Sep 20, 2017

Tako ti je pao grah!

Piše: Raif Esmerović

Odavno je javna tajna kako bosanski narod najviše vjeruje u „otvaranje zvijezde“  i  gatanje u grah, kao dvije provjerene vještine pronicanja u ljudsku sudbinu. Iako praksu ogledanja u grah nailazimo kod Turaka, Kazahstanaca, Rusa, Bugara, Rumuna i Mađara bez imalo sumnje bosanski način proricanja je najtemeljitiji i najpouzdaniji.

Bacanje graha, ogledanje u grah ili falanje u grah vrlo je stara divinacijska metoda koja, prema nekim antropolozima, ima svoje izvorište u šamanističkoj praksi naših predaka Ilira koji su običavali pri ozbiljnoj  životnoj nedoumici bacati male ptičije kosti iz ruke na pod, kako bi pri njihovom padu i položaju otkrivali sudbinske odgovore. A da je upravo tako dokazuje nam danas rjetka, ali još uvijek donekle prisutna, praksa pojedinih faladžinica koje držeći  41 zrno graha u desnoj ruci iznad njega prouče šapatom odgovarajuće molitve i riječi, namjene na pitanje, i onda ga doslovno laganim pokretom bace ispred sebe na površinu stola. Zatim bi po oblicima koji su nastali od raspršenih zrna tumačile sudbinu i pronalazile odgovor na postavljeno pitanje.

Kako je i logično falanjem u grah bave se uspješno isključivo oni koji su nadareni  jer u protivnom  trud im je uzaludan. Znanje o pronicanju u buduće događaje u tradicionalnom smislu prenosi sa starije generacije na mlađu tojest sa jednog člana familije na drugog, što je svakako najbolji način, ukoliko se „primi“ na nasljednika, da se kroz vrijeme obogati novim iskustvom  i spoznajama. No, često se dogodi  da duh proricanja sa smrću faladžije napusti tu kuću i pojavi se kilometrima dalje u nekom novom mjestu i familiji. Takvih primjera ima na desetine a u narodu se misli kako je dar gatanja, poput i same sudbine, jako hirovit te ukoliko mu se ne ukazuje dovoljno pažnje i poštovanja on može napustiti svoga vlasnika čak i prije njegove smrti.  Takvu tvrdnju narod potkrijepljuje stvarnim primjerima pojedinih faladžija koji su bili poznati i na glasu u svom mjestu a koji su doslovno preko noći izgubili sposobnost predviđanja bez ikakvog očitog  razloga. 

Još i danas se vjeruje kako dar proricanja dolazi preko snova usljed intervencije neke više sile. Tom prilikom odabrana osoba doživi spavajući nadnaravno iskustvo tako što u snu vidi  jednu ili više misterioznih osoba (duša) koje je obdare darom gatanja i zaduže da njime pomaže narodu. Obično se spominje intervencija hazreti Fatime, čiji dolazak u san nekom pojedincu iz korijena mjenja njegov dotadašnji život. Međutim, koliko god to nama djelovalo mistično i fascinantno neophodno je za naglasiti kako su takvi slučajevi dosta rjetki ali to ipak nimalo ne spriječava razne šarlatane i varalice da tvrde kako su postali vidoviti jer im je divinacijsko znanje predočeno u snu –„ došlo na san“- od strane hazreti Fatime ili neke druge svete duše. 

Naime, prema tradicionalnoj predaji u BiH narod vjeruje kako se hazreti Fatima, kćerka božijeg poslanika Muhameda, bavila falanjem u grah. Narod pripovijeda da je bila jako uspješna u tome ali je budno pazila da njen otac za to ne sazna. No, jednog dana, baš u trenutku dok je tumačila zrna graha nekoj svojoj prijateljici, u sobu je iznenada banuo sam božiji poslanik i ona je u panici i žurbi uspjela tek polovinu zrna sakriti pod skute haljine dok je druga polovina ostala na podu. Kako je Muhamed iznimno volio svoju ćerku nije se mogao ljutiti na nju zbog  faletanja pa joj je samo sa osmjehom na licu rekao: „Kćeri moja mila, polovina ti od toga bila istina a polovina laž!“, pa od tog vremena narod  tvrdo vjeruje kako u svakom gatanju ima pola laži a pola istine. 

U svom nastavku predaja tvrdi kako Fatimi otac nije zabranio daljnje bavljenje ovom mantičkom vještinom pa se na temelju toga ukorijenilo vjerovanje da istihara, obred snoviđenja, i falanje u grah nisu haram (grijeh) kao ostala proricanja a sama hazreti Fatime se prometnula u svojevrsnu zaštitnicu, ali i spiritualnu majku, svih onih koji bacaju grah te narodnih iscjeliteljica - stravarki. Primjeri  te prakse su dobro poznati, naime, pravilo je da se prije svakog falanja zrna skupe u desnu ruku i iznad njih prouči prva kur'anska molitva te obavezno posveti pred dušu hazreti Fatime, a potom se u njeno ime namjeni  (nanijeti) proricanje i tek onda počinje sa redanjem zrna u tri reda. No, tu ne prestaje dominantan uticaj  poslanikove kćerke već je po njoj nazvan najpovoljniji od sviju falova (skup zrna) koji formiraju  tri murada tojest 333 – Fatimin fal, simbol ljubavi i braka. Faletarke ponekad u tome zbiru traže odgovor na neko svoje pitanje pa namjenju grah ovako : „Ako će se ostvariti ljubavna veza između te i tog neka izađe Fatimin fal“. Sama riječ fal dolazi iz perzijskog  jezika i znači slutnja ili nagovještaj.

