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 Bosnian mythology

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PostSubject: Re: Bosnian mythology    Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:33 am

Three suns and a dragon

According to folk belief of the Bosnian people when the Earth was created there were three suns until one day a giant dragon swallowed up two and the third one was saved by a swallow. But, the dragon is immortal and he lives in the large sea in the east. Every morning when the sun appears the dragon opens his mouth and flies towards it, however he is prevented by an angel that strikes the dragon in the mouth with a thunder bolt and the dragon returns back into the sea. As soon as the dragon recovers he flies out of the sea and blows in the direction of the sun and then a wind is created form the mist and is dispersed all around the world.
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PostSubject: Mračne havaje or Dark Havaye   Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:55 pm

Among the Bosnian folk there is a belief that alongside the material world there is a spiritual world called Mračne Havaje. This belief is especially present in folk magic where it is often mentioned in rituals of annulling negative energy through the use of basmi (spells) i.e. oral magic. By analysing a few basme we come across precise names of locations which give us a clear picture that the Dark Havaje is a world covered by a lifeless desert called Kavdag in whose middle there is a gigantic mountain Jaban, which is full of cracks and holes. Kavdag is very similar to the name of the Jinn mountain Qaf which is mentioned in Islamic legends. According to mythology, mountain Qaf is the home of the Jinn because a large number of them live there.

Mračne Havaje are basically a folk representation of hell, a distant place where the world of humans ends and the spirit world begins in which there is no fertility nor life. The word Havaj or Havaje come from the Arabic language and symbolise air, sky, height; and we can find that word in several songs about heroes. In accordance to that it would be easy to conclude that the negative energy is being carried into the heights, into the lifeless mountain where eternal silence and darkness rule.

Bosnian spiritual healers believe that evil cannot be destroyed but transferred from one person onto another location and that's why it is sent to Dark Havaje, a place capable of absorbing all of the negative energy. The transfer is done in such a way that evil and sickness are channelled in the direction of Dark havaje with a precise chant: "over a hundred fields, over a hundred forests, behind the nine hills, into the barren land, where there is no dog bark nor a cat meow, where the prayer isn't heard..."
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PostSubject: Cult of the god Bindu    Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:06 am

Ancient beliefs of the Illyrian tribes which inhabited Bosnia and Herzegovina remained present in folk beliefs, mostly connected to the cult of water healing, in which the god Bindu is clearly manifested. When one analyses the folk cult of healing and the practice of it, which is essentially pagan in nature, then it is difficult to explain how that ancient system managed to survive in Bosnia especially in the midst of a strong expansion of Christianity and later Islam?! However, the answer should be sought in the fact that Christianity, especially after the appearance of Bogomils, or Islam had enough influence to fully assimilate the Bosnian people and to fully disengage them from the ancient Illyrian religion. And that it is true is perhaps best shown by the cult of god Bindu.

As it is known god Bindu was the god of springs of the Bosnian Illyrians whose spring-temples were found all over modern Bosnia and Herzegovina and the neighbouring Croatia. One of the best preserved holly places was found in Privilice near Bihać which is located in nature, next to a spring. At that location dozens of dedicated sacrifices to Binud were excavated, as well as a chapel with numerous animal bones sacrificed in his honour.

In the ritual practice of pilgrimage towards springs one can notice the influence of three religious cults of the Bosnian Illyrians: cult of the sun, cult of the moon and cult of Bindu.

Cult of the sun: the largest number of holly and salutary springs are located on the east side of the settlement. One would visit it exclusively at dawn, before sunrise, in order to pray, wash one's face and drink water. In such a way the diseased would expect the blessing of the sun which would shine the light and warmness on the person once it rose from the east.

Cult of the moon: the holly springs were visited in the first week of the new moon, precisely on odd days i.e. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Cult of Bindu: after washing their faces and drinking water or placing it into vessels and carrying it home, the diseased would leave some money next to the streams, usually coins, food, eggs or they would hang some of their clothes on the nearby branches.

