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|First reported||In folklore|
Chuhaister are masculine and humanoid in shape. They are described either as being giant, long-haired old men who roam the woods naked or in white clothes, or as one-legged men to whom no harm can be done. They are also imagined as the wind. Their temperament is described as being cheerful and they are known to love singing and dancing. Unlike their Russian counterpart, the Leshy, they are not dangerous to humans.
Names and etymology
The Chuhaister is known by a variety of names including the following:
- Lisovii cholovik (Ukrainian: лісовий чоловік) "Forest man"
- Lisovii did (Ukrainian: лісовий дід) "Forest grandfather"
- Nochnik (Ukrainian: ночник) "Night Person"
- Gai (Ukrainian: гай) "Grove"
The origin of the name Chuhaister is unclear, but it may be related to the Proto-Slavic root *čuga, meaning to guard. The origin of the second part of the word is unknown although it has been linked to the word for stork, (Ukrainian: аист). The word may be of a foreign origin.
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