Among the Votyak and Zyryan peoples of Russia, a sacred grove, usually consisting of fir trees, where sacrifices were performed. Enclosed by a high fence, the lud contained a place for a fire and tables for the sacrificial meal. It was forbidden to break even a branch from a tree in the grove, which was watched over by a hereditary guardian. The annual sacrificial rite generally centered on an ancient tree dedicated to a deity. All food had to be consumed at the site, and the hides of sacrificed animals were hung from the trees. Groves were sacred in most other Finno-Ugric religions as well.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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