In the mentioned descriptions of rituals one can notice influences of three deities, which could point to the fact that Bindu was the son of the sun god and moon goddess and as their son he represented the perfect example of vitality and health which gives life and defeats evil, in this case over diseases. The sun that would appear in the east in the morning, according to folk belief the sun was "born", and the first seven days after the appearance of the new moon undoubtedly point to the idea of renewal of life energy, health and generally luck and prosperity. The sick would ask for blessings from the heavenly deities who again resurrected in their eternal cycles and the manifestation of their divine power was exactly the water over which Bindu had patronage and power.



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PostSubject: Re: Bosnian mythology    Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:50 pm

In the territory of Iapodes, the most significant deity was Bindus, whose shrine with its few altars dedicated to him was discovered at the source of the tiny river of Privilice, near Bihać. On various inscriptions Bindus is identified as the Roman god of seas and springs, i.e. with Neptune ("Bindo Neptuno sacrum"). That justifies the conclusion that Bindus and Neptune stand very close together in their attributes as guardians of seas and waters. This is, of course, also supported by the place where these inscriptions were found and by the etymology of the name of Bindus.

The Illyrians: history and culture
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PostSubject: Drekovi   Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:59 pm

Drekovi: are wandering ghosts, who cause noise and racket, that's what influenced their name. Legends claim that these spirits are souls of fallen soldiers who are restless in the afterlife because of the many crimes they committed during the war. According to folk belief Drekovi appear right after sunset and they wonder constantly from graveyard to graveyard trying to find peace and tranquillity, which they will never find.
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PostSubject: Vukodlak or Werewolf   Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:00 pm

Among the Bosnian folk the name Werewolf is often used for a vampire even though we are talking about two separate mythological beings. According to legend, werewolf is created when an evil man is possessed by a demon and then he turns into a hairy night monster that kills livestock, mostly sheep and sometimes even humans. The belief in werewolf's goes far back in time, the time when our forefathers the Illyrians inhabited Bosnia which worshiped the god of forests and mountains Vidasus which is described in legends as a male body completely covered in hair.


Illyrian god Vidasus


A human being can become a werewolf in case of a demon intervention or a magical ritual. In Trebinje, according to ethnological data, a case of lycanthropy happened in the 19th century, the woman who practiced the ritual of transformation was a witch and she knew the secret pagan transformation rituals. Every time she wanted to transform into a werewolf she would take a rope and make a circle out of it on the ground. She would then take off all of her clothes and place it into the middle of the circle. She would then perform a forward somersault three times, making thus a circle with her body, in the meantime she would transform into a werewolf. She would repeat the same process if she wanted to transform back into a human. This case, like many others, wouldn't be recorded if the witch in the form of a werewolf didn't kill 40 sheep's to some landowner and him reporting it to the local authorities who undertook a search and found the culprit and the way in which the crime unfolded.




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PostSubject: Sibjan   Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:01 pm

One of the most powerful female demons of the old Mesopotamia was Labartu, the daughter of god Anu, who as legends claim lived alongside mountains, deserts and swamps. Her appearance, as the old records in cuneiform claim, was cold imperturbable and cruel, her hair unkempt, a lion's face and naked breasts. She attacked local livestock out of the thicket as a habit and she would rip their bodies with her long claws. She was especially prone to attacking pregnant women and small children. Her greatest pleasure was, as legends claim, to cause miscarriage in women. With the advent of Islam the name of that demon was changed into Umma Sibjan and the belief in her arrived in Bosnia during the Ottoman period.



According to belief Sibjan caused a disease in children which is called in Bosnia sibiluk and is manifested by a lot of crying, slight and temporary paralysis of the child's body, loss of appetite, anaemia, insomnia,... Against her attack various prophylactic measures were undertaken like leaving a fish bone, a clove of garlic and a snake stone next to the child. If an attack by this demon took place the child would be treated by magical methods, the mother would carry the child along with a sugar cube under a chestnut tree, whose roots stretch on the earth's surface, and there she runs the child three times underneath it. If she is unable to find such a tree she carries the child to a house that the child never visited and runs the child three times underneath the beams of the house.

