Wołogór, Mountain Spirit’s helper

Polish legends: Wołogór (spirit of Ox Mountain)

Wołogór is a character from local tales and legends near Wołowa Góra (transl.: Ox Mountain) located in the Karkonosze mountain range, region of Lower Silesia in south-western Poland.

He was a good spirit, believed to be one of helpers of the Mountain Spirit of the Karkonosze. Legends about the Mountain Spirit of Karkonosze is shared in Polish, Czech and German folk legends, where he is usually called Liczyrzepa, Krakonoš or Rübezahl respectively. In the Polish legends apart from the popular name of Liczyrzepa, also names of Duch Gór (Mountain Spirit), Karkonosz, Rzepiór or Rzepolicz are used in various Silesian regions.

Wołogór has a task of guarding the small region near Wołowa Góra (which according to local tales was named after him), and reporting the situation to the Mountain Spirit.

Polish legends: Wołogór (spirit of Ox Mountain)

Wołogór is depicted with an ox head, and carries a decorative staff that gives him magical powers. He makes sure that everything works in order and the people living nearby stay safe and respect the local nature. Sometimes he can help the locals or show a way to lost tourists. Local stories tell about occasions where he helped the inhabitants to hide from bandits raiding the villages by covering an entrance to a cave with his magic, or when he used his staff to melt snow and make safe passages through the woods during harsh winters. He was appearing only in the locals’ dreams to let them know who gave them a helping hand.

Polish legends: Wołogór (spirit of Ox Mountain)

One of local legends say that Wołogór fell in love with a girl named Maria and started seducing her in her dreams. However, she already had a man she loved and was always rejecting Wołogór’s advances in the dreams. He didn’t want to give her up and one night decided to appear in her home in person. He came burning so much with love, that a spark fell out of his heart and it set Maria’s house on fire. Everyone thankfully survived, and Wołogór understood his great mistake. He helped to rebuild the house and decided not to intervene human lives. Maria got married to her beloved man and had lots of kids.

Years were passing by and the surroundings of the mountain were changing. The village Wołogór was always protecting started declining when people began moving to bigger cities for a better lifestyle, and Wołogór’s staff was slowly loosing its powers. Eventually, he understood it’s time for him to go and there’s no one left for him to take care of. He went up a spring called Malina towards waterfalls, and there he pushed his staff and his right foot against a huge boulder leaving the shapes in the stone. He was never seen in the dreams again, but locals believe he might return when they will be in need.

Polish legends: Wołogór (spirit of Ox Mountain)

Sources: budniki.pl, karpacz.plkarawanier.pl


Rebloggable version of the article on tumblr.

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