Friday, April 20, 2018

A-Z Challenge: R is for Rusalka

It's Friday and I'm posting for the AtoZ Challenge for the letter R. My theme is Under the Sea Myths & Legends and I'm excited to feature Slavic mythology and folklore with the sea creature...


According to sources, these mythical creatures are referred to as a mermaid, siren, a water nymph-like sea legend who originated from  Pagan Slavic tribes. These creatures were at one time referred to as fertility blessings and it wasn't until the 19th century when they were deemed evil. Some of these myths say young women who died or drown in the water would come back to life and haunt the shoreline as a Rusalka. Unlike mermaids, they didn't have fins and must stay new the water, shore, using trees or rocks to lurk for their prey.

The Rusalka find young men and lure them into the water, their beautiful looks. Once in the water, they use their long red tendrils of hair to wrap and perhaps strangle the unsuspecting lover.  If the victim realizes he's in danger, he may try to grapple, but the Rusalka's skin turns slippery and any effort to flee is futile. *shivers* Wow, that's creepy.

Slavic cultures celebrated these sea monsters well into the 20th century with an annual week called Rusalka Week.  Every summer, usually during the first week of June, people would avoid the water, no swimming etc... because the Rusalka would be most deadly and or powerful during these times. The Rusalka like to dance under the moonlight where onlookers would wander and capture a glimpse of the creatures. If caught by a Rusalka during this time, it meant certain death.  To ward off these evil-spirited creatures, the villagers would hold fake burials near the water. Doesn't sound like that would help, but I guess people did strange things back then.

If you're interested here's another cool video that features this creature and other Slavic myths. The Rusalka is number 1 on the list here so you can skip to the end or watch the whole thing. Enjoy.

That's it for my letter R. Have a great weekend.

No comments: