Atlas Mythica

Vila and Samodiva: Slavic Mythological Fairies and Spirits

The Greek historian Procopius testifies to the ancient Slavic worship of beings similar to the Greek nymphs, and he also tells us that the Slavs offered sacrifices to them. The most common designation of these beings is “Fairy” – Vila in most Slavic languages, Samovila/Samodiva in Bulgarian – , and they are frequently mentioned in …

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Perun: Slavic Pagan God of War, Thunder and Storms

Also: Perom; Peron; Pikker; Piorun; Pyerun the god of thunder and rain, known as Perkonis in Prussia, Perkons in Latvia, Perkunas in Lithuania, Perusan in Bulgaria, Peron (“curse”) in Slovakia, and Perun in Russia and the Czech lands. His name is possibly cognate with that of Paranjanya, an epithet of the Hindu storm god Indra. …

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Marebito: Japanese Visiting Deities and Spirits

Visiting deities. Mysterious visitors, often from across the seas or deep in the mountains, are a staple of many Japanese local myths. These strangers, if treated kindly, fed, and entertained, are likely to emerge as donors of important foundation gifts. Orikuchi Shinobu (Japanese scholar and poet) defined marebito as spiritual entities that periodically visit village communities from the …

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Okikurmi or Ae-oyna Kamui: Ainu Wiseman Or Protective God

Ainu culture hero who features in many myths as an extremely pious powerful man who performs all the Ainu rituals, or who calls on the kamui for assistance for his people. Okikurmi is wise and good, but he has a counterpart, Samai-unkur, the chieftain of a neighboring village, who is stupid, careless, and weak. The …

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