Mäetagused (1997-01-01)

Nelikümmend lindu eesti rahvausundis II

  • Mall Hiiemäe

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3


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Seagulls (Larus) were in the old times thought to be the souls~spirits of drowned sailors. By their behaviour, weather has been forecasted, especially in the areas near the shore (see the map). Peewits (Vanellus vanellus) was thought to have been used to find hiding people in the ancient wars because of its chirping sound and aggressive voice (the call: here's one!). a touch with the egg of a wheatear (Oenathe oenathe) was believed to have a bad influence on one's skin. The dove (Columba livia) has an image of special protectiveness maybe because of Christian influences. Hawks (Falnicormes) have, according to the legend, been made by Jude or the devil; a demon-like forest-fairy of the devil may appear as a hawk. Hawks as well as owls were nailed to the stallion doors for protection against witchcraft and nightmares. With the crucifixion of Jesus, legends about the structure of the beak of the crossbills (Loxia), and the red hue in the feathers of chaffints (Fringiela coelebs), redstart (Phoenicurus Roenicurus), etc. The cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is the most popular bird in Estonian folk belief. To the fairy-tale AT 720 ("The orphan as a cuckoo«) is added or exists separately a song. Smaller birds have been considered to be the feeders~servants of the cuckoo; the cuckoo singing near the house is thought to be an omen of death also today.