Mari constellations

I have occasionally wondered if ancient Mari names for the constellations have been preserved – after all, so much folkloric terminology has already been lost over the 20th century – but I never looked into the matter. In his 2005 publication on G. F. Müller’s Mari wordlist, Oleg Sergeev points out some terms that had survived from at least the early 18th century until the compilation of the Словарь марийского языка in the 1980s and 1990s:

Müller Meadow Mari English
шорду шудеръ ‘звезда лось, которую астрономи называют’ Шордышӱдыр šorẟə̑šüẟə̑r North Star
машка шудеръ ’медведь’ Маскашӱдыр maskašüẟə̑r Great Bear, Ursa Major
витвара шудеръ ‘кичиги’ Вӱдварашӱдыр βüẟβarašuẟə̑r Orion
сокта шудеръ ‘утяча гнездо’ Шоктешӱдыр šoktešüẟə̑r Pleiades

The word кичиги as a Russian name for the constellation Orion is known from V. I. Dal’s dialectal dictionary: Кичига, кичиги мн. сев. три-царя, сохатый сиб. кигачи южн. созвездие Орион, или пятизвездие, образующее пояс и меч его.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *