Cappadocia Mud Bath

 

During an expedition trip, the king who rules over a great country arrives to Katpatuka, which is now a part of Cappadocia. As soon as the king enters to the village, he understands why this place is called as “The Land of Beautiful Horses”. The horses running around with lightning speed are so beautiful and healthy that the king and his soldiers are fascinated by the brightness of their manes. The horses owe their magnificence and people in the region owe their health and beauty to A.zu. A.zu is the most beautiful priestess of the mother goddess Kybele and she is also Kybele’s healer. The king decides to spend the night in this village with his exhausted soldiers. He also demands one of these affectionate and gentle horses to be prepared in order to be given to him. As soon as A.zu hears this demand, she immediately gets her horse to tell them that they are not sending any of these horses to the war.

However, at the moment that the king and A.zu see each other, they fall in love. They spend that night together in A.zu’s cave. In the morning, the king promises that he will come back and leaves. A.zu whispers her horse’s ear “Protect him and bring him back to me” and sends her horse after the king. After that day, she sits in front of her cave every morning and tearily waits for her king to come back. She is unable to heal or grant beauty to the people. The horses become weaker and weaker each day. The local people try to speak with A.zu, but she just continues crying, she does not respond anyone but keeps crying and weeping. This situation makes goddess Kybele angry, and she takes the beauty and health of young ones away. The welfare and prosperity of the region disappears. Seeing their young ones are getting weak, the local people abandon their hopes about A.zu. They make wows to gods and beg them: “Let this poor A.zu to come together with her king. So, our young ones become healthy and prosper again.” Finally gods feel pity for A.zu who cries everyday and the local people who beg constantly. Then, at the break of dawn, A.zu’s horse arrives at her cave carrying the wounded king. A.zu carries the king inside of her cave. The cave is full with mud that has formed over years by the tears of A.zu. She takes from this mud and applies on the king’s wounds. The king heals with the help of this mud. After that they have lived happily ever after.
From that day on this mud has been the source of heal and beauty.

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