Lisovik, the lord of the forest

Dec 4, 2018 · 2 min read
Lisovik, by Ana Santiso (CC BY-NC 3.0).

By Ana Santiso.
Watercolor on paper.
12,5 cm x 13 cm.
Token ID:

CREATURE: Lisovik is a supernatural creature present in all Slavic peoples, under different names and with slightly different habits and aspects. In any case, it is a being that lives in the forest and can not be seen by people. His appearance is terrible, with goat legs and horns and a vigorous body.
He is the true lord of the forest, to the point that it is believed that any movement of animals obeys his orders. He is not evil, but he loves to make mischief to people who dare to enter the forest alone. Disorienting them and causing their loss is their favorite fun. It is enough that Lisovik turns around a person to completely disorient it. Then the only remedy is to put the clothes inside out to cancel the spell and go home quickly.
On October 17 he goes underground, since he does not like the cold, and will not leave again until spring. But before hiding it becomes enraged and causes storms, breaks trees and throws the animals from their burrows.

CULTURE: Ukraine forms, together with Belarus and Russia, the area inhabited by the Eastern Slavs. Cradle of the Slavic people, from that zone the migrations that, with the fall of the Roman Empire, spread throughout the European continent. Today the Slavic people settle in the north and center of Europe (countries like Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic) and also on the Mediterranean coast (Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia).
His mythology and genuine beliefs are documented only by external sources, such as the chronicles of the Byzantine Procopius, which mentions that the Slavs worshiped a single god, as well as demons and nymphs.
With the conversion to Christianity of its nobility, in the tenth century, Slavic peasants did not abandon their beliefs but instead made them complementary and preserved them generation after generation until today.
Ukraine, the center of Slavic culture and politics during the first centuries, lost its sovereignty with the Mongol invasions of the thirteenth century. Since then its territory was disputed and distributed among other regional powers, until after the Revolution of 1917 the USSR recognized its national entity.
However, the 20th century harmed the Ukrainian people harder. The Soviet authorities, by imposing the collectivization of agriculture, razed the peasant communities and their millenary way of life, in addition to provoking a famine that took the lives of some 3 million Ukrainians. Soon after, the German invasion during World War II caused the death of another 5 million more.
Today Ukraine is an independent country, although divided and pre-warlike with Russia, industrialized and with a small peasant population.



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