The white wolf (tat. «ак бүре» – ak bure) is one of the key spirit animals of the Tatars' ancestors, as well as the snow leopard (tat. «ак барс» – ak bars). He was considered to be a guardian of the forests and was often praised in folk songs. The ancient fairytale called «Aк бүре» (from tat. «The White Wolf») narrates about the three-headed evil spirit Dyva, who stole Padishah Khan's wife. As the story unfolds, his two elder sons set out on a search for their mother. However, they completely forgot to ask for the owner of the forest Aк бүре's blessing, and he turned them into stones. The youngest Khan's son named Tengyn also attempted to fight Dyva. He gained the support of Aк бүре, who transformed himself into jigit
(a skillful and brave equestrian
or a brave person in general), as well as from maiden-birds and ifrits
(powerful types of demon
in Islamic mythology). Tengyn kills the evil spirit and rescues Khanbyke and other prisoners.
According to orientalist Vladimir Gordlevskiy's opinion, Turkic tribes did spread the tales about the sacred wolf throughout old Europe.
The Oghuz Khan family originated from the fair wolf (by some accounts white or light blue), who is the ancestor of Turkic people. The sacred animal is also mentioned in modern Tatar folk traditions. For example, about a person who greatly succeeded in his business people say «бүресе улый» (from tat. «a wolf howls on him»). The howl of a wolf can be considered as the harbinger of peaceful days.