Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Last year, I wrote a research paper on different myths and legends in Russian folklore. Among many manifestations of a goddess or feminine spirit is the rusalka. This word is generally translated to "mermaid" now-a-days, but in years past, it was a much more general term for a mystical and powerful female spirit-being. Rusalki were often associated with water (such as a water nymph, or the aforementioned mermaid), and each rusalka was the restless spirit of a dead woman (perhaps drowned in water) that would maliciously guard a river or stream. They were thought to climb trees where they would sing songs to lure unsuspecting bachelors to their doom.