"Mythological System of Beliefs"

[/j/ is to be pronounced as in German & Latin (= /y/ in English)

/v/ is to be pronounced as in Latin (= /w/ in English)]


pp. 129-134 Be`la Bu:ky : "Hungarian Terminology for Soul".

words denoting ‘soul’



Uralic cognates


le`lek ‘soul’

[Finnish] lo:yly ‘Dunst, Dampf’


szi`v ‘heart’

[Vogul] sim ‘heart’; [Zu:rjan] selem ‘heart’; [Votjak] sulem ‘heart’ {cf. [Kas`miri expression] "heart of S`IVa"}


elme ‘mind’

{[<arabi^] <ilm ‘knowledge’}


jonh ‘stomach’

{[<ibri^] yo^nah ‘dove (entered stomach of whale)’}


i`z ‘evil spirit’

[Vogul] is ‘shadow, soul ("the man has five, the woman four is’s, one of them, the urt is a foxlike creature")’


szem ‘eye’


szi`n ‘face’


ve`r ‘blood’


words denoting ‘spirit’



Uralic cognates


szo` ‘word’



ige`z ‘to enchant’

[old Tu:rkish] u:ge ‘magic word’


reg ‘warmth’

[Votjak] zog ‘heated’


pp. 135-138 A. I. Teryukov : "Notions about Souls in the Komi Mythology".




lov ‘soul’; kulo:m, kulu:s, kulo:ma ‘death, the dead, the dying’


"After man’s death lov lives in the house of the dead for 40 days. Even at the beginning of the 20th century in many places they saw the soul of the dead off on the 40th day after funeral repast ...

V. P. Nalimov wrote that after a while from such seeing off, the soul (as Komi Zyryans thought) flew away to another planet ...

P. A. Sorokin reported that Komi-Zyryans considered that the soul was reincarnated and turned to some animated or inanimated thing and remained on the earth ...

A. N. Gren underlined that, according to popular beliefs, lov after man’s death turned into a tree. The noun "the alder" (lov pu, pu -- ‘a tree’) connected with this belief". {These 3 beliefs would be reconciled by the soul of the dead’s being guided, during 40 days, by the alder-tree to another planet in order to re-incarnate thereon as a human.}


"Ort is the double of a man, ... which in contrast to lov is [during life] out of body. ... when a man is born, ort is set to him. Ort lives in the air and has the image [shape] of its prototype. Usually ort is invisible, but it becomes visible ... with mostly people who are near the death, in the moments which are directly preceding the death. {= [Scottish] fetch}

... ort [hath] thrown the pots or other household objects from the shelves, made some noise in the peasant’s house. {cf. poltergeist} If the thrown [were] woman’s objects, it would be [praedicting] the death of [a] woman, if the thrown [were] the objects of a man, it would be [praedicting a] man’s death. ...

A. V. Kruglov ... wrote as if ort was seen at night as the blue light. ...


[It] Was considered that after man’s death ort walked around all the places where his double [viz., physical body] had been during his life.

... everyone thought that ort was near the body till the funeral.

P. G. Doronin ... wrote that during 40 days after death ort stood in the house ...

In A. S. Sidorov’s ["Sidokov" on p. 138] materials, it was considered that during these 40 days "ort" walked around all the places, which his alive-double [i.e., physical body] had visited".


"K. F. Zakov ... noticed that ... ort continued to live after man’s death ...

G. S. Lytkin considered ort as the ... ghost ...

I. A. Kuratov ... wrote that ort is a brownie ...

P. A. Sorokin ... about soul wrote that ort is man’s double who lives separately and did not lose his form after man’s death. ...

Yu. V. Gagarin, writes that according to Komi-Zyryans’ notions there are ... lov (breathe, whiff, life), which during man’s life stays inside him and ort (shade, double) considered as patron-spirit and living alone".


