Spring 2005 (13.1)
Legends from Azerbaijan
to the article
Left: Gizildagh (Golden Mountain). View taken
while hiking between the village of Laza up the Gusarchai valley
between the two mountains of Gizildagh and Shahdagh. Photo: John
(Suffering Mountain or Ararat). Told by Firangiz Aslan gizi Rasulova,
75, in the Bala Mirza village of the Goycha region, which is
now Armenian territory.
There is a legend about Aghri Mountain. They say that the two
mountains Aghri and Garniyarig used to be two brothers. Aghri
Mountain was the older brother and Garniyarig Mountain was the
younger one. Garniyarig was a brave and very polite youth, and
he loved his brother so much. He was even ready to give his own
life for his brother. But the older brother was very cold towards
One day the younger brother fell in love with a girl. The girl
loved him, too. But the younger brother would never do anything
without the advice of his older brother. The same happened this
time. But when the older brother saw the girl that the younger
brother was in love with, he also fell in love with her.
Everybody loved the younger brother, not the older one. Once
the brothers heard that the enemy had gathered troops in a neighboring
village and were trying to kill the older brother. The younger
brother would not allow his brother to fight with enemy and he
went himself to battle. After the younger brother left for battle,
the older brother kidnapped his lover.
The younger brother was victorious in battle and took revenge
for his brother. He returned in triumph and started looking for
his brother and his beloved, but he couldn't find either one
of them. Eventually, people told him what had happened. The news
deeply saddened him. The younger brother's heart broke and he
turned into a mountain.
Today, as the mid-section of the mountain is split apart, they
call it "Garniyarig" ("garin " in Azeri means
"belly", "yarig" means "slit" or
"crack"; so "garniyarig" means "slit
in the belly".) Since then, everybody comes to see and gaze
on this mountain.
The older brother heard what happened to his younger brother.
He, too, became very sad because of his brother's death. His
heart started aching and he, too, turned into a mountain. Since
the older brother's heart ached so much, they call this mountain
"Aghri Dagh" ("aghri" in Azeri means "pain"
or "mountain of pain"). However since the older brother
had been cold towards his younger brother, there is always snow
on the top of Agri Dagh.
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