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Stribog, Striboh

      Very little is known about Stribog today. A lot of information about this deity is lost, even though Stribog was one of the most important gods of the Slavs. Testimony to his role and importance is the fact that he is mentioned in all the old epics about the Slavs. In the epic ”Slovo o polku Igorove “ it is said that the winds, the grandsons of Stribog, blow from the sea. This leads to conclusion that Stribog is imagined as an old person, since he has grandsons. The grandsons were the winds from all directions. Many of the western chroniclers wrote that Stribog could be a destroyer of the good, but this should not be taken seriously, because these chroniclers always wrote with a purpose to decrease the importance of Slavic gods and impose their religion, mostly Christianity. In order to understand this better, we should consider the region where Slavs lived. These were mainly plains, in the vicinity of rivers and swamps. Winds could be strong in these regions, but there were no winds that could destroy such as hurricanes and tornados. Therefore, Stribog could not be a destroyer. The winds in the regions where Slavs lived did not destroy, so Stribog as the lord of the winds, was not a destroyer. In order to understand his role, we need to see what his name consists of. A part of the name tells us that it is a deity, namely it contains the word bog (god). We should learn more about the function of Stribog from the first part of his name, the word STRI. The verb ‘to spread’ in some Slavic languages, like Slovakian, is roztrusovat. It is clear that a sound change occurred so that s became z, but otherwise we can see the word STR from Stribog’s name. Considering this, it is probable that he was pollinator of seeds, the one who spreads small things, but he could also spread litter.
      He was imagined as an old man who had a warrior’s horn. With this horn he woke up the winds, his grandsons. Because of this feature a lot of army chiefs identified with Stribog and saw him as an ideal. By the same token, princes often built his idols and worshipped them. Stribog was especially worshipped in Kievian Russia, with the eastern Slavs. A lot of records from that time tell us about this. In the record Povest vremennih let it is mentioned that Stribog’s statue was built on a hill above Kiev, together with Perun’s, Hors’, Dažbog’s, Simargil’s and Mokoš’s.
      Stribog was also a protector of Vesna, together with Jarilo. Stribog, as a god of wind and air, brought Vesna every spring on the wings of an easy spring gale. Together they defeated Morana every spring and brought spring and better life conditions to the earthly  world.
     Eagle was the animal consecrated to  Stribog. Plants consecrated to Stribog were hawthorn and oak. When pledges were made, Stribog was often warrantor. Festivities in Stribog’s honor were organized in the summer as well as in the winter. They were probably organized in the summer  in order to invocate winds and rain, while in the winter they were organized in order to appease him. In the period of Christianization Stribog’s characteristics were overtaken by St. Bartholomew and Stevan vetroviti (windy).

Nikola Milošević

Translated by Zoran Božinović