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Asian Traditional People


This page links together resources at sacred-texts pertaining to traditional people of Asia, including Siberia and Southeast Asia.

Asia is also the origin of many of the most important and ancient world religions, including HinduismBuddhismConfucianism, and Taoism.


It is worth noting that many of the Siberian traditions bear more than a passing resemblance to those of the Inuit and the Northwestern Native Americans.

 A Journey in Southern Siberia
by Jeremiah Curtin [1909]
The mythology and folklore of the Buriat Mongols of Siberia.

 The Eskimo of Siberia
by Waldemar Bogoras [1913]

 Chukchee Mythology
By Waldemar Bogoras [1910]
The Chukchee occupy the extreme north-eastern tip of Asia, adjacent to the Arctic Ocean and the Behring Strait.

 Koryak Texts
by Waldemar Bogoras [1917]
A book of mythological texts from the Koryak people of Kamchatka.

 Tales of Yukaghir, Lamut, and Russianized Natives of Eastern Siberia
by Waldemar Bogoras [1918]
A collection of folklore from Eastern Siberia.

 Shamanism in Siberia
from Aboriginal Siberia, by M. A. Czaplicka [1914]
A comprehensive review of the ethographic literature concerning Shamanism in Sibera.

Central Asia

 The Man in the Panther’s Skin
by Shota Rustaveli, tr. by Marjory Scott Wardrop [1912]
The Georgian National Epic.

 Georgian Folk Tales
Translated by Marjory Wardrop [1894]
A collection of folk tales from the nation of Georgia.


 Armenian Legends and Poems
by Zabelle C. Boyajian [1916]
A sampler of Armenian literature, legends and history.

 Selections from the Poetry of the Afghans
by H. G. Raverty [1867]
Anthology of later Sufi poets from Afghanistan, many translated directly from rare manuscripts.

 Folklore and Legends: Oriental
by Charles John Tibbitts [1889]
A collection of Arabian, Persian, Indian and Kalmyk tales, including the seldom-seen ‘Relations of Ssidi Kur.’

The Middle East

 The Laughable Stories of Bar-Hebraeus
tr by E.A.W. Budge [1897]
A rich collection of humorous anecdotes from an ecclesiastical 13th century Syrian Orthodox Bishop.

 Forty-four Turkish Fairy Tales
by Ignácz Kúnos, Illustrations by Willy Pogany [1913]
A rich sampler of Turkish oral story-telling tradition, lavishly illustrated.

 Folk-lore of the Holy Land; Moslem, Christian and Jewish
by J. E. Hanauer [1907]
Moslem, Christian and Jewish tales from old Palestine.

 Devil Worship: The Sacred Books and Traditions of the Yezidiz
by Isya Joseph [1919]
The Yezidis, a persecuted Iraqi group with unique beliefs.

 An Inquiry into the Religious Tenets of the Yezeedees
by George Percy Badger [1852]
A short account of the Yezidis by a Christian Missionary.

 The Origins of the Druze People and Religion
by Philip K. Hitti [1928]
The mysterious religion of the Druze of Lebanon.

 Arabian Poetry
by W. A. Clouston [1881]
Rare 19th century translations of Arabian poetry, mostly pre-Islamic or contemporary with Muhammed. Includes the Hanged Poems, and a synopsis of the Antar Saga.

Translations of the Arabian Nights

 The 1001 Arabian Nights
tr. by Sir Richard Burton [1850].

 The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments
Edited by Andrew Lang [1898]


The Philippines

 Philippine Folk Tales
by Mabel Cook Cole [1916]
An ethnographic collection of regional Philippine folklore, mostly indigenous.

 Philippine Folklore Stories
by John Maurice Miller [1904]
A retelling of some indigenous Philippine folk tales for children.

Southeast Asia

 The Religions of South Vietnam in Faith and Fact
by US Department of the Navy, Bureau of Naval Personnel,
Chaplains Division
A US military guidebook on the diverse religions of Vietnam.

 Myths and Legends of the Andamans
by A.R. Radcliffe-Brown [1922]
An excerpt from Radcliffe-Brown’s classic ethnography, The Andaman Islanders.

 Shaman, Saiva and Sufi
by R.O. Winstedt. [1925]
An ethographic account of spiritual practices in Malaysia at the start of the 20th century, which included Shamanism, Animism, Hindu and Islamic influences.


 Tibetan Folk Tales
by A.L. Shelton [1925, not renewed]
A collection of folk tales and proverbs from Tibet, good reading for both children and adults.


Books and texts about the Ainu people of Japan.