Aug 23, 2017

Man, shaitan and angel

 Before Allah created a human, his slave, he would be constantly bothered by a shaitan with his numerous questions distracting his focus from creating the human body. And whatever god created with his hands during the day, the shaitan would ruin it during the night. Allah allowed this to happen, to destroy and deform everything that he created, so that the human figure can be as convenient as possible and as beautiful when in the end he finishes her. After some time god was filled with great inspiration and he quickly made the human body out of earth, and after looking at it he was finally happy with what he had created. But, after that Allah didn’t want to bring it to life for another three years, he left the inanimate human body leaning against a cypress tree. This awoke great interest in the shaitan and curiosity since he didn’t know what will happen. Every day he would come to the human body and would tap his fingers on the body, when he would reach the head, he often said while tapping: “This head will not be empty!”. During those three years he would come there every day and would utter the same things. When the third year was coming to an end, Allah gave a soul to the human body, thus making it alive. As soon as the first human awoke and stood up on his feet, god warned him immediately that he shouldn’t talk nor accept any offers from the first creature that comes to talk to him and doesn’t introduce himself. Initially the man obeyed god’s orders, but little by little he started to lose his determination and will. One day the shaitan saw that the first human was losing his confidence, so he started going around him giving him various compliments and admiring the perfection of his figure and in the end made him talk to him. Concluding that the first human fell under his influence the shaitan immediately appropriated the left side of the human body and he sat on his left shoulder, and from that day he sits on the shoulder of every man, all day and all night, from birth to death. Allah, in order to help his servant, sent an angel to be an opposition to the shaitan and he sat at his right shoulder. That’s why every human has an angel on his right shoulder and a shaitan on his left. The angel continuously stimulates him to good deeds, and the shaitan to bad deeds, lies and deceits.

Beautiful to the ugly, beautiful to ugly

 According to a tradition when god created the world he gave to humans the power of speech and to other beings various voices. There was only one bird, which lowly stepped in front of her creator, and meekly asked him, blinking with her eyes and nodding her head, what kind of voice will she have. God thought about it, since he gave voices to all beings and having none for her he said: “Your voice will be from now on to only say “Beautiful to the ugly, beautiful to ugly!. And since that time the following things occurred, the beautiful man would marry an ugly woman, and a beautiful woman would marry an ugly man. And prior to this a beautiful man would always marry a beautiful woman, and an ugly person would marry an ugly person, and after this, it was all mixed.

Numerous kings and emperors, but also common folk, were angry at the bird, and they searched everywhere for her in order to kill her, but all of their effort was futile, since she dwelt somewhere in the 77th empire, in a land fair and happy, where during the day and night the sun shines, and where people live to at least one hundred years old.

Aug 22, 2017

Divine bull Tur

From the beginning of mankind the bull was a holly animal which is a part of numerous mythological traditions and cults, due to its physical strength and imposing look. Among the oldest myths where he is mentioned is located in Mesopotamia and the legend about the deity Guagalanni, better known as the heavenly bull or bull from the sky. Gugalanna was the first husband Ereshkigala, deity of the underworld, dark world without light. Gods sent him to exact revenge upon Gilgamesh because he refused sexual advances of the goddess Inanna. During that occurrence, the heavenly bull, whose kick causes earthquakes, was defeated and dismembered by Gilgamesh and his follower Enkidu. In the middle east religious paradigm of killing a bull is frequent and we can find it in the legend about the genesis shaped in the Persian god Mithra, from whose description of his birth and life the mythological legend of Jesus was created, this god hunted and killed a wild bull. From the body of the dead animal, plants started to grow, from the bones wheat sprang up and from his blood grapevine. That’s when the first people were created. Even after the advent of Islam in these areas the bull didn’t lose his divine characteristic which is best confirmed by the Arabian myth, or better said cosmological representation, about the white bull Kujuta which stands on the head of a horrible beast Bahamut and holds the earth on his back.

