Tunnirjak, the Mighty Sorcerer Hero of the Ust Vychegda Zyryans
Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories
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Submitted by: Yuri Klitsenko

TUNNIRJAK - a mighty sorcerer, a folklore hero of the Ust Vychegda Zyryans.

Six spirit-assistants provided him with sorcery power. According to another version, Tunnirjak learned sorcery when he was on the river Volga as a member of a robber gang. Tunnirjak had power over the water element. He could travel along a river's bottom for a great distance, observing just one condition - never to touch the fish which were passing by. Or Tunnirjak himself turned into a fish.

Spreading a cow hide on the surface of a river he and his companions sat down on it and ate. Tunnirjak always had a tub of water nearby in order to save himself from his enemies. At the time of a banquet Tunnirjak was able to hide himself so well that nobody could find him, till he himself came out from the corner where the broom had been put. Apart from that Tunnirjak could divine.

Tunnirjak mainly used his sorcery abilities to harm people. Being the leader of a robber gang, he robbed ships sailing along the river. He used his ability to stop the ships with the help of a charm. Tunnirjak also robbed villages. Since he was invulnerable to any normal weapon (like other sorcerers - tun), nobody could defeat him for a long time. There are several versions concerning his death: Tunnirjak himself advised how best to kill him, and his enemies cut his belt and chopped him up crosswise; his lover learned the secret of his invulnerability and told it to his enemies; Tunnirjak was killed after his wife deprived him of his power by giving him slops to drink, shaving his beard and removing all water from his home; another sorcerer killed Tunnirjak by shooting him with a bewitched bread bullet.

[Ed. Note] When a story contains robbery, violence, and killing, we can easily discern that it is not of God.

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