Feb 27, 2015

Old legend about the grave of the Turkish soldier

On the territory of Sanski Most there is no place that so many myths, legends and folk tales are related to it like the place Kamengrad, a tame Bosnian village located next to the motorway which connects Sanski Most with Bosanska Krupa. On a steep ridge which rises above the village are the remnants of a medieval fort. At first sight one can see that the builders took care where to build the fort. The place where the fort is located is accessible only from one side, which states that Kamengrad was difficult to occupy. It was built by the Hungarian princes Babonić which lived on the mouth of rivers Sana into Una, on the place which is today called Bosanski Novi.

540 years ago, this area was a scene of bloody battles. In the valley underneath the fort in Kamengrad was a large army camp of the Turkish sultan Mehmed Fatih. Some time before that, Ključ was occupied, the last city of medieval Bosnia. That's when the last Bosnian king Stjepan Tomašević was executed. An old legend claims that the battle lasted shortly, but it was bloody. Hungarian crew which defended the fort was cut down until the last person. The Turkish army also suffered losses. The old Shahid (martyr) cemetery bellow the fort. Grave stones are still standing which were built more than five centuries ago.

The attention of visitors is drawn by the stone sarcophagus. Folk tales say that this is the resting place of a Turkish soldier - carrier of the flag (bajraktar - flag carrier) which showed great courage. He obtained over fifty wounds during the battle, but he still boldly charged the Hungarian fort. In the heat of the battle the soldier's head was cut off. Legend says that he descended the hill carrying his severed head under his arm. Only when a woman saw him and screamed in terror did the soldier fall to the ground. That's where he was buried.

Bad luck for evil doers

Inhabitants of Kamengrad always paid special attention to this grave. Close to this sarcophagus a Bajraktar's (flag carrier's) mosque was built which was destroyed by the Serbian army during the aggression onto BiH. It is considered that this place was blessed by special mercy by God, since the man in the sarcophagus died on the road of Allah's faith. That's why since the old days Bajraktar's graveyard is a place of pilgrimage. From this place in the last hundred years countless prayers were sent. The diseased prayed to be cured, soldiers to return alive from the war, parents for their children to be happy in life, agricultural workers for a fruitful year...

Legend claims that everyone who tried to destroy the soldier's grave was struck by god's wrath. In WWII the grave was desecrated two times. Both men which committed this died soon. And at the time of aggression on Bosnia (1992-1995) the Serbian army placed explosives into the stone sarcophagus which failed to explode. The man who was placing it, was struck by a stroke the next day. The grave of the Turkish soldier remained untouched.

The older inhabitants claim that the ghost of the soldier appeared a couple of times. It always happened during the night. The apparition, holding its head under its arm, radiated with a weird glow climbing the hill towards the old fort - it happened the inhabitants claimed, always before large wars. That's what happened prior to the aggression onto Bosnia in 1992.

Whoever manages to read the ancient symbols - will cause flooding of the world!

Legend says that the locals fighting a flood in "Raspuklina" on "Pisana stijena" threw clay from the rocks, unwashed sheep wool, uncooked eggs and honey combs with wax. The spring went dry, the mountain "closed"! But, because of the danger of the letter being deleted, or "interpreted", will the prophecy from the legend come true?

Prior to the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina the village Žlijeb was one of the most beautiful and best populated villages in the Višegrad county. Serbian aggression left devastating consequences on this part of the Višegrad county, the village was left without houses and inhabitants. All that was left of the village is the name.

Pisana stijena (Pisana rock)

The reason why this place became a place of mysterious legends is because of the steep rock on the slopes of Tara and Dikava, which were called by the folk Pisana stijena. Drawings or prehistoric symbols, for which the experts claim are the first indications of a pictographic or pictorial writing, leave no body indifferent.

-Once upon a time out of the rock a powerful stream of water burst creating a cave...Together with the river towards Drina it flooded the most fertile land. In the fight with the flood, especially when it rained, the inhabitants threw clay from the stones, unwashed sheep wool, uncooked eggs and honey combs with wax into "raspuklina".

Weird signals

The stream dried out, the mountain "closed", but the water burst onto the other side of Tara, into Perućica. The rock broke, the stream gushed onto the other side! Still to this day it springs and forms a river only 365 meters long, which is why people call her "river year".

Legends say that someone recorded that event onto "Pisana stijena"! To this day no one managed to read or interpret what is written. But, this miraculous story doesn't end here. The legend continues:

-When the letter is completely deleted or fully read the water will burst again from the "Pisana stijena"! As the altitude of the crack, especially during the summer time, the water appears and "deletes" the letters, the concern becomes greater that the prophecy will come true.

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.