Bahamut or Behemoth is the name of a mythological giant fish which in Arabic cosmology represented a backbone of earth, and for her mythology claims that she possesses numerous eyes, ears, noses and tongues. Certain myths claim that instead of a fish’s head it has an elephants head or hippopotamus head, and in some versions Bahamut is actually a sea dragon with sharp teeth and limbs. Bahamut holds on his strong body all seven spheres which in Arabic mythology constitute the entire universe. On Bahamut, i.e. on his head, the bull named Kujuta is positioned, which holds a mountain made out of rubies on his back. On top of that unusual mountain the angels are holding the seven layers of earth. Alternatively, on the back of Bahamut is actually a surface made out of sand. Kujuta is standing on that sand, and the mountain that he is carrying on his back has a vast ocean in the middle of which earth is floating. Underneath Bahamut is the dark and mysterious part filled with mist and water. Some mythological data claim that underneath that dark sphere there is a fire world in which the snake Falak dwells.

Bahamut is an original mythological creation of the Arabic mythology, data on it appear in cosmological tones which date since 1291. The name itself in Arabic means “the beast”. About it the ancient Arabic historian, Ibn al-Wardi  wrote, it is also mentioned in the 1001 night where the story about the man named Isa is mentioned, who after seeing Bahamut out of shock and fear loses his consciousness. Once he awoke, Allah asked him if he had seen a big fish. Isa replied that he saw a bull standing on top of the fish’s head. The Jews assimiliated this mythological being, like many other religious-mythological segments, in their mythological traditions.

Arabic Kujuta and Bosnian Tur

Certain segments of the presented legend have connecting points with Bosnian myths about the gigantic bull Tur, which holds the planet on his back, from whose will depends the fate of earth and all people. Generally, the myth about Tur is short and there are not a lot of details which would reveal something more about the wider representation of Bosnian cosmology and the only exception is Rogatica. Namely, in that part of Bosnia it was believed that underneath the land there was an endless sea, on its surface swam a giant fish, on the fish’s head a bull stood and on his back earth. When that bull moves slightly his ear, the earth shakes, and when he would move his leg or something else, the entire earth would plunge into the sea, but it was believed that Allah created a small fly which constantly flies around the eyes of that bull and he is so afraid of her that he literally can’t move. (1)

As among the Turks there is no recorded legend not about Bahamot nor Tur, we can conclude that there was no transfer of myths during the Ottoman occupation of BiH, instead it is a rudiment of an ancient pagan cult which was inherited by certain Mediterranean people, and among them the Illyrians. There is a logical probability  that Illyrian soldiers serving in the Roman Empire transferred the legend of Tur to the territory of Syria and further, or vice versa, inherited it and brought it to the Balkans. But, no matter how it happened we’re talking about a very old legend from the old, ancient times. The bull had a very significant place for the Illyrians in the religious-magical sense and even if we don’t have many written data about the Pagan rites of our ancestors, we discovered through archeological findings that they preferred to hang the horns of Bos primigenius at the front of the house which had a magical function to protect the family and give it fertility. Also we shouldn’t forget to mention the traditional custom among Illyrian tribes of offering sacrifice, gift of blood and meat to the gods for a successful harvest of wheat, when they would slaughter a bull during august up on a hill.

Unique Tur  

Other bypasses in the legend itself are evident, namely, as the Arabic mythology claims Bahamut will when judgment day comes be destroyed by its creator i.e. god, to whom this beast is only subjugated. Among the Bosnians it is narrated that judgment day will take place on the day “when Tur shakes his body”, i.e. there are no claims about the classic notion of Judgement day where everything happens by god’s will, which gives us ample space to conclude that Tur holder of the earth is the ruler of the planet and people.

Similarly, while in Arabic mythology the bull Kujuta is depicted with totally white skin in Bosnian mythology he is black, and is truly connected to an actual animal (Bos primigenius) which died out in Europe in the middle ages. The best proof of its presence on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina are toponyms which give a deeper historical connotation to everything. Tur in Bosnian tradition is without a doubt a deity and in that form it is not seen anywhere else on the Balkans, nor in Europe, which in and of itself implicates that we’re talking about an ancient supernatural being. In the past it was assumed that his name Tur comes from the abbreviation of the Latin word Taurus but it is clear that the original name stems from the actual name of the wild bovine Bos primigenius.