The fear of negative influence by Sibjan on the mother and the child caused dozens of taboos that the young mother needs to follow during the first 40 days of pregnancy: she shouldn't leave the house after midnight, she needs to carry a scarf on her head covering every single hair on her head, she mustn't wash clothes, etc.
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PostSubject: Naletnjak   Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:38 pm

Naletnjak is one kind of Jinn in Bosnia who possesses the power of transformation. He is very adaptable and he can pass through the smallest hole or opening. According to folk belief Naletnjak can be seen during the night if one goes onto a bridge. Naletnjak can jump onto a human in the form of a cat or a ram in the desire to be carried by the human or he appears in front of a human in the form of a horse and when the human mounts him he flies towards the sky, into the clouds, until the call of the rooster is heard. Frequently the Naletnjak would appear in the form of a black whirlwind that stretched all the way up to the sky. It was forbidden to whistle during the night inside a house or a yard since it was considered that Naletnjak communicated in such a manner and one could call them when whistling.
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PostSubject: Plague or Mubarećija   Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:39 pm

Plague is considered to be a female demon amongst the folk. It is called Mubarećija (euphemism, which means lucky) and it is described as a woman in a white dress with skinny legs or in a shape of a goat. She travels all over the world, goes from one house to the other and quizzes people on everything. She hates lies and that's why one needs to tell her the truth at all times. Sometimes she communicated to people in their dreams in order to warn them that she will be visiting their village or city and that they should move out. Plague is afraid of dogs and when she is attacked by them she curls into the fetal position and waits for the dogs to leave. Like the Karanđoloz the plague also requires that a human that she meets along the way has to carry her on her back. If the human obeys the plague spares him and his family. Humans protected themselves from the plague by cleanliness and garlic.
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PostSubject: Karanđoloz   Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:40 pm

The belief about this mythological creature was brought over to Bosnia by the Ottoman Empire. Karanđoloz as it is believed can be found at night on lonely intersections, when it surprises a traveller by jumping on his back and riding him like a horse. Besides being very heavy, Karanđoloz has an awful smell and reeks, and in that way deepens the traveller's misery and suffering. If the Karanđoloz asks the traveller "Am I heavy?" the answer mustn't be affirmative or this being of the night will become even heavier. The Karanđoloz won't stop torturing the man until dawn; when the roosters call is heard in the morning the demonic being will disappear. People used to protect themselves against the being by going around the house or a stable in circles holding a walnut in each hand and clapping one against the other they uttered: "Tučem kućnog dušmanina, što berićet odnosi a musibet donosi!". The famous Bosnian writer Mehmed Meša Selimović wrote about Karanđoloz.
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PostSubject: Demons of illness   Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:41 pm

Tvora: An evil spirit of diseases which attacks the patient and burdens his psyche with various nightmares and horrible appearances.

Činilica: An evil spirit that caused a lot of anxiety and fear in the patient's soul, so that the patient thought that all the evil of the spiritual world has entered him.

Otrovnica: An evil spirit that would poison the patient's blood until he would finally die exhausted.

Krvopilica: An evil spirit that would drink the patient's blood all night until it would completely drain the patient of his power.

Mraza: An evil spirit of hatred and disputes, he took away love and unity from people, and he made them fight one another.

Prikaze: Are evil spirits that appear to people only at night in various forms, mostly as cats, rabbits, goats, dogs. It is believed that whoever sees a Prikaza he will get seriously ill or die in a short time.
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PostSubject: Kudretfenjeri   Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:43 pm

It is believed that these are the ghosts of dead Muslim soldiers who usually appear in the form of mysterious lights at abandoned cemeteries, ruins of old houses or military fortresses and even sometimes forests. It is believed that these soldiers were buried in Christian cemeteries and now they are wondering in search of a Muslim cemetery.
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PostSubject: Meknjača or Plačo   Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:44 pm

Meknjača or Plačo is the name of a mysterious bird that has never been seen but has been heard usually during eve time or at night. Its call can be compared to a child crying. The folk believe that it is a soul of a deceased child that has turned into a bird and that it is only heard when someone is about to die. It is also called drekavac.
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PostSubject: Re: Bosnian mythology    Fri May 24, 2013 9:06 pm

Three demons of love

According to folk belief there are three stars/demons that appear after sunset, if the sky is clear without clouds. Demon stars move around the sky and they are always on the other side of the world where there is a woman which wants to enchant a man with magical formulas and oaths. The main demon among them is called Palinka and the other two which follow her are Budinka and Nesanka. According to folk belief the three of them are sisters and each of them individually have different magical powers: Palinka who is also called in some formulas Kostolomka, Sjanka or Planika, she brings a lot of love and obsession into the heart of humans. Budinka, Budmirka or Budimka, brings unrest and hysteria and Nesanka, also called Prisanka or Podminta, causes insomnia. The folk imagines them as beautiful girls with long golden hair and bright eyes.

