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Folktale – Mongolian legend about matouqin

Matouqin is a two-stringed stringed instrument with a trapezoidal body and a handle carved into the shape of a horse head. It is a favorite musical instrument of the Mongolian people. There are also legends about horse head fiddle among the folks.

According to legend, a long time ago, there was a silver moon lake in the golden foothills of Alatengola. There lived a hard-working, brave, honest and kind-hearted herder named Su He by the lake. He and his mother lived a life of poverty.

One day, Xiao Su and He came out to graze and had a strange dream on the hillside—seeing a beautiful girl flying in the mist from the sky, and said to him: “I know you want a lovely horse, I tell you , There is a white horse by the lake in the north, kind person, go and take it home!”

After speaking, there was a white light, and the girl was gone. Su He woke up with a startled “ah” and rubbed his eyes, the sun was headed. He remembered what he had just heard in his dream, stood up and couldn’t help but look north. Sure enough, there was a white horse standing by the lake, and Su He ran to it happily.

Since then, Su He has had an inseparable partner. Su He carefully feeds and tunes the little white horse, and teaches it to walk and run. Soon, the little white horse grew into a fat-bodied horse with four hooves and wind.

One day, when Su He went to the lake to graze, he accidentally stepped into a spring in the swamp and sank deeper and deeper. When the white horse saw it, he ran towards the owner with a long hiss, bit his master’s sleeve and dragged it out. Su He was rescued holding the white horse’s neck; one night, a wild wolf rushed into the sheep pen, and Su He hurriedly waved The stick hit the evil wolf, and the evil wolf flung its teeth and danced its claws towards Su He. At this time, the white steed broke away from the reins with a long hiss, raised its front hoofs and digs towards the wolf, only to hear a sound, and the wolf’s head bloomed. With gratitude in his heart, Su He ran to hold the white horse’s head lovingly and don’t know what to say.

One day, while Su He was grazing in the wild, several knights ran from a distance and came to Su He out of breath and said: “Little brother, can you help us? The lord ordered us to catch a sika deer alive, if If we can’t catch it, we will be punished when we go back!”

Hearing about their situation, Su He didn’t say anything, stepped on the white horse and galloped into the mountains. After a short time, he caught up with the sika deer and trapped the deer with a horse pole.

Su He handed the deer to the soldiers of the Royal Palace and said: “Brother soldiers, according to your request, I helped you catch the sika deer. But I have a request. After you go back, don’t say that this deer is my rider. The white horse was chased!” But the news of “there is a white horse on the grassland that can catch up with birds and beasts” still spread like wildfire. After hearing this, the prince salivated and showed a greedy smile.

As soon as the spring began, a message spread on the grassland: the “Nada Mu” conference will be held in the residence of the palace, and the winners of all competitions will be rewarded. In addition, it was said that the prince’s daughter had to choose the best rider to be her son-in-law. Su He happily went to the competition.

Su He and the White Horse really won first place. But when the prince’s girl saw that the leader was a poor shepherd baby, she walked away dejectedly. The treacherous and vicious prince was very fierce. He said to Su He who came to accept the award: “Reward you a sheep, and leave your white horse to the mansion.” Su He refused, and Jia Ding stopped him after punching and kicking. Another five-flower tie tied him up, and led Su He’s white horse back to the palace.

After the prince got the white horse, he was like a treasure, and he chose a good day to celebrate with wine. The local rich and powerful officials all came to say hi. The prince was triumphant and ordered Jia Ding to bring the white horse. He wanted to show off in front of everyone. But as soon as the prince stepped on his horse, the white steed suddenly jumped forward and stomped backward. The prince was so scared that he screamed and fell on his head, and fell into a bit of mud. The white horse galloped away like a gallop.

The royal guards rushed out, stepped on a fast horse, holding bows and arrows, and struggling to catch up. But the white horse was like an arrow, and the soldiers could not catch up. So they drew their bows and arrows “swiftly” to shoot at the white horse, but the white horse still ran fast, and soon disappeared. The soldiers of the palace had to go back down and report to the prince: “The white steed ran away with a few poisoned arrows, and he must have died on the road…” The prince had no choice but to give up.

One night, a long horse neigh pierced the silent night sky. Su He hurried out to take a look, and the white steed ran back. Su He was surprised and delighted. Taking a closer look in the moonlight, the white horse was dying with arrows in his body… Su He’s heart was like a knife. The white horse died in front of his master from an arrow wound. Su He stroked the white horse and couldn’t help but burst into tears.

After losing the white horse, Su He was listless and heartbroken all day long. One day, he saw the white horse again in his dream. It said, “Master, don’t be sad and cry. Use my skin, bones, mane and tail to make a piano, and let me be with you forever. By your side…”

So Su He made a piano according to what the white horse said, and carved a horse head like a white horse on the upper end of the piano rod. He named it “Matouqin” and kept it with him forever. Whenever I think of the white horse Ma Suhe, I pull up the matouqin, the sound of the piano resounding through the sky, like a galloping horse.

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