Каталог статей из сборников научных конференций и научных журналов- Vital basis of riddles

X международная научно-практическая конференция
Социально-экономические проблемы современного общества

Vital basis of riddles

U. O. Kenjaeva teacher,

Urgench State University,

Urgench, Uzbekistan


The spiritual world of our nation is extremely rich and ancient. The reflection of the events of social life through artistic thinking is reflected in folk art through a variety of genres. One of the such genre is riddles, the history of which dates back ancient times.

Riddles, like proverbs can be encountered in the folklore of all world nations. This genre is used with various terms such as matal in Turkmen, jumbok in Karakalpak, tapmaja in Azerbaijani, bilmeje in Turkmen, tepishmak in Uyghur, ratsee in German, riddle in English.

Z. Husainova, who studied Uzbek riddles, enlisted fourteen popular names of this genre [1, p. 112]. It will be quite natural if we consider it from the point of view of the fact that the Uzbek people are widespread and have a large number of different dialects

The origin of riddles, determination of their place in the life of the people is an interesting and complicated issue.

The history of man's interest in litteral words and desire of expressing a certain idea through figurative expressions is very ancient.

As it is shown in some studies, there is given ways of solving riddles  in the poetic passages in our ancient literary heritage Avesto. Excellent samples of this method are retained in Khorezm epos, especially in "Khirmondali".

In fact, following verses are found in the "Obon Yazt" section of the book "Yasht", "Avesto" in the chapter XX.

Омад бер, Ардви Сура,

Менга шуни ўнг келтир.

Токи Ахтйани енгай,

Бадбин, айёрни енгай.

Тўқсон тўққиз топишмоқ

Ҳар бири қанча чатоқ-

Айтса, мен уни топай.

Ёмон ният-ла айтса,

Мақсади шум Ахтйанинг  (Топишмоқларин ечай.)

M. Ishakov who commented on these verses noted that this stream reminds the scene of finding solution of a riddle between the heroes of fairy tales and the wicked. The victory of the hero testifies to the ancient roots of folklore such as intelligence and ingenuity [26, p. 26–27.]

Every genre of folklore has come to existence with certain life requirements. The complexities of life in primitive life, the constant wars between tribes and clans, required that people be physically and spiritually well-developed. As a result, people had to invent physical and mental games.

Consequently, some of this troubled life also played a role in the emergence of some genres of folklore.

According to Russian scientist M. O. Kosven, during the primitive era, to express any message, thought or feeling a special "sign language" was used. Sending a tomagauk (stick) to another tripes was a sighn of declaring war in the North American Indians. Once upon a time, when the Iranians attacked the Scythians, the Scythians sent them a bird, a mouse, a frog, and five bows, and these meant the following: “If you, the Iranians, do not fly in the sky like a bird, hide in a poplar like a mouse, or jump into a lake like a frog, you will not be able to return to your tribes and will die under our arrows [3, p. 147–148].

We are not mistaken to say that metaphoric symbols used in these military affairs the symbolic concepts created in early periods are the first appearence of enigmatic tales.

Expressing the emotions or ideas in different manner was the main means for soldiers and hunters of ancient periods.  

Later, special language of soldiers and ambassadors came to existence. All this required the knowledge how to use factitious language. Understanding such language has helped man to understand the mysteries of wisdom, to predict the occurrence of a task, to interpret its meaning by interpreting a key word or phrase [4, p. 177.]

Therefore, in ancient times there were taboos of hunters, metaphors representing the secret languages of women and youth [5, p. 95.]

The perfection of these metaphors gave rise to symbolic expressions, figurativeness [6, p. 68.] It is not difficult to see that these factors gradually formed the basis of the primitive forms of the riddles. 

By the way, metaphors are the heart of the riddle. Because understanding metaphor means understanding the riddle itself [7, p. 94].

Many examples of metaphorical images can be found in ancient literary heritage. This is confirmed by some figurative expressions in the Avesto. There is such an image in this book “Yasht”:

          Тортар ул аробани       (It pulls the cart)

Бир ғилдираклини тортар (Pulls the cart with one wheel)

Олтин у тошлар ила (With gold and stones )

Ярқироқ безаклини [8, p. 68–69]. (Decorated brightly on the hill)

In this passage, a one-wheeled cart means the sky and the sun. Gold, stone, bright ornaments are the symbol of the stars in the sky.

This figurative image of the riddles has its particular figure of ancient riddles. The fact that one wheel is given as a symbol of the sun, its rotation as a celestial body, and the stars around it as glittering ornaments like gold, is very similar to the riddles about the sun and the stars. Because the main principle in any riddle is to compare two things. This principle is a poetic art, the feature of which is the incarnation, the imitation, which is inherent in man from childhood [10, p. 11.]

The metaphors used for the sun and stars above are the first artistic observations of human beings in depicting the universe through poetic language. These observations have been steadily improving. This improvement applies to later periods. One of the main factors in the formation of riddles, as we have noted above, is the relationship between man and nature, man and society. Man’s relationship with nature is largely linked to hunting. It is known that it took a long time before man realized the secrets of nature. In the process of hunting, the names of many animals were kept secret and given symbolic names. Based on those names, the first riddles about animals appeared.


1.    Khusainova Z. Riddle terms //Uzbek Folklore. –Т.: Science, 1967. –P.112.

2.    Avesto. The book “Yasht”. –Т.: “Shark”, 2001. –P.26-27.

3.    M.O.Kosven. Outlines about primitive culture history. –Т.: Science, 1960. –P.147-148.

4.    Uyghur art of folk, Almaty, science, 1983. –P.177.

5.    Russian folk poetry. –M .: Prosveshenie(Enlightenment), 1971. –P.95.

6.    Kohler I. Ranke I., Ratzel F. History of mankind (prehistoric period)SPb, Poligon, 2003. – P.68.

7.    Lazutin S.G. Poetics of Russian folklore.–М.: «Высш. Школа»(High school), 1981. –P.94.

8.    Avesto the book “Yasht”. –Т.: “Shark”, 2001. –P.68-69.

Aristotle  Поэтика (Poetics). –Т.: “Адабиёт ва санъат”(Literature and art), 1980. –P.11.

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