- Mythical Number: #0116
- Culture: Eastern European
- Attribute: Flying
- Attribute: Seductive
- Attribute: Hellish
- Behaviour: Deadly
The Alkonost is a Russian Siren who with her consort, Sirin tormented the souls of the underworld. They did this with vile songs, sung in a harsh voice. The Alkonost was also respponsible for handing out punishments to those who had been sent to the underworld. It was believed that anyone who heard the song by the Alkonost would become mesmerized and effectively brainwashed. Forgetting everything else they would follow the flying Alkonost until they died of exhaustion. Both the Alkonost and Sirin had the ability to transform into a human at will.
The Alkonost had the body of a bird and the head of a woman. The name Alkonost comes from Alcyone, the name of the Greek goddess who was transformed into a kingfisher. The image of the Alkonost was popular on various costume designs, wood carvings and 16th century Lubok prints. Later the Orthodox church re-used the iconic Alkonost image to depict the holy spirit.
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