Feb 11, 2012

Mythological world of Bosnia and Herzegovina

According to scientific definition, mythology is a science that studies stories of fantastic content whose heroes are various gods and goddesses, warriors, demons, etc. Seen through the eyes of modern psychology, mythology is a bond that binds the man of today with the past, shapes his identity and even his childhood. No matter the geographic location, culture or period every mythological story whether from a large civilization or a small one is based on a classic Pantheon or more commonly on a dualistic division of fantastical beings and spirits, where humans are in the centre. Today, mythology is present in large numbers of various publications, TV documentaries, art and history itself. Not even movie directors could resist its call and mythology is a constant theme of many films.
Analyzing the legends and stories of a country one can discern a lot about the thinking and behaviour patterns of a given people. Mainly in most of the mythological stories we find a classic fear in humans of disease, death and evil, constant need of upholding the cult of the hero and warrior, love towards his country, family, individual, etc. Besides this, mythological characters represent intractable human imagination, ability to weather the hard times as best as one can, or creation of an authentic identity for a people or a country.
Mythology of Bosnia and Herzegovina abounds with various external influences because of its geographical position but also its turbulent history which shaped the Bosnian spirit and imagination. In Bosnia both the East and West always manifested which is clearly evident through mythology where we come across interesting elements of both eastern and western beliefs.
With the above mentioned in mind, the mythology of Bosnia and Herzegovina can be best understood if it is divided into three groups of influence which were the keys to its creation:
      The old Slavic beliefs (Europe)
      Bosnian beliefs (lllyrians, Bogumils)
     Oriental beliefs (Iran, Turkey)

Slavic pagan beliefs were preserved in legends about demons of diseases and generally in negative creatures like vampires (Lampir), Mora (Nightmare), Witch (Sihirbaza), Plague, Cholera, etc.
Remnants of the old Bosnian beliefs of the Bogumil also remained especially in the beliefs about Did Adža, Black bull, mysterious bird Plačo, etc.
The vast number of Oriental beliefs that were brought to Bosnia by the Ottomans originate directly from Iran. By that we mean first and foremost on the belief about angels (Melek), Faeries (Periler), visiting burial grounds (Dobri), etc.