Russian Spirit

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Russian Armenian
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Residence: Glendale
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/3/2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Russian, Armenian

Name: Домовой

Transliteration: Domovoy

Translation: Household Lord

Description: House spirit that exists for every household/ family. Spirit of hearth, family fortune, and mischief. Known to move things around the house such as furniture. Also known for breaking things in the house such as plates. If someone in the house is misbehaving, then he might bring bad fortune to the house/family. He can also protect the house. He is not usually seen. Has been described as gnome-like and made out of hay. Not described as a harmful spirit. If the Domovoy falls in love with a woman from the houshold, then she will not get married. Make sure you respect the Domovoy.

Background Information: Russian spirit whose story is told by adults to children or spread from children to children.

Context: The informant had originally told me this story when we were children. She recently reiterated it to me through video call. She is of Russian and Armenian descent. She was originally introduced to the Domovoy by her cousin who was living in a small town named Stary Oskol, which is located in Russia.

Thoughts: I believe that the Domovoy is used to explain weird occurrences in the home, such as a missing sock. Purpose is to bring a sense of comfort for the unexplainable things in life. Also used as a way to keep members of the family behaving and disciplined. This could especially apply to small children who are misbehaving. They are warned about the Domovoy to remind them to behave or else the spirit will bring bad fortune to them. When it comes to the idea of the Domovoy falling in love with a woman in the household, I think that this is done as a way to scare the woman into getting married.

For Another Version See:

Ivanits, Linda J. Russian Folk Belief, 51-62. M.E. Sharpe, 1992