Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for Zong Belegt Baatar (Epics from A to Z)

Zong Belegt Baatar is a Mongol short heroic epic. "Short" in this case means under 500 lines (in chanted or sung oral poetry), and can be told in under 20 minutes. For epics, that is definitely short - but not any less epic.
(I read the English translation in this book.)

The Hero
The epic is named after its hero: Baatar means "hero" in Mongolian, and Zong Belegt is the name. He has a body of iron, and for all intents and purposes he is a giant of a man, and the leader and protector of a prosperous land. We don't find out a lot about his personality, but we do learn from the epic that his silk gown has seventy-five buttons.
(That's a lot of buttons)
His wife is praised for her wisdom.

The Highlights
The epic itself tells the story of Zong Belegt Baatar's fight against a terrible giant. The description of the giant is definitely a noteworthy moment: He is described in great detail and with a lot of exaggeration - His toenails are iron hooks, his face has blue stripes and his tongue has brown, and he can cover an entire continent in the smoke from his pipe. I can imagine younger audiences getting a kick out of this description alone... The fight between the hero and the giant is similarly cosmic and landscape-altering.
I found the mention of the iron body intriguing. Those of you who have been following me know that I published a book on superpowers in traditional stories. In it I included a Hungarian folktale about a hero with a body of ice, and a villain with a body of iron. Sounds like it's a popular theme...

This concludes our epic adventure from A to Z! Thank you for sticking with me, I hope you enjoyed the ride. Come back for the Reflections post on Monday (May 4th) - I will tell you a little about some of the epics that didn't make the cut!

Also, check out my book, titled Tales of Superhuman Powers (available on Kindle, Nook and in print), for more epic stories ;)

Outside of A to Z, I write regularly on this blog about storytelling adventures, mythology and MythOffs, books related to folktales and fairy tales, and other story-related odds and ends :) Follow or visit back for updates!


  1. Definitely enjoyed this joy ride of Epics and the challenge.

  2. It was a fantastic ride. I'm afraid you'll see me around here in the future too ;-)
    Great challenge and great blog!

  3. You'd think an iron body would be hard to maintain wouldn't you :) Thank you for a great month of amazing epic tales - it's been a wonderful journey.
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  4. the journey... epic! your post epic and Zong... color me intrigued!

    "Z" we made it... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

  5. Wow! what a journey it has been!! I loved being in your space and reading about different epics! It has been a pleasure sharing thoughts with someone who shared my love for epics! thank you for being a part of my journey! I loved having you over!! love and hugs..

  6. Wonderful. Congratulations on completing the A-Z! I'm so glad to have found you on my travels around the participants and I look forward to reading your posts in future :)

    Fee | Wee White Hoose
    Scottish Mythology and Folklore A-Z

  7. This giant is a lot fiercer than the ones in our myths and folktales. I think I prefer the Jolly Green kind to ones with iron spikes for toenails. I've enjoyed reading your stories, and, in most cases, discovering them for the first time.

  8. I'm definitely going to have to find the english translated ones and have fun with them.

    this was one of my favorite blogs to visit as well as your other one. strange and unusual deaths was definitely rockin' the middle ages.

  9. I was just wondering why, if he has an iron body, he needs a silk gown, or for that matter any gown at all - let alone one with 75 buttons! But I guess it would all depend on whether or not he had an anatomically correct iron body, and I don't really want to go there... Anyway, it's been a joy following your blog, and I certainly intend to keep in touch! And thanks for mentioning the wrap-up on Monday. If I ever knew about that before, I'd forgotten!

  10. J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge - where I am part of Arlee's A to Z Ambassador Team.
    Welcome to "Z-day"!
    Looking forward to your reflection post. You had a great theme.
    -J @JLenniDorner

  11. Great dismiss the challenge to the history of the struggle of Zong belegt Bator against a terrible giant! Thank you very much for giving us know these epics of world literature, congratulations on completing the challenge! It was a great pleasure!

  12. Congratulations on finishing the Challenge, and thanks for following me on Twitter!

    Your posts have been a great learning experience for me...I'll be back.

  13. Yay! We made it to the end. Thanks for all the great epic recommendations and reviews! I've very much enjoyed reading your posts.
    All the best,
    Michele at Angels Bark

  14. Congratulations on completing the Challenge!

  15. I really enjoyed reading your posts. I love the thrill of storytelling and adventure through these great vessels called epics. Well done.

    2015 A to Z Challenge Ambassador

  16. A warrior with a body of iron who wears silk gowns. Hmmm, that reveals much about his character.

    Elizabeth Mueller
    AtoZ 2015
    My Little Pony

  17. Toenails of iron hooks sound scary!

    Congratulations on completing the challenge, and thank you for a great month of fantastic epics! You are my go-to gal if I'm ever in need of new reading material. :D

  18. Great post Zalka, and congrats once more.

  19. Thank you for your brilliant insight!

  20. Congratulations on finishing the April A-Z Challenge! What an intriguing series you selected with the epics. Brings back memories of literature classes from college.

    I did whole series with 5 blogs. Whew! Done!

    My horse blog has intriguing horse breeds from A-Z with photos. Wondering how many you have heard of before?
    The Mane Point A Haven for Horse Lovers .

  21. Congratulations on finishing the challenge! And thank you for stopping by my page! :)

  22. Yay!!! Congrats on the end of the challenge for both blogs! I can't imagine how much work you must have put into both of these. It shows. Beautifully done.

  23. Hello Zalka! I am just blitzing through on the A-to-Z Road Show. I read through your challenge posts... they are amazing and I really learned a lot from them. I did the challenge over at my blog, Promptly Written, and this--The Rattling Bones
    ---is my new blog. I signed up for your email list. Take care and see you next year for the Challenge! ~Lori~

  24. Some great a-z posts. Lots of interesting facts about stories I'd never really heard of, but now feel I know a little about. It's obvious how much work you put into these posts. Congratulations on finishing!
    Popping by on the A to Z Road Trip