Feb 1, 2015

Serbs - slaves from the Carpathian

The word "Slav" stems from the Latin word "sclav" which means slave. According to historians the Romans brought, in order to control the Illyrians, from the Carpathian slaves and settled them across Illyrian lands.
There they were inhabited and they mixed with the Illyrians and so the Illyrians, fragmented and demographically weakened due to forced war on the side of the Romans, over time assimilated and took the Slavic language. Settlement of the Slavs by large circumvented Sandžak, Bosnia and Dalmatia, where according to genetic research the Illyrian gene was most notable, but with time the Slav groups managed to settle in those areas as well.
Because of the fact that the Slavs circled the Illyrians from all sides in large numbers, the Illyrians didn't manage to keep their ethnic independence, but despite that, they had a larger religious influence on Slavs then they had on the Illyrians, which is best witnessed by the snake cult, but also other segments of Illyrian beliefs.
Successors of Slavs in our region are Serbs, Montenegrins and to a smaller extent Croats, and the successors of the Roman empire are the Byzantines. The thing that is easily recognisable today and what clearly confirms their slave origin is the great pains that numerous historians of these people go through to create fiction and myths about an ancient and glorious past, all the while trying find their non-existent roots for centuries across Europe and the entire world, making up various theories in which they give themselves a lot of praiseworthy imagination: in one fantasy they are descendants of the Atlántida's, in another of Jesus Christ, in the third they come from Summery, Babylon ... and when that is not enough they turn to space to find their home planet. All of this is a psychological example of serious complexes because of their own identity and at the same time the biggest issue of the Serbs - impossibility of facing reality. Another recognisable complex is ascribing or better yet stealing others cultural heritage, since they apparently have the right to it as a people who are at least ten thousand years old. As in old Yugoslavia, also in a more distant past, usually the ethnologists and anthropologists were Serbs, they used this to assimilate numerous cultural customs of smaller nations or minorities and dub them as their own, in order to show that all neighbouring people actually stem from them, so they can practice hegemony over them. Today when you analyze "Serb cultural heritage" (if it even exists), you will find numerous parts of culture of surrounding people from Bosnia, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo,...
All of this is very similar, almost identical, with the history of the Jews who were slaves for many centuries and that's why they created a myth about themselves as "heavenly people" and they appropriated Syrian, Afghan, Egyptian and Persian religious and cultural elements in creating their religion and identity which stems, like the Serb one, on the idea that they are the oldest people in the world and that everything belongs to them. Both people nurture nationalism which long past turned into Nazism, idea of superiority over others, and as such has caused wars and genocide like the one over the Palestinians and Bosnians. There are a lot more parallels between these two people with the identity complex but most impressive is arrogance, hatred and despise which they alone use to view other nations and people.
But, let's return to the past and data about the origin of the Serbs i.e. slaves from the Carpathian. Serbs are people who are mentioned for the first time in the 7th century. The word "Serb" according to numerous historians, stems from the Greek word "servus" which also means slave. The evidence are as follows:
1      King Constantine Porphyrogenitus in his work "De Administrando Imperio" around 950 wrote the following about the origin of their name: "Serbs in Byzantine language is a word that denotes slaves and in that language usually with the word "serbula" denotes footwear of the slaves, and the word "serboulianous" denotes those that wear cheap, peasant clothes. The Serbs got that name since they became slaves of the Byzantine emperor."
2      Similarly archbishop Giljeljmo Tirski (1139-1186) in his document called "Monumenta Montenegrina" wrote: "...and all of these people have the origin from those that live in that region, sent and brought into exile, punished to cut marble and dig ores, and that's where their name comes from slavery - "servitutis"..."
As Constantine Porphyrogenitus describes, Serbs were slaves in the Byzantine empire. They requested from the emperor to let them go back into their lands into the far north. So he wrote:
"After some time, those same Serbs decided to go back to their homes (go back to Carpathia), and the emperor allowed it. But when they crossed the river Danube (Danoubin) they changed their minds and they sent a plea to emperor Heraclitus, through a military commander which was at the time in Belegradon, to offer them another land for them to inhabit.
And since the thing that is Serbia and Pagany today and the so called land Zahloumon and Terbounia and land Kanalita, was under the rule of the Byzantine emperor, the mentioned lands were ravaged by Avars, the emperor inhabited the same slaves (Serbs) in those lands so they can be obedient to the Byzantine emperor. In order to subjugate them completely the emperor brought priests from Roma and christened them and though them how to do penance and thought them Christian doctrine".
Here lies the answer to the question why the Byzantine favoured Slavic occupation of the Balkan which was shown in 668 when over 30 000 Slavs were recruited to fight the Muslim khalifa.