Divine plowman Vidasus

In the traditional life of Bosnia and Herzegovina a castrated bull i.e. ox was an integral part of a village household and it replaced the horse, which had a higher market price and that’s why he wasn’t owned by numerous village households. Researching ethnological build and oral tradition of the belief of Bosnian people about the ox it is noticeable that he was treated with care and attention primarily because of the existential but also holly purpose. When the summer plowing begins to the ox which was on the right side people would wrap around his right horn a red knit (thread), a chicken egg would be cracked on his forehead and his neck would be covered with butter. All of these ritual measures were undertaken with the goal of protection from evil and summoning good luck and fertility.

In folk astronomy the constellation out of seven stars so called pleiad is called the Volovi (oxen). It is interesting because the pleiad (Messier 45) is located in the constellation of the bull. Though Wikipedia claims that pleiad is represented in all mythologies from the southern hemisphere it is evident through legends about Tur, but also other folk beliefs and traditions, that we can notice a mythological connection with the pleiad in Bosnian mythology. Segments of the divine cult of Tur are hinted out of the two folk names of the constellations which are located one next to the other and they are Orion, assembly of three stars, which in Bosnia were called Štapovi (sticks) and the already mentioned Volovi (oxen). (2) In the spring, when it is time for sowing, when the Štapovi are visible on the sky, it is a sign that dawn occurred, morning is nearing, and that oxen must be fed and harnessed so they can plow.

Together these two constellations represent the one which operates the oxen i.e. ploughs the land i.e. represents the mythological divine sower, which could be no one else than the Illyrian god Vidasus, known as Žeteoc – the one that reaps (wheat). In addition to that goes the data that the plough was invented by the Illyrians.

Seven oxen – seven stars

According to folk tales from Velika Kladuša in ancient times lived a greedy man which had seven oxen. As he had an uneven number he yearned for another ox in order to have eight of them i.e. to have an even number. One day he remembered that in the neighboring village there was a poor man that owned only one ox. –When he has only one he doesn't need even that one, he concluded and he came up with a plan with his son to go there after midnight and steal the ox. What they conceived off they undertook. When they came half way home some unrest caught the father and he told his son they should stop so they can rest. Seeing a bale of hay close by he ordered him to bring hay and put it into nine small heaps, one next to the other, once this was done he let the stolen ox feast on the hay. But, instead of eating from the first pile the ox hesitated, he sniffed and only stopped at the seventh pile where he started to ear. That horrified the father and he said: “Can you see that, my son, what a sin we made by stealing this ox from that poor man, his curse will follow us up to our seventh generation!”. But, greed in him overcame his fear and he continued his way home. Somehow at that time, since dawn was nearing, the poor man awoke and headed towards the barn to feed the ox but as soon as he entered the barn he had seen that the ox was gone and that someone stole him. From sorrow and pain he started crying and he cursed the thief, let God punish him and take from him what the thief took from this poor man. Soon the father and son, together with the stolen animal, came close to their house. When they came next to the barn, the father was surprised by the silence that he noticed in the barn, he hurried to light a candle. The pale light of the candle shone light on the barn quickly. The barn was completely empty. There were no oxen. The father ran out wildly and he held his head out of torment and pain. He then looked to the sky wanting to wallow to God to what had happened to him and before he opened his mouth he noticed in the sky seven shining stars flickering together and wide eyed he realized that he cannot cry out to god, since he punished him because of his great sin that he did towards that poor man. That’s how, according to folk tales, the constellation of oxen (Plejade) came to be, as a warning to all that you shouldn’t steel from other people especially oxen. (3)


(1) It is interesting to mention that at one time the people from BiH represented the earth as a big foursquare slab, which in the edges on a hair of the bull leaned on four pillars, and it seemed that she might tip over at any moment. But it wouldn’t, the people claimed, since she stood there according to god’s will and mercy. That slab was of an even length and width. Pillars were oily, tall and thin, they were bending, so that it seemed that they might break off at any moment. They were made out of white marble and planted in an unmeasured sea depth, since under that entire slab (earth), an endless sea was located, which cannot be seen since it is underneath us. This is a vast sea and all others are small compared to this one.

(2) In Bosnian love magic a girl, if she is casting a spell with walnuts, looks at the oxen in the sky, since they’re numerous and powerful, and if she wishes to see (dream) her future husband then before going to bed she looks towards the pillars and utters the following: “Illuminate me Žarinko Nasiba, set me on fire Planinko Nasiba, so I can see my future husband. To see him tonight in my dream as in real life, or to see his face, or to hear his name. Until I see him he shouldn't walk nor work!"

