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Kratt is a mythical creature from Estonian mythology, known for being a treasure-bearer. In old Estonian folklore, a kratt was created by a master who formed it from hay or old household implements. The master would then give the Devil three drops of blood to bring the kratt to life.

The kratt’s primary purpose was to steal goods for its master. It was brought to life by making a pact with the devil, and once it was alive, it was bound to serve its master until it fulfilled its purpose. The kratt was often depicted as a mischievous creature that could cause trouble for its master if it wasn’t kept under control.

According to Estonian mythology, the kratt was a powerful creature that could bring wealth and prosperity to its master. However, it was also a dangerous creature that could cause harm if it wasn’t treated with respect. Despite its reputation as a troublesome creature, the kratt remains an important part of Estonian folklore and continues to be celebrated in modern times.

Origins of the Kratt Myth

Cultural Roots

The Kratt is a mythical creature from old Estonian mythology. It is believed that the roots of the Kratt myth can be traced back to the pagan times when people of Estonia used to worship nature. The Kratt was considered a treasure-bearer and was created by its master from hay or old household implements. The master then had to give the Devil three drops of blood to bring life to the Kratt.

First Recorded Legends

The earliest recorded legend of the Kratt can be found in the “Chronicle of Henry of Livonia,” which was written in the early 13th century. According to the chronicle, a man named Lembitu, who was a chieftain of the Estonians, created a Kratt to help him with his work. However, the Kratt became uncontrollable and started causing havoc. Lembitu was eventually killed in a battle against the Germans, and the Kratt was destroyed.

The Kratt myth has been passed down through generations in Estonia, and it has inspired many works of art and literature. Today, the Kratt is still a beloved part of Estonian folklore, and it serves as a reminder of the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Physical Description

Common Depictions

Kratt is a mythical creature in old Estonian mythology that is often depicted as a small, humanoid figure made from hay or old household implements. It has a mischievous nature and is known for being a treasure-bearer. The creature’s eyes are typically made from glowing embers, which give it a distinctive appearance. Kratt is also known to have a long, pointed tail that can be used to carry objects.

Variations Across Cultures

While the most common depiction of Kratt is in Estonian mythology, variations of the creature can be found in other cultures as well. In some versions, Kratt is depicted as a demon or devil-like figure that is summoned by humans in exchange for their soul. In other cultures, Kratt is associated with the devil and is said to be created through a pact with Satan.

Despite the variations in its depiction, Kratt is generally regarded as a mischievous creature that is known for causing trouble and performing tasks for its master. Its appearance can vary greatly depending on the culture, but its mischievous nature remains a constant.

Symbolism and Significance

Mythological Role

Kratts play a significant role in old Estonian mythology. They are considered magical creatures that were created by their masters from hay or old household implements. The master would then give the Devil three drops of blood to bring the Kratt to life. Kratts were known to be treasure-bearers and would do their master’s bidding, often performing tasks that were impossible for humans to accomplish. They were also believed to be mischievous and could cause harm if their master did not keep them in check.

Interpretations and Theories

Kratts have been interpreted in various ways throughout history. Some scholars believe that they represent the struggle between good and evil, while others see them as a symbol of the unknown. Kratts have also been associated with the importance of human values, such as hard work and determination. In contemporary culture, Kratts have been depicted in various forms of media, including video games and literature. They are often portrayed as helpful creatures that aid their masters in their quests.

Kratts hold a unique place in Estonian folklore, representing both the power of human ingenuity and the dangers of making deals with the Devil. Their symbolism and significance continue to resonate with people today, making them an enduring part of Estonian culture.

Kratt in Modern Media


Although Kratt is a mythical creature in Estonian folklore, it has not been widely used in modern literature. However, the Kratt Brothers, Chris and Martin Kratt, have created several popular children’s educational shows that feature animal creatures, including “Kratts’ Creatures” and “Wild Kratts.” These shows have been praised for their educational value and entertaining nature.

Film and Television

Kratt has been featured in several films and television shows, but they are not related to the Estonian mythological creature. For example, in the film “Kratt,” directed by Rasmus Merivoo, the Kratt is portrayed as a robot. In the animated series “Wild Kratts,” the Kratt Brothers use technology to transform themselves into various animals and learn about their habitats and behaviors.

