into bottles. The trap includes platforms placed on the four sides and one in the centre. They are covered in silk of different colours, each corresponding to the colours of the five directions. The Daoist magician sits on a couch over the platform in the centre, waving a flag that makes anyone who enters the trap lose consciousness. Generals and five hundred soldiers of the Tang are assigned to guard four gates of the trap. When this is done, the Daoist magician sends a letter to Ayungɣa, the commander of the Mongol army (song: pp. 156-157). In it, he writes that if the Mongols destroy the trap, the Tang army will go back to their country, but if they are unable to do this, the Mongols should hand their capital city, their valuables, and the golden horse over to them. The letter makes Ayungɣa angry, and when he gives Tolitoɣos and J̌ulan-gerel the letter to read, the two warrior maidens offer to go to inspect the trap. After finding out what the trap looks like, Tolitoɣos admits that it is difficult for them to destroy this kind of trap, and that not even the gods would dare go in. The two warrior maidens go back and tell Ayungɣa all about the trap, and they also volunteer to destroy it. Then the two warrior maidens write a letter to the Daoist magician, saying that Tolitoɣos and J̌ulan-gerel are going to destroy the trap the next day. On reading the letter, the Daoist magician laughs and says that if the two maidens destroy the trap, he will give up everything and go to find a retreat in the mountains to practise breathing exercises.

Songs interspersed with rhythmic recitative passages follow which narrate how Tolitoɣos and J̌ulan-gerel prepare to enter the trap. They wear armour and hold weapons, and each attaches an amulet with the word fu “happiness” on the top of their heads and cover it with the helmet. Then they tell Ayungɣa that generals and soldiers should not accompany them. They should stay outside of the trap, in case the two of them destroy the trap and the Daoist magician comes out of the trap. When Tolitoɣos and J̌ulan-gerel reach the east gate, a soldier of the Tang army, holding a lance high, attacks J̌ulan-gerel. They fight twenty rounds. Then J̌ulan-gerel manages to enter the trap. A song follows which tells us that Tolitoɣos spurs the golden horse with the whip, and a bright light radiates from her robe, when she enters the trap. When the Daoist magician sees the two maidens he waves the flag, and a brown dust rises up in clouds, and voices of demons can be heard. The Daoist magician comes down from the platform, and starts to move up and down swiftly. J̌ulan-gerel, who holds a magic sword, cuts off the right little finger of the Daoist magician , who rises up into the air with a shriek. Tolitoɣos makes the golden horse leap up into the air in pursuit of him. J̌ulan-gerel follows astride the stag. She takes out the yin yang mirror, which reflects the image of demons, and places it in front of the Daoist magician . As a result, the clouds press against him. Unable to move, the Daoist magician pleads with Tolitoɣos to spare his life, promising that he will not come back to the world of man again. Tolitoɣos does not kill the Daoist magician. Instead, she urges him to find a place to live in a distant mountain, purify his body with the burning smoke of sandalwood and juniper, and study the Five Classics and the Four Books. After this, the Daoist magician goes on his way (pp. 163-176).

At this point in the story, the bard Damrin recapitulates the events he has already narrated. Then the story continues with him narrating that after the trap has been destroyed the Tang army returns defeated and begins to march towards Chang’an. Shi Jingtang and the remaining troops reach the Dingxing frontier fortress , but the two Mongol generals Tuuǰi-mergen and Ilaγun-baγatur arrive and capture the fortress. The defeated Tang army continues to march and comes to the Pingxing frontier fortress . Here, three brothers named Han Long, Han Hu, and Han Bao, who guard the fortress, let Shi Jingtang and the troops in.

PDFPages 183-191: Now the section of the story begins in the city of Saran-mandal. One day, a letter from the commander Ayungɣa is presented to King Kököge. In it, Ayungɣa writes that the Tang army has been defeated innumerable times, that they have captured ten fortresses, and that his army has reached the Jinlong River, and is resting there. Given that, he also writes, the Tang army is ruined, there is enough time for them to enter Chang’an, the capital of the Tang empire. King Kököge reads the letter and tells the minister Odon about what Ayungɣa has written. The minister Odon tells the King that it would be a reckless action to enter the capital, because such an action would provoke the anger of many people, and the Mongols, who are few in number, cannot defeat a large army. The minister Odon also suggests that the King himself go to the Jinlong River where the army is stationed. King Kököge agrees to the suggestion and sets off, escorted by his private troops. King Kököge ’s journey to the Jinlong River is described in song (pp. 187-190).

