Jan 8, 2012

Mythological world of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Faeries or Vile( Peri): Faeries are young beautiful women with long golden hair. They have supernatural beauty and a soothing voice. They live inside forests and around lakes, they fly around trees and they like to dance in circles on the green grass. During that occasion they usually sing one of their many songs whose words worn people about some danger ("Ne zovi oca imenom, Ne udaraj konja povodcem, Ne tari nogu od nogu, Ne čini sebi sihira"). There's a belief amongst the people that a child who feeds a fairy with his milk will become a great hero, this is best illustrated by the legend of Mujo Hrnjica.
If people hurt the fairy in any way, it will immediately take revenge by making the human psychologically disturbed. Fairies were afraid of mothers, especially in the past. According to a Turkish folklore which found its place amongst the Bosnian people, in the past humans stole the first child of a fairy and ever since then the fairies seek revenge by stealing human children or by exchanging a human child for its own. For this reason Bosnian women would place a metal object, most often a spoon, near baby's feet inside the crib, when they had to leave the house or when they had to do some chores.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina the most famous fairies are Bosanska vila, Gorska vila, and the queen fairy Zlatna. It was believed that Zlatna was the mistress of the forest and the water. Legend has it that every night, Zlatna accompanied by other fairies, went to the river to take a bath and after that they would dance and sing throughout the night on a nearby hillside. Bosnians believe that only those of pure spirit and a clear heart can see fairies in their sleep.
Besides female fairies it is believed that there are male fairies amongst these mythological creatures. The most famous male fairy is Ušušur. According to a legend from Doboj, Ušušur fell in love with a girl, who married another man. Desperate and furious, Ušušur used his magical powers to drown the girl in a river. Comprehending the gravity of his actions, he threw himself in the river after the girl but he couldn't drown himself because he was immortal. Because of this incident he decided to punish himself and he chained himself to the bottom of the river, which became his home. Ušušur is described by the people as green man, ragged and covered in moss.