Home    Number 4, 2017

The “Beast Sharabha” and the Problems of Indo-Aryan Prehistory

[“Zver’ Sharabkha” i problemy predystorii indoariev]

Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 19.10.2016

Accepted: 14.04.2017

About author(s)

Vladimir V. Napolskikh | http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1549-9639 | vovia@udm.ru | Udmurt State University (1 Universitetskaya Street, Izhevsk, 426034, Russia)


Indo-Aryans, Indo-Iranian prehistory, Finno-Ugric-Aryan contacts, mythology, etymology


Taking into account different approaches to the interpretation of most ancient Aryan- (Indo-Aryan-) Finno-Ugric contacts, I discuss Ancient Indian mythonym Śarabha, which is often considered as an Ugrian loan-word. Actually, the Ob-Ugrian word for “elk” and the name Śarabha reveal only the outward and casual resemblance and cannot be connected historically. For Śarabha there are suggested probable etymologies from Caucasian and Western Asian languages, which might reflect Caucasian and Western-Asiatic contacts of the Indo-Aryans’ ancestors on their way to India.

Funding Information

This research was supported by the following institutions and grants:
Russian Science Foundation, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769 [grant no 14-18-03384]


Napolskikh, V.V. 2017. “Zver’ Sharabkha” i problemy predystorii indoariev [The “Beast Sharabha” and the Problems of Indo-Aryan Prehistory]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 4: 13-23

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