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The Tradition Of The Miraculous Origin Of The Munzur Su

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(This is quoted from - MOLYNEUX-SEEL, Captain L. : “A Journey ın Dersim”, GEOGRAPHICAL JOURNAL, 44, 1914, p. 60-61, In the article “Munzur” is written as “Muzur”. It is corrected as “Munzur” and headline is added by our editors.)

...The following, related in four short chapters, is the tradition of the miraculous origin of the Munzur Su.

Chapter I.

A certain Agha, named Sheikh Hassan of the Topuzanli tribe, had a son called Munzur who used to shepherd his father’s sheep. Even in winter, when the mountains were covered with snow, Munzur used to drive out his flock to pasture in spite of his father’s prohibition. It was noticed, however that the sheep always returned with a well-fed appearance. To satisfy his curiosity regarding this mystery, Munzur’s father one day secretlyfollowed his son when he drove out his sheep to graze. What he saw was this: Munzur, arrived in the mountains, struck the snow-covered trees with his staff, whereupon green leaves fell thereform, which the sheep ate. Munzur, however, turning, perceived the presence of his father, and in wrath left the sheep and disappeared.


Chapter II.

 On leaving his father, Munzur went to be a shepherd with a certain Ali Haider Agha in the village of Buyuk Keui. The following year Ali Haider, leaving Munzur at home, went on pilgrimage to Kerbela, and while there one day expressed a desire to eat some helva (honey-cake) which his wife used to prepare for him in his house. Five minutes later Munzur appeared before his master with a plate of helva.

Chapter III.

 During this time the following is what occured at the village of Buyuk Keui. Munzur returned with his flock for the midday milking, which duty the mistress of the house set about to commence; but Munzur approaching her said:

“Mistress, my master has a great desire to eat a helva.”

“That is all very well, Munzur.” replied his mistress. “but you know your master is a long way off.”

“Never mind, make the helva and I will undertake to carry it to my master.”

“It appears our shepherd wants to eat a helva,” said the mistress to herself. “but never mind, he looks after our sheep well and I will make him one.”

So she prepared the helva, and putting it in a plate gave it to Munzur, saying with a smile: “Here, take it to your master.”

Munzur took it and disappeared, but a moment later returned without the plate.

“Well, Munzur, and where is the plate?” said his mistress.

“My master will bring it on his return.” was the reply.

Chapter IV.

 Following Oriental custom, all the inhabitants of Buyuk Keui went forth to meet Ali Haider Agha on his return from pilgrimage and to kiss those hands which had touched the sacred places. But Ali Haider, on the approach of the crowd, refused to allow them to kiss his hands, saying - “The real pilgrim is my shepherd Munzur. Go you and kiss his hands.”

So the crowd returned to the village to look for Munzur. At this moment the latter was leaving the village, bearing a cup of fresh milk for his master. Bewildered at seeing the crowd pressing upon him, Munzur turned and fled in the direction of the mountains. But the people, intent on kissing his hands, pursued him. As he ran, the milk from the cup which he held was spilt, and at each spot where the milk fell a stream of water gushed forth from the rocks. Munzur at length wearied sat down, and then disappeared.

As an anti-climax to this legend, it is related that some centuries later a certain Shah of Persia had come on a pilgrimage to these holy springs, and undertook some excavations for the purpose of recovering the cup which Munzur Baba had with him at the time of his disappearance. In this Shah was successful, and taking it back with him, deposited it in Teheran Museum.

At the commencement of September, the anniversary of Munzur Baba’s disappearance, the centre spring, so the Kezelbash say, throws forth milk instead of water. At the same period the trout in the river ascend towards the source on pilgrimage to Munzur Baba...

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