THE LEGEND OF THE DEMIR-KHOMUS
TUVAN LEGENDS AND TALES
The demir-khomus has existed among the Tuvans since time immemorial. The demir-khomus has a chamber sound, and therein lies its special charm.
Its origin is connected in folk memory with the tragedy of star-crossed lovers. The story goes that there lived a young girl who was given against her will to be the wife of a rich man. The young man who loved her was a skilled blacksmith, and when this happened he forged a khomus for himself. Playing on the khomus, he forgot about food and sleep, pouring out all the feeling that overflowed from his soul. In the end, he went out of his mind and killed himself by jumping off a cliff into a swift mountain river. His lover fled from the rich man, and finding out about this, she threw herself off the very same cliff. Only the khomus forged by the hands of the unhappy lover remained.