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Lithuanian legends & lore:
Perkūnas vs. Velnias

thunder-god Perkūnas

"Perkūnas" by unknown artist
photo from website

In Lithuanian folklore, the struggle between the forces of good and evil is often portrayed as a conflict between the thunder-god Perkūnas and the god of the Underworld Velnias, both of whom often roam the Earth in human form, interacting with ordinary people.

In their conflict, Perkūnas is perceived to have the upper hand and is feared by Velnias and by all evil spirits. To protect themselves from Perkūnas' lightning strikes they try to hide under big rocks and in hollows of large oak trees.

In his interaction with people, Perkūnas is usually seen as a benevolent figure. Velnias on the other hand is a cunning deceiver who tries to ensnare people with false promises of wealth, beauty, etc., and one needs to be cautious in dealings with him.

With the conversion of Lithuanians to Christianity, Velnias began to be perceived as the Devil, master of Hell and all evil spirits. (Click here to read more legends.)

Velnias, god of the Underworld

"Velnias" wood carving by D. Šakalienė