Mongolians have long known of the association between marmots and the plague. We examine their understanding of the marmot not only as a biological species that can harbour the plague, but also from a cosmological perspective as a chimerical being with potential punishment on hunters who have transgressed ancient taboos. To do so we deconstruct the multiple image of the chimerical marmot in legends, stories, and beliefs. Many Mongolians believe that if the marmot is over-exploited and the population decimated through excessive hunting, hunting households may be punished with infections of the plague.
|Publication status||Published - 2021|