The magical creatures of Azerbaijani mythology
Once, George Martin, the famous American writer, said that he would like to go to the Middle-Earth after his death. For those who don’t know what Middle-Earth is – Middle-Earth is a fantasy world populated by magical creatures. It was invented by John R.R. Tolkien, a British Professor, based on Welsh and Irish mythology.
In other words, neither ‘The Lord of the Rings’, ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, nor any other extremely popular fantasy novel was concocted by the author from start to finish. They all represent processing of Celtic and Welsh myths, legends, and, to some extent, even Biblical stories. Werewolves, vampires, gnomes, talking trees – the Western culture revives the same characters over and over again.
That’s the West. But what can the Caucasus offer? What unknown beasts exists in Azerbaijani mythology?
Aghach kishi, aka Mesha adam
It is literally translated as the Treeman or the Woodman. This is a hair-covered, self-willed ghost of the mountainous forests, slightly resembling a monkey. On a side note, many scientists believe that Aghach kishi is a local interpretation of the legend about ‘Bigfoot’. However, taking a walk with him is unlikely to be enjoyable. The Woodman stinks; besides, he likes strolling into people’s gardens and taking their needless clothes (in olden times clothes were left specially for him).
Qulyabani, a desert warlock, is really dangerous, while the capricious Aghach-kishi will only play a joke on you. Qulyabani lives mainly in the steppes or in cemeteries and he likes frightening latish travellers.
Qulyabani looks like a man, covered with dark hair and having back-turned feet. He has a human voice and will offer you to fight with him.
Surprisingly, a meeting with such a harm-inflicting creature can be advantageous. He will work for you if you manage to stick a needle into his cloth’s collar, but nothing is as simple as it seems. Qulyabani will fulfill his master’s orders conversely, so keep it in mind!
It’s a one-eyed giant who is known for forcing people to enter a cave in the heat of fury where he eats them. Your chances for success are little if you have not got a sheep’s skin to cover yourself so that the monster does not smell your scent. You also need a sharp sword to stick it into his one and only eye. By the way, the task becomes easier because he is not very clever.
Daēvas or divs are Tepegöz’s other co-brothers. A Div is a tall creature who has magical power. Their heads are decorated with small horns and are famous for their intemperance. The Giants desire women and very often they drag beautiful young women into their caves.
Trees are as dangerous as the caves in the Azerbaijani magical world. For example, one shouldn’t sit or sleep under a tree after the twilight falls, because you can thus infuriate the tree ‘master’. Another reason is that some evil wood ghosts gather there.
It is particularly dangerous to sleep under a nut or a fig tree, because djinns live in them. Those aren’t just djinns (or genies as its known in the west) from a lamp, but rather small and wicked djinns. They are closer ‘to people’ than anything else. You’ve probably seen them if something dark ran past a tree – those are djinns. Nobody knows for sure what they look like exactly as they don’t like being seen.
There should be at least one female character in this male company. Peri is a beautiful young girl, who very often appears as a pigeon or a deer. Having come to a pond in such a form, Peris take off their ‘animal’ cover and goes to bathe. If one steals her shorn off animal skin, one can convince (or blackmail) Peri into doing some magic.
In general, Peris impersonate kindness and they can fight with demons. They are not dangerous to people and they can be married. Peris should not be offended, since an insulted Peri may cause supernatural disasters.
So, judge for yourself which of these creatures are suitable for a new exotic fantasy-saga. We can share them.