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Buyan The Mythical Island

In Slavic mythology, Buyan (Буя́н sometimes transliterated as Bujan) is described as a mysterious island in the ocean with the ability to appear and disappear using tides. For the ancient Slavs island of Buyan was a sacred concept, because it was the first earth which popped up among the waves of the primeval ocean. In Russian traditional stories Buyan is a magic island, mentioned in incantations and spells. The Sun and the three brothers; the North Wind, the East Wind, and the West Wind, who are his servants live on Buyan. It is believed to be the place where of all weather in the world originates created by the god Perun.

In some legends, Buyan is also the place where a pure white stone known as the Alatyr is found. The Alatyr is said to be the center of the universe and has magical properties and considered by some to be the Father of all Stones. Healing rivers flow from underneath it and it is said to have the power to grant eternal happiness. It is guarded by Gagana, which is a fabulous bird with a beak of iron and claws of copper, and Garafena a magical snake.
Buyan by Ivan Bilibin

It figures prominently in many famous myths; Koschei the Deathless keeps his soul hidden there, secreted inside a needle placed inside an egg in the mystical oak-tree.

The location of Buyan is open to debate but many think it is in the Baltic Sea region and one of the favorite candidates is the island of Rügen. Some scholars interpret Buyan as a sort of Proto-Indo-European Otherworld. Others assert that Buyan is actually a Slavic name for some real island, most likely Rügen. However, many scholars regard Buyan as a kind of Otherworld or concept without a physical location on earth.


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