Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/81

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73
OF THE MORDVINS.

of the court-yard in a hole under a stone which is called after it, Karda syarko (the stall nit). This divinity is assisted by Yurma ozais who protects the household goods ; Kyolyada ozais (birch tree ozais), who protects the cattle, especially Ange Patyai's favourite animals, sheep, pigs, and hens. Subordinate to the last-mentioned spirit are Angar ozais, guardians of stallions, Lishman ozais, guardian of mares and foals, Taunsyai or Taun ozais, guardian of pigs, and Rev ozais, guardian of sheep.

From the sparks struck by the goddess there appeared in every farm a Nishki ozais, whose function is to guard the enclosures where the beehives stand, and who is subordinate to Nishkende Tevtyar; also Suavtuma ozais, subordinate to the goddess Norrova Aparuchin (goddess of agriculture), and who protects fields; Past ozais, who protects seed from worms (past), locusts, and other injurious insects, and Keret ozais (ploughshare ozais), the guardian of agricultural implements.

Other good spirits that also originate from the sparks are Ahshakal ozais (white fish ozais), protector of fisheries, and under Ved pas (Water God): Kyolu ozais, ov Vechki Kyos Kyoldigo, guardian of birch trees, who is under Verya pas (Forest God) : Tumo ozais (oak ozais), guardian of the bark of elm and lime[1] trees : Pekshe ozais, guardian of lime trees : Piche ozais, protector of pine trees : Tot ran ozais, guardian of timber : Keren ozais (bark ozais), protector of elms, &c. According to the ideas of the Ersa, guardian spirits are found everywhere. Each faithfully defends the creation of Cham Pas that was entrusted to him, and so fulfils the commands of Ange Patyai, the good mother of the gods and of all the world. From her instrumentality in bringing into the world these gnardian spirits, she has received in places the name of Bulaman ozais (aged woman or midwife of the ozais), and in other places Bulaman Patyai, with reference to her assistance at child-birth and as being the chief protectress of midwives.

The evil spirits created by Shaitan bring disease on men and cattle,

  1. Probably a mistake for oak (tumo).