Pitsen's role is contradictory. It could bring luck, but also troubles, leading humans to wilderness.
Shapeshifting is common for Pitsen: he may look like elder with staff and knapsack, but also like different animals, for example apes. Pitsen prefers to live in derelict lodges. He also likes to ride horses and to oil their mane with tar.
Pitsen, transformed to damsel, may have sexual intercourse or get married to human. One legend says that one hunter happened upon beautiful damsel in a forest and get married to her. Soon they become rich. Once he came home ahead of time he used to return and had seen a tusky monster, eating lizards. He cried, being horrified, and that moment his wife and his riches disappeared.
Pitsen is a counterpart of Chuvash Arçuri and Volga-Ural Tatar Şüräle. In the mythology of the Siberian Tatars, Tobol and Omsk Tatars had shaggy and stinking yysh-keshe. They carry away travelers and force them to get married. At night the spirit of yysh-keshe used to fly away from an armpit.
References and footnotes
- also spelled biçen, pichan, pechan, pitsin, picen, picin, yen, yenpäri, Urman İäse – the Host of the Forest; Cyrillic: Пице́н.
- (Russian) Валеев Ф. Т., О религиозных представлениях западносибирских татар, в сб.: Природа и человек в религиозных представлениях народов Сибири и Севера, Л., 1976, с. 320-29.
- [jɯʃ kʲeˈʃe]