E Bukura e Dheut

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E Bukura e Dheut (the "Beauty of the Earth" or "Earthly Beauty") is a character in Albanian mythology and folklore,[1] depicted in some traditions as a crafty fairy,[2] and in other traditions as a chthonic goddess.[3] Her sisters are E Bukura e Detit ("the Beauty of the Sea") and E Bukura e Qiellit ("the Beauty of Heaven").[4] The quest for the E Bukura e Dheut is a very popular and frequent motif in Albanian folktales:[5][6] the princely hero must search for or rescue the Earthly Beauty, even going into her mystical underworld palace.[7] In central Albanian folklore, E Bukura e Dheut is the wife of the god Tomor.[8]

Role[edit]

E Bukura e Dheut is beauty itself, golden-haired,[9] but may also appear in the form of an arap with black skin. She may be a good spirit or (more often) evil, with magical powers the derive from her dress,[10] and lives in the underworld, where her palace is guarded by a three-headed dog,[1] a kuçedra and all sorts of other weird and wonderful creatures. She is sometimes described as always ready to help, and so powerful that she can undertake tasks that would normally be the province of God or of an angel.[11]

In some traditions E Bukura e Dheut is a chthonic goddess of the underworld,[12] in contrast to E Bukura e Qiellit (The Beauty of Heaven), who is a goddess of the sky, and E Bukura e Detit (The Beauty of the Sea), who is a goddess of the sea.[3]

Appearances in folktales[edit]

The quest for the E Bukura e Dheut is a very popular and frequent motif in Albanian folktales:[5][6] the princely hero must search for or rescue the Earthly Beauty, even going into her mystical underworld palace.[7]

A character named "Beauty of the Land" appears in a fairy tale variant of the Aarne–Thompson–Uther Index 707, The bird of truth, or The golden children (The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird), collected in the village of Zagori in Epirus, by J. G. Von Hahn in his Griechische und Albanische Märchen (Leipzig, 1864), and analysed by Arthur Bernard Cook in his Zeus, a Study in Ancient Religion.[13]

Her name is translated as "Belle of the Earth" in another variant of the same ATU 707 story, identified as the "Albanian version" of the tale, collected in Auguste Dozon's Contes Albanais (Paris, 1881) and published in Variants and analogues of the tales in Vol. III of Sir R. F. Burton's Supplemental Arabian Nights (1887), by W. A. Clouston. Dozon himself had collected three variants with the character, named La Belle de la Terre: Tale II - Les Soeurs Jaleuses ("The Envious Sisters"),[14] Tale V - La Belle de la Terre ("The Beauty of the World") and Tale XII - La Loubie et la Belle de la Terre.[15]

Parisian professor André Mazon published a study on Balkan folklore, with four tales of The Beauty of the Earth, whose name he wrote down as lepinata zemiâtuj or lepinata zemjëtuj: La Chevrette Merveilleuse, Belle de la Terre, Les Trois Soeurs and Le Fils de L'Ourse.[16]

References to La Belle de la Terre (the French translation of her name) exist in the folklore analysis made by Emmanuel Cosquin, who cites a tale collected by Holger Pedersen.[17] Cosquin quotes the tale where the Beauty of the Earth disguises herself in her "dark skin" and assumes another identity. The motif of the magical dress or garment also happens in a story where her suitor brings home to his mother the magical dress.[18]

In the heroic tale "The Twins" (Albanian: Binoshët; Italian: I Gemelli) collected by Giuseppe Schirò in Piana degli Albanesi and published in his 1923 Canti tradizionali ed altri saggi delle colonie albanesi di Sicilia, E Bukura e Dheut is translated in Italian as "la Bella della Terra".[19]

Robert Elsie, German scholar of Albanian studies, translates her name as "Earthly Beauty", in his book Albanian Folktales and Legends,[20] and she appears in six tales: The youth and the maiden with stars on their foreheads and crescents on their breasts, The three friends and the Earthly Beauty, The Boy and the Earthly Beauty, The Scurfhead (as a trio of Earthly Beauties living in an underground kingdom), The Stirrup Moor (as the true identity of the Moor and helper of the hero) and The King's Daughter and the Skull (as a fairy who disenchants the skull).[21]

This character's name is translated as Schöne der Erde in German translations by linguist August Leskien, in his book of Balkan folktales: "Die Lubi und die Schöne der Erde", "Die Schöne der Erde", "Die neidischen Schwestern" (a variant of the ATU 707 tale type), and in "Die Nachtigall Gisar" (where she appears as the owner of the nightingale Gisar).[22] She also appears in Das Haar der Schönen der Erde ("The Hair of the Beauty of the Earth"), in von Hahn's book of Albanian fairy tales,[23] and in Die drei Gesellen, from author Gustav Meyer.[24]

English traveller Lucy Mary Jane Garnett translated Leskien's Albanian tale as The Liouvía and the Beauty of The Earth.[25] She also noted the character is present in Albanian and Greek folktales as "Beauty of the Earth" or "[Beauty of] the World".[26]

This mythological figure has been found in the Arvanitika dialect of Albanian (in Greece), with the name Ε μπούκουρα ε δέουτ.[27]

The Beauty of the Earth also appears in the tale Peshkatari dhe e Bukura e dheut ("The Fisherman and the Beauty of the World"), collected by Anton Çetta in his Përralla, Vol II,[28] and in the compilation by Donat Kurti, in the story of "The Beauty of the Earth and the Shtriga" (E Bukura e dheut dhe shtriga).[29]

