Erlik or Erlig is the god of death and underworld in Turkic and Mongolian mythology.
According to Siberian mythology, Erlik was the first creation of Tengri or Ulgan, the creator god, but Erlik's pride led to friction between the two, and he was banished to the underworld.
In the myths of the Altaic peoples, Erlik was involved in the creation of humanity. He slew the messenger-god, Maidere, and is a teacher of sin. He is sometimes represented by a totemic bear.
In Turkic mythology, Erlik was the deity of evil, darkness, lord of the lower world, and judge of the dead. He is known as the first of mankind, created by Ulgen. He wants to be equal to Ulgen, but is in a position inferior to him. Then he wanted to make his own land and was sent to the prison at the 9th layer of the earth and became opposed to the upper world, the realm of light.
The evil spirits created by Erlik cause misfortune, sickness, and death to mankind. These spirits are imagined as Erlik's assistants. Besides these, his 9 sons and daughters help their father in the way of evil. Erlik's daughters especially try to change a shaman's mind while he is attempting to reach Ulgen with their beauties. Erlik gives all kinds of sickness and wants sacrifices from the people. If they do not sacrifice to him, he catches the dead bodies of the people that he killed and takes them away to this lower world and then makes them his slaves. So, especially in the Altays, when sickness appears, people become scared of Erlik and sacrifice him a lot of animals.
In the prayers of shamans, Erlik is described as a monster, having the face and teeth of a pig combined with a human body. Besides his face, he is an old man with a well-built body, black eyes, eyebrows, and mustache.
The god of the underworld
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