Polevik in Slavic tradition

Polevik is the mythological “master” of the field among the Slavs. He protects the fields and controls their productivity, vegetation and grain harvest, as well as the well-being of cattle grazing in the field.

In various regions, Polevik’s functions are slightly different. Some people believed that he observes grasses and cereal crops and takes care of their fertility. Some – that he guards the grain fields. Some even believed that he was a guardian of the treasures hidden in the field. In the north of Russia, it was believed that each field has its own Polevik.

Polevik was also guarding the field boundaries. At midnight he galloped on the horse or in a cart along the field boundary and could crush or take with him those who were on the way. Therefore, it was forbidden to sleep on the borders of the fields, especially at night, so that Polevik or his children (‘mezhevichki’) would not strangle a person.

The appearance of the Polevik was accompanied by a strong, gusty wind or a whirlwind. In Novgorod, it was believed that Polevik himself is the cause of the wind when he claps his hands, whistles or blows.

What other Slavic field defenders do you know?

Artist: Ivan Bilibin
Colored version: Photo Researchers