Siberian Spirits

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

The Siberian (See Siberian entries) mythological world is dominated by master-spirits. Any given people's territory—its water, its mountains, its animals, its particular places—is ruled by master-spirits who are necessarily enemies of people of other territories. If a person dies, he goes to live with the master-spirit of the element responsible for his death. Often the master-spirits take on animal shapes, usually human. Certain master-spirits seem to be ubiquitous. The master-spirit of fire is one such figure, sometimes taking thé form of an old woman who watches the fire. Each home has a Mother Fire that is much valued. Among some groups, the fire, as Grandmother Fire, is fed pieces of food as the protector of the herds. Animals are associated with the master-spirit of the woods, who is the guardian of the hunt. The master-spirit of water is usually an ancient man who watches over the fish and lives in the waters. The Tungus have territorial master-spirits known as Territory Mothers (Dunne Enin). There are also master-spirits of the lower world who are shaman (See Shamanism) ancestors (See Siberian Shamans). The Buryats have spirits called tengri (See Tengri), fifty-four good ones in the west where the god Eseg Malan is king and fifty-five bad ones in the east where the god of the dead, Erlik, reigns.

Subjects: Religion.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.