Jan 6, 2012

Mythological world of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The following excerpt is taken from one of her field reports: "In Bosnia there was, I found, plenty of belief in vampires. Here they are called "lampir" and or "vukodlak" (lit.: wolfs hair).

The incarnation of the vampire in Bosnia is the lampir, which is thought primarily to be the harbinger of epidemics. With no scientific understanding of the reasons or cures for deadly contagious diseases, the first to fall ill and perish is assumed to be at fault. The lampir crawls from its grave as a hideously rotting and disease-ridden corpse for the sole purpose of infecting and bringing grief to those who subsequently succumb and die of disease. It was reported that after the Austrians gained control of Bosnia from the Ottoman Empire in 1878 that the practice of exhuming and burning the corpses of suspected lampirs was widespread in the region – a practice the new regime took a decidedly dim view of.