PDFPages 191-351: Now the events of the story begin in Chang’an, the capital of the Tang empire. A song relates that a letter from the defeated commander Shi Jingtang is presented to Emperor Li Songke . The letter contains news that angers the Emperor, who hoped that the ten hundred thousand men he sent would have taken the golden horse. Instead, they are coming back to the capital defeated (song: 191-194). On learning the bad news, the emperor loses his temper and strikes the throne with the palm of his hand, his face turning as grey as ash. Then he says that he would never have imagined that the Mongols were so powerful. Never mind, he adds, that soldiers were killed in battle, because in the country there are other generals and soldiers who could be sent to fight and capture the golden horse, but, the Emperor finds out that there is nobody among the assembled military officials who would be willing to muster an army and set out to fight against the Mongols. This infuriates Emperor Li Songke, and a song, tells how Li Songke complains of having officials and ministers who flatter him when they receive thousands of favours from him, and yet, when fierce enemies are around nobody offer help. Then a minister, named Wang Jun, comes out from the ranks of officials. He has a shining skin and wears a hat with large brims, which contrasts in colour with the tassels. He is regarded as a pillar of the state, and is like a father to the common people. Wang Jun approaches the throne, kneels down and greets the emperor (song: pp. 195-198). Then Wang Jun tells the emperor that the golden horse appeared in the country of the Mongols and it is fated to be theirs. He also reminds the emperor how from the start he advised him not to send an army to find the golden horse, and as a consequence of the craving for a horse thousands of soldiers have been killed. Then he leaves the emperor to reflect on this. After this, the father-in-law of the emperor, Yang Wen , steps forward from the ranks of officials. A song introduces Yang Wen with these words: If a ruler is incompetent his ministers are foolish. Then it depicts Yang Wen as a man held in contempt. He wears a hat that does not fit him because he was born with a hollow forehead. He wears a brocade robe that does not fit him, because he was born with narrow shoulders (song: pp. 100-101). Yang Wen comes before Emperor Li Songke and insists that they should seize the golden horse and eliminate the Mongols. Then he advises the Emperor to issue a decree, calling for valiant generals in Shanxi and Shandong provinces. The Emperor follows the advice and issues a decree to the two provinces. After seven days General Gao Longbao of Shanxi comes to the capital with five hundred thousand soldiers, taking along his younger sister, Gao Lanying. General Yang Jinfeng of Shandong comes to the capital, taking along his two sons, Yang Hairong and Yang Haihu . Then the troops of the two provinces set forth to support Shi Jingtang, the commander of the Tang army, who is staying at the Pingxing frontier fortress . A song relates that the senior General Yang Jinfeng takes command of the army, and the army marches on, setting out at sunrise and pitching camp at night. On reaching the Pingxing frontier fortress, Yang Jinfeng dispatches horsemen with a letter to be presented to Shi Jingtang (song: pp. 210-212).

Shi Jingtang meets the troops and lets them enter the fortress. Once there, Gao Longbao of Shanxi tells the others about his plan to capture the Dingxing frontier fortress first, and then the Jinlong frontier fortress. When this is done, he adds, they will seize the golden horse and take him to their country. Early next morning, the troops set out for the Dingxing frontier fortress. After approaching it, the troops make camp twenty miles away from the fortress. The fortress is guarded by the Mongol generals Ilaγun-baγatur and Tuuǰi-mergen. When they learn that a huge force has approached the fortress, they send a letter to King Kököge, saying that the two of them have not fought the enemy, fearing that they would lose the fortress. On learning this, King Kököge and his generals decide to set out for the Dingxing frontier fortress. A song narrates that the King and the commander Ayungɣa come out of Jinlong frontier fortress with twenty thousand soldiers, along with the warrior maidens Tolitoγos and J̌ulan-gerel. When they approach the fortress, Ilaγun-baγatur and Tuuǰi-mergen go out to meet King Kököge and the troops.

