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Shurale and Last Year the Woodcutter on a Kazakh 50 tenge coin, 2013.

Shurale (Tatar and Bashkir: Шүрәле, [ʃyræˈlɘ]; Russian: Шурале) is a forest spirit in Bashkir[1] and Tatar mythology. According to legends, Şüräle lives in forests. He has long fingers, a horn on its forehead, and a woolly body. He lures victims to a thicket and can tickle them to death.

Şüräle closely resembles other similar characters from the folklore such as Arçuri of the Chuvashes, Pitsen (Picen) of the Siberian Tatars and Yarımtıq of the Ural Tatars.


He can shapeshift into many different forms. As a human, he looks like a peasant with glowing eyes, and his shoes are on backwards. A person who befriends Şüräle can learn the secrets of magic. Farmers and shepherds would make pacts with the leshy to protect their crops and sheep. Şüräle has many tricks, including leading peasants astray, making them sick, or tickling them to death.[2] They are also known to hide the axes of woodcutters. A person gets lost in the woods when a Şüräle crosses their path. To find the way out, you have to turn your clothes inside out and wear shoes on opposite feet.

Inspired by the Tatar folklore, Ghabdulla Tuqay wrote a poem Şüräle.[3] Şüräle was Tuqay's pseudonym. The first[citation needed] Tatar ballet by Farit Yarullin had its name after Şüräle.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Мифы народов мира/под ред. Токарева С. А. — М., Советская энциклопедия, 1992 г. — т.2
  2. ^ Türk Mitolojisi Ansiklopedik Sözlük, Celal Beydili, Yurt Yayınevi (Page - 531)
  3. ^ Şüräle, Ğabdulla Tuqay, 1907


  • Mitolojik Varlıklar, Çulpan Zaripova [1]
  • Tatar Türklerinde Varlıklar, Çulpan Zaripova [2] (Şürälä)

Related links[edit]

Arçura/Şüräle: Mythical Spirits of the Volga-Ural Forests, Rustem Sulteev. http://akademiai.com/doi/abs/10.1556/062.2018.71.1.4?journalCode=062