Crvena krpa protiv uroka

Gledalice uvijek prije nego li će započeti sa ogledanjem sugeriraju klijentu da im odmah da novac određen za gatanje, koji se daje po principu „od srca i koliko se može“, kako bi ga tri puta desnom rukom pronijele oko graha u pravcu kazaljke na satu, ili kako se to popularnije kaže „za Suncem“, objašnjavajući da je to za nafaku ali i da se grah bolje „otvori“. Novac bi nakon toga pospremile u svoj džep ili ispod koljena. Ovom  metodom posebno su se voljele u prošlosti služiti Romkinje  iz sasvim očitog razloga. Naime,  ukoliko bi u bačenom grahu vidjele neku povoljnu kombinaciju poput Fatiminog fala  to im je bila idealna prilika da ušićare još ponešto novca. Obično bi blago povišenim glasom govorile kako klijent treba dati još šta „za sreću“ da bi mu ono što vide bilo na veselje i radost. Među vijestima (muštulucima) koje su se dodatno plaćale bile su one o važnijim životnim događajima  poput rođenja djeteta, udaje, ženidbe, dolaska nekog iz daleka, pomirenja partnera, pobjede na sudu, izlaska iz zatvora, itd.

Bez svake sumnje svijet falanja je mističan i u njemu vladaju šarolika pravila kojima se često više niti ne može proniknuti prava simbolika i značenje. No, unatoč tome ona opstaju i odoljevaju zubu vremena. Jedno od tvrdih pravila u faletarskoj praksi  jeste tabu kojeg se moraju pridržavati kako faladžija/faladžinica tako i klijent.  Naime, niti jedna strana ne smije drugim licima otkrivati ono što je viđeno i priopćeno iz graha jer se u protivnom neće ispuniti. Smatra se da to vjerovanje počiva na strahu i oprezu od uroka koji vječito na krilima ljubomore i zlih misli atakuje na ljudsku sreću i narušava čovjekovu sudbinu.Tek kada se odfalano ispuni o proricanom se smije javno pričati. 

Zbog toga je nezaobilazni  rekvizit svakog falanja u grah crvena krpa na kojoj se postavljaju i redaju zrna, čija je primarna uloga da služi kao provjerena protumjera bilo kakvom eventualnom uricanju. Poznato je da je crvena boja kod Ilira imala skoro sveto mjesto, jer je smatrana  idealnom zaštitom od zlog pogleda pa su svi naši predaci, od najmlađeg do najstarijeg, običavali nositi zavezanu crvenu vrpcu oko ruke ili vrata kao hamajliju protiv bolesti i zla odnosno svega onoga što može čovjeku uzokovati  nečiji zli pogled. Ostaci tog  drevnog vjerovanja uočljivi su još i danas  a posebno u proricanju koje vrvi od raznoraznih fatalističkih vjerovanja. Ustaljeni  je običaj  kada se pojavi u grahu devet hatmi da gledalica sva zrna pokrije crvenom krpom i na nju stavi oba dlana te prouči suru Ihlas, kako bi time odagnula urok  i omogućila sigurno ispunjenje proročanstva.


Pravo i lažno bacanje graha

Kada se govori i piše o bosanskoj praksi favomancije  važno je za naglasiti kako u istinsko proricanje nipošto ne spada ono površno takozvano djevojačko falanje u grah  koje se sastoji od vrlo kratkih i krajnje neozbiljnih tumačenja zasnovanih na jednostavnom pravilu po kojem jedno zrno predstavlja glas ili vijest, dva zrna stope, tri radost a četiri teret. Još neozbiljnije i potpuno nakaradno je „proricanje“ po forumima kada se postiraju brojevi i po njima „tumači“ grah pa sve više liči na numerologiju nego li bilo šta drugo.

U pravom domaćem falanju u grah zrna i redovi se tabire (tumače) na krajnje smislen i tradicionalan način poznat samo onima koji imaju dar za tu vrstu divinacije. Tom prilikom faladžija ili faletarka mogu otkriti niz zanimljivih pojedinosti od boje kose, visine, karakternih crta neke osobe do uticaja crne magije, odlaska na sud ili u bolnicu, sklapanja braka ili razvoda, operacije, sudske vijesti, mrtvačkih nosila (smrti), itd. U svom izlaganju oni mogu detaljno precizirati i vrijeme kada će se neki događaj desiti pošto pojedini  falovi određuje vremenski period. Za svaku faletarku iznimno je bitno da zna ispravno protumačiti ono što vidi ispred sebe jer često oni naoko pozitivni falovi poput 333 ili devet hatmi (četvorki) mogu biti nepovoljni. Sve ovisi o tome šta ih prati i na koji su način zrna okrenuta, tvrde faladžije i faletarke. Zbog svoje kompleksnosti i preciznosti  ogledanje u grah je na cijeni što potvrđuje i ustaljena izjava „Tako ti je pao grah!“ u kojoj se nazrijeva duboko vjerovanje bosanskog naroda kako grah može otkriti ono što je suđeno svakom pojedincu.

Po tvrdnji gledalica i sam grah ima svoju narav pa ponekad odbija da budeposlušan. Takvo stanje se obično prokomentariše  izjavom“ kako se grah uzlagao!“ ili „grah se umorio!“. Da se tome stane na kraj iz mnoštva zrna uzme se jedno i zamjeni sa novim, ili se pak to zrno stavi pod koljeno „da se odmori“ pa onda, nakon nekoliko minuta, opet vrati nazad u gomilu i nastavi sa ogledanjem. Za kraj treba kazati iako je ova mantička vještina magnetična i naprosto budi radoznalost faletarke upozoravaju da nije dobro često bacati grah te da uvijek treba prvo sačekati da se bar jedan dio odfalanog ispuni do novog  gatanja. U protivnom bi se mogla zbuniti sama sudbina i otjerati sreća iz života.

Sep 14, 2017

Folk medicine – how to cure headaches

Headache or cephalagia is a symptom of numerous diseases which affect the head, and sometimes the neck. Headache is one of the most frequent symptoms, and can encompass a wide span of diseases from harmless levels which require no treatment, up to the ones which are life threatening. In folk medicine of BiH there are numerous empirical methods of diagnostics and cure of this disease. According to the opinion of the majority it often comes about as a side effect of too much worry, fighting, hangovers, hunger, sorrow, etc. Draft is especially dangerous about which older women still today warn the younger generations to not go outside when they wash their hair since “draft will hit them” and their head will hurt. There is a whole line of superstitions about the origin of this disease and the most interesting one comes from Tešanj which suggests that women shouldn’t observe men when they gather in front of mosques on Friday, since they could get a headache. However people were most worried about having headaches on Tuesdays, since as people believe, whoever gets a headache on Tuesday will have one the entire week. Sickness of the head comes from supernatural causes such as "Ograma", curse or spellbound eyes.

According to intensity and the length it is divided into short, passing and long lasting headache. Among the folk it is believed that the worst headache is the one, a person goes to sleep with and awakes with it as well, also the one that forces people to puke is also worrisome. Curative action often included bloodletting (cupping/hidžama), because of the belief that “unhealthy blood” can cause a lot of difficulties in the organism, especially headaches, also curative processes included placing linings on the head, resting and taking pills. Washing the face with water as well as placing cold lining behind the neck or on the forehead, positively affects the soothing of the pain. Of course we shouldn’t disregard those curative processes whose result is for many relative, but despite that, they found their space in folk medicine. Though many enumerated procedures could be characterised as a mixture of superstition and placebo effect, we cannot even today claim that they’re exclusively that, since in each one of them there exists a small percentage of empirical testing and effectiveness. For example, many persons which have issues with this ailment are of the opinion that their headache will pass if they drink a bitter, stronger cup of coffee without sugar. Caffeine has a strong effect against pain and it is proven that it can cure headaches in numerous people, while in others, which react differently to it, it can strengthen or even cause headaches.

In the book “Something about the curing of Bosniacs in BiH” the following recipes are mentioned which our forefathers used in the past:

As soon as you get a headache, find three tops of nettle, and place them under your hat.

Cut a potato in pieces, and place them on your forehead.

Fumigate yourself on new cotton (Baumwolle).

Similarly beneficial is if you cover your head with burdock leaves (Petasites hybridus).

The best cure for headaches, is if one cuts one onion into pieces and spread the leftovers of coffee on them and place that mixture on the forehead.



Among our folk headache was traditionally considered a “female disease” and in accordance with that the belief that it affects the weaker gender in more percentage was widespread. Female complaints about headaches probably supported this as well as their various forms of curing from the home pharmacy such as placing pieces of potato or cucumber onto the forehead to “draw out” the disease. It was especially believed that cucumber has a specific bitterness from both sides of the fruit, and those pieces were cut and placed on the forehead because of the opinion that this bitterness will have a soothing effect through the skin on the head. Because of the traditional belief in south-western BiH that cucumbers were sown on Thursdays will be bitterer, than the ones sown on other days, they resulted in them being more sought when it came to curing headaches.

Area of the temple is considered to be the place on the face through which one can best act on pain in the head, and since the old days pieces of potato were placed on it to absorb pain. Numerous stravarke advise that this place before placing potato or cucumber should be massaged with the index finger and forefinger from both sides of the head, and with that the eyes should be raised towards the sky or ceiling. If someone has a strong headache, then individual stravarke suggest that the diseased should tighten his right hand and left leg, in order for the headache to pass sooner.

When only half of the head hurts

People are of the opinion that the head hurts least because of an internal issue, instead it occurs due to a specific supernatural cause such as a curse, ograma, worry or fear i.e. shock. If someone has frequent headaches around noon or sunset, that night it was suspected that there was a supernatural cause to it. Even today we come across a belief that someone can have a headache if someone from the family curses them. The best way to remove such issues was to give alms. Village women are particularly prone to this, they have a custom of passing the alms around their head “circling as the sun”, with a prayer, with the hope that it will cure their headache or insomnia.

Human being in and of itself and its structure is prone to effects of various occurrences and energies. In Bosnian occultism our body is divided into four elements based on all of these ideas: feet and legs, but also arms, belong to the element of earth, the middle of the body from the neck to the stomach, and backside and back are elements where fire and water intertwine, while the head is dominated by air. All four elements together unified together represent the fifth element – soul i.e. life. As everything else in the universe the elements themselves are of a dualistic nature and as such they can affect humans in a positive or negative way. Winds, whether faery or Jinn winds, belong to the element of air and are known to be completely disastrous to the human head, causing headaches, neck stiffness, pain in the eyes, etc. Also, for curses we can conclude that they belong to the negative manifestation of air since they come from the head i.e. eyes and mouth (tongue).

