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Statue of Æfsati, the Osset god of wild animals and patron of hunters, in the Osset mountains.

Æfsati (Ossetian: Æфсати) in Ossetian mythology and the Nart saga is a deity of beasts and the heavenly patron of hunters.


Æfsati is one of the most revered deities in the Ossetian pantheon. A protector of wild animals, which were once known as "Æfsati's cattle," Æfsati is the patron especially of deer and wild boars. He is portrayed as an old, one-eyed man with a white beard sitting on the high mountain Adai-Khokh, where he lives. On this mountain he watches his many wild herds. Although Æfsati was one-eyed, he kept an eye out for his charges and severely punished those who violated his regulations and laws. One of the laws Æfsati established was that every hunter to whom he gave the animal during the hunt, had to share part of the kill with the first person he encountered from his village.

Many Ossetian folk songs and hymns have been composed in honor of Æfsati, who is famed for his generosity and kindness. Unlike other deities, no sanctuary has ever been built for Æfsati nor have any special celebrations been arranged. However, hunters before going on the hunt, had to perform certain actions and prayerful petitions asking Æfsati to give them an animal from his herd.

"Æfsati - the lord of wild animals, particularly deer, wild boar and mountain deer , hunters pleasuring him before leaving sacrificial loaves , because their luck is entirely dependent on his favor, however, it requires that the one who rendered the protection of hunting, generously fed to then poor village, otherwise next foray into the forest is barren." [1]

In the Nart sagas, Æfsati was a patron of the Nart heroes. He gave the Nart athlete Atsa a wonderful golden flute, which was then played by Atsa's son, the young hero Atsamaz. When Atsamaz was trying to win Agunda's hand in marriage, Æfsati helped him pay a bride price of one hundred deer. In another Nart story reads like a celestial Safa deciding bestow Soslan , invites you to a feast of various gods, including Æfsati to young exiled, serving them, could they ask for gifts appropriate to their specialization. In this story refers to the exiled ruler of wildlife to get from grace: " Æfsati, all the beasts of the mountains and valleys in your power " [2] .

In addition, there were other Æfsati less revered patrons forests Sau Dzuar and Anigol .

References [ edit | edit source code ]

Russian wikipedia page on Æfsati: Ossetian poet Costa Hetagurov devoted patron of wild animals poem "Æfsati."


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