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File:Nida ThomasMann cottage.jpg
Ašviniai, commonly called the little horses, on the rooftop of a house in Nida

Ašvieniai are divine twins in the Lithuanian mythology identical to Latvian Dieva deli and direct counterparts of Vedic Ashvins.[1] The both names derive from the same Proto-Indo-European root for the horse - *ek'w-.[2] Old Lithuanian ašva and Sanskrit ashva mean "horse". Ašvieniai are represented as pulling carriage of Saulė (the Sun) through the sky.[1] Ašvieniai, depicted as žirgeliai or little horses, are common motifs on Lithuanian rooftops[1] placed for protection of the house.[3] Similar motifs can also be found on beehives, harnesses, bed frames, and other household objects.[4] Ašvieniai are related to Lithuanian Ūsinis and Latvian Ūsiņš (cf. Vedic Ushas), gods of horses.[5]



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