The Caucasus has an extremely rich folk literature, almost unknown among English speakers, which includes myths, legends, magical tales, anecdotes and proverbs. The one hundred and one legends included in this book reflect the cultures of fourteen different ethnic groups - their dynamism and the matters that concerned them: survival against external dangers, the risk of starvation and the persistence of the family or clan as a coordinated group. Descended from an oral tradition, much of their knowledge was retained in memories and passed down the generations. Yet, with the introduction of the alphabet, the way of life they portray is rapidly becoming extinct. An incomparable collection, Legends of the Caucasus conveys the poetry and romance of these swiftly vanishing tribes. 'This book has brought into light some of the hidden treasures of the Caucasus ... A major contribution not only to the study of the Caucasus, but also to world folklore.' John Colarusso, McMaster University, Canada 'Inventive and meticulous in rendering the extraordinary folk poetry of the many nations of the Caucasus ... [This is] essential reading for anyone seeking an insight into the cultures of the Caucasus.' Donald Rayfield, Queen Mary University of London, UK
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