Sunday, June 29, 2014

I posted this yesterday, but don't know where it went--excerpt

Temujin and Jamukha, who had known each other since childhood, slashed their palms with the steel daggers they each carried in specially stitched scabbard-pockets on the sides of their leather boots, on the side of their sword arms.

They clasped their slashed hands together.

After that, the two anda or blood brothers took off their silver and tooled leather war belts and exchanged belts and horses.

Temujin gave Jamukha his silver grey gelding that he had rescued from the raiders.
Jamukha gave Temujin his yellow horse with the brown mane and tail.

Then they ate together and slept under the same horse blanket.

This should not be construed as homosexuality, as when Temujin united the tribes later and declared himself Khan of Khans--Genghis Khan--he outlawed sodomy and made it a crime punishable by death.

Theirs was an age when humans were sparsely distributed over the plains, and it was always necessary to breed more children to replace the deaths and to strengthen the military force of the tribes.

One April, when the two sworn blood brothers were marching with their tumens in search of new pastures, Jamukha suddenly stopped and suggested they camp apart from each other, along the banks of the Onon River.

Temujin could not understand this, and trotted the yellow horse onwards as if he had not heard.

When they were out of ear-shot of Jamukha and his men, he lifted an eyebrow to ask his mother Hoelan her opinion.

Hoelan grimaced and looked away.
Temujin next turned towards the other woman he trusted for a truthful opinion, his wife Borte.
Borte paused a moment before she said noncommittally, “Anda Jamukha is not a man who has a fixed commitment.  He gets bored easily.”
This was enough for Temujin.
He barked an order to his ten thousand and their families in carts, and they all galloped and trundled onwards along the Onon until they were two days march away from Jamukha and his troops.
That should give him enough breathing space and living space, should Jamukha turn treacherous.

Copyright Kyi May Kaung

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