Common opinion of Imam’s which perform curing as well as of stravarke is that the best results are achieved by treating the headache using exorcist formulas, whether magical words, oral magic, or transfer of magical words onto paper – talisman science.

Dobarac is the name for a specific type of headache which can be recognised by having only one half of the head hurt. It is cured by exorcist formulas, throwing hot coal or molten lead into water as well as amulets. It is believed that in curing dobarac the best results are achieved by stravarke in comparison to Imam-healers or official doctors. It is good to undertake the ritual of healing 24 hours from the appearance of the headache, taking care that one tries to visit the stravarka in the afternoon, behind prayers, when the sun is heading west, so that the ailments can follow. Stravarka for the needs of the ritual uses four stones and this formula:

I'm not calling you,
but wind and dobarac behind you.
Let it exit the fat into the bones,
from the bones into the flesh,
from the flesh into the skin,
from the skin into the hair,
from the hair into hali mountain;
where the rooster doesn't crow,
where the call to prayer is not heard,
where the cow doesn't give birth,
where the mare doesn't foal,
where the sheep doesn't give birth.
Come, this trouble, around the world,
as a bee on the flower and world!
Kozalac - dobarac, ijed - med!
Veledalin amin.

If the headache occurred due to curses then the person will feel sleepy, apathy and loss of appetite. As individual exorcist formulas (basme) depicted that curses are a disease of nine customs or manifestations out of which one is the headache.

From nine curses and diseases
on N (name) eight,
from eight seven,
from seven six,
from six five,
from five four,
from four three,
from three two,
from two one and from one none!
What is left
will be carried away by a fly into dark
and desolate areas;
where the crow doesn’t crow,
cat doesn’t meow,
where a feast is served to the demons.
There, this disease should await judgement day,
with my formula and god’s will!

Stravarka repeats the basma three times above water and each time she extinguishes three embers. The diseased washes his face with that water, drinks it from three different sides of the vessel, always turning the vessel towards the trajectory of the sun, and the rest is spilled under a sapling. Embers are collected from the bottom of the vessel and is taken outside, when she goes for a walk, so that she can put them in nine holes or cracks in the earth which she accidentally comes across while walking.

The diseased could on his own perform a less demanding ritual for neutralising headaches such as the one with the most favourite plant among the Bosnian people – rue. The procedure is magical i.e. exorcist and is based on the fact that the person which suffers from headaches inside the vessel throws three stems of rue (Ruta graveolens) and repeats this exorcist formula three times and blows into the water:

Holly rue, my head hurts,
I admit to you everything you know about me
but please, all curses from me
pain and ograme, remove from me
with god’s will and my formula.

Diseased uses the water to wash his face, it can be used for several days.

Bosnian Imam’s write various forms of amulets for headaches, among the most interesting ones is the one on the leaf of Oman (Inula helenium) on which seven sawakita are written, letters which are not in the first prayer in the Qur’an, that leaf is placed in the pillow on which the diseased sleeps. Besides, often the Imam places the first parts of the prayer from the 19th and 26th chapter of the Qur’an. If the man has headaches he goes to see an Imam which writes and gives him an inscription with the directions that he should carry it sown inside a hat. In certain parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina headaches are cured by taking from the mosque (minaret) spider hairs and sow them inside a hat.

Lead as a cure

Demon gathering or faery ones from the old days were known as energy whirlwinds full of negative energy which if it comes into contact with the human body can cause a host of physical and mental issues. People believe that spiritual beings, if they’re disturbed in any way, can “pierce” with their gaze human aura and harm it. Encounter with demons and faeries is called ograma and is considered to be another type of supernatural danger which can cause among humans symptoms similar to spellbound eyes, among which constant headache was especially pronounced followed by weakness of the body. If consequences of such an encounter would be cured by an Imam then he would write three amulets; first talisman would be submerged into a bottle of water, which the diseased person would drink, the second into a bucket with bathing water. Third inscription in the form of an amulet the diseased carries with him, usually around the neck underneath the clothes. Help was also sought from stravarka which performed a lead melting ritual, and while it is being molten in a spoon on a fire, with a low voice she utters:

Nine faeries flew,
from nine clouds,
from nine mountains,
from nine forests,
from nine seas,
from nine meadows,
from nine crossroads,
from nine streams,
from nine rocks,
from nine rue plants,
they sang along the way,
danced in circles,
their path crossed by N. (name sickness person),
he angered the faeries.
They hit him with their arrows in the head,
in the heart, in the legs,
they floored him completely,
N. got sick.
N. yelled: “Help me Mujo, help me Halil,
I’m shot by faeries!”
When the faeries heard this,
each of them took out their arrow out of fear, N. was cured.
Out of nine faeries and arrows,
with my formula and god’s will,
only eight remained on N.,
out of eight only seven remained,
out of seven only six remained,
out of six only five remained,
out of five only four remained,
out of four only three remained,
out of three only two remained,
out of two only one remained,
out of one none remained.
By my hand,
formula and lead – good deed,
and from god salvation,
peace and cure, amen!




In rural areas lead melting ritual above a handkerchief was often practiced. If a woman would often have headaches she would send to by her child a handkerchief to a local stravarka so that she can melt lead above it. Stravarka would fold the scarf so that it gets a form of a triangle and she would place a vessel with water on it. While melting lead she would move the vessel each time down the handkerchief taking care that the last, third time, is placed on the end itself. The woman would carry the scarf on her head for three days at least, until her headache subsides.