Three demons are classic characters in all rituals of Bosnian magic. Unlike Palinka, Budinka and Nesanka which are female sky demons, there are three male demons which respond to a call by banging one's hand on the wall on the eve of Tuesday and by uttering a specific formula. They are called Indija or Inda, Džindija or Džinda and Šumabir. In love rituals Indija and Džindija are sent on a trip in their lands and Šumabir is directed towards the one that needs to be spellbound and compelled to love. All three of them are imagined as creatures with tails which are blind in one eye and they limp. But none of these physical defects create difficulties for their courtesy and efficiency.
These three names are also mentioned in specific formulas used to negate negative energy, especially spellbound eyes and children weeping. While as in all other cases the first two demons are sent to their native lands Šumabir is sent to bring the child's weeping and spellbound eyes into a river vortex.

According to the occult classification Indija, Džindija and Šumabir are earthen demons which respond to banging against the wall of a house but in the end of the ritual the person calling forth the demons places both hands on the ground praying to earth, or antic goddess mother, to help and direct the demons in the desired direction. In other formulas which are of an esoteric nature the names of the demons are not mentioned, the term "three Jinn and three devils" is used. Based on that, we notice how the exorcists are not quite sure if they belong to a stronger or weaker line of demons.
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PostSubject: Re: Bosnian mythology    Fri May 24, 2013 9:06 pm

Sky rooster

In Bosnian mythology there is mention of a large white rooster living in the sky, he is the king of all rooster on earth. When he crows at dawn and stomps his leg in the sky, all the rooster on earth hear him and they have to respond by crowing back. That's the reason why the people liked white roosters far more because they believed that they have better hearing than the roosters of a different colour. Crowing of the rooster is regarded by the folk as something positive since they believe that it chases away the Jinn and devils away from the house.
Belief in the king rooster probably comes from Iran. Ancient Iranians considered a rooster as a holly animal which reminds people to pray to God by crowing. In Bosnia it is believed that a rooster crows every time it sees an angel.
One of the greatest wisdom for the Bosnian dervishes and Sufis which they have to discover is contained in the following riddle: "When a rooster crows and stomps his foot, after seven minutes the heavenly rooster can hear him, and he too crows and stomps his foot. Therefore, what was down, went up, and what was up - never returns down?"
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PostSubject: Utve with golden wings or Utve zlatokrile   Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:25 pm

In Bosnian mythology mystical being are mentioned and described as half women half bird which has golden wings. They are called utve with golden wings and according to mythological classification they belong to beings of positive action which help individuals during hunt or other activities, entire villages or even nations. According to belief utve are immortal and from the beginning there is always a same number of them, which still remains unknown, which brings us to a conclusion that they don't have the ability to reproduce.

The people describe them as beautiful girls with luscious breasts and from the stomach downward they have bird's legs and feathers. They are adorned with golden wings of a wide span and while they fly they spread light in a large circle. According to the legend about the king which conquered the Indus people in certain parts of Bosnia believed that utve had bird's heads and chests and legs and backsides like a woman. According to legend utveescaped from India into Bosnia after a powerful king invaded India with his army, in that "cursed land" and there he came across beings with a head of a rooster and a body of a man which offered resistance for months and warred against him until he conquered them.

But since people often connect directly or indirectly utve and faeries it is then completely clear that their appearance was more feminine and beautiful, i.e. that they had female heads and breasts with bird legs. In support of this thesis is the lack of any data that utve gave birth to a child or had a love relationship with a human being.

