Poppy priestess

Saturday, 6 February 2021

A woman buried around 700BC in the grave 15 from Marvinci-Lisičin Dol cemetery near Valandovo, Macedonia, was not an ordinary woman…

 

This is a beautiful artist depiction of what the woman, believed to have been a priestess, looked like…

 
 
 

She was buried with so-called Paeonian ritual bronzes. She was also wearing a long belt chain, at which end hang a miniature pyxis (jar) shaped like opium poppy bulb, with bird protome (handles). The jar which, based on the organic matter found inside of it, contained raw opium

 

What is very interesting is that the chain on which the opium jar hang, was attached to two sickle knifes…

 


 

Official interpretation of all these sickles is that „These might be sacrificial instruments but also symbolic tools for harvesting, i.e. ultimately symbols of fertility…“

I don’t think so…

This amazing looking thing is an old traditional opium poppy bulb scaring sickle knife with a goat horn handle from Central Asia…

read more: http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2021/02/poppy-priestess.html

 

Firebird

Sunday, 1 November 2020

 

Legend about the time before people learned how to make fire…In Slavic folklore, the Firebird (Russian: жар-пти́ца, Serbian Žar Ptica…) is a magical glowing bird from a faraway land, which is both a blessing and a bringer of doom to its captor…

 

The Firebird is described as a large bird with majestic plumage that glows brightly emitting red, orange, and yellow light, like a bonfire that is just past the turbulent flame…

The feathers do not cease glowing if removed, and one feather can light a large room if not concealed. In later iconography, the form of the Firebird is usually that of a smallish fire-colored peacock, complete with a crest on its head and tail feathers with glowing „eyes“…

Firebird is found in fairy tales as an object of a difficult quest. The quest is usually initiated by finding a lost tail feather, at which point the hero sets out to find and capture the live bird, sometimes of his own accord, but usually on the bidding of a father or king…

I believe that the fire bird story is an amazing description of the man’s quest for fire before people invented the way to produce it themselves…

Fire bird represents the fire in the sky, the fire in the clouds, the electricity, the lighting that flickers and flashes in the clouds during storms…

Sometimes the fire bird flies down from the clouds to nest. This is a lightning striking the ground. The nesting fire bird is a burning bush of a tree struck by a lightning…

read more: http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2020/11/firebird.html

Cock bashing

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

At the end of the harvest, when only the last sheaf of wheat was left standing in the field, Sorbs / Wends (Baltic Serbs) would decorate it with colourful ribbons and would shout: „Źins jo kokot- today is the day of the cock“, which means that the harvest was completed that day, and it was time for „cock bashing“…
What is „cock bashing“?…
Well…
In the past, the harvesters took a cock to the field on the last day of the harvest. There they would let him run around the field. Then they would catch him again, tie him and put him into a shallow hole in the ground. 

A beer barrel was placed about a hundred paces from the cock with its open plug hole pointed in the direction of the cock. Anyone desiring to try his hand at slaying the cock was blindfolded. The handle of a threshing flail was stuck into the barrel’s plug hole. The blindfolded young man would take the handle between his legs to determine the direction of the cock’s location. Then he placed the flail over his shoulder and walked towards the pit with the cock. When he thought he was standing over the pit, he would try to hit the cock with the flail. He had 3 tries. If a young man finally managed to hit and kill the cock, he was proclaimed to be the king of the harvest. Then, while still blindfolded, young maidens would circle around him, and he got to grab one to be his queen. Then the king of the harvest was lifted on the shoulders of the other young men, and was carried to the village in a festive procession…There they cooked the cock and ate it as part of the end of harvest party…

read more: http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2019/11/catching-rooster.html

 

Baba mountains and crags

Monday, 24 August 2020

This peak on Stara planina (Old mountain) in South of Serbia is called „Babin zub“ (Grandmother’s tooth). It is one of many toponyms and hydronyms with the root „Baba“ (Grandmother) found in the area.

Interestingly, the word „Baba“ (and its variant Boba) once also meant „rock“ and „Mother Earth“

There are many many more mountains, hills and crags with „Baba“ in its name all over the Balkans.

