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Fairies of Mari-el
Notes on the religion of the Mari. Mari Fairy Tales
Understanding the nature of the Mari fairy tales and religion requires and understanding of the kerement as the keremet influances the lives of the Mari to a far greater extent then the gods do and is held with such awe that they rarely speak of it to strangers. Yes the Mari have a head dity (Kugu-Jumo) but he is unclear and not well attested to. As with many traditional peoples they had more concern with the immediate world, the hidden world of beings which could affect them directly aka, the fairies realm of which the keremet was the most important part.
An evil spirit which appears as a fire or shooting star like object flying through the air. They can also take human or bird form with long hair as a women or a long beard as a man or a long beak to peak at and dry up trees as a bird. The human corpes which the burber comes from is red faced and does not decay. To kill it people beat the burber with sticks from an ash tree and then burn it while putting the stone from the craw of a hen it the burbers mouth so that its soul cannot escape in the form of a butterfly to cause further evil.
Horseshoes at the threshold protect agains the burber.
As with many folkloric creatures of the countryside it asucks the milk from cattle and the mill of a cow which has been visited by a burber contains blood, grin, or some other impurity.
To suck the blood of a human they kiss them and then suck the blood out of their victems mouths. They also become the lovers of humans and then cause them so much heartace that they cause the humans to die. In addition to emotional attacks and blood they also eat eyes and will attack people from within, entering peoples stomach or the wombs of pregnant women and animals in order to kill the featis.
The burber will possess humans to get them to do evil, and the human thinks that they are having a series of nightmares.
When someone dies in the forest they can only go free when they kill another so they haunt the forest hoping to do this. They have cloaks which make them invisible and cause humans to get lost so that they may murder them.
Nemdə kurək kuga jen
A kermet who was once a great leader of humans but buried himself instructing people to only awaken him in case of a war. He has an invisible army which he is constantly drilling in the mountains so people can occasionally hear their shooting of guns. When cattle die in an epidemic it is thought to be his soldiers taking the food they need from the land.
He is worshiped during times of wa.
Evil forest spirit which leads people astray at night with the help of illusions which make the world seem different from the way it really is. They can also change shapand in one story it came to a man who was in the bath hose as a wife and lead him outside making him think that the ground was covered in snow and the path was in a different location then it was so the man wandered far off into the forest before relalizing what had happened.
(old man or old women of the lake)
The spirit of the lake which can be offended by making the lake impure (throwing dead animals in it, putting feces in it, etc). If offended the lake can cause illness or even take the entire lake somewhere else.
Beats on trees and the walls of houses to keep people awake as he calls for children to come put to play. It freezes people to death, pinces their feaet and noses, hits people over the head with a wooden mallet. Hates the singing of drunk people and attacks them.
They sow up the door on cold nights.
A keremet which was a hero who fought aganst the Taatars. The Mari at his home town sacrifice a horse in his grove in case of sickness.
A form of field spirit or blessing which cause the gropes to grow well. The pasu perke can be stolen by another mari who has a poor harvest at which point the person who’s pasu perke has been taken will then seek to take anotherone by putting a little dirt in his shoe and dragging it by the shoelace back to his own field where he prays to the pasu perke asking it to stay.
a spirit of the mountains or unders the stones or mill but it tends to inhabit the homestead and bathhouse and may appear as a handsome man or a pretty blond girl who is about three feet tall.
The suksəndal attacks those who go into the bathhouse alone at night (going into the bathouse alone is dangerous as the hot steam can cause people to pass out and die which is why this may have come about)
It also steals babies left alon in the house, and to prevent this the Mari mothers will often put scissors or some other iron object in the cradle to ward it off.
They make noises at night to cause people have nightmares. And sometimes has sexual intercourse with those who are dreaming.
Their bite causes stomachache.
Tales are told of helpful ones, and the Mari will ask them to protect the home and keep out evil.
A forest spirit which is known as the misleader is believed at times to be the spirit of an animal but more often that of a human who died without a name. It roves the forests, meadows, fields and occasionally enters cities and villages, often in the form of a giant.
It has the ability to change form into an animal or haystack or anything else it might wish.
Its laughs and shrieks frighten livestock.
It attempts to lure people off into unknown parts of the forest by calling out to them.
The Targəldəs tickles its victims to death.
They will put out campers fires, and frighten mushroom gatherers and berry pickers by riding them.
In the forest it has a family and so it will prepare its own wedding feats with its extensive cattle.
When happy the targəldəs may warm itself by the fires of campers without doing them any harm.
But ian udərzə
A waterspirit that appears as a beautiful girl with white, yellor or black hair and is either finally dressed or naked. When a human touches it with iron it cannot escape and can be foresed to marry them. However if the human reveals the identity of his wife she will die.
But Aba (water mother)
When people need rain they gather at the bank of the river and playfully throw water at eachother and animals especially those of black sheep and black hens. Then porridge is either offered to the river and then eaten by all those arround, or in other places a black oxen or sheep is eaten on the river bank with the uneaten parts being sunk in the river after the feast.
Should too much rain fall as a resault of thise thse remains are taken out.
The But aba helps to maintain the quality of the water, if the water becomes muddied or bad tasting people attempt to purify it by offering porridge.
The Mari bride must be introduced to the but aba of her new home, and so must be accompanied by someone whom it already knows, where she will make an offering of a few coins or beads to it in order that it will protect her from any new illnesses from the strange water.
There are two different beleifs about the büt aba with regards to fishing in one the the Mari will pour vodka and porridge into the water so that the büt aba will provide them with an aboundent catch. In the other however are very caful not to make any disturbance while fishing or else the offended büt aba will cause them to drown or curse them with illness.
When swimming children are warned not to go into the deep parts of the water or the but aba may pull them down.
Tul aba (fire mother)
Fire is pure and so it is the messanger which carries mens sacrifices to the gods.People aslo pray to the fire to protect them from evil spirits. Because fire is so pure it doesn’t tolorate any kind of pure so when someone toches it with something dirty, throws wood on it in an an agressive way, or spits at it it grows angry and causes illness.
To pasify and keep the fire happy people offer it black hens, or milk from a black cow.
Fire spirit which like the fire mother carries their offerings and messages to the gods. They also help to exersize evil from a hose through their smoke and a ritual. As with the fire mother the fire spirit cuases deseas in those who offend it and must then be placified.
The spirit of the bathhouse, a shape changer it may appear as a man or as a women or as an animal, yet it travels in the form of a shooting star sending of sparks. They have a strong relation to the forest spirits living in the swamps and ravines and at times are said to be the same beings. They often attempt to have sexual relations with humans and their kiss is the cause of cold sores. Yet at the same time they punish sexual impurity in women and men by killing or sickening them.
Its power is conanted the little finger of its left hand which if broken causes it to loose all its magical power.
But Bodəz (water spirit)
A spirit of rivers and springs which causes a sore on the lips of those who drink directly from it, and a sore on the penis of those who urinate in it. He isalso known to cause ulcers
Kudə bodəz (Also known as little hut spirit)
The family deity which inhabits the holy corner of the hut which is often divided from the rest of the hut and where dried twigs are placed for it and at times little wooden figurines. They appear to family members in dreamsin order to provide them with information and aid.
Sacrifices of cereal and the blood of a black sheep, hen or hare are made to it and are placed on a shelf in the holy corner. Such sacrifices are often made when a person has neglected this spirit causing them to become ill.