Motif of Smith in the Epos of Amirani
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Motif of smith is universal in mythology and folklore. People believed that metallurgy was a supernatural craft, had a magical character and influence. During pagan time many of the Georgian provinces had their own protectors or deities of metalworking. Since the adoption of Christianity Christ was declared the chief of smiths and smithery. Smith has a particular place in the epos of Amirani as the image of the ancient Georgian popular hero Amirani“ reflects the greatest turning point in the history of mankind, it records the new manufacturing attitudes, in particular the transition from cold forging of metal to the discovery of its hot working“ (Nutsubidze 1956: 36-38).
The Epos of Amirani is one of the important folklore survivals through the millennia right dew to the present days containing the most ancient complex of the religious ideas of Georgian paganism. In the epos there proceeds the process of grouping the tales into a cycles development of which is connected with epoch of disintegration of matriarchy and establishment of patriarchy followed by the epoch of ploughing agriculture. The epos in many ways also reflects the characteristics of the hunting structure and is closely linked to the most ancient cycles of Georgian hunting songs, one of which („Dali is Giving Birth in the Crags“) formed the most ancient core of the Epos – the birth of goliath –like strength Amirani with the Sun shining on his forehead by the goddess Dali, sovereign of animals, hunting and a hunter. Systematization and investigation of the newly published collection of Amiraniani gave us possibility to reconstruct and reveal the primeval meaning of some motifs and episodes of the story, the part of which is presented in this investigation: motif of smith in the epos of Amirani. The investigation is divided into the following topics: 1. Smith Amirani’s father and helper of the godess Dali during the childbirth; 2. Smith as a supernatural helper of Amirani: a) Helping Amirani to enter in the kingdom of the deity of the sky, thunder, lightning and weather and to abduct his daughter Kamar by forging Amirani with the metal toys of the princess ; b) forging Amirani’s arms for the battle against devs and dragons; c) Amirani as a helper of smiths, teaching them creating fire and hot forging. 3. Smiths confronting with Amirani: a) becoming envious and jealous because of Amirani’s supernatural strength; b)being under the subordination of Christ, who punished unsubmissive hero, permanently strengthening Ammirani’s chains who tries to break them.