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Buyan Island, by Ivan Bilibin.

In the Dove Book and other medieval Russian books, Buyan (Russian: Буя́н, sometimes transliterated as Bujan[1]) is described as a mysterious island in the ocean with the ability to appear and disappear using tides. Three brothers—Northern, Western, and Eastern Winds—live there, and also the Zoryas, solar goddesses who are servants or daughters of the solar god Dazhbog.[2]

It figures prominently in many famous myths; Koschei the Deathless keeps his soul or immortality hidden there, secreted inside a needle placed inside an egg in the mystical oak-tree; other legends call the island the source of all weather, created there and sent forth into the world by the god Perun. It is also mentioned in The Tale of Tsar Saltan, of His Son the Renowned and Mighty Bogatyr Prince Gvidon Saltanovich, and of the Beautiful Princess-Swan (an opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, set partially in Tmutarakan and Buyan's magical city of Ledenets (Russian: Леденец, "sugary")) and many other Slavic folktales. Furthermore, it has the mythical stone with healing and magic powers, known as the alatyr' (Russian: Алатырь), which is guarded by the bird Gagana and Garafena the serpent.

Some scholars interpret Buyan as a sort of Proto-Indo-European Otherworld (see Fortunate Islands). Others assert that Buyan is actually a Slavic name for some real island, most likely Rügen.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anton Dietrich, Russian Popular Tales, 1857 (Google eBook) p.23
  2. ^ Dixon-Kennedy, Mike (1998). Encyclopedia of Russian and Slavic myth and legend. ABC-CLIO. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-57607-130-4.
  3. ^
  4. ^ [1]