Agafia Lykova’s gifts

An article titled “From Taiga to Kremlin: a Hermit’s Gifts for Medvedev” describes now-famous Russian hermit Agafia Lykova’s presentation of gifts to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Because these new items tend to disappear, here is the text in full:

A famous Russian hermit, who lives in an isolated settlement in a Siberian nature reserve, has sent presents to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Agafia Lykova is the only living member of a family, which went into seclusion in 1937 to preserve its religious traditions. They were Old Believers, Orthodox Christians who adhere to the teachings of the church prior to its reforms in the mid-17th Century.

A local hunter who visits the 69-year-old from time to time, told her about President Medvedev and his attitude towards Siberia. The woman was so impressed that she decided to send him something as a sign of gratitude, said the presidential press service.

The home-made gifts include a blue traditional skew-collared shirt, a birch bark box with a dedication inscribed and a pouch of cedar nuts.

Lykova asked a visiting party who brought supplies for the old woman to deliver the tokens to the Kremlin, which was eventually done.The Lykov family is quite famous in Russia. When they were discovered in their Taiga retreat in 1978 by a prospector, there were five of them. Over the years Agafia’s father Karp, two brothers and a sister died.

Lately, Lykova has been accepting more visitors since her health has deteriorated and she doesn’t have enough strength to maintain her household. Nevertheless, she refuses to see civilization even to obtain treatment in hospital. Local authorities supply her with food, livestock and fuel.

“Old Shep,” NY hermit

“Old Shep” was a hermit residing near Buffalo, New York, in the early 20th century. His story resurrects from recent police recovery of a gun Shep possessed, attributed to his days as an associate of Western outlaw Jesse James.

William Shepard is somewhat of a legend in West Seneca history.

“Old Shep,” as he was known, lived in a shack along Cazenovia Creek. He made a living sharpening knives and scissors for residents in town. And his shack was kept on wheels to help avoid taxes.

That’s what the West Seneca Historical Society knows for sure about Old Shep, who died in 1933, said Curator Roger N. Harris.

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