Buhan Khan

Buhan Khan lived at Haugin Dalai, not far from the sea. He was a bull in the daytime, but always turned himself into a man at night. Not very far off, but on the west of the sea, lived Khunshai Khan, who had a beautiful daughter. One night Buhan Khan saw Khunshai's daughter and fell in love with her. After a time a son was born to them. When the child was placed in its cradle Buhan Khan stole it away, tied it firmly to the cradle, carried it to the edge of the sea, and with his hoofs dug a hole in the earth, and there buried the child and the cradle.

A shaman named Usihun and his wife Asihan lived by the sea. They saw Buhan Khan digging the hole, and when he had gone they went immediately to find out what he had buried there. They found the cradle and took it home, but so tightly had Buhan Khan hooped it around that work as they might they could not open it. Then Usihun began "to shaman" and to ask how the cradle was to be opened. He was answered by Buga Noyon Babai, the god to whom he made libations. "Fasten the right leg bone (below the knee) of a two-year-old bull on the right side of the cradle," said the god, "and place a sharp knife by the cradle, then ask, 'How is it, shall we rock the bone or the infant?' A child must answer, 'The infant.' 'Shall it be head down or up?' 'Up.'"

When the Shaman did as Buga Noyon directed, the hoops snapped and the cords untied, and there in the cradle was a beautiful child. Usihun and his wife reared the boy and named him Bulugat. When four or five years old Bulugat became very fond of playing by the sea. After a while he began to get up and slip away in the night-time. The shaman's wife wondered where the child went; then she followed, and saw that two children, a boy and a girl, came out of the sea and played with him. The shaman and his wife were very curious to know what kind of children they were, so one evening they set out milk and tarasun and told Bulugat to give it to his playmates. The boy and girl came out of the sea, played till tired, then they drank the milk and the tarasun, and straightway fell asleep.

The shaman came from the reeds where he had been hiding and caught the boy, but the girl slipped away, turned to a seal, and sprang into the sea. The shaman named the boy from the sea Uhurut, and he and Bulugat, son of the bull, grew up together. All the Buryats west of the Baikal are descended from Bulugat, and all the Vepholensk Buryats are descended from Uhurut.



  • Curtin, Jeremiah. (1909). A Journey in Southern Siberia. Boston: Little, Brown, pp. 97-98.

This article incorporates text from A Journey in Southern Siberia (1909) by Jeremiah Curtin, which is in the public domain.