عنوان مقاله [English]
The word “Pari” (fairy in English) is related to “pairikâ” from Avesta which was worshiped in the past in some parts of eastern Persia as the goddess of fertility and reproduction. In the Shahnameh as well as in the stories of Rostam & Sohrab, Siyavash, Bijan & Manijeh and Zal & Rudabeh, respectively, Tahmineh, the mother of Siyavash and Manije as well as all the maids appear with the fairy function. Some researchers believe that the contact of Rostam and Sohrab with the enchantress in the fourth stage of the Shahnameh and the quality of relationships between Zal and Rudabe have roots in the fairies community. With the conversion of Gashtasb to Zoroastrianism, the definition of the Persians’ national identity also changes, in such a way that the stance of some elements such as religion, religious culture, and the political-religious system becomes salient. Thus, by embracing the religion of excellence and relying on the teachings of Avesta, the element of religion with a Zoroastrian reading takes the most significant stance in the Persians’ national identity. Conversion to this religion leads to the negation of the gods of Indo-Persian community and the pre- Zoroastrian beliefs and worship of fairies. However, in the folk beliefs as well as in the texts reaming from pre-Islamic periods including the Shahnameh Ferdowsi, there is a bi-directional view towards fairy. It is positive, on the one hand, with functions of beauty, fertility, association with water, green areas and community of fairies and their feathery dressing which in indicative of their functions as demon among the Arian peoples. On the other hand, it is negative, trying to lure the youth and champions off the right path, with the final consequence of this bond being displacement, death, and harm. The present research mainly aims to portray the reasons and ways of the presence of fairies in the Shahnameh and their background in mythology, along with an introduction to structural models, analysis of function as well as their political-societal structures in the Shahnameh.
2- Research Methodology
This is a fundamental research conducted based on library studies using the descriptive-analytic method with intra-textual evidence from the Shahnameh Ferdowsi.
In the Shahnameh, while fairy is introduced in two forms of negative (Zoroastrian view) and positive (pre- Zoroastrian view), the champions are in a religious and ritual fight with them. Fairy in its positive pre- Zoroastrian aspect, appears as a holy creature who is pretty and good, having even charisma and personal appeal, sometimes coming into battle with the devil by helping the people. In its negative profile in the Shahnameh, fairy is a demon who lures the kings and champions off the path, thus misleading them towards displacement, death and harm. The fairy in both its negative and positive profiles appears in the Shahnameh in the story of Rostam & Sohrab, Siavash and Bijan & Manijeh and Zal & Rudabeh with the similar structural elements, often being associated with the woodland, enchanting, embodiment in the form of a hunting animals (e.g. zebra and deer), sleep and dream, romance, reproduction and fertility, beauty and youth. As seen in these three stories, it onsets with the champions going to hunting, and the repetition of the word “hunting” in this story manifests clearly that it is a hunting community, with this repetition keeping the theme of hunting and highlights its importance. Fairies are associated with water and woodland, with champions usually coming across them with their astonishing and enchanting beauty in this place. Fairies in the form of hunting, dear and zebra; i.e. appearing in different forms, thus directing the champions towards themselves. In the stories of Rostam & Sohrab, Siyavash, and Bijan & Manijeh, with champions going to hunt in a plain full of zebras gives the impression that the presence of zebra is a sign of flirtation and toying of fairies, which lures the champion towards them. As from the old days, fairy was characterized with its association with insanity and dream. In the story related to fairies, they appear at nights, sleep and dream to lure and create love, where the man falls in love. This theme is maintained in the story of Rostam & Sohrab, Syavash, and Bijan & Manijeh. The fairies usually express their love to the kings and/or champions, being in complete relation with their reproduction and fertility function, as it is shown in the stories of Shahnameh, by Tahmineh, the mother of Syavash and by Manije towards Sohrab, Kekavous and Bijan. The fairies in love with the kings or champions, make them fall in love with her and by intercourse between them, they carry out their fertility function. Tahmineh and the mother of Siyavash, thus, conduct their mythological function, i.e., fertility, by giving birth (parenting) to Sohrab and Siyavash. In the story of Bijan and Manije, such theme is maintained in the light of the variations in the story, as an strange woman, deceives Bijan (the champion) and while there is no mention of the birth of child in the story, the final result is the fight between the two tribes. After childbirth, fairy is removed from the story and the champion or the king are affected by displacement or death after having relation with the fairy, as Sohrab, Syavash and Bijan get hurt.
In the story of Rostam & Sohrab , Siyavash and Bijan & Manijeh, some positive characteristics such as beauty, association with woodland and water, expressing love to the champion and bearing from him (pre- Zoroastrian view) and negative such as luring the champion, enchanting, relation with sleep, embodiment in the form an animal and an inauspicious end of fairies (Zoroastrian view) is emphasized, usually showing themselves in the hunter communities and at the borders of enemy at the vicinity of woodlands, trying to lure the champions, and have an Indio-utopian theme; therefore, Tahmineh, the mother of Siyavash, Manije as well as the maids of Rudabeh with the function of fairies, make relation with Rostam, Giv, Tus and Keykavous, Bijan and Zal. The presence of similar and repeating (high-frequency) elements such as hunting, the presence of zebra and deer, woodland and water, relation at night, enchanting beauty, romance and falling in love with the champion, having intercourse with beautiful woman and the inauspicious end from this association in the three stories is indicative of a model that shows the living structure of fairies. Considering the frequency of the similar and repetitive elements and drawing on various resources and analysis of the verses in the the Shahnameh, the fairies function in the Shahnameh can be outlined as follows:
1. The champion goes hunting at the border of the enemy, 2. There he hunts zebra and deer, sometimes luring him towards the woodland, 3. The champion comes across a pretty woman at the vicinity of woodland and water, 4 the woman is described as very beautiful, trying to lure the champion, 5. The pretty woman approaches to the champion (while sleeping or dreaming), 6. Expresses her love to the champion, 7. Lets the champion understand her intention of bearing and giving birth, 8. After giving birth, the fairy suddenly disappears, 9. The champion is affected by displacement (death) due to his relation with her. Sometimes due to the tradition of transfer from mythology to epics, this harm is transferred form the champion to his child.
The most important social-political function of fairies is their model of fertility and birth and luring the kings and champions to extinguish the descent and tribe of the enemy. In the story of Bijan & Manijeh, this function is contradicted by Manijeh, thus Afrasyab starts to dislike and discard her.
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