(3) Motif of teleportation of a terrestrial occurrence which symbolizes a great sin onto the sky, which represents the worldly stage, is common in Bosnian traditions. Another famous folk tale about divine intervention and public punishment is the one in which god immediately put to death a disobedient son, when he swung his axe towards his mother, wanting to kill her, and his body, together with the axe, god teleported to the surface of the moon, so that it serves as a warning to all people that mothers must be respected.

Aug 20, 2017

Bosnian Stravarke – travelers between two worlds

Lead melting ritual with which, traditionally throughout centuries in Bosnia and Herzegovina, were removed the consequences of magical attacks, spellbound eyes, fear and unexplainable diseases and direct contact with spiritual beings, is one of the most preserved rituals from folk medicine. Analyzing in detail ritual procedures of that fascinating ritual it is easy to notice numerous segments of shamanism to which our ancestors were prone. Observing the practice of several stravarke especially Ajša and Bilka, which inherited their knowledge of healing from certain family members, I witnessed scenes which in a pretty authentic way represent shamanistic practice of our forefathers Illyrians and their animistic cults.

Animism (from the Latin word anima – soul) is the oldest form of human belief and religious consciousness of man which was recorded during the Paleolithic period and signifies belief in the presence of spirits in living and nonliving things and apparitions, and in them, according to the British anthropologist Sir Edward Burnett Tylor, it contains “a minimal definition of religion”. Archaic animistic beliefs that certain ghosts cause diseases among humans and with that damage its inborn connection with nature (harmony), in the earliest age of human presence on earth born a need to communicate with that negative entity, whose presence isn’t clearly defined, i.e. they can be located in anything that surrounds humans.

Individuals who are energy wise and mentally best aligned with the spirit world were traditionally called shamans, and their successors were without any doubt in Bosnia individuals of both sexes which are called stravari and stravarke, for which it is often said that they “possess the power of prayer”. Their ability is manifested in that they can with the power of their will elevate their consciousness onto a higher thought level, in order to comprehend spiritual reference and based on her to undertake a certain ritual of exorcism and curing of spiritual, and sometimes physical ailments. In that above all mystical, but also risky undertaking, the shaman aligns with the energy of the earth, just like individual birds use the power of the wind in order to stay in the air a few hours at a time with minimal usage of their wings.

Studying the practice of stravarka Ajša it is evident that in the beginning of the ritual she is sitting at the table with her face turned towards north and her left hand (fist) she positions in the middle of her forehead while she leaves her right hand free so that she can move the edge of the vessel with water clockwise, or as it is said among the folk “to follow the sun”, almost mechanically, during the utterance of the exorcist formula. All the time while the mystic prayers are being uttered, the stravarka looks with great focus onto the surface of water slowly moving her body left and right. Protection of the forehead with the left hand, actually with closed fingers, is based on the old Illyrian belief that every human in the sky, in the universe, has his or her own star, dwelling of the soul, with which he is connected through the forehead. As stravarka is directly exposed to danger from negative energy in the lead melting ritual she protects her star i.e forehead from its influence since otherwise, Bosnian stravarke claim “if you don’t protect your star you can get mentally ill!”.

Slowly and rhythmically moving her upper body the Bosnian shaman was consciously exposing himself to autohypnosis, while focusing on the surface of the water, known for its characteristic of absorption, and with that it become the medium, through which stravarka penetrates into the invisible world of spirits. Water is a symbol of the mental sphere and as such is an ideal surface on which it is easiest to bring the human mind into a state of stronger or weaker trance. Thereby a great role is played by the exorcist formulas themselves, whose verses are rhyming, and are uttered with a low voice, droningly almost automatically, which is why you need to know them by heart. Sometimes the listener has the impression that stravarka sings the verses due to the rhyme. I’m of the opinion that this magical poetry is the key of leading into a trance since it is known that music, with that poetry, stimulates slow hypnosis of the left side of the brain, the one in charge of inner communication.