Overall, Kratt has not been widely used in modern media, but the Kratt Brothers have created popular educational shows that feature animal creatures. The portrayal of Kratt in films and television shows varies widely, with some featuring the creature as a robot and others using technology to transform humans into animals.

Beliefs and Rituals

Ancient Practices

Kratt is a magical creature in old Estonian mythology, and it was believed that a kratt was created by its master from hay or old household implements, such as a broom, rake, or wooden stick. The master then had to give the Devil three drops of blood to bring life to the kratt.

The primary purpose of the kratt was to steal goods for its master, and it was considered a treasure-bearer. The kratt was also believed to be able to perform various tasks for its master, such as plowing fields or carrying heavy loads.

Contemporary Celebrations

Today, the belief in kratts is no longer widespread in Estonia. However, the concept of kratts is still celebrated in some parts of the country as a part of the traditional Estonian holiday, St. John’s Day.

On St. John’s Day, people build bonfires and create their own kratts using various materials, such as hay and old household items. These kratts are then set on fire and sent off into the night, symbolizing the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one.

In addition to St. John’s Day, kratts are also celebrated in various folk festivals and events throughout Estonia. These celebrations often involve the creation of kratts and the performance of traditional kratt-related activities, such as treasure hunts and scavenger hunts.

Overall, the belief in kratts has evolved over time, but the concept of these magical creatures remains an important part of Estonian mythology and culture.

Regional Tales of the Kratt

European Narratives

The Kratt is a mythical creature that has been a part of Estonian mythology for centuries. According to Estonian folklore, the Kratt is a creature that is created by farmers to help them with their work. The Kratt is made out of hay, old household implements, or other materials, and brought to life by the farmer giving three drops of blood to the Devil. The Kratt then becomes a servant of the farmer, helping with tasks such as carrying firewood or fetching water.

In Finnish mythology, the Kratt is called “kratti” and is also created by farmers to help with various tasks. However, the Finnish version of the Kratt is often depicted as being mischievous and causing trouble for its creators.

Asian Perspectives

While the Kratt is primarily a creature of European folklore, there are similar creatures in Asian mythology. In Japanese folklore, there is a creature called a “tsukumogami” which is a type of yokai (supernatural creature) that is created when an object reaches its 100th birthday and gains a spirit. These objects can range from umbrellas to tea kettles to farming tools, and they often cause mischief or seek revenge on their former owners.

In Chinese mythology, there is a creature called a “zouwu” which is a type of chimera that has the body of a lion, the tail of a dragon, and the hooves of a deer. The zouwu is said to be able to control fire and is often depicted as a protector of the innocent.

Overall, the Kratt is just one example of the many mythical creatures that exist in folklore around the world. While the details of their stories may differ, these creatures often serve as a way for people to explain the mysteries of the world around them.

Comparative Mythology

Similar Creatures in Folklore

Kratt is a magical creature in Estonian mythology, known for its ability to carry out tasks assigned by its master. While Kratt is unique to Estonian folklore, there are similar creatures found in other cultures. In Norse mythology, Dwarves are known for their craftsmanship and ability to create magical objects. In Greek mythology, the Cyclops are known for their strength and ability to forge weapons.

Cross-Cultural Analysis

Comparative mythology is the comparison of myths from different cultures in an attempt to identify shared themes and characteristics. Scholars have used the relationships between different myths to trace the development of religions and cultures, to propose common origins for myths from different cultures, and to identify universal themes and motifs.

When it comes to Kratt, scholars have compared it to other creatures in folklore, such as the Golem of Jewish folklore, which is a creature made of clay and brought to life through a ritual. Another similar creature is the Homunculus of alchemy, which is a miniature human created through artificial means.

Through cross-cultural analysis, scholars have identified common themes and motifs in mythology, such as the hero’s journey, the battle between good and evil, and the quest for immortality. These themes and motifs are found in myths from different cultures and time periods, highlighting the universal nature of mythology and its importance in human culture.

In conclusion, comparative mythology provides a valuable tool for understanding the similarities and differences between myths from different cultures. By examining the similarities between Kratt and other creatures in folklore, scholars can gain a deeper understanding of Estonian mythology and its place in the larger context of world mythology.