Dec 29, 2011

Salijevanje strahe

The same was not, however, said about salijevati stravu or salijevati strahu which can also be performed by less religiously educated Bosniak women, as it requires less knowledge. The central item in the ritual is a lump of lead which is heated and then thrown into water, where it forms a pattern from which the supplicant's troubles are interpreted. Apart from the local bula there was one other woman in the village who performed this ritual. She had learned it from an old bula from the district, who decided to stop performing it because of pressure from her children who complained that it was primitive superstition. She taught the woman from Dolina how to perform it and gave her the lump of lead ( which should be handed down from one bula to another). I observed salijevati strahu on several occasions. It was always performed at the request of women who had either been bereaved by the death of a close relative, or had been upset by other events in the immediate family and were anxious and unable to sleep, though they did not know the reason why. The casting of the lead and the Qur'anic recitation were believed to help define the problem and thereby relieve the anxiety. The ritual could only be performed by devout women who could recite Qur'an verses. The pattern formed by the lump of lead was always interpreted as an indication that something had upset the patient, and suggestions were made as to what this might be and what the patient should do. She may be advised to say specific prayers regularly od perform other religious duties. The lead ritual might be repeated a couple of times over the next week or two, until she felt calmer and less worried.