Blowing and yawning

Analyzing voodoo rituals energetic hitting on the surface of the drum, singing and ecstatic dance leads to a trance or much more passive ritual of tribe shamans, who alone and with droning beating of the drum, followed by quiet singing of prayers to spirits causes a trance, we can notice a lot of similarities with Bosnian stravarke which instead of a drum uses a vessel with water, over which she slowly moves her body left and right (east-west) and sings verses of the exorcist formula slowly.

While mechanically repeating the text of a formula and slowly moving her body, the stravarka is releasing accumulated energy by blowing in the direction of the water vessel at the end of each repeat. Ritual blowing towards the prop or diseased can be considered as a specific way of imitating divine creation of a man, to whom god, in order to animate the body made out of clay, blow life into it, or even as a transfer of energy which the shaman or stravarka cause in themselves by uttering the magical formula. Blowing in a precisely determined direction, that energy is directed in order to cause a desired effect.

Signs that the stravarka is entering a light form of trance is frequent yawning, which is interrupted by utterance of magical poetry, but professedly it has a strong psychological effect on her and the diseased himself, which is usually sitting next to her. With uncontrollable yawning she stretches her jaw and increases the size of her chest with which she pumps the brain with air which in turn leads to the reduction of its temperature. Similarly, with that physiological phenomenon she expels a certain amount of air from the body, cleanses her, which undoubtedly represents in the magical ritual an exchange of accumulated energy and a release. Yawning is sometimes actually spontaneous and out of control or stravarka but sometimes a ritual habit but it does play an important role in the ritual. We shouldn’t forget to mention that all shamanistic rituals of healing are focused on release of the diseased’ body of one or more negative entities with which she wants to accomplish ectoplasm effect, which is sometimes visible, material, and sometimes fluid. Yawning in this case could be considered as expulsion of hot air, steam, from the body.

Among the folk there is a belief that one person which yawns a lot during the day was a recent victim of someone’s spellbound eyes, and that by yawning the body is signalling that it is under direct attack of negative energy which it wants to release. It is evident that the alleged belief probably stems from shamanism of our forefathers which actually confirms the opinion of stravarke which claims “if that (stravarka) yawns intensively during the exorcist seanse the diseased will be cured quickly”. Even our forefathers the Bogomils considered yawning a physiological phenomenon which releases the soul from suffering, namely, in the middle ages in BiH they believed that the best and luckiest death when the dying yawns three times, before breathing his last breath, since that is a sure sign that the soul will be saved. In that context it is easy to conclude that the gesture of yawning in spiritual interpretation defined by an actuator of release from the presence of the entity or apparition which negatively affects the human body and spirit.    

While in the state of trance the shamans directly or symbolically signalizes i.e. communicates with a spiritual entity and stimulates it for aid. I’m of the opinion that spirits respect individuals which have the ability to enter their world and talk to them. Especially since they have the function of correcting wrongs which are certainly not favorable for the spiritual world, since it is known, that we’re all intertwined and everything that happens in the material world has an effect on the spiritual and vice versa. To us and to the supernatural entities does not fit to spend time in whirlwinds of unharmonious energy. Probably even the spirits suffer from humans themselves and shamanist practice of communication between the two worlds is necessary and crucial for survival, and it is evident that despite technological advancement the need for spirituality will never cease.

In shamanistic healing the goal is for the stravarka, but also the diseased to harmonize with the natural ritual i.e. harmonize with it, since the disease itself or evil that befell him, is the result of this misbalance. That’s why ritual healing are always undertaken around the rise of the sun and in the afternoon, when the sun loses its strength and is nearing setting, alluding to the weakening and disappearance of the negative state. The same principle applies to the moon. To bring oneself into a state of light trance, but also connect to natural forces, stravarka turns her face in the direction of north and uttering verses of the exorcist formula she slowly moves her body left-right i.e. in the direction of east-west, imitating the solar trajectory focusing all the while on the water. Such a position is not accidental, it has its origin in ancient shamanistic beliefs. Namely, in ancient times it was considered that the Northern star represents the centre around which everything revolves which is why this rudiment still present in the practice of Bosnian stravarke. North represents the state before sunrise i.e. before the birth and appearance of light. It symbolizes dawn, time when the power of evil weakens and disappears. Dawn among Bosnian stravarke is considered as a short but very important part “when the night is separated from day”, with which it is alluded on the division of evil (night) from good (day) and release i.e. recovery. Shortly north to the Bosnian stravarke signifies dawn and is a substitute to that part of the day, and it is often less important whether she is performing healing ritual in the morning, around noon, or at night, it is enough to just assume a correct position i.e. that the body and face are turned in that direction.

