Domovoi

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Domovoi

 

or house spirit; in the religious beliefs of Slavic and certain other peoples, a “spirit” that resides in a house. Belief in domovye is a survival of primitive family-clan cults. Other names include, among the Russians, dedko, khoziain, domozhil, and susedko; among the Beylorussians, khatnik and gospodar; among the Ukrainians, khatnii didko; among the Poles, chowaniec; and among the Czechs, skřitek and rarášek. According to these beliefs domovye not only protect the house but sometimes punish people for violating customs and showing disrespect, smother them in their sleep, frighten them, and so forth. Certain rituals are connected with the belief in domovye, including feeding the domovye and inviting them to a housewarming celebration.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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