In Baltic folklore, a fairy who appeared as a beautiful naked maiden with long blond hair. Laumas lived in the forest near water or stones. They yearned for children, and as they were unable to give birth, they often kidnapped babies to rear as their own. Sometimes they married mortal men and became excellent wives, perfectly skilled in domestic work. Highly temperamental, laumas were seen as benevolent, motherly beings, helpful to orphans and poor girls but extremely vindictive when angered, particularly by disrespectful men. In Latvia and Lithuania in recent centuries, lauma has come to refer to a witch or hag.
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