Mother gave birth, mother healed

During the entire time of the exorcism the diseased is sitting at the table across stravarka quiet, and between them there mustn’t be any items on the surface of the table, in order to not have any physical barriers when transferring magical energy. Similarly, stravarka warns the diseased that while the séance lasts he shouldn’t cross his legs or arms, with which the diseased would block and disable acceptance and flow of positive healthy energy throughout his body. Though not a crucial factor in the healing process, the ritual is consider to be successful if during it the diseased becomes sleepy or even falls asleep, this means that he too is in a light state of sleep or  hypnosis.

Shamanism and cult of healing are deeply influenced by the cult of the Grand Mother “since who will take better care of the healing of their children than the mother”. In a nice and poetic way this reveals the beginning of the most famous Bosnian exorcist formula :” Mother gave birth, mother healed…” When pouring molten lead into the water into the vessel of water, which she holds over the diseased, stravarka looks through the window, in the direction of a hill. This is no accident, since during the time of the Illyrians and Bogomils hills were holly places, dedicated to various deities, especially ones that bring luck, health and fertility “since they’re trapped and full, they resemble a pregnant woman’s stomach”, which in the best possible way reveals the connection with the Grand Mother.

Aug 19, 2017

Loyal as a dog

Unbreakable bond between a man and a dog stems from the earliest times of human civilization and represents one of the most stable relationships a man managed to establish throughout the ages with a representative of the animal world. That’s why in Bosnian traditional life an important role is given to a dog, namely of guarding the house. He is, like a cow, rightfully thought of as a member of the family to whom special attention was given.

From the period of our forefathers the Bogomil it is believed that inside of a dog can be a human soul which is why people were told to be considerate towards a dog. Otherwise the person that acted badly toward a dog could commit a great sin. In folk stories which was recorded by Antun Hangi, writing about the life and customs of Bosnian people, it was written that a tradesman drank coffee in the morning with his wife before going to town. The wife told him that she will be washing laundry the entire day, which accumulated over the past days, so she will not have time to eat lunch but she will await him with dinner. He said his goodbye and left for work. Walking towards the town the tradesman regularly passed a graveyard, and that morning he heard a mysterious voice which spoke to someone:

-“Hey my death brother can you hear me? To those words another mysterious voice spoke up – “I hear you my death brother! – “Do you know that we will be joined today by a woman and she will become our death sister?” the voice continued. –“I didn’t hear, what will happen?”, the other voice asked. – “She will heat water on a fire to wash laundry and by accident she will upturn the pot, spill hot water on herself and die from burns.”

Those words worried the tradesman since he thought that woman could be his wife, since she was getting ready to wash laundry at home. Engulfed in his worries he headed towards town but the uneasy feeling didn’t leave him the entire day. At night he closed down the shop and hurried back home. Passing by the same graveyard he was again disturbed by the same voices. –“Hey my death brother, that woman will not come and become our death sister”. – “Why is that?” the other voice asked – “Today close to her house a dog gave birth, she fed the dog and for that good deed, God prolonged her life”.

Those words calmed the tradesman but he still hurried home. Arriving home he found his wife alive and well resting on the couch. Seeing him on the door she immediately told him that dinner is still not ready she was waiting for the bread to be baked. That confused him since he saw a fresh bread on the table this morning so he asked what had happened to it. She replied that a dog gave birth behind their house and she didn’t have anything else to give the dog so she gave her that bread. Tradesman smiled at this statement realizing that the dead at the graveyard spoke about his wife, he commended her for the good deed not revealing what he had heard during the day.

Healing with a dog’s skull

A dog is a well represented animal in Bosnian folk beliefs and stories and therefore it deserves special attention from us. For a dog’s skull it was believed that it is a great accumulator and transferor of positive healing energy which is why in the past stravarke repeated magical formulas and blew into the skull and even left them in the house of the diseases so that he can use it while they’re not around. The skull would be placed on the aching place where it, allegedly, absorbed negative energy (pain) inside of itself. Once “programmed” in this manner the skull could be used for a long time.

