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by John McCannon
Spirit of darkness and patron of thieves in the pagan pantheon of the Ossetians, a mountain people claiming descent from the Indo-Iranian Sarmatians and living in the Caucasus, on the border between Russia and Georgia. When the Ossetians adopted Christianity, they identified Shaubarak with the figure of Satan. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, both North and South Ossetia have witnessed a revival of pagan ritual, heavily mixed with Christian (and, among the Muslim minority, Islamic) practice.

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