After entering the fortress, King Kököge speaks to Ayungɣa, expressing his sadness for the continuing hostility and suggests that they should stop fighting. Ayungɣa disagrees, because, he says, it was the Tang troops who invaded their country, and they will not go back until they have captured the golden horse and seized the King. Fighting continues and the warrior Sür-galdan sallies forth to encounter the enemy, protected by the two warrior maidens Tolitoɣos and J̌ulan-gerel. At this moment, Gao Longbao comes out of the enemy camp. Gao Longbao is eight spans tall and holds an axe of brass. His hair and beard are as red as dates. He rides on a black and white horse, the colours of a magpie. A song describes Gao Longbao as a fierce warrior. It goes on to narrate that when his heavy axe of brass comes down to strike the enemy Sür-galdan, it is as if Mount Tai is collapsing. It is as if Mount Gang is shaking. It is as if a mad dragon is playing. When Sür-galdan realises that he can no longer hold the enemy off, he turns his horse around and flees the scene. Gao Longbao goes after him, and when he is on the point of striking him with his axe, Tolitoɣos blocks the axe with her sword. Riding on the golden horse , Tolitoɣos begins to fight with Gao Longbao. After fighting twenty rounds, Tolitoɣos leaves the battlefield, and J̌ulan-gerel comes into battle, riding on her stag. After fighting ten rounds, Gao Longbao charges at her fiercely, and J̌ulan-gerel cannot find an opening to take out her magic weapon. When Tolitoɣos sees that J̌ulan-gerel is in danger, she shoots an arrow from a distance that pierces Gao Longbao’s wrist. He loses control of his axe and flees, holding the saddle pommel tightly (song: pp. 227-234).

After this, Gao Longbao’s younger sister, Gao Lanying, comes out to fight a duel with Tolitoɣos. Songs and recitatives passages follow. We learn how the two warrior maidens fight, and how Gao Lanying’s fighting skill is extraordinary. Gao Lanying attacks Tolitoɣos using all kinds of weapons such as a weapon that takes the enemy’s life, a weapon that dispatches the enemy to the King of the underworld, and many others. Tolitoɣos invokes her teacher three times, then she produces something that flies up into the air with a loud noise. These are flying swords. When Gao Lanying catches sight of the flying swords, she grabs them, laughing. The story goes that Gao Lanying learned her skill in arms from a master, named Hu Lan, who lives in a cave called Lianghua on Tiehua Mountain. As the battle continues, Gao Lanying captures Tolitoɣos with a magic rope, but Tolitoɣos cuts off the rope with a golden scissor. At this moment, J̌ulan-gerel tells Tolitoɣos to leave Gao Lanying to her. When she comes into battle, J̌ulan-gerel produces a tuft of hair, blows on it, says “quick!” and it changes into her double. The true J̌ulan-gerel hides her body, protected by a magic light. A song narrates that Gao Lanying fights against J̌ulan-gerel, ignoring the fact that she is not the true one. Then the true J̌ulan-gerel emerges from where she is hiding and cuts off Gao Lanying ’s head. When her brother Gao Longbao sees that his sister Lanying has been killed, he begins to lament his dead sister, who came down from Mount Tiehua to offer service to her country. At this moment, Tolitoɣos and J̌ulan-gerel begin to fear that Gao Lanying’s teacher will come to avenge his disciple’s death (pp. 234-246).