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)

Note

(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.

Jul 22, 2017

Božanski bik Tur

 Bik je od početka ljudske povijesti sveta životinja koja je zbog svoje fizičke snage i impozantog izgleda dio mnogih mitoloških predaja, legendi i kultova. Među najstarijim mitovima gdje se on navodi locirana je Mesopotamija i predaja o božanstvu Gugalanni, poznatijem kao Nebeski Bik ili Bik sa Neba. Gugalanna je bio prvi muž Ereshkigala, božanstva podzemlja, mračnog svijeta bez svjetlosti. Njega su Bogovi poslali da se osveti Gilgamešu zbog toga što je odbio seksualni poziv boginje Inanne. Tom prilikom Nebeski Bik, čiji udarac nogom izaziva zemljotres, poražen je i ubijen te raskomadan od strane Gilgameša i njegovog pratioca Enkidua.

Na Bliskom istoku religijski pojam ubijanja bika je dosta čest i nalazimo ga i u predaji o genezi uobličene u perzijskom bogu Mitri, od čijeg je opisa rođenja i života nastala mitološka predaja o Isusu, koji lovi i ubija divljeg bika. Iz tijela mrtve životinje nikle su biljke, od kostiju postalo je žito a iz krvi vinova loza. Tada se stvaraju i prvi ljudi.

Bik i nakon pojave islama na ovom području ne gubi svoju božansku osobnost što se najbolje može argumentirati arapskim mitom, ili bolje rečeno kozmologijskom predstavom, o bijelom biku Kujuti koji stoji na glavi strašne zvijeri Bahamut i drži zemaljsku kuglu na svojim leđima.

Bahamut ili Behemoth naziv je za mitološku divovsku ribu koja u arapskoj kozmologiji predstavlja oslonac same planete Zemlje, i za nju mitologija tvrdi da ima mnogo očiju, ušiju, noseva i jezika po sebi. Pojedini mitovi govore kako umjesto riblje ima glavu slona ili nilskog konja, a u nekim verzijama Bahamut je zapravo morski zmaj sa oštrim zubima i udovima. Bahamut na svom snažnom tijelu drži svih sedam sfera koja u arapskoj mitologiji čine cjelokupni univerzum.



Na Bahamatu, odnosno na njegovoj glavi, pozicioniran je bik po imenu Kujuta, koji na svojim leđima nosi planinu od rubina. Na vrhu te neobične planine melek drži sedam slojeva zemlje. Alternativno, po leđima Bahamuta je zapravo površina od pijeska. Kujuta stoji na tom pijesku, a planina koju nosi na leđima ima u sebi ogromni ocean usred kojeg pluta Zemlja. Ispod Bahamuta se nalazi mračni i tajanstveni predio ispunjen maglom i vodom. Neki mitološki podaci tvrde kako ispod te tamne sfere postoji vatreni svijet u kojem obitava zmija po imenu Falak.

Bahamut je originalno mitološko stvorenje arapske mitologije, podaci o njemu se pojavljuju u kosmografskim tomovima koji datiraju iz 1291. Sam naziv na arapskom znači „zvijer“. O njemu je posebno pisao drevni arapski historičar Ibn al-Wardi, a spominje se i u Hiljadu i jednoj noći gdje se navodi priča o čovjeku po imenu Isa koji vidjevši Bahamuta od šoka i straha gubi svijest. Kada se probudi Allah ga pita da li je vidio veliku ribu. Isa odgovara da je vidio kako na glavi ribe stoji bik. Židovi su ovo mitološko stvorenje, poput mnogih drugih religijsko-mitoloških segmenata, asimilirali u svoje mitske predaje.


Arapski Kujuta i bosanski Tur


Pojedini segmenti prezentirane legende imaju dodirnih tačaka sa bosanskim mitom o gigantskom biku Turu, koji na svojim leđima nosi planetu Zemlju, i od čije volje ovisi njena ali i sudbina svih ljudi. Generalno, predaja o Turu je kratka i nema puno detalja koji bi otkrili nešto više o široj predstavi bosanske kozmologije a jedini izuzetak čini Rogatica. Naime, u tom dijelu Bosne se vjerovalo kako ispod zemlje postoji nepregledno more, na njegovoj površini pliva jedna velika riba, na ribi stoji bik a na njemu Zemlja. Kad taj bik pomjeri samo malo jednim uhom, zemlja se zatrese, a kada bi pomaknuo nogom ili čime drugim, sva bi se zemlja u more prevrnula, ali je, vjerovalo se, Allah stvorio jednu mušicu koja stalno oblijeće oko očiju tog bika i on ima od nje toliki strah da se ne smije niti pomjeriti sa mjesta.(1)

Kako kod Turaka nema zabilježene legende niti o Bahamotu niti Turu, može se zaključiti da nije bilo prenošenja mita tokom osmanlijske okupacije BiH već da je on očito rudiment nekog drevnog paganskog kulta koji su baštinili pojedini mediteranski narodi, a među njima i Iliri. Postoji logična mogučnost da su ilirski vojnici službujući u Rimskom carstvu prenijeli legendu o Turu na područje Sirije i dalje, ili obrnuto, usvojili je i donijeli na Balkan. No, kako god bilo riječ je o vrlo staroj legendi iz drevnih, antičkih vremena.

