The Lands by the Waters – An Ucaptian Myth (1)

I had a very rough week, and you know what that means! Conlanging!

This week, it’s finally time for the next chapter in the Saharan Seas Story. We followed the Hurrians from their homeland in Anatolia down to the Nile Delta, where things got weird. Now (2,000-1,500 BCE), it’s time for the Hittites to invade and the Afro-Hurrians’ para-Egyptian neighbors to the west, the Ucaptians, to get some attention. The following is the Ucaptian creation myth.

And it came to pass in his rising palace, that Wrathful Shamaak(1) beheld the black Lands by the Waters(2). And he said to himself, “These men are improperly formed(3). They wander as nomads when they would better settle and build cities. They slaughter beasts when they would better sow seeds. They tear down low what they should erect tall. Out of the silt they are improperly formed, so back into the silt I shall form them.”

(Next stanza)

Original:

ħnaʕ ew.s.f m ħwa.t ra.t pf.t,

fewr.ɣ.sn.f ʃmak ɣa kam.wt jn p mwaʔ.wt

ew.s jerɟ.f.f,

mh tʃaw petħ.sn mwat.w pn.w.

ʃʁeʃʁ.sn p wa.wt wʁar meh.sn.

s.lekj.n.sn p wa.wt wʁar pewr.ɣ.sn

dwaħ dewm .ɣ.sn p pja.wt wʁar khaʔ pej.ɣ.sn

m p jʃaj mh tʃaw petħ.sn,

ew.s r p jʃaj  s.petħ.n.t.sn.”

Footnotes:

(1) <ʃmak> ultimately from Šimegi, a Hurrian sun-god

(2) <kam.wt jn p mwaʔ.wt> from which the Ucaptian word for Ucapt, probably pronounced Muwaa’ut, literally “Those (Lands) by the Waters.”

(3)<petħ.sn>, probably pronounced something like “peit-hhasan,” or “they are formed,” “they have a shape.” Both this and the next line’s <s.petħ.n.t.sn> (“speit-hhant-san,” “shape them into”) derive from the root <ptħ>, which has to do with formation or creation. On that, much more later.

You can see all of the Ucaptian vocabulary I’ve got so far here.

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