[1]Gagana is a miraculous bird with an iron beak and copper claws featured in Russian folklore. It is said to live on the Buyan Island. The bird is often mentioned in incantations. It is also said this bird guards the Alatyr alongside Garafena the snake.


The bird Gagana is possibly attested in a tale compiled by author A. A. Erlenwein, and translated by Angelo de Gubernatis in his Florilegio with the name Vaniúsha, where the hero's sisters marry a bear, an iron-nosed bird ("uccello dal naso di ferro") and a pike ("luccio").[1][2] The "bird with iron beak" appears to be a creature that inhabits several Slavic folktales.[3]

William Ralston Shedden-Ralston, citing Alexander Afanasyev's notes on Slavic folklore, writes that on the mythical island of Buyan there lives "The Tempest Bird", "the oldest and largest of all the birds", said to possess "an iron beak" and "copper claws".[4]


  1. ^ a b Gubernatis, Angelo de. Florilegio delle novelline popolari. Milano U. Hoepli. 1883. pp. 212-214.
  2. ^ Erlenwein, A. A. Narodnyja skazki sobrannyja seljskimi uciteljami. Moscow: 1863.
  3. ^ Brlic-Mazuranic, Ivana. Croatian tales of long ago. Translated by Fanny S. Copeland. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co.. 1922. pp. 256-257.
  4. ^ Ralston, William Ralston Shedden. The songs of the Russian people, as illustrative of Slavonic mythology and Russian social life. London: Ellis & Green. 1872. p. 375.