Russia Folklore – The Ritsa Legend


Lake Ritsa
The Ritsa Legend

In ancient times there was a valley and a river at the site of the modern lake. A girl named Ritsa lived there with three brothers Agepsta, Atsetuka and Pshegishkha. Ritsa used to pasture her animals in the valley and her brothers hunted in the high mountains by day and returned to the valley in the evening, where they ate and sang folk songs.

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Once the brothers went too far into the mountains. Ritsa missed them and sang. The forest robbers Gega and Iupshara heard her and decided to kidnap her. Iupshara caught her and rode down the valley, while Gega covered his flank. Ritsa’s brothers heard her crying and came to the rescue.

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Pshegishkha threw a sword at the robbers, but he missed and the sword flew over the river. The valley was filled with water and turned into a lake. Ritsa broke from Iupshara’s grip, but fell into the lake. The brothers couldn’t save her. Then Pshegishkha threw the robber Iupshara into the lake, but Ritsa’s water wouldn’t accept him and threw out him over Pshegishkha’s sword and the water carried him away to the sea. Gega ran after Iupshara, but he didn’t manage to rescue him.

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Out of grief, the brothers turned into mountains, and today they are still standing here to protect the resting-place of Ritsa.

 

 

 

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