Samodivi, sometimes called Samovili, are woodland fairies found in Bulgarian folklore and mythology, commonly depicted as ethereal maidens with long loose hair, sometimes also with wings. They are dressed in a shirt and a gown, and have a green belt and a sleeveless jacket on, their garments decorated with feathers by means of which they can fly like birds. Samodivi are believed to be the beautiful mistresses of the waters and have the powers to bring about drought, but are not inevitably hostile and dangerous to people. The name “samodiva” roots with a meaning of “divinity”, “demon”, “rave” and “rage”.
The legend says that no one can capture a samodiva, because if a person, especially a man, is seen by the samodivas in their woods, he is never heard of again. The only knows way for a samodiva to be captured is when she cleans her clothes with her sisters:
The samodivas gather near a river or lake, take off their clothes, wash them and leave them to dry and while doing that, they sing. If a man steals a samodiva’s clothes during the time she isn’t watching, she becomes his wife. But if the man decides he would return her clothes to her, she disappears and goes back to her woods.