Dear friends, we conclude our series dedicated to the Komi-Permyak epic. Today, we will tell the story of Kudym-Osh, a legendary hero after whom the capital of the Komi-Permyak district, Kudymkar, is named. ‘Osh’ translates from Komi-Permyak as ‘bear.’

На фото праздничный женский костюм иньвенских коми-пермяков. Кон. XIX – нач. XX в. Фрагмент экспозиции КПОКМ. 2005

According to legend, Kudym-Osh was the son of a powerful witch and a bear. His father was a leader and priest among the Inven Komi-Permyaks.

A brief aside: the Inven Komi-Permyaks are a people living on the banks of the Inva River, which flows in the Perm Krai. The city of Kudymkar is located on the Inva. According to one version, the name of the river translates as ‘In’ – wife, ‘Va’ – water, meaning ‘feminine water.’

After his father’s death in battle, Kudym-Osh was chosen as the new leader of the clan. Upon his election, he was presented with symbols of distinction: a staff and a pendant with a quadrangular image of a bear. Kudym-Osh was endowed with magical power, making him invulnerable and capable of resurrection up to three times. To achieve this, he had to press his wound to the ground. He could summon a storm on the river if necessary to prevent enemies from crossing. However, he became renowned not so much for his military exploits as for his trading expeditions. From his travels, he brought knowledge and skills from other peoples. He introduced his kin to various grain crops, taught them to make boats instead of rafts, and showed them iron tools.

На фото сапоги берестяные. Нач. XX в. береста, лыко; ручное плетение

На фото покромка. 1930-е гг. Шерсть, лён; ручное ткачество

One of the famous legends about Kudym-Osh tells of his courtship of the Mansi princess Koste. The idea of courtship came from a witch who wanted to destroy Kudym-Osh. She knew that the Mansi prince would execute anyone who refused to court upon seeing the bride covered in fur. It was all because the girl’s mother wanted her daughter to marry for love. Therefore, she glued pieces of calf skin to her daughter’s face.

In the tent, the young princess met him, a girl with beautiful eyes but a hideous face. Upon seeing the young man, the girl immediately fell in love with him and began tearing the skin off her face. Kudym-Osh confirmed that he wanted to marry the princess. The wedding took place.

It is Kudym-Osh who is considered the founder of Kudymkar. There is a legend that the hero lived for 150 years. Whenever death came to him, he would drive it away. Before his death, Kudym-Osh predicted his return.

The video about the museum is accompanied by music and video material from the Komi-Permyak Museum named after P.I. Subbotin-Permyak. We express our gratitude to the museum management for providing the materials.