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Turkic Mythology: Gods and Goddesses
Origins of Turkic Mythology
Ancestry of Turkic people goes far and wide from Tatars to Kazakhstan. From Caucasus mountains to Yakip people in north East Russia. Turkic people speak languages that belong into the subcategory of Turkish languages that are part of Altaic language group. Therefore Turkic mythology has elements from Tengrism (Central Asian shamanism). Tatar myths have influences from both Finno-Uralic shamanism and Indo-Iranian mythology. Later migration also brought elements from Islam which got mixed with existing Turkic polytheism. This list includes major and minor deities from Turkic mythology.
Adaghan – God of mountains and protector of all creatures who live in mountains. His name means accepting the sacrifice.
Aisyt – Goddess of beauty. Worshiped as the mother god by the Yakut tribe in Siberia.
Akbugha – God of medicine, health and healing. Symbol of Akbugha is a white snake and according to the legend he had a pet snake.
Alaz/Alas-Batyr/Alaz-Khan – God of fire
Aq Yilan – Literally means ”white snake”. King of snakes.
Ak Ana – Primordial creator goddess. Also goddess of water.
Ay Ata – God of the moon.
Baianai – Goddess of hunt. Among the Yakut people in Siberia Baianai is the goddess of forest and happiness.
Boz Tengri – God of ground and steppes.
Burkut – Eagle god who symbolizes power and sun.
Chokqu – Goddess of good wishes and wish fulfillment.
Erlik/Erlik-Erlikhan – God of the dead and the underworld. One of the oldest gods of Turkic pantheon.
Etugen – Earth goddess. Her name is derived from Ötygen the holy mountain of the earth. One of the primordial Turkic goddesses.
Gun Ata – Sun goddess. Popular solar deity in Kazakh and Kyrgyz myths.
Hurmuz/Kurmez – God of souls. Common character in Mongolian myths and shamanic practice.
Inehsit – Goddess of childbirth who eased labor pains. Helper of women in labor.
Izih – God of wild animals. Izih was especially protector of freed animals.
Jayik – God of rivers. Known as Dayik in Altai mythology.
Kayra/ Kaira – Son of the sky god Tengri. Creator god and ruler of the universe.
Koyas/Kuyash – Son god. Son of Tengri and the earth goddess Etugen.
Kubai – Protector of children and giving birth.
Kyzaghan – God of war. Possibly Mongolian origins. Son of Kaira.
Mergen – Son of Kaira. God of knowledge, wisdom and abundance.
Od Ana – Goddess of fire and marriage.
Od Ata – God of fire. Spirit of fire in Mongolian shamanic traditions.
Qovaq – God/goddess of the sky. Bringer of the sun. Qovaq was hunted by Yelbehen who wanted to bring total darkness into the world.
Shalyk – god/goddess of hunt. Protector of forest and wild animals.
Su Ana – Water goddess. Suana appeared as a naked maiden who had elvish features.
Su Ata – God of water. Su Ata was an old man with frog-like face, greenish beard and body covered with algae and muck
Talai/Dalai – God of oceans. Talai was personification o f the world ocean which was seen as an enormous river encircling the world.
Tengri – Creator deity. God of the sky and ruler of the celestial world. Primal god of the Turkic mythology. Center figure in the Tengrist religion/shamanic practice.
Ukulan – God of water who ruled over rivers, springs, streams and fountains.
Ulgan/Ulgen – Son of Kaira. Turkic-Mongolian creator deity. God of benevolence and kindness.
Umay or Umai – Goddess of virginity and fertility. Protector of women, mothers and children.
Urens – Goddess of harvest, grain and fertility.
Yel Ana – Goddess of wind.
Yel Ata – God of wind.
Yer Tangry – Earth god/goddess. As a fertility goddess she was worshiped as the giver of crops and abundance.
Zarlik – Goddess of justice and righteousness.
Zilan – Serpent-like dragon. Official symbol of Kazan. Connected to the legends of founding of Kazan.
Öd Tengn / Öd-Ögöd – God/personification of time. Often appeared with a horse called Ödlek.