Bik je za Ilire imao vrlo značajno mjesto u religijsko-magijskom smislu te iako nemamo puno pisanih podataka o paganskim obredima naših predaka otkriveno je kroz arheološka nalazišta da su običavali vješati rogove Bos primigeniusa na začelje kuće što je imalo magijsku funkciju da štiti familiju i podari joj plodnost. Također ne treba zaboraviti navesti niti tradicionalan običaj kod ilirskih plemena prinošenja žrtve, dara u krvi i mesu Bogovima za uspješnu žetvu pšenice, kada se na nekom brdu početkom augusta klao bik.


Jedinstveni Tur

Evidentna su i druga mimoilaženja u samoj legendi, naime, kako tvrdi arapska mitologija Bahamut će kada bude Smak svijeta biti uništen od strane svoga kreatora odnosno Boga, kojemu je jedina ta zvijer potčinjena. Kod Bošnjaka se pripovijeda kako će se kijamet desiti onoga dana "kada Tur zatrese svoje tijelo", odnosno nema nikakvih navoda o klasičnoj predstavi Smaka svijeta gdje se sve odigrava Božijom voljom, što nam daje dovoljno prostora za zaključak kako je Tur zemljodržac gospodar planete i ljudi.

Isto tako, dok se u arapskoj mitologiji bik Kujuta prikazuje potpuno bijele kože u bosanskoj mitologiji on je crne boje, i svakako je povezan sa stvarnom životinjom (Bos primigenius) koja je izumrla na tlu Europe u srednjem vijeku. Najbolji dokaz njegove prisutnosti na području Bosne i Hercegovine su toponimi koji svemu daju dublju historijsku konotaciju.

Tur je u bosanskoj predaji bez imalo sumnje božanstvo i u tom obliku ne susreće se nigdje drugdje na Balkanu, niti u Europi, što samo po sebi dovoljno implicira kako je riječ o drevnom nadnaravnom biću. Prije se pretpostavljalo da njegov naziv Tur dolazi od skraćenice latinske riječi taurus no jasno je da izvorno porijeklo proizlazi od stvarnog imena divljeg goveda Bos primigenius.


Božanski Orač Vidasus

U tradicionalnom životu Bosne i Hercegovine kastrirani bik tojest vol bio je sastavni dio seoskog domaćinstva i zamjenjivao je konja, koji je imao višu tržišnu cijenu i zbog toga nije mogao biti u vlasništvu većine seoskih domaćinstava. Istražujući kroz etnološku građu i usmenu predaju vjerovanja bosanskog naroda o volu primjetno je kako se prema njemu odnosilo sa pažnjom i brigom prvenstveno zbog egzistencijalne ali i svete svrhe. Kada započne proljetno oranje zemlje volu koji se nalazio sa desne strane omotavalo se oko desnog roga crveno pletivo (niti), od čelo bi mu se razbilo kokošije jaje a vrat bi mu se namazao maslom. Sve te ritualne mjere poduzimale su se u svrhu zaštite od zla i prizivanju sreće i plodnosti.

U narodnoj astronomiji sazviježde od sedam zvijezda takozvane Plejade naziva se Volovi. To je interesantno i zbog toga što se Plejade (Messier 45) nalaze u sazviježđu Bika. Iako wikipedia tvrdi kako su Plejade zastupljene u svim mitologijama sjeverne polutke izvjesno je da se kroz legendu o Turu, ali i druga narodna predanja i vjerovanja, može nazrijeti mitološka poveznica sa Plejadama i u bosanskoj mitologiji.

Segmenti kulta božanskog bika Tura naslućuju se upravo iz dva narodna naziva sazviježđa koja se nalaze jedan uz drugi a to su Orion, skup od tri zvijezde, koje se u Bosni naziva Štapovi, i već pominjanih Volova.  U proljeće, kada je vrijeme za sijanje, čim se ugledaju Štapovi na nebu, znak je da je nastupila zora, bliži se jutro, te treba nahraniti i upregnuti volove da idu orati.

Zajedno ta dva sazviježđa prezentiraju onog koji upravlja Volovima tojest ore zemlju odnosno predstavljaju mitološkog (astralnog) Božanskog Sijača, koji bi mogao biti niko drugi nego ilirski bog Vidasus, poznat kao i Žeteoc - onaj koji žanje (žito). U prilog tome ide i podatak kako su plug izmislili sami Iliri.(2)

