Cossack Mamai is a peculiar embodiment of Ukrainian character, the image of freedom and immortality of the Ukrainian people. As long as Sich exists, there is so much legend about the glorious Cossack-characterists.
In the Zaporizhzhia Sich, when a new youth replenishment of young men came, experienced Cossacks-characterists formed thousands of regiments from them. Field exercises began, with a simple guy preparing be a defender of the grandfather's faith. After some time, a hundred of the best were selected from this thousand and further training was conducted with them. Subsequently, three of them were selected and all their knowledge was transferred to them. They were the best scouts, hardy warriors, future teachers of their own kind, it was the elite of the Cossack army.
Cossack Mamai was one of them. From the Turkic language, Mamai means - no one, no way, without a name, emptiness. According to legend, if a person does not have a name, then evil forces can’t find and conquer him. One nameless lone Cossack, thus, personifies all Ukrainian as a whole. He is simultaneously no one, and all together.
Legends say: “Cossack Mamai lived in the Sich, probably forever. No one could tell how old he was.” They say that Mamai appears suddenly and disappears just as suddenly. He appears whenever people get into trouble, and saves them. People say that sometimes a horse jumps out of a mound and rushes along the steppe.
Near the Preobrazhenskyi bridge, on the island of Khortytsia, on the side of the traveler’s road, a granite sculpture of Cossack Mamai meets. Like in many paintings that have come down to us from past times, the stone Cossack Mamai sits in the pose of Buddha and looks into eternity with an alienated look.