While these events are happening, Gao Lanying ’s teacher, Hu Lian, who lives on Tiehua Mountain, makes a divination and realises that J̌ulan-gerel has killed his disciple. He takes his weapon, summons the wind and sets out towards the north-west, riding on the clouds. A song narrates how a fierce wind gets up from Tiehua Mountain , and an enraged Hu Lian heads for a distant land to avenge his disciple’s death. Hail-stones and a rain of blood comes down, as he travels, making the plants on the ground turn red. Upon reaching the camp of the Tang army, Hu Lian’s arrival is announced to Shi Jingtang (song: pp. 248-250). After the Tang army has received him, Hu Lian tells Gao Longbao that he has come to avenge his sister’s death, to offer his service to the Tang empire and to capture the golden horse . A song relates that, early next morning, Hu Lian takes a blue kerchief, blows on it, and the blue kerchief changes into a striped black tiger. This tiger becomes Hu Lian’s mount. Riding on the tiger, Han Lian comes to the battle field, escorted by generals and soldiers. Tolitoɣos and J̌ulan-gerel go out to fight, accompanied by four Mongol warriors (song: pp. 253-256). On seeing Hu Lian, the two warrior maiden tell each other that Hu Lan is a fox demon that has lived for eight hundred years on Mount Tiehua. Then Tolitoɣos calls Hu Lan a fox demon. A song describes Hu Lian becoming angry at being called a fox demon. He fights with Tolitoɣos forty rounds, without result. Then Hu Lian soars into the air astride the tiger, and Tolitoγos makes her golden horse leap up into the air. When J̌ulan-gerel sees that Tolitoɣos is in trouble, she rises into the air astride her stag to help her. A battle goes on in mid-air all day, but when the day is over Hu Lian strikes at Tolitoɣos’ right shoulder with his iron weapon which is a thousand zhang long (song. 257-263). Tolitoɣos is wounded and goes back to the camp, while the commander of the Tang army rejoices at her defeat.

Hu Lian’s weapon, which has wounded Tolitoɣos contains five kinds of poisons, and, since no remedy to cure her could be found, in the middle of the night, J̌ulan-gerel, riding on her magic stag, sets off for Panshi Mountain to ask her teacher Bai Lian for help. She comes to the cave where her teacher lives and tells him that Tolitotoɣos has been wounded by a poisoned weapon. She obtains an antidote to the poison from her teacher, who also tells her that the next morning Qongγor-badma is going to fight with Hu Lian, and that he will come to the battlefield at midday. J̌ulan-gerel goes back, and thanks to the medicine she brings with her, Tolitoɣos’ life is saved. The next morning, Tolitoɣos and J̌ulan-gerel escort Qongγor-badma to the battle field. A song describes the wicked Hu Lian coming out of the enemy camp, riding on his striped black tiger and followed by soldiers. Seeing Qongγor-badma, Hu Lian points at her with his iron weapon a thousand zhang long, and calling her a shameless woman, he urges her to say her name. After Qongγor-badma tells Hu Lian her name, a duel ensues. The song also narrates how the two opponents fight against each other, matching their fighting prowess. After fighting twenty rounds Hu Lian realises that he cannot beat Qongγor-badma. He exerts his strength and spurs the striped black tiger, whirling his weapon. After fighting ten rounds, Hu Lian is exhausted and his mind blurred. He flees northwards. Qongγor-badma goes after him in pursuit. She pulls out a magic arrow from the quiver. The bow string twangs and the arrow whistles, as it flies. Hu Lian sees the arrow and dodges it with his long weapon. Qongγor-badma shoots an arrow the second time, but Hu Lian grabs it with his hand. Qongγor-badma shoots an arrow a third time, but Hu Lian seizes it with his teeth. Qongγor-badma’s three precious arrows miss the target, and she is enraged. She takes out a rope to catch Hu Lian with. Hu Lian cannot avoid the rope and found himself tied up. Qongγor-badma is on the point of cutting off his head when she hears a voice in mid-air telling her not to kill Hu Lian. It is Bai Lian, the teacher of Tolitoɣos and J̌ulan-gerel, who has come to the battlefield, riding on the clouds (song: pp. 267-272). Bai Lian unties Hu Lian, takes him to his cave and becomes Hu Lian’s teacher.

