St. Nicholas Viewed as Chief God

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St. Nicholas Viewed as Chief God

Submitted by: Yuri Klitsenko

In Russian tradition St. Nicholas is the patron saint of travellers. So when travelling to Siberia, every Russian never forget to take along an icon of St. Nicholas for distant journey.

Seeing that every Russian colonist had a St. Nicholas icon, native Siberians concluded that St. Nicholas was the chief deity of Russians, and venerated St. Nicholas as "Russian God".

When one of foldable side flaps of St. Nicholas three-leaf copper skalden' was lost, Natives of Taimyr made new one decorated with local spirits and local symbols.


Natives of Taimyr also used to add two eyes made of beads to improve Russian icons - in accordance with Native Siberian beliefs only images of gods can have eyes (images of humans and animals, children toys can't have eyes - it is dangerous and strictly prohibited). Russian icons are images of gods, that is why every icons needed pair of eyes.


Images of boats were suspended under every "sacred narta-sled" - sacred sled was thought to be floating in cosmic waters.