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Abaasy: The Demon Spirits of Yakut Folklore


Imagine a world where the wind whispers secrets, the trees hold ancient wisdom, and the earth itself is alive with unseen spirits. This is the realm of Yakut folklore, a rich tapestry of myths and legends spun from the harsh yet beautiful landscape of Siberia. At its heart lie the Abaasy, enigmatic beings who hold sway over the natural world, influencing the lives and beliefs of the Yakut people for centuries.

This blog post dives into the fascinating world of the Abaasy, exploring their origins, characteristics, and enduring influence on Yakut culture. We will delve into the diverse types of Abaasy, unravel their role in myths and rituals, and examine their presence in modern Yakut society. Prepare to embark on a journey into the heart of Yakut folklore, where the boundaries between reality and myth blur, and the spirits of the Abaasy continue to shape the lives of those who dwell in their realm.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding the Abaasy
    • Definition
    • Types of Abaasy
    • Appearance
    • Habitat
  2. The Role of the Abaasy in Yakut Culture
    • Folklore and Myths
    • Rituals and Beliefs
    • Impact on daily life
  3. The Abaasy in Modern Yakut Culture
    • Influence on art and literature
    • Contemporary beliefs
    • Impact on tourism
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQ Section

Understanding the Abaasy

The Abaasy, a term often translated as “demon spirits”, are an integral part of Yakut folklore and cosmology. They are not simply malevolent entities, but rather multifaceted beings embodying the power and unpredictability of the natural world. Their origins are entwined with the creation myths of the Yakut people, where they emerge as guardians of the earth, protectors of sacred places, and harbingers of both good and bad fortune.


The Abaasy are believed to be spirits inhabiting the natural world, possessing a distinct spiritual essence that transcends the physical realm. They are often associated with specific locations, objects, or natural phenomena, drawing their power from the land itself. The Yakut people believe that the Abaasy can influence everything from weather patterns to human affairs, making them an important force in their daily lives.

Types of Abaasy

The Abaasy are not a monolithic entity, but rather a diverse group of spirits with distinct characteristics and roles. Here are some of the most prominent types:

  • Abaa-Kys: The most common type of Abaasy, Abaa-Kys are often depicted as monstrous figures with grotesque features. They are associated with wilderness areas, mountains, and dense forests, embodying the raw power and untamed nature of the Yakut landscape. While sometimes benevolent, they are also known for their unpredictable temperaments and potential for harm.
  • Aigy: These mischievous spirits are associated with illness, misfortune, and other misfortunes. They are often portrayed as small, agile beings with an affinity for mischief. Aigy are believed to be capable of causing sickness, nightmares, and other disturbances, but they are also sometimes seen as tricksters who offer a form of playful chaos.
  • Kula: These powerful spirits are guardians of sacred places, protecting the Yakut people from harm. They are often associated with specific locations, such as burial grounds, ancient trees, or sacred springs. Kula are revered for their strength and wisdom, and their wrath is feared by those who violate their domain.
  • Uy: These malevolent spirits are responsible for causing nightmares, insomnia, and other forms of psychological distress. Uy are often depicted as shadowy figures who dwell in the darkness, preying on the vulnerable and feeding off their fears. They are considered to be the most dangerous of the Abaasy, requiring special rituals and precautions to avoid their influence.


The physical appearance of the Abaasy varies widely depending on their type and the specific myths surrounding them. However, they are often depicted as possessing grotesque features, such as sharp claws, fangs, bulging eyes, and misshapen bodies. Some Abaasy are described as being incredibly tall and imposing, while others are small and nimble, blending seamlessly into their environment.


The Abaasy are inextricably linked to the natural world, inhabiting the forests, mountains, rivers, and lakes of the Yakut region. They are believed to reside in specific locations, such as ancient trees, caves, or burial mounds, drawing power from the energy of the earth itself. The Yakut people believe that every part of their landscape is imbued with the presence of the Abaasy, making the natural world a dynamic and sacred space.

The Role of the Abaasy in Yakut Culture

The Abaasy are not merely figments of the Yakut imagination, but rather a vital part of their cultural fabric, shaping their beliefs, rituals, and daily lives. Their presence is woven into the very fabric of their society, influencing everything from the stories they tell to the way they interact with the natural world.

Folklore and Myths

The Abaasy are central characters in Yakut folklore, featuring prominently in numerous myths, legends, and tales. These stories often serve as cautionary tales, highlighting the potential dangers of disrespecting the natural world or angering the spirits. They also provide insights into the Yakut worldview, showcasing their reverence for the earth and their understanding of the intricate balance between the physical and spiritual realms.

One of the most famous Yakut myths tells the story of the Abaasy called Kys-Uol, a monstrous being residing in a deep, dark forest. This spirit is said to be responsible for the death of a young Yakut hunter who ventured into its territory without paying proper respect. The story serves as a reminder that the forest is not to be taken lightly, and that the Abaasy must be treated with caution.

Rituals and Beliefs

The Yakut people have developed elaborate rituals and beliefs centered around the Abaasy, aimed at appeasing their spirits and ensuring their favor. These rituals often involve offerings, sacrifices, and specific prayers designed to appease the Abaasy and avoid their wrath.