Now a song tells us that Shi Jingtang, the commander of the Tang army, who has been watching the scene, is furious. He sends out the two brothers Han Long and Han Hu to kill Qongγor-badma, but J̌ulan-gerel offers to encounter the two enemies instead of her. The two brothers fight against J̌ulan-gerel. They grab three-pointed spears and battle back and forth as fast as flying, confusing J̌ulan-gerel. She crosses weapons with her enemies forty times, after which Tolitoɣos enters the battle (song pp. 276-278). Tolitoɣos throws a flying sword into the air that cuts off Han Long ’s shoulders. Seeing this, his brother Han Hu flees, and J̌ulan-gerel rushes after him. She pulls out an arrow from the quiver and shoots. The arrow pierces Han Hu ’s neck and comes out through his mouth. The soldiers who have been escorting the two brothers flee, and the warrior maidens go back to celebrate the victory. After this, J̌ulan-gerel comes before Ayungɣa and asks him to let her go out to battle so that she can capture the generals and soldiers of the Tang once and for all. On hearing this, Ayungɣa and those who are present laugh at her, but J̌ulan-gerel tells them that she is capable of doing this, thanks to a magic flag she has obtained from her teacher Bai Lian. Thus J̌ulan-gerel and Tolitoɣos ride to the battlefield, followed by soldiers. A song narrates that, at this moment, the senior general Yang Jinfeng of the Tang volunteers to go out to battle, but his two sons Yang Hairong and Yang Haihu dissuade their father from doing this, and go into battle instead. When J̌ulan-gerel looks at Yang Hairong she sees that he is seven spans tall and his face is like a jade seal in colour. He is a splendid and mighty warrior. A duel ensues, and the two opponents fight twenty rounds. Then J̌ulan-gerel produces a magic banner from the chest of her robe. She waves the magic banner three times and Yang Hairong comes to a standstill. At this moment, J̌ulan-gerel calls out to her soldiers and orders them to tie up Yang Hairong . Seeing this, his brother Yang Haihu is enraged and when he comes forth with his lance raised, J̌ulan-gerel waves the banner again, and Yang Hairong too came to a standstill and is tied up by soldiers. When Yang Jinfeng sees what has happened to his two sons, he sets out to fight J̌ulan-gerel (song: 283-288). When J̌ulan-gerel sees the senior general, she dismounts from her stag in respect and assures Yang Jinfeng that they will not kill the two sons of his whom they have captured. On hearing these words, Yang Jinfeng stops fighting and submits to the Mongols. This infuriates Shi Jingtang , and the battle goes on. Remembering that his sister was killed by J̌ulan-gerel, Gao Longbao comes out to kill her. A song describes how Gao Longbao and J̌ulan-gerel fight against each other twenty times. After this, J̌ulan-gerel takes her magic banner, and when she waves it and says “quick!”, Gao Longbao and his horse bend down on the spot, unable to move. Mongol soldiers tie him up and take him away. When the commander Shi Jingtang and all the generals and soldiers of the Tang come to the battlefield, they also end up captured in the same way as the other warriors. All the generals and soldiers of the Tang are put in chains and locked in prison in the enemy camp, while the two sons of the senior general Yang Jinfeng are set free. Seeing this, Yang Jinfeng expresses his gratitude to King Kököge, stating that he will submit to the King, watching over his herd of livestock, and leading his horse by the bridle when he goes to war (song: pp. 288-292).

Of all the generals and soldiers of the Tang army only the minister Shi Baoyu is not captured. He returns to the encampment, takes a fast horse and rides off to Chang’an. Shi Baoyu gallops towards the capital day and night until he comes to the north gate of the city. He has an audience with Emperor Li Songke and gives him an account of what has happened to the army from beginning to end. He tells the Emperor that the Tang army has been defeated by the commander of the Mongols, Ayungɣa, and not even one general has remained. On hearing this, the Emperor’s mind darkens, then, in his distress, he says that no one could have imagined that the military campaign would end in this way, when a force of twenty thousand has been sent for the second time. Then Shi Baoyu suggests that the Emperor should meet with King Kököge of the Mongols and make peace with him. Emperor Li Songke agreed to this. He takes an army of three thousand men, and followed by Shi Baoyu, leaves Chang’an.

