Polevik can be evil and grumpy

Polevik in the beliefs of the Slavs is an evil, grumpy and unpredictable spirit. He scares people with his sudden appearance, wild echo, clapping his hands or whistling, and also takes the form of a monstrous shadow that chases people. Russians and Ukrainians believed that Polevik makes people to go astray (especially children who go to the fields for flowers), “leads” them through the fields and lures them into a swamp, or makes fun of drunken plowmen. He can drive an entire wedding procession into a river. Polevik could pester to a traveler with questions: “How are you? Where are you going? Why?”, which would knock people off their way.

Belarusians in Vitebsk region believed that, if Polevik got angry – he tormented the animals grazing in the field by sending flies and horseflies on them. Or he could trample down the crops, or twist the plants, or send damaging insects and harmful winds on them. He could also deflect the rain from and bring the cattle to the crop fields. In Ukrainian beliefs, Polevik himself sows weeds in the fields. Russians of Smolensk region had a saying about the cause of the cattle illness: “Polevik flew into the ear”. Russians also believed that even Polevik’s children (‘Mezhevichki’) run along the field borders, catching birds and strangling people who dare to lie there.

What a family! I wonder what his wife is capable of? 😉

To be continued…
Artist: Ivan Tsygankov