Professor Haralds Biezais, director of the Donner Institute 1968-1978, has authored the current volume of Scripta, dealing with the indigenous religious tradition of Latvia and especially the Light God Ūsiņš. The work presents the light god based on folkloristic and lexicographical source material, including epics, folktales, place names, archaeological findings and historical scripts. The nature and function of the Light God, his role in the life of the Latvian peasants, the cultic activities and the place of the Light god in the greater Latvian pantheon are described and analysed. Furthermore, the influence from German and Slavic indigenous traditions – and later from Christianity – are outlined and assessed.

Published: 1976-01-01