People recount about utve that they are like faeries who escaped into the mountains and hard to reach places from the time when guns and cannons appeared because they couldn't take the sound of guns which only brings evil and death.

Analyzing the tradition about utve we come to a conclusion that after all we are dealing with an ancient myth which probably comes from Persia and is based on the belief in Amenta Spentas, forerunners of angels of monotheism. Amenta Spentas are seven immortal winged beings whose purpose is to preserve the harmony in nature among the humans, spreading justice and truth. Belief in them was taken over by the Jews, Christians and in the end Muslims calling them Arch-angels.
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PostSubject: Ramo and Bajro   Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:26 pm

Ramo and Bajro are two mythological characters which represent the month of Ramadan and the holiday of Eid (Bajram), to whom the imagination of people has given the design and characteristics of humans. While Ramo is a stingy old man who spends his days in renunciation and avoidance of every opportunity to live a different life from the one that he is used to from his childhood, Bajro is his complete opposite. He is a jolly old man who is first of all a hedonist, loves company of friends and is always optimistic when it comes to the future. In thos moments when they meet, which is often, they always get into a fight because of their differing life philosophies but they always, in the spirit of faith and Muslim solidarity, reconcile in order to convey a wise message to the listener.

Sometimes alongside them there are two other young men that appear Šaronja and Bjelonja. The first one represents a typical Bosnian who lives by the directive of that its important to fast the first, the middle and the last day of Ramadan in order to satisfy the least amount of necessary religion, while Bjelonja doesn't even undertake that. Unlike Šaronja, he doesn't wish to wear a mask of hypocrisy so he presents himself like he really is, with all of his flaws and virtues. All characters have a comical note to them and they often go from one extreme to
another, but it always has a happy ending.

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PostSubject: Hudam, Hudami   Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:25 am

In the tradition of the Bosnian folk a belief in special type of spiritual beings has been retained, these beings were called hudami. It is believed that the word hudam comes from the Arabic word hadim, which means the one that serves or servant. In order for a hudam to start serving a human, a contact must be established between them and then a type of contract, in which both sides define their obligations and interests.

In Bosnian mythology there are a few traditions which describe the way in which an individual can come into contact with a hudam. The first one tells how a person repeats special prayers for 40 days carrying all the while a pigeon's egg under his armpit. In another tradition about the connection with a hudam it is mentioned that a rooster after it lives for 20 years lays an egg. That egg must be carried under one's armpit for 40 days and repeat special prayers in order for a hudam to appear out of the egg, etc.

When a contact is established with a hudam and mutual obligations are established a different type of life begins for the human which seems strange for his surroundings. According to the ethnological works hudami even prepared and served coffee to their owners, sat at the table with them and ate. Such people usually lived a solitary life, and the testimonials about their shared meals with the hudi are fascinating and speak about the fact that the food disappeared from the plate before the eyes of the attendants, but that in fact they couldn't see anyone eating the food or where the food went. Furthermore, there were occasions when the hudami moved stuff around the room which caused disbelief, shock and fear among the present.

There are a few documented cases about the people about which it was known that they possess hudami and one of them was the well-known and rich Arifbeg Đumišić from Sanski Most. During one of his visits to his sister Hanumica, Arifbeg asked the mother in law of his sister to make him coffee early in the morning which she refused. The coffee was in the morning prepared and served, according to the story of Hanumica, by the maiden Gospa which later turned out that she was sleeping and that the room of the mother in law was all in disorder. Mysterious events of that morning were explained by the actions of hudami which prepared and served coffee but also messed up the room of the disobedient mother in law as a warning that the wishes of his master must be followed.
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PostSubject: Rahimino turbe   Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:54 am

The legend from Srebrenik mentions that in the village Sladna Rahima (Raha) lived, an extremely pious woman with a big heart who didn't have nothing besides a small humble house and two cows. But, her poverty was never an obstacle to feeding a hungry man and to help where help is needed not caring much about the other persons religion or nationality. When she died, on the seventh night after the burial, on her tomb unexplainable lights appeared (nur) which shone for the next 40 days illuminating everything around the grave. Because of that miracle the people declared her a saint and decoded to build a mausoleum (turbe) for which people in Srebrenik still today claim that it protects them from every evil.
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PostSubject: Re: Bosnian mythology    Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:14 pm

