Umai - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 2 pages of information about Umai.
This section contains 470 words
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UMAI. The name Umai (Umay) first appears in the Old Turkic inscriptions of Mongolia (mid-eighth century CE), where it is borne by a feminine deity of unspecified but benevolent functions. There is a gap of more than a thousand years in the relevant documentation, but belief in Umai has remained alive among some of the Turkic peoples of the Altai region, and also among the Tunguz of northeastern Siberia. Here Umai may be male or female, or even androgynous. In one set of beliefs, where Umai is personified, the role of the spirit resembles that of a guardian angel of small children. Illness may signal Umai's abandonment of her ward, and a shaman's intervention may be sought to effect her return. Often Umai is thought of as the keeper of the soul of unborn children.

Among the Turkic Sagays, Shors, and Beltirs, umai is the term applied to...

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This section contains 470 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Umai Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Umai from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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