MUSEKTAU

 

In olden times there lived giant people named Alpamysha. They would tread the wood as if it were the grass, and they would uproot the highest tree as if it were a reed.

They say a child of those giants once encountered a ploughman and his three horses drawing the plough. The boy promptly grabbed hold of them all and bolted homewards. There he displayed his find to his father with the words: "A long way from here, far in the cornfield, I found this queer worm which had been ploughing its way through the soil". The moment the captives were let down on the floor, the father turned on him angrily, "Well, sonny, the so-called worm you have brought is not a worm at all. It is of human kind. Take him home right away and dare not injure him." Thus, once and for all, people were left undisturbed.

Later one of the Alpamysha giants came to our lands, and tired of a long travel, sat scraping off the mud stuck to the soles of his boots. Upwards a mountain of soil rose there, now called "Musektau1". The Musektau soars high in the sky discernable at the distance of 70-100 sakrym*. It rests upon the right bank of the Ai river and has a lakelet at its bare top.


 


1) In Bashkort folklore legends about afpamysha, gigantic peopfe of old times, are widely spread. The author of the commentary recorded in 1984 in the Baimak region the legend about the ploughman carried home in the palm of alpamysha. The Graveyard of Alpamysha, The Rock of Alpamysha and such like legends are found in different parts of Bashkortostan as well as in Celyaby and Kurgan regions.

Bashkorts used to sanctify the places connected with alpamysha. The images of alpamysha are close to those to those of other peoples, in some cases they are even identical: there is no great Difference between the plots of the Lettish legend "Daughters of a Giant and a Ploughman" and "Musektau". Some Mart (egends and myths have the same subject matter.

There is also strong resemblance bttween alpamysha who pockelted a paKfif horses with a plough and used to walk over the pine-trees as if they were shrubs of burdock, and the heroes of Byelorussian folklore, possessing uncommon power (vototy) who moved mountains and uprooted pines.