"among the Mordvinians it is called ort, among Urdmurts urt."


pp. 139-146 Ants Viires : "Some Glimpses into Ancient Estonian Religion".

p. 139 terms




jumal ‘god’


pu:ha ‘sacred’


vaim ‘spirit’ (another meaning of /vaim/ is ‘bondsmaid’, cf. [Finnish] /vaimo/ ‘wife’; in Finnish /vaim-/ is ‘involuntary muscular tremor [twitch]’ –p. 145) {cf. [Maori] /io/, meaning both ‘twitch’ and ‘supreme deity’}


HiN ‘soul’ (= [Finnish] /HeNki/ ‘spirit’ – p. 142)


meel ‘mind’

pp. 140-141 deities




maa jumal ‘plough deity’


t’errid ‘ummal ‘grain deity’


vii jumal ‘water deity’


vete ema: ‘water mother’


obeste jummal ‘horse deity’

p. 143 terms, in other languages, for ‘spirit’

[Swedish] ande

[Russian] gyx

[Latvian] gars

pp. 144-145 specific spirits




hea vaim ‘guter Geist’


metsa vaim ‘forest spirit’


vee vaim ‘water spirit’


maja vaim ‘water spirit’


maa vaim ‘earth spirit’


soo vaim ‘swamp spirit’


rehe vaim ‘barn spirit’


vilja vaim ‘grain spirit’


laeva vaim ‘ship spirit’


"Fish has no hing. Fish has a vaim."


pp. 147-154 Miha`ly Hoppa`l : "Hungarian Mythology".




"the mother of the ruling family of the Arpa`d-dynasty was made pregnant by a turul-bird." (huge mythic bird of prey)


"the brothers Hunor and Magor pursuing the magic deer, their adventure of capturing wives"


"the world-tree ... connects the sky and the earth, the world of the Gods and the place where men live their lives ...; at its base one can go down into the dark underworld through a hole."


"the sky, which covers the world like a tent; holes in it are the stars."


"several names given to the Milky Way : Straw Way, ... the road of Prince Csaba."


"Heaven (menny ...) ..., hell (pokol)"


"the origin of the name Isten for God ... from ... the Hittite Istanus"


"vaso:rdo:g ‘iron devil’ (an old man whose body is covered with hair ...); vadlea`ny ‘wild girl’ (she walks naked, she has long hair and nails)"


water-spirits :- "The male, vi`zi ember ‘water-man’, who lives in rivers, lakes and marshlands is ... dangerous to people because he pulls them under the water ... The Hungarian name for the female water creature is sello:, ... since she lived in the water she had the body of a fish from her waist down-wards."


"the Windmother, sze`lanya, imagined in the form of an old woman who guards the winds in a cave and lets them out from time to time."


"Among the Csa`ngo`s of Moldavia belief stories were recorded about the soul leaving the body of man in the form of a wasp".


"ki`se`rtet ‘ghost’ and hala`l ‘death’"


/lide`rc/ ‘nightmare’ {? < /lethe/ + /orcus/} "a flying star with a fiery tail [meteor], a wandering light of nightmare"


"creatures whose only function is to scare very small children is they, are too noisy, misbehave or do not want to go to sleep. ...

ko`ko` is used by the Palo`c,

ko`kus is used in Szabolcs-Szatma`r country and

mo`ka`r and bankus are used are used only in regions populated by Cumanians."


"re`zfaszu` bagoly ‘owl with a copper prick’ and

vasorru` ba`ba ‘witch with an iron nose’"


"mano` ‘imp’ and to:rpe ‘dwarf’, the o`ria`s ‘giant’, the tu:nde`r ‘fairy’ and the boszorka`ny ‘witch’. The first two are small though extremely strong and shrewd creatures with long hair and beard ... Among the female creatures the best known are the fairies (tu:nde`r), described ... as ... in the underwater realm emanating eternal happiness."


ETHNOLOGICA URALICA, 1 = Miha`ly Hoppa`l & Juha Pentika:inen (eds.) : Uralic Mythology and Folklore. Budapest : Ethnographic Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Helsinki : Finnish Literature Society, 1989. pp. 123-155 = Part III "Mythological System of Beliefs".