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An ill wind
December 21, 2011 4:39 PM   Subscribe

Are there any mythological creatures or figures in Russian folklore that are particularly associated with storms, wind or bad weather? Are there any particular stories that expand on what Wikipedia has to say?
posted by Artw to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yes, especially in the pre-Christian tradition. In the literal sense of an ill-wind, it's hard to go past Nightingale The Robber.

But in the sense of what you're really talking about, you would be most interested in Perun, the pre-christian god of storms, and Zeus-like king-of-gods figure.
posted by smoke at 4:48 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Slavic mythology (close enough?) it appears that the Vila - nymphs or fairies - tend to have control over storms.

Some more Slavic stuff on this page suggests Divozenky are "wild women" whose dancing can bring on storms, and Stribog is the god of wind and storms.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:55 PM on December 21, 2011


Also here is a link to an encyclopedia of Russian and Slavic myths and legends (PDF).
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:58 PM on December 21, 2011


Additionally, the Alkonost is also associated with storms.
posted by smoke at 4:59 PM on December 21, 2011


Unfortunately, the heyday of Slavic paganism predates the start of the Slavic literary tradition, which means the written record is very scant and provided almost exclusively by missionaries and travelers. The detailed pantheons and mythologies one finds are mostly historical reconstructions or parts of recent neo-pagan movements. Since the late 19th century, there has also existed a tradition of folklorists and romanticists rescuing and synthesizing folk traditions and tales, trying to "rediscover" the roots of Slavic culture, sometimes with nationalistic/pan-Slavic agendas.

To be honest, I have no idea what the Wikipedia cite refers to. As far as I know, there is no personified wind in Slavic folklore, like Boreas or Aeolus of Greek myth.

The appearance of supernatural villains (such as Baba Yaga or various many-headed serpents) is usually accompanied by strong wind, as a kind of bad omen. But that's not really the sort of thing you're asking about.
posted by Nomyte at 10:23 PM on December 21, 2011


Thanks guys - super helpful answers!
posted by Artw at 10:50 PM on December 23, 2011


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