About specific possibilities of transfer of negative energy from a human onto a dog is witnessed by a traditional custom of throwing water onto a dog, water which was used to wash the face of a child afflicted by evil eyes. Stravarka Hasnija claims that the ritual of lead melting can be done from a distance, kilometers away from the diseases, but only if at the end of the third lead melting the water from the bowl is thrown onto three dogs “since there is nothing more loyal and stronger than a dog!”. Legendary reliability of a human towards this dog is demonstrated in fortunetelling especially coffee divination where the dog is a classic symbol of loyalty and friendship. And that wonderful trait which characterizes this animal is so appreciated among the Bosnian people that it became the theme of numerous legends.

In a short story from Velika Kladuša it is said that at one time a husband came home drunk and angry so he took out his anger first on the wife and then on his dog, which came running and barking nervous from what he had seen. That distracted the husband which the wife used to run to the neighbors to get help. Furious because of this he started hitting the dog who somehow ran away from him onto the nearby meadow. There the dog lay and with a sad look, gazed onto the house. During that time the wife informed the police which came 10 minutes latter to arrest the husband. While putting on his shoes he saw his wife smiling slyly because she is sending him to prison, the he saw his dog in the meadow whom he called, the dog came running immediately happy that his owner called him. –“I have hit you like my wife, but unlike her which went to the police, you forgave me, you waited for me to call you and you were immediately there”, he said stroking the dog’s head, -“now I know that there is nothing more loyal and committed than a dog!”

Like a dog and a cat

In another story which speaks about the continuous animosity of a dog and a cat, the eternal loyalty of a dog towards a human was confirmed, from the beginning of the world until its end, and it starts like this:

During judgment day everything alive will turn against humans and will accuse him in front of God for the things that he is guilty of and things not guilty of. That animosity will not last longer than 15 minutes. The first animal that will stand to accuse humans will be the cat. The one that paid the most attention and care to her. She will especially be angry at the housewife. In those moments, if it weren’t for a dog, the faith of the housewife would be bad, since the cat with its cunning would persuade everyone by her lies. Whatever the cat thins of at that moment, whether true or false, she will say, and all curses against the poor housewife she will use; that she beat her and harassed her, that she was constantly beaten in the house and that she was more hungry than full. To all those lies and accusations the dog will stand up bravely and criticize and publicly denounce her lies. Negating her accusations the dog will be restless and will constantly interrupt her lies by saying: “How can you say something like that?”, he will continue, - if I, who was always near the door looking what leftovers I’ll get am not complaining, I was always happy and content, how can you complain who was constantly at the table. You’re not just unjust but ungrateful as well! If it were only true what you’re saying!”

Things which the dog says against the cat will anger the cat mightily, since she will be depicted to god as a liar, that’s why she will come after the dog but cunningly and slyly, not giving up the act of the victim: “Oh yes, absolutely, it is as you say! You aren’t even aware of your suffering, and how you lived among humans let alone to know something of other’s problems. How it was for me you have no idea, and it’s not for you to know! You take care of yourself, don’t worry about me. Let everyone fight for the truth and justice. I’m not interested in other’s issues and lives. It is easy for you to say what you will. You haven’t suffered as I have. They threw bones for you behind the door so you can eat them, they didn’t even see me at the table!

-“Whose fault is it that they didn’t see you? the dog said in an instant, “why did you hide under the table, as a mangy goat. You should have stayed near the door no one prevented you. You wanted special status, you thought you were a lady, and your pretentiousness didn’t allow you to wait near the door. You would shame your honor and reputation, everything that you thought belonged to you!”

-“Go, go you devil! Who asked you for your opinion?” the now nervous cat replied, you are no one! You would only argue and tell lies, you aren’t interested in anything else! You’re truly bad luck, there is no reasoning or compromise with you. Not even ten gypsies could beat you in an argument let alone myself, a helpless cat!.

With that the lawsuit would end. The housewife would be saved, and the cat would quiet down and recede, since she will realize that her lies are not working and that she may have overdone her acting. But enmity between the cat and the dog will last forever. They will hate one another, as they say like a cat and a dog. They will never agree and befriend each other. Even if they did It would be only ostensibly, unstable and short lived.