- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - III. The mountain peoples near the military road

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pole. These two rams that decide where the body is
to be buried may be looked on as the rams of Elias,
the thunder god ; and may it not be that they and
the two-wheeled cart have some connection with
the car of the god Thor? The holy Elias also saves
mankind from Ruimon, the blind-born dragon
that dwells in the world beyond, and by its roaring
brings sickness and death on men. He fastens a chain
to it, and drags it up to the plains above, where the
spirits of Heaven cut lumps of flesh from it, which
the souls cook and eat, and so are made young. This
seems to have a likeness to Thor and the World-snake,
which lay outside the world, and which inJotunheim
he hooked and dragged up to the plain above.
The Ossetes have also many gods watching over
the various activities of life : there is the supreme
god of good and evil, who must always be called
upon; then there is the god that sentences to
death on the way from Paradise to Hell ; the sun’s
son ; the moon’s son ; gods of the fields, the harvest,
cattle, game, the waters, fishes, health; a god who
watches over robbers, and many others. To the god
of evil the father of the household slaughters a
lamb before his door on the Wednesday evening
between Christmas and the New Year. This god is
given food and drink and is prayed to that he may
do no evil to the house or the cattle. A feast is held
by night, but the nåme of the supreme god must
not be utered during the whole entertainment.
This is as it is with us : if a man wants to get
friends with the Devil, God’s nåme must not be
uttered, for then he at once disappears.

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