몽골 구비서사 문학 속의 어린아이 형상과 그 문화적 함의 -주체적 어린이를 위한 시론-
The Images and Cultural Implications of Children in the Mongolian Literature of Oral Epic - An essay for independent children -
This study set out to investigate the images and cultural implications of children and the images of independent children in the Mongolian literature of oral epic. In tales, orphans, abandoned children, or children left alone have a deficiency characteristic, but they overcome the risks and hardship they face with their imagination and adventurous spirit, win against the unjust world, and eventually gain riches and honors. Abandoned children and orphans are mostly under divine protection and hold their significance as beings that earn eternity. Wise children make another category in tales. Their wisdom is revealed as their innocent spirit, which does not lose its balance due to desire or greed, encounters issues in life. It has something to do with their spirit, undying life force, and pure justice that negative things cannot approach. In heroic epics, young commanders are depicted as members of a royal family or descendents of the Heaven unlike young protagonists in tales. Children usually leave their homes at the age of three. They cannot be a hero without hitting the road for adventure. Three-year-old children are characters in whom the three number symbols, the divine and pure power of children, and the nomadic lifestyle of Mongolia are combined together. The three numbers symbolize extreme purity and resourcefulness, realization of the present and the future, and completion and a new beginning, connoting the time of initiation to enter the society. Children usually leave home at three, which corresponds to the time when they start to learn horse riding and archery and cut their downy hair as a baby in terms of the custom. In the Mongolian epic literature, children are embodied as creative and independent beings full of imagination and adventurous spirit as the life custom of nomad culture, cultural symbolism, and the Mongolians' custom of respecting children intersect teach other.
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