Apr 1, 2013

Cult of the god Bind - part II

During the beginning of the 20thcentury, Emilian Lilek, a professor from Sarajevo, recorded a dozen examples of spring worshiping in Bosnia, the springs were equated with healing powers. His ethnological work has been published in the National Museum BIH under the title "Religious antiquities from Bosnia and Herzegovina" in the chapter "Water worship". Examples that professor Lilek gathered and recorded have, besides their ethnological value, a historic significance because they confirm the long practice of worshiping the cult of god Bindu, deity of the Bosnian Illyrians to whom spring were dedicated i.e. natural temples.

It is clear that the Bosnian people haven't forgotten about the religious practice of their ancestors which survived despite numerous restless decades which were characterised by the arrival of the Slavs and monotheism. In all of the descriptions one can clearly see the practice of pilgrimage towards the streams whose water was considered to have healing properties as well as the practice of leaving money as a gift, food or a piece of clothing which was a substitute for human or animal sacrifice. Behind such a ritual there existed a belief in a supernatural being, whose name was forgotten by the people, and to whom a sacrificial offering had to be made in order to get help i.e. help from disease.

The following are only some of the examples given by professor Lilek:

On the left side of the river Miljacka there is a spring Pišće-water, from which you mustn't drink until you leave some money next to the stream or a piece of one's clothing. Bosnian women visit Pišće-water before sunrise, leaving money next to the spring, and tying pieces of clothing onto the branches of the willow next to the stream.

Catholic women visit the stream above Kovačević before sunrise and leave some money there.

In Tešanj there is a stream outside the city where the Bosnian women bring their sick children, and bathe them in that water. When they head home they leave some money next to the stream, or they take off a piece of clothing from the child and leave it next to the spring.

In Travnik there is a spring called Safa's source and it is visited by Muslim's and Christian's alike, especially around May 6th, in particular those that have headaches or fever. They bathe themselves at the spring. When they head home they throw some money in the water or leave a piece of clothing there.

In Pritoka next to Bihać there is a spring which is visited by sick people in order to bathe in it. If a diseased arrives who is also a sinner, the water from the spring disappears immediately, but if a man without large sins comes the water appears in order for him to bathe in it. The spring is gifted with money, clothes, etc.

Next to Modriča there is a spring called Šičara.When someone has a fever, one visits the spring in the first week of the new moon's appearance, Wednesday or Friday, and it bathes in its waters before sunrise. One leaves some money next to the spring or hangs a piece of its clothing onto a tree next to the spring.

In Tuzla there is a spring called Istočnik, Christians visit it during Friday or Wednesday, in the first week of the new moon's appearance. They bathe at the spring and leave some money or some food.