Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/136

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


128 THE BELIEFS AND RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES

On Twelfth day the young men, the girls, and children draw each other about in hand-sledges through the streets. They imagine that all the evil spirits, that Shaitan gave birth to, break their legs in these sledges.

NOTES.

The Chuvash, who are apparently of Tatar stock, live in the governments of Kazan, Simbirsk, Orenburg, and Saratof. The Cheremis, of Finnish stock, occupy the northern portions of the governments of Nizhni Novgorod and Kazan on the left banks of the Volga, and portions of the governments of Ostroma and Viatka. The Yotyaks, also a Finnish people, are found between the Kama and Viatka rivers in the government of Viatka.

The following is taken from an article on the Votyaks that appeared in the Finnish magazine, Kieletdr, 1875.

§1. The Votyaks hold feasts called zin^ a word borrowed from the Tatars, on Fridays at certain seasons of the year. They last at least three days, and are celebrated in different villages at different times, so as not to clash. Without these feasts they believe the crops would not grow.

§ 2. The Votyak gods are now reduced to three : Inmar, the god of the sky, the equivalent of the Finnish Ilmarinen^ is also the personification of all goodness; Keremety his younger brother, the enemy of mankind ; Shaitan^ the personification of evil, also known as Vu-mort, the water-man, the evil spirit that resides in water. Inmar hates Keremet because the latter had instilled curiosity into the wife of Urom, the first man formed by Inmar out of clay. A beaker of kumis had been placed before the first human pair in Para- dise with the injunction that it was not to be opened. The woman, however, disobeyed the order of Inmar, and drank it all up, after Keremet had defiled it.

§' 3. The Votyaks believe Inmar to be very good, so do not fear

\