Her name is given as "Beautiful of the Earth" by Martin Camaj[30] and she is present as a character in Albanian Wonder Tales, by George Post Wheeler:[31] The Boy who killed the Dîf, The Boy who took the Letter to the World where the Dead live, The Boy who was fated to be a King and The Boy who was Brother to the Drague. This last tale is an English translation of the epic The Twins, the story of brothers Zjermi and Handa.[32]

According to Albanologist Robert Elsie, Bernardo Bilotta, an Italian poet and writer of Arbëresh descent, has composed unpublished narrative poems with fairy tale motifs, based on the legend of "The Beauty of the Earth":[33] E bukura e Jetës (La Bella del Mondo)[34] (1894) and La Bella Gioia (1896).[35][36]

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Poghirc 1987, p. 179.
  2. ^ Noygues 2008, p. 86.
  3. ^ a b Çabej 1975, p. 120.
  4. ^ Elsie 2001a, pp. 79–81.
  5. ^ a b Norris 1993, p. 63.
  6. ^ a b Lambertz 1922, pp. 40–45.
  7. ^ a b Pojani 2017, pp. 1–16.
  8. ^ Elsie 2001a, pp. 252–254.
  9. ^ Sánchez Lizarralde 2004, p. 103.
  10. ^ Clouston, W. A. Popular tales and fictions: their migrations and transformations. Edinburgh; London: W. Blackwood. 1887. p. 188-189.
  11. ^ Lurker 2005, p. 38.
  12. ^ Lüthi 1987, pp. 5–6.
  13. ^ Cook, Arthur Bernard. Zeus, a Study in Ancient Religion. Cambridge University Press. 1925. p. 1006-1007.
  14. ^ “The Jealous Sisters: An Albanian Folk Tale.” The Slavonic and East European Review, vol. 9, no. 26, 1930, pp. 308–311. JSTOR. [www.jstor.org/stable/4202524]. Accessed 11 Apr. 2020.
  15. ^ Dozon, Auguste (1881). Contes Albanais. Paris: Leroux.
  16. ^ Mazon 1936.
  17. ^ Cosquin, Emmanuel. Les contes indiens et l'occident : petites monographies folkloriques à propos de contes Maures. Paris: Champion. 1922. pp. 25, 250-252, and 422-423.
  18. ^ Clouston, W. A. Popular tales and fictions: their migrations and transformations. Edinburgh; London: W. Blackwood. 1887. p. 188-189.
  19. ^ Schirò 1923, pp. 411–439.
  20. ^ Elsie 2001b.
  21. ^ Elsie 2001b, pp. 10, 26, 42.
  22. ^ Leskien, August. Balkanmärchen aus Albanien, Bulgarien, Serbien und Kroatien. Jena, E. Diederichs. 1919. pp. 216-222, 244-251, 265-270 and 228-236.
  23. ^ Hahn, Johann Georg von. Griechische und Albanesische Märchen 1-2. München/Berlin: Georg Müller. 1918. pp. 131-133.
  24. ^ Meyer, Gustav. "Albanische Märchen". In: Archiv für Litteraturgeschichte. nr. 12. 1884. pp. 96-105.
  25. ^ Garnett, Lucy Mary Jane and Stuart-Glennie, John S. The Women of Turkey and Their Folk-lore. Vol. 2: The Jewish and Moslem Women. London: David Nutt. 1891. pp. 305-313.
  26. ^ Garnett, Lucy Mary Jane and Stuart-Glennie, John S. The Women of Turkey and Their Folk-lore. Vol. 2: The Jewish and Moslem Women. London: David Nutt. 1891. p. 304.
  27. ^ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΣ, ΤΣΟΠΑΝΗΣ. ΚΟΚΚΙΝΗ ΚΛΩΣΤΗ ΔΕΜΕΝΗ, ΣΤΑ ΜΕΣΟΓΕΙΑ ΠΛΕΓΜΕΝΗ...: ΑΡΒΑΝΙΤΙΚΑ ΠΑΡΑΜΥΘΙΑ ΤΩΝ ΜΕΣΟΓΕΙΩΝ. Prima Materia. 2018. ISBN 9786188328211
  28. ^ Çetta, Anton. Përralla II. Prishtinë: Instituti Albanologjik. 1982. pp. 189-192.
  29. ^ Kurti, Donat. Prralla kombëtare: mbledhë prej gojës së popullit I. 2. vyd. Shkodër: A. Gj. Fishta. 1942. pp. 51-57.
  30. ^ Camaj, Martin. Albanian Grammar: With Exercises, Chrestomathy and Glossaries. Collab. on and translated by Leonard Fox. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. 1984. p. 305. ISBN 3-447-02467-4
  31. ^ Wheeler 1936, pp. XV–XVIII.
  32. ^ Wheeler 1936, pp. 247–280.
  33. ^ Elsie, Robert. HISTORI E LETËRSISË SHQIPTARE. 1997. [1]
  34. ^ Metani, Idriz. "Rreth "Fjalorit të Arbëreshëve të Italisë" të Emanuele Giordanos". In: SEMINARI NDËRKOMBËTAR PËR GJUHËN, LETËRSINË DHE KULTURËN SHQIPTARE (INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR FOR ALBANIAN LANGUAGE, LITERATURE AND CULTURE). REVISTË / JOURNAL 37. Prishtinë/Tirana: FAKULTETI I FILOLOGJISË/FACULTY OF HISTORY-PHILOLOGY. 2018. p. 233. ISSN 2521-3687 [2]
  35. ^ [3]
  36. ^ [4]

Bibliography[edit]