Büri

The Celestial Wolf of Turkic mythology.

The wolf is a common element in the ethnogenesis of the Turkic people. It is often portrayed as a she-wolf with a grey or blue-ish coat.

 

Occurrences


Book of Zhou:


突厥者蓋匈奴之別種姓阿史那氏別為部落後為鄰國所破盡滅其族有一兒年且十歲兵人見其小不忍殺之乃刖其足棄草澤中有牝狼以肉飼之及長與狼合遂有孕焉彼王聞此兒尚在重遣殺之使者見狼在側並欲殺狼狼遂逃于高昌國之北山山有洞穴穴內有平壤茂草周回數百里四面俱山狼匿其中遂生十男十男長大外託妻孕其後各有一姓阿史那即一也子孫蕃育漸至數百家經數世相與出穴臣於茹茹居金山之陽為茹茹鐵工金山形似兜鍪其俗謂兜鍪為突厥遂因以為號焉
"The (Kök) Türük (突厥) are a separate branch of the Xuŋa (匈奴) with the clan name of A-shi-na (阿史那). At one point, their clan was nearly destroyed by neighboring states. The only survivor was a boy of ten. The soldiers, seeing that he was young, were reluctant to kill him. So, they cut off his feet and left him in the middle of a marsh. He was found by a she-wolf who nursed him back to health with meat. In time, the boy grew and mated with the she-wolf, leaving her pregnant. The king heard of this and dispatched troops to kill them. His envoy found the wolf laying on her side and desired to kill her. The wolf (noticed and) immediately escaped the envoy, fleeing to the northern mountains of Qoço (高昌). In the mountains, there was a cavern of flat land and lush vegetation. It had a circumference of several hundred li (里) and was surrounded on all four sides by mountains. The wolf hid here and gave birth to ten sons. Here, the ten sons grew strong. They brought back women from the outside, who soon became pregnant. Thereafter, each son had their own surname. One of these was A-shi-na. Each generation raised another, increasing their numbers until they numbered 100 households. After many generations, they (eventually) decided to leave the cave, (thereupon) becoming vassals of the Rou-ran. They made their home on the southern side of the Altay mountains, where they became blacksmiths for the Rou-ran. Since the Altay mountains are said to resemble a cauldron, and because it was their custom to call a cauldron Türük, they called themselves Türük."

Book of Wei:

高車蓋古赤狄之餘種也初號為狄歷北方以為勑勒諸夏以為高車丁零其語略與匈奴同而時有小異或云其先匈奴之甥也其種有狄氏袁紇氏斛律氏解批氏護骨氏異奇斤氏俗云匈奴單于生二女姿容甚美國人皆以為神單于曰吾有此女安可配人將以與天乃於國北無人之地築高臺置二女其上曰請天自迎之經三年其母欲迎之單于曰不可未徹之間耳復一年乃有一老狼晝夜守臺嘷呼因穿臺下為空穴經時不去其小女曰吾父處我於此欲以與天而今狼來或是神物天使之然將下就之其姊大驚曰此是畜生無乃辱父母也妹不從下為狼妻而產子後遂滋繁成國故其人好引聲長歌又似狼嘷

"It is said that the "High Carts" (高車) are the remnants of the ancient Red *Täg(äräk) (赤狄). In former times, they were known as the *Tägäräk (狄歷). In the North they are known as the *Çägäräk (勑勒). The Chinese know them as the "High Carts" (高車) or *Tägäräk (丁零). Their language is similar to that of the Xuŋa (匈奴) but with the occasional minor differences, (thus) they may have been kin to the ancient Xuŋa. Their tribes are the *Täg(äräk) (狄), the Uyǧur (袁紇), the Hu-lu (斛律), the Qi-bi (解批), the Qırǧız (護骨), and the Yi-qi-jin (異奇斤).

It is said that the Darğa (單于) of the Xuŋa had two daughters that were so beautiful that the people wondered if they were goddesses. And so the Darğa said, "How will I find worthy matches for my daughters now! I must offer them to Heaven!" Thus, an uninhabited land was chosen for the construction of a high platform upon which he placed his two daughters. Afterwards, he said "I request that Heaven welcome them!" After three years had passed, their mother wished to greet them home, but the Darğa said, "You cannot, it is not yet their time." Thereupon, an ancient wolf appeared the following year, howling and guarding the platform day and night. It dug for itself a cavern under the platform, which it would not leave. The younger daughter proclaimed, "Our father placed us here, hoping that Heaven would take us. This wolf that has appeared here must be from Heaven!" The elder sister was mortified, and as the younger sister made her way towards the wolf, the elder sister proclaimed that "the wolf is but a wild animal. Do not bring shame to mother and father!" The younger sister did not listen to the words. She approached the wolf beneath and mated with it, giving birth to a child, whose descendants formed prosperous nations. Hence, her descendants still sing long songs in imitation of the wolf's howling."