One significant practice is Aal Luuk, a form of shamanistic communication with the Abaasy. Through this practice, Yakut shamans attempt to establish contact with the Abaasy, seeking guidance, protection, or even their intervention in human affairs. Aal Luuk is considered a vital part of Yakut culture, allowing them to navigate the complexities of their spiritual world and maintain harmony with the forces of nature.

Impact on daily life

The Abaasy have a profound impact on the everyday lives of the Yakut people, shaping their worldview and influencing their actions. Their belief in the Abaasy encourages respect for the natural world, caution in their daily activities, and a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all living things.

For instance, the Yakut people are careful to avoid disturbing sacred places, such as ancient trees or burial grounds, fearing the wrath of the Kula spirits who guard them. They also practice rituals to appease the Aigy, offering small gifts and prayers to prevent sickness and misfortune. The constant presence of the Abaasy shapes the Yakut perception of the world, making it a dynamic and spiritual place where the unseen forces of nature are ever-present.

The Abaasy in Modern Yakut Culture

Despite the changing times and the influence of modern society, the Abaasy continue to hold a significant place in Yakut culture, their legacy echoing in art, literature, and contemporary beliefs.

Influence on art and literature

The Abaasy have inspired countless works of Yakut art and literature, reflecting their enduring significance in the Yakut imagination. These artistic representations often depict the Abaasy in their traditional forms, showcasing their monstrous features, menacing power, and unique roles in the Yakut cosmos.

Yakut folklore is rich with stories, songs, and poems featuring the Abaasy, perpetuating their myths and legends for generations. These narratives not only entertain but also serve as a valuable source of cultural knowledge, preserving the traditional beliefs and values of the Yakut people.

Contemporary beliefs

While some aspects of Yakut society have modernized, the belief in the Abaasy persists in many communities. Modern Yakut people still acknowledge the Abaasy’s influence on their lives, often incorporating them into their beliefs about health, fortune, and natural phenomena.

Many Yakut people still practice traditional rituals to appease the Abaasy, seeking their protection and guidance. The belief in the Abaasy serves as a reminder of the power and mystery of the natural world, reminding them of their interconnectedness with the earth and the spirits who inhabit it.

Impact on tourism

The Abaasy represent a unique aspect of Yakut culture, attracting tourists who are curious about the region’s rich folklore and distinctive traditions. The mysterious nature of the Abaasy, their role in Yakut myths, and the rituals surrounding them offer a glimpse into the world of Yakut spirituality.

By promoting their folklore and traditions, including the Abaasy, the Yakut people can enhance their tourism industry, showcasing the unique cultural heritage of their region. The Abaasy can become a symbol of Yakut culture, drawing visitors from around the world who are fascinated by the power and mystique of these enigmatic beings.


The Abaasy, the demon spirits of Yakut folklore, continue to hold an enduring presence in the lives and beliefs of the Yakut people. Their stories, rituals, and beliefs offer a window into the rich and complex spiritual world of the Yakut people, highlighting their reverence for nature and their deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all things. While modernity brings change, the legacy of the Abaasy remains a powerful force in Yakut culture, reminding us of the enduring power of mythology and the enduring influence of the spirits who inhabit our world.

FAQ Section

  • What is the relationship between the Abaasy and other Yakut spirits?
    The Abaasy are part of a larger pantheon of spirits in Yakut mythology. They are closely related to other spirit beings, such as the Aiyy», Uy», and Kula, but they are also distinct in their roles and characteristics.
  • How do the Abaasy differ from the spirits of other Siberian cultures?
    The Abaasy are unique to Yakut culture, although they share some similarities with spirits from other Siberian cultures. For example, the Abaa-Kys resemble similar forest spirits found in other Siberian traditions. However, the specific characteristics, beliefs, and rituals surrounding the Abaasy are distinctly Yakut.
  • Are there any modern examples of people encountering the Abaasy?
    While modern Yakut people may not describe their experiences in traditional terms, many still report feeling the presence of spirits, experiencing unexplained phenomena, or encountering creatures that defy rational explanation. These experiences often reinforce the belief in the Abaasy’s continued presence in their world.
  • What are some ways to protect yourself from the Abaasy?
    Yakut people have developed various methods of protecting themselves from the Abaasy, including:

    • Aal Luuk: Seeking guidance and protection from shamans who can communicate with the spirits.
    • Offering and Sacrifices: Leaving offerings at sacred places to appease the spirits and avoid their wrath.
    • Protective Charms: Wearing amulets or carrying objects believed to ward off evil spirits.
  • Where can I learn more about the Abaasy and Yakut folklore?
    To delve deeper into the world of the Abaasy, you can explore the following resources:

    • Academic Journals: Search for scholarly articles on Yakut folklore and mythology.
    • Yakut Folklore Collections: Explore collections of Yakut myths, legends, and stories.
    • Websites and Blogs: Seek out online resources dedicated to Siberian folklore and Yakut culture.

This concludes our exploration into the captivating world of the Abaasy, the demon spirits of Yakut folklore. These fascinating creatures remind us of the enduring power of myth and the unique ways in which cultures around the world find meaning and purpose in the natural world.