Feb 27, 2015

Holly stone of the Bogomils

Though there is a small number of documents which would significantly which would shed light on a mystery called "Old man-stone" from the folk legends, we can conclude that this holly object is positioned next to a twisting road north-west from the village Osoja and Gačica more than a thousand years ago. On first sight we can see that we're not talking about a sarcophagus, but a sacral object which once served for religious rituals of the Bosnian Bogomils.

In the book "History of Bosnia and Herzegovina" historians claim that in the tenth century, or even earlier, in this area the Bogomils appeared, which in the Slavic sources were also called Babuni (baboons). Franjo Rački related them to Patarens and he claimed that they were the originators of Bosnian Patarens. According to the research of Rački, Bogomil's were dualists. They believed that the spirit and the invisible spirit world were created by god, and material, physical are the act of the devil or Satanijel, which represents evil, and everything that occurred in the age of the Old Testament (Torah) were the act of the devil and that's why Moses and the prophets were damned. Bogomil's didn't have a classic church as a place for prayers, instead they performed their religious rites in a simple house, which was called hiža, or on specific places in nature. Bogomils disappeared from these areas with the advent of the Ottomans, though there is data that they dwelt there in a much smaller number until the twelfth century.

Holly place of healing

Old man stone is saddle shaped, and when a man sits in its saddle he is turned exactly towards east. Around the stone is a masterfully etched stopien where Grandfathers sat, Bogomil priests, who placed their hands on the worshipers. There are no religious symbols on the old man stone, and there are no other etched symbols. Even after the conversion of the Bogomils to Islam, the Bosnian folk were still in awe of the "old man stone". They even believed in its healing powers, and when sick, they would bring their cattle there and they claim that they received help every time. Especially during the time of threshing wheat, when the horse couldn't urinate, they would bring him there, they would go around the "old man stone" three times and the horse would be cured every time.

State decision

That there were always inhabitants around this Bogomil sacral place is proved by the stream close by which was enlisted as one having the clearest drinking water. The stronger the winter, the warmer the water in the stream, and the hotter the summer, the cooler the water got. Before, when there were no waterworks, settlement was built around clear drinking water. Many years on the right side of the stream there was a place for doing laundry which was frequented by women from the village.

That "old man stone" is an object of historical importance for this area, is confirmed by the fact that the Yugoslav historians protected the monument by state decision 980/51 when during the fifties the military industry was being built up in Vitez.