Alkarisi (or Al Karisi) are female Jinn which are according to Bosnian mythology connected to pregnant women and women at childbirth. It is believed that they originated from a girl that never married. They are given away by a goat's voice. It is considered that there are two types, one is black and the other yellow. The black ones are Alkarisi and they are more dangerous than the yellow ones, they are very shrewd and inteligentny. Yellow Alkarisi have the appearance of a blond girl but they sometimes take the form of a goat or a fox. One shouldn't believe anything from either of them. Alkarisi are afraid of men and they always run away when they fire their firearms, that's where the tradition of firing a firearm after a child has been born stems from. Also, they are scared of metal and that's why next to a pregnant woman there is always some sort of metal such as a nail.
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PostSubject: Re: Bosnian mythology    Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:15 pm

From all of the angels in Bosnian mythology only Azrail took the most intricate place because of the role which was given to him by Allah and that role encompasses taking souls from the human body. Because of such a task the humans are scared of him but make jokes about him at the same time, especially old people which comment "that Allah still hasn't sent them a telegram via Azrail" and that's why they are still alive. However, it is believed among the folk that Azrail's task of taking souls isn't easy since the soul is wrapped 99 times around each joint.

According to a story a man found out from a famous prophet on which day he will die and at what time and so struck with panic and wanting to live he decided to fool Azrail. As the prophet told him that he will die exactly at noon he mounted a horse half an hour before that time and galloped quickly towards the mountains, far away from his home believing that Azrail won't be able to find him. With a quick gallop and struck with panic the man pushed his horse to run as fast as he could so he can be as far away from his house as possible when the hour strikes noon. He rushed and rushed always looking behind to make sure that he went far away from his home. At that moment of inadvertency the horse tripped on a large rock, fumbled and fell into an abyss pulling his rider with it. The man died.

This story may not be a classic example of fatalism which is always present among the Bosnian folk. The start and end of life are predicted by Allah's will and no one can escape from it. That's why people believe that Azrail is the most intelligent of all angels since no one can trick him. It is also believed among the folk that Azrail can appear to someone in his/her sleep, in the form of a white horse. That's why it is said to the one who dreamt of a white horse that Azrail appeared to him as a messenger of death, and that someone close to him shall die.

It is interesting to say that according to Bosnian belief life and death both begin and end with the involvement of an angel. Namely, a child before it is born receives from an angel senet - a confirmation that when it is born it shall not die, to entice it to exit the mother's womb. But, as soon as it starts coming out he angels take away its senet and it is believed that this is the reason all children cry.
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PostSubject: Re: Bosnian mythology    Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:31 pm

In the decades before WWII some chroniclers recorded unusual phenomena in various parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Certain glowing forms appeared, "fenjer (lantern)" which acted almost as intelligent beings: they moved, jumped, danced in circles ... The inhabitants of the village in Glamoč and Livno field reported that "fenjer" used to gather during summer nights to dance and play, but that they caused no harm besides scaring night travellers and their horses, which is a sign that they were clearly seen by animals. Glowing "fenjer" changed their size and shape and they disappeared at dawn. The people interpreted their appearance as a bad sign - the omen of great sorrow. Not long after those mysterious appearances the war came and numerous villages were burned and the people killed.

After the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995) stories appeared that in Foča and Jajce the Imam's call can be heard from the places where mosques stood before the war and where Muslims gathered for centuries to perform religious rituals. New inhabitants of these cities are confused and scared since they can't explain where the sounds are coming from.
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PostSubject: UROK   Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:08 pm

It is interesting to point out that the Illyrians as a nation were prone to superstition, healing and magic, and that's why their mages were well known across the Roman empire. Based on that fact it is easy to presume why even today on the Balkans there are numerous magical beliefs, but also practice, which has nothing to do with monotheism but exclusively with ancient cults of the Illyrian tribes. One of the best examples is the belief in the evil power of spellbound eyes or urok.

