A. Nakhodkina, A. Anisimov, E. Naumova
Monday 9 October 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 4th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2017, www.sgemsocial.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-24-9 / ISSN 2367-5659, 24 - 30 August, 2017, Book 6, Vol 2, 669-676 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/62/S28.082


The work compares chthonic images in three cultural epic and folklore traditions - Yakut, Russian, and English. Despite some specific instances of asymmetrical chthonic features, there are, however, general and universal ones. Chthonic creatures, which initially resembled the wild and natural strength of the earth, as well as the underworld, and other similar notions, serve as mediators between the world of the dead and the world of the living. These mediators have the ability to exist in two worlds simultaneously. This is quite typical of all the chthonic images in both - the Yakut and the European traditions. Chthonic images symbolize the evil forces, evil inclination, all that is unfavorable, hostile for the human beings, and all that can cause people harm and hardship. They also have a peculiar appearance. If these creatures are a humanlike, they are incredibly ugly, for instance, the Yakut abaahy demons. They are depicted as one-legged and one-armed cyclopes with a face on the back of their heads and a beak-shaped nose. Some of the Russian chthonic characters, such as Koschei the Immortal, resemble a humanlike form. If the characters are of a non-humanlike form, as a rule, they are most commonly represented in the form of reptiles or snakelike creatures (such as dragons) for instance, Grendel, Zmei Gorynych or a special transformed form of the Yakut abaahy into dragons. The female images of chthonic creatures are the ancestors of evil spirits, creatures or demons in their corresponding cultures. Chthonic characters are often depicted as outcasts rejected by the people. Sometimes their images are transferred into fairytales from myths. The Yakut and European traditions of depicting chthonic images have some general features - a battle against the main character in the storyline; the main goal of this protagonist is to restore justice and peace on Earth. However, the general concept behind the chthonic images is the same - a resemblance of death in all kinds of shapes and forms.

Keywords: chthonic creatures, epic, folklore tradition, universal features, the image of evil and death.