This is a page that will collect the names and images of all the known mountains, and other toponyms and hydronyms with the root „baba“ or „boba“ from the Balkans.

Please send me any info about any toponym or hydronym I missed. Thank you.

SERBIA

This is an example of „bobija“ from mountain Azbukovica, Serbia

read moe: http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2020/08/baba-mountains-and-crags.html

When a bride dies soon after the wedding

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Piran town under the looming Mt Triglav, the highest peak of Slovenia, named after the supreme Slavic god Triglav (Three headed), the Sky Father…

You can read more about Triglav and his link to Trimurti in my post „Triglav, Trinity, Trimurti„…

In this article I want to talk about a Serbian ritual song recorded in the 19th c. by Miloš S. Milojević and published in his seminal work „Pesme i običai ukupnog naroda Srbskog, book 2„. It is called „Похођанска, кад умре убрзо невеста“ (Visiting song, when a bride dies soon after the wedding).

The song starts with a description of a Vila (Mountain fairy, but actually personification of lightning), sitting on a high mountain peak and crying…

When other Vilas come to ask her what happened, she tells them that her daughter got married few days ago, on Saturday, but that two days later, on Monday, she got sick and died…“I went to see her body on Tuesday, the evil day…“ She continues…

Then the mournful Vila describes the scene in which her daughter is lying on the catafalque, while the groom’s family comes to keen (lament, wail in grief for a dead person) over her body, as was the custom among Serbs…

First come Vilas, groom’s sisters. They cry over the body of the dead Vila, their sister in law, and ask her why she had left them, what had angered here so much to leave their brother alone in grief…“Wasn’t our brother nice? Wasn’t our castle nice?“ they ask…

Second come Vilas, groom’s brother’s wives. They cry over the body of the bride and also ask her why she had left them…“Wasn’t our brother in law, mighty warrior, Davor Bor  nice? Wasn’t his castle nice?“ they ask…

Third comes groom’s mother „Old Mother, Old Vila“. She bends over her dead daughter in law and cries: „Why did you leave us? You, one of us, of our kind. Didn’t you like your mother in law? Didn’t you like her son, Mighty Davor Bor? Didn’t you like our castle in in the sky?“

Fourth comes groom’s father, Old Mighty Triglav. He stands over the dead daughter in law and cries: „Why did you get angry and leave us, you, so lovely and loved? Why did you leave us, you, one of our kind, one of our tribe? Didn’t you like your father in law, Triglav Bor, the creator, preserver and destroyer of the world? Didn’t you like our castle in the sky, made from white stone and lit by Svetovid (Sun god, sun, the all seeing)? Wasn’t my son, mighty warrior, Davor Bor, dear to you?“ he asks…

Grýla

Thursday, 30 January 2020

This is Grýla, the Icelandic Christmas witch. She lives in a cave in Iceland’s hinterlands, from where she attacks nearby townships, snatches up misbehaving children, and turns them into delicious stew….

Grýla did not get connected to Christmas until around the early 19th c. when poems began to associate her with the holiday…

Prior to that, she was „really a personification of the winter and the darkness and the snow getting closer and taking over the land again. Not only did she represent winter, she was seen as actually controlling the landscape“…

This is very interesting. In Slavic languages, the word Baba today primarily means grandmother. But it also used to mean mother, midwife, and Mother Earth. I talked about this in my post about „Baba’s day“ which is the celebration of midwives from Bulgaria…

Iovan Iorgovan

This is Iovan Iorgovan, a Romanian mythological Dragon Slayer. He is usually depicted armed with a battle club or with a battle hammer (axe).

The legends featuring Iovan are mainly centred around the Cerna river in souther Carpathian mountains

In one of the legends, a three-headed dragon dared to disturb Iovan who chased the dragon down the Cerna river valley cutting his heads off one by one until he finally killed him close to Sviniţa in Danube gorge. Dying dragon bled so much that the place is still called Red Valley

ead more: http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/