The Emperor’s journey is described in song (pp. 301-302). Then the Emperor and his retinue reach the Shuanglong, or Two Dragons, frontier fortress and stop there. At the same time, King Kököge and an army of twenty thousand set out towards the Shuanglong frontier fortress to meet the Emperor. On reaching it, they pitch camp at a distance of twenty miles from the fortress. When the Emperor and Shi Baoyu see from a rampart how mighty and splendid the Mongol army is, Shi Baoyu urges the Emperor to negotiate a peace agreement with King Kököge immediately. The Emperor writes a letter to be presented to King Kököge and hands the letter to Shi Baoyu, who sets out for the encampment of the Mongol army. On reaching it, Shi Baoyu tells patrols that he has been sent by Emperor Li Songke and asks them to announce his arrival to King Kököge. King Kököge receives Shi Baoyu and offers him a seat. Then Shi Baoyu presents the letter to King Kököge . In it, Emperor Li Songke regrets that he did not heed the advice of wise officials and admits his guilt for starting a war that has caused heavy human loss, also stating that the Tang army and the Mongol army should stop fighting and go back to their respective countries. King Kököge reads the letter, and before answering it, he has Shi Baoyu taken to another place in the camp on the pretext of giving him a feast. After he goes out, King Kököge turns to his minister Aɣar for advice. Aɣar tells the King that it is true that Emperor Li Songke has recognised his crimes, but, since the war was fought in their country, bringing damage to people, land, and livestock, they should also reach an agreement on war reparations with the Tang Emperor. Thus King Kököge answers the letter by demanding war reparations, and hands it to Shi Baoyu. When Emperor Li Songke reads the letter he thinks to himself that, since thousands of his soldiers have perished in war, he is forced to give gold and silver to their families in compensation. If he was also forced to make war reparations to the Mongols, he would not have sufficient resources to pay compensation for the dead soldiers. Officials advise the Emperor to send a letter to King Kököge, stating that he will meet the King and discuss the matter of war reparations at their meeting.

Preparations are made for the meeting between Emperor Li Songke and King Kököge . A raised platform is built ten miles away from the Shuanglong frontier fortress. A song relates how a raised platform is built. On the left, a throne with nine dragons throne is reserved for Emperor Li Songke . On the right, a throne with five dragons throne is reserved for King Kököge (song: pp. 317-320). Then the two rulers set out for the place where the meeting is to take place. On reaching it, Emperor Li Songke sees King Kököge and is impressed by the dignified countenance that reveals his wisdom, and thinks to himself that the golden horse could only have appeared in his country. When the matter of war reparations is negotiated, Emperor Li Songke is not in a position to give the Mongols silver and gold. Instead, he offers to hand the Dingxing, Pingxing, and Shuanglong frontier fortresses over to them. King Kököge agreed to this, and it is decided that the place where the meeting is held would form the border between the two countries. A song narrates how King Kököge and his retinue go back to the city of Saran-mandal, how general Ayungɣa wins a famous and celebrated name for defeating the enemy, and how a great feast is made, lasting a month. After peace is restored to the country of the Mongols, a rainbow shining a bright light appears in the sky in front of the Golden Qangɣai Mountain, lotus flowers of many colours bloom, and the herdsmen enjoy happiness (song: pp. 343-345).

Emperor Li Songke goes back to Chang’an, but he cannot give compensation to the families of the dead soldiers. A song relates that Li Songke endures the shame of being defeated by the Mongols. Countless numbers soldiers and generals have perished in the war, yet the golden horse was not captured (song: pp. 347-348). In order to fill the empty coffers, Li Songke sends out the remaining soldiers to farm the land, and the remaining generals are put to work. Then another song describes how the decline of the Tang court reaches its limit. Endless quarrels occur, high officials of the Six Offices are also brought to trial, and only a few act according to the law and the customs (p. 349). This is where the tale ends. Finally, the bard Damrin, in song, devotes words of good wishes for Walther Heissig, who attended the performance of the tale.

PDFPages 352-366: Notes by Prof. Rinčindorǰi

PDFPages 1-41: Alternative version of the last section of the tale is also available which was recorded after the one summarised above (from page 300). Although not identical, the events of the story are basically the same in the two versions. The version recorded later provides a more elaborated description of Emperor Li Songke ’s meeting with King Kököge than in the previous version, which also ends abruptly with the description of the decline of the Tang court. This event is omitted in the version recorded later, which brings the story to an end, giving a detailed account of how the Mongols made a great feast to celebrate the victory over the Tang army, piling up meat as high as Mount Tai, and letting liquor flow as abundant as the waters of a sea. In also includes a song which relates that the golden horse is a self-originated horse, belonging to Tolitoɣos. When Tolitoɣos goes to war, continues the song, she summons the golden horse holding a halter. When she does not ride him, the golden horse goes back to the mountain rich in water. The song also tells us that the golden horse bathes in the water of Jinlong Lake once a year. When the golden horse is bathing and a light rain falls, no calamity will befall the Mongols.