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Fish Women. Rusalka. Vily. Slavic Nature Nymphs.

"In his book about the folk costume of Moravian Slovakia, Petr Bogatyrev discusses women's headgear. He maintains that the maiden-costume of some Moravian-Slovak communities functioned not only to show the age and status of a woman, but her exual morality as well. He states that when an unmarried girl lost her virginity, she was required to wear the married woman's headdress, and in some cases, she suffered the disgrace of having her hair cut off. The link between sexual conduct and hair is also evident in East Slavic customs. As recently as 1998, Natalie Kononenko interviewed a Ukrainian woman who stated that if a woman is not a virgin, she must wear a married woman's headdress."

"They say that you are spirits of drowned girls.
They say that you lure unsuspecting
passers-by into the water with your song."

"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."

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