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In Slavic folklore and mythology, a water nymph who embodies the soul of either a drowned virgin or a child that died unbaptized. Details of rusalkis' appearance and behaviour vary widely, but a common feature is that the nymphs attempt to entice men. In some areas, they are the subject of a festival in the early summer, when they are thought to emerge from the water and dance by night. In Antonín Dvorák's opera Rusalka, a rusalka attempts to marry a human prince but is reclaimed by her element.
Variants of RUSALKA
rusalka plural rusalki
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on rusalka, visit Britannica.com.
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