Urok is an Illyrian word which means to spellbind or fascinate. The Illyrians, like all Mediterranean people were prone to belief in the negative power of the urok, evil demon of disease and bad luck which attacks humans, animals and even dead objects. Unlike other demons urok is closely associated to humans and lives inside them or next to them.

Urok has an effect (attack) motivates hate, jealousy, wonderment or excessive love of one person towards another. Caused by some of these emphasized emotions urok attacks a human, directly through human eyes and speech, causing various diseases and states such as a headache, increased temperature, sleepiness, fatigue . If its attack is directed towards small children then the urok can cause death in a short period.

Urok is a demon which can, according to Bosnian belief, make a happy man unhappy, a healthy man unhealthy, etc. The Illyrian used various prophylactic items to shield themselves from this demon, carrying amulets shaped like a snake, circle, various shells, etc. Red colour had a special power, according to belief, which protected the Illyrians from disease, especially the one caused by the effect of urok. All diseases created by the effects of urok were cured by tribal shamans and experienced older wives with the help of magical rituals and by uttering formulas. If someone would get sick in the middle of urok then they would take some dirt from a footprint of a person for which it is believed that has spurred a demon and they would then mix the dirt with water which would be used to sprinkle and wash the diseased person.
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PostSubject: Re: Bosnian mythology    Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:09 pm

Stars - human souls

Since the Illyrian times the stars are guardians of life or better said they are human souls. According to Bosnian belief each human gets a star once he/she is born which will shine until he/she dies, the star then falls from the sky. The Illyrians were scared of staring at the sky since they could glimpse their own star and die, if the star happened to fall at that moment.

Still today among the Bosnian people there is a belief of connectedness between a man and his star by way of his forehead, between his eyebrows to be more exact, so called third eye, which was protected in the old days by wearing a hat or a bandana. Evil is always trying to harm humans in that particular area in order to disturb his life energy and undermine his whole fate and life. That's why in the past there was a custom that each morning and evening males put on a hat and females a bandana over that area, "in order to protect the star" and they would utter:

Sabah huzi hurmet,
okolo mi kuvet,
šejtanu nalet,
Muhammedu salavet.

This formula is repeated three times.
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PostSubject: Re: Bosnian mythology    Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:10 pm

Black sky dragon

A dragon is one of the original representatives of Bosnian mythology whose cult was widespread among our Illyrian ancestors shaped in the belief of a black sky dragon who devours the sun or moon during an eclipse. That's why an eclipse inspired hysterical fear from end of the world, and the Illyrian's tried to save themselves banging on various metal buckets creating a dreadful noise in order to scare and chase away the dragon. The black sky dragon among the Illyrian tribes was considered a god of evil and the belief was upheld until modern times through various stories and legends.

The belief of our ancestors was preserved among the Bosnian people and that's why even today among the elderly we can hear statements that claim that the eclipse is nothing else but a dragon devouring the sun. That's why the elderly regularly warn people not to go anywhere during an eclipse, they should sit down and wait for it to pass. Since a dragon is described as a large snake in Bosnian mythology we can see open hostility of the sun and the snake. Namely, according to a belief from Central Bosnia when someone kills a snake the sun stops in the sky and utters "May your hands be golden!", and if someone comes across a snake and doesn't kill it the sun curses him with words "May your hands shrivel!".

An old Bosnian legend reveals that three sun's used to be in the sky, until a dragon ate two of them and the third was saved by a swallow, which took it high into the sky. That's why a swallow and a dragon (snake) are mortal enemies. As another legend mentions, the swallow saved mankind from a snake which went to god with a wish to feast on humans. As soon as the swallow heard that, she managed to trick the snake into stretching out her tongue and as soon as she did that, the swallow struck her tongue with her beak and split it into two parts, the snake went to god, and she wasn't able to speak clearly which infuriated god who determined that the snake shall feast on frogs and mice.

Among the Bosnian folk there are numerous beliefs and legends about snakes (dragon) as a confirmation how much this animal represents a totem to our ancestors, it had a dominant role in the spiritual consciousness of the Bosnian folk throughout history. Regardless of numerous legends the snake is after all considered as a saviour of mankind which is best illustrated by the legend of Noah's ark and the mouse.
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