Prema narodnoj priči iz Velike Kladuše u davnim vremenima žvio neki pohlepni čovjek koji je imao sedam volova. Kako je imao neparan broj žudio je za još jednim volom da bi ih imao osam tojest upario. Jednog dana dosjeti se kako u susjednom selu ima neki siromašan čovjek koji posjeduje samo jednog vola. - Kad ih nema više ne treba mu ni taj jedan, zaključi on i skuje plan sa sinom da odu iza ponoći u susjedno selo i ukradu ga. Što su naumili to i napraviše. Kad su došli na pola puta do kuće neki nemir uhvati oca i on reče sinu da će tu zastati da se odmore. Vidjevši u blizini stog sijena naredi mu da donese sijena i poreda ga u devet malih hrpa, jednu pored druge, a kad ovaj to učini on pusti ukradenog vola da se pogosti sijenom. No, umjesto da počne jesti od prve gomile vol se dvoumio, njuškao i tek se zaustavi na sedmoj hrpi sijena te tu započe jesti. To užasnu oca i on reče sinu: "Vidiš li ovo, sine moj, koliki smo grijeh napravili što smo ukrali vola da će nas kletva onog siromaha pratiti sve do sedmog koljena!". No, pohlepa u njemu pobijedi strah i on nastavi put kući. Nekako u to vrijeme, pošto se bližila zora, probudi se onaj siromah i krenu u štalu da nahrani vola ali čim uđe u prostoriju vidje da ga nema i shvati kako je pokraden. Od tuge i bola zaplače te prokle lopova neka ga Bog kazni i uzme mu ono što je i ovaj njemu. Ubrzo otac i sin, zajedno sa ukradenom životinjom, približiše se nadomak svoje kuće. Kad su stigli pred štalu oca iznenadi neka čudna tišina koja je dopirala iz nje, i on požuri da zapali svijeću. Blijeda svjetlost svijeće ubrzo obasja štalu. Bila je potpuno prazna. Volova nije bilo. Otac mahnito istrča napolje i uhvati se rukama za glavu od muke i bola. Onda pogleda u nebo želeći zakukati pred Bogom na tome što ga snađe i prije nego li otvori usta opazi na nebu sedam sjajnih zvijezda kako trepere zajedno te razgoračenih očiju shvati da se nema šta jadati Bogu, jer ga je on kaznio zbog velikog grijeha koji je učinio siromašnom čovjeku. Tako je po narodnom kazivanju postalo sazviježđe Volova (Plejade) kao upozorenje svima da se ne smije tuđe krasti a posebno ne volovi.(3)


Note

(1)Zanimljivo je spomenuti kako je općenito nekada narod BiH izgled Zemlje predstavljao si kao jednu veliku četverouglastu ploču, koja se na svojim uglovima o samoj dlaci bika naslanja na četiri stupa, te se stalno čini da će svaki tren pasti. Ali neće, tvrdio je narod, jer stoji tako po Božijoj volji i milosti. Ta je ploča jednako dugačka i široka. Stupovi su joj vrlo uljašteni, visoki i tanki, te se savijaju, da se čini kako će se svaki čas prelomiti. Oni su napravljeni od bijelog mramora i usađeni u neizmjernu morsku dubinu, jer pod cijelom tom pločom (zemljom), nalazi se nepregledno more, koje ne možemo vidjeti jer je pod nama. Ovo je ogromno more i prema njemu sva druga mora su mala.

(2)U bosanskoj ljubavnoj magiji djevojka ako čara sa orasima ona gleda u Volove na nebu, jer su jači, a ako želi vidjeti (sanjati) svog budućeg muža onda navečer pogleda prema Štapovima i govori ovo:" Osvjetli me Žarinko nasiba, zapali me Planinko nasiba, da ja vidim svog suđenika. Da ga vidim večeras u snu kao na javi, ili njegovo lice da vidim, ili njegovo ime da čujem. Dok ga ne vidim on ne mogao hodati ni raditi."

(3)Motiv prenošenja (teleportacije) zemaljskog događaja koji predstavlja veliki grijeh na nebo, koje simbolizira svjetsku pozornicu, uobičajan je u bosanskim predajama. Još jedan poznati primjer je onaj kada je Bog usmrtio istog trena sina kada je zamahnuo sjekirom prema majci, želeći je ubiti, i njegovo tijelo zajedno sa sjekirom prenio na površinu punog Mjeseca, da bude svim ljudima upozorenje da moraju poštovati majku.

Jul 3, 2017

Islam – the greatest phenomenon of our age

In the 21st century Islam became much more than the largest monotheistic religion, right behind Christianity, and we certainly must regard it as a phenomenon in numerous segments. Plan which was made in the west that has a goal to misrepresent and misuse this religion and bring it in line with terrorism, in order to find a good enough reason to rob and exploit oil and gas, as well as other natural resources of individual Islamic countries, achieved a collapse and actually produced a completely opposite, unexpected effect. Coming into focus of the entire world, Islam became well-known and studied that stats record larger percentages of converts from other religions to Islam each year. Christianity which literally swallowed Judaism, though the Jews don’t accept Christianity nor Islam, moreover they despise them; they have seen from the beginning the greatest enemy, whose people possess the most important natural resources, and as such they threaten the two main principles of western civilization – hegemony and desire to dominate, which carefully has woven them in their twisted interpretation of Christianity, completely identical to the way Saudi Arabia is representing Islam today.

But, something in that skilfully crafted plan of Anglo-Saxon political elite got out of control and despite their aggressive effort and propaganda of all western media it produced a completely opposite effect. Namely, like never before in history books about Islam started to spring overnight, encyclopaedias, documentary films and movies are being made, famous newspapers started writing about Islam. Also, the internet is full of content about Islam and despite the negative propaganda of the western media, under the direct control of the American government, suddenly is became magnetically attractive to the entire world and it awakened an unforgettable interest like no religion before in the history of mankind.




Genocide over Muslims

Though Arabian and Persian people were faced with western hegemony and robbery since the colonial times, overture into new suffering and destruction by the West began on September 11th 2001 when the Saudi terrorists attacked USA, under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden, direct descendant of the Saudi monarchy, they performed a larger play than the one about the landing of American astronauts on the moon, which had a goal to open the doors to robbery of natural goods of the Middle East and genocide over Muslims.

