Note: From olonkho "Niurgun Bootur." Recorded in Moscow in 1957. Aleksei Popov (b. 1923), from Megino-Kangalasskii ulus (district), Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). These were extracts from Olonkho, the principal national epic of Yakut – there are 50 other epics known at local level. This is sung by olonkhosut, a non-professional singer who began training in childhood. The right hand to the right ear; the left arm crossing in front of the belly supporting the right elbow. Heroic epic sung and recited by a male, 40-45 years of age. This epos is sung at times for two or three days, as it consists of many songs. This is the song of the hero of the Middle World.
About the session: These Yakut songs were collected and given to Alan Lomax by Eduard Alexeev. They were originally recorded in Armenia, U.S.S.R., in 1962. Notes on tape: "Yakut sing only monody or unison in dance—never polyphonically—they sometimes sing with a two-tongued jaw's harp. The shamans have totally disappeared. The Yakut had a 3, 2, 1 stringed fiddle—not a traditional instrument— introduced by the Russian cultures—the one we saw was a yard long held against the belly."
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