Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/87

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79
OF THE MORDVINS.

clap crashed from the sky and upset everybody, leaving them like dead men. When the thunder passed away, a traveller from some distant and unknown land made his appearance in the village where Shirsha lived. He paid her his addresses, and her parents joyfully gave her up, though they did not know where the traveller was from. At the wedding-feast the strange bridegroom began to dance with the bowls, the spoons, the benches, and the cupboards, from time to time shouting most vigorously. When the moment arrived for him to lead his bride home, he roared like thunder, lightning flashed from his eyes and burnt up the room ; the wedding guests fell to the ground as if dead.; and when they came to themselves again, both the bride and bridegroom had vanished.

This bridegroom was Purgine Pas, the thunder-god, and he had flown away to the sky with his wife Sirsha. When thunder is rattling, the Mordvins think that the thunder-god is dancing in the sky with the bowls, spoons, benches, and cupboards, just as he danced at his wedding. On such occasions the Teryukhans leave their houses and go into the street, raise their hands up as they look towards the sky, and cry out :

"More briskly ! more briskly! thou art one of ourselves."

This story is told in the village of Siuha.

Children born from the union of the gods with Mordvin women lived on earth, and were till their death princes of the people, but after their decease they returned to their parents in the sky.

The Fall of Man.

Like the Chuvash, the Mordvins have a story of the fall of man. The following was written down in the village of Inilei (Veliki Vrag), in the district of Arsamas.

The first men lived in a state of happiness. They had plenty of cattle. There was no need to till the ground, as it gave of itself a thousand grains. In every tree there was a bee-hive. All men were rich, and had the same quantity of property. Cham Pas sent his