To better grasp which key role Saudi Arabia had in all of this you need to know at the beginning that it actually isn’t even a state in the full meaning of that word, actually it is a private property of a self-proclaimed monarchy of the Saudi. Of course, don’t even think that the American government pushed the Saud’s into such a criminal act, actually it found allies in them, which had the same desire to have greater power and dominion over the entire region. From the start of this criminal undertaking the monarchy of the Saud were not even slightly interested in their globally negative effect on Islam and Muslims, but exclusively to spread their power and destroy all those they considered their enemies. That’s why a military aggression on Iraq took place, when the American’s together with the European allies killed over a million of Iraqis and after them Saudi Arabia sent their army – terrorists. Of course, for this crime none of the named will step in front of an international court because what does an Iraqi or Arab life mean to someone from the West?

Saudi monarchy before September 11th got a guarantee from USA that no one will judge them for their crimes, a similar privilege is enjoyed by the Israeli army, and that the Senate, as well as any president, will stop any attempt of placing blame or pointing of fingers towards the real culprit. In all of this the Saudi recognised a perfect opportunity to completely destabilise Iraq, second strongest rival right behind Iran. Americans will be pleased with a military aggression on Afghanistan prior to the attack on Iraq, in order to steal opal from the Afghani mountains together with their European allies and in order to ensure the production of opium. Of course, the greatest wish of the Saudi, which they share with their ally Israel, is a military strike on Iran so that it too can have the same destiny as Iraq, but such a scenario will definitely not take place since the Iranian people are united, but also militarily superior in relation to surrounding countries. This is what brings the Saudi monarchy into hysteria and a great shopping spree for armaments, which they will soon use against their own people.





Wahhabism – terrorism

Saudi monarchy’s desire for hegemony and domination after the American attack on Iraq keeps growing and it is financing the creation of the so called Islamic state which has a goal to destabilize, in the long term, besides Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Besides these ambitions among the Saudi there is a public hatred towards Muslims, while openly calling for killing of the Shiites and Alawites, they’re more discrete when it comes to the Sunni, since they’re afraid of the possible reaction of their neighbours, and they give this task to the terrorists, for which they pay up tens of millions of dollars each month. And that the Saudi are the main donors and commanders of all terrorists in the Middle East, but also in the West, was best confirmed by Putin’s sharp warning to the Saudi that if there is a terrorist attack during the Winter Olympic games in Sochi, Riyadh will be the target for Russian nuclear missiles. And as we know there were no terrorist attacks during the winter Olympics.

Root of the hatred towards the Shiite and Sunni is hidden in Wahhabism, which is a dominant religious dogma in Saudi Arabia i.e. twisted version of Islam and as such is the only religious principle of all terrorists from Al Qaeda to ISI, and all future versions of mercenaries of the Saudi monarchy. But, we shouldn’t ignore the traditional hate that USA has towards Islam which is presented for a long time through an open hostility towards the Islamic republic of Iran; Iran with its name best represents this region. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Islamic republic of Iran is the true representative of all Muslims across the globe and therefore is constantly in the sights of USA and Israel, UK, France, Germany and all those wishing to destroy Iran and with that Islam. While Iran continuously, openly calls for unity of all Muslims across the world and selflessly helps Palestine, Syria and Lebanon so that they can resist the Zionist attacks and hegemony, Saudi Arabia has an ally relationship with USA and Israel, which are as we know, declared enemies and killers of Muslims. According to this we know which side they represent and what their interests are.


Terrorist attacks in the Middle East and West – two different stories

It is interesting that in all western media pays no attention to terrorist attacks across Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and other Islamic countries, where victims number not dozens but hundreds, but as soon as such an attack takes place in the EU or USA then its headline news for days which are used to the max. Identical case is when it comes to killings in Palestine, namely, when the Jews attack the Palestinians and kill hundreds of civilians, mostly women and children, then it represents short news in the western media, which are nowhere close to headline news, but if for example a Jewish child is hurt or a civilian then the media experience a hysteria and show, the ones that possess the most modern weapons, ones which always repress and undertake genocide over the Palestinians, as victims?! 

Jun 27, 2017

Snake in the human body

 Ever since the ancient Illyrian ancestors the snake had a primary place according to its religious-mythological meaning. In the myth about the genesis the first Illyrian or progenitor came into being from a snake that’s why it has a central role in the family, it represents an animal doppelganger of the head of the family, it protects the house and its inhabitants from all evil. When building a house, until the middle of the previous century people would leave a small hole in the wall, close to the ground, so that the so called house snake could live in it. Often none of the inhabitants would ever see the snake but despite this it was firmly believed that it existed and people would leave food or a small saucer with milk next to the hole. In certain parts of BiH the builders would etch a drawing of a snake on the wall, in order to mark its secret role and welcome it.

Besides, among the Bosnian people it was believed that the forest or outdoor snake can enter a human and live in his womb for some time. Namely, as the villagers claim that in the past it happened that a person would fall asleep outside, on a meadow, or under a tree, and a snake would enter into his body through the mouth. Such a person would be recognized by sudden loss of weight and a pale face. According to the villagers, everything that he would drink or eat, the snake would eat and it would take away his strength and food. If the snake would not be chased out of the human body, the person could die. That’s why people would bake a young chicken and a vessel with milk would be placed next to the face of the person while it slept. The snake would, allegedly, drawn by the smell of the chicken and milk, come out of the body and free it of its disastrous presence. As informants further claim such a snake would be completely white when it would exit. It is quite obvious that this belief is Illyrian since it reflects the mythological thesis about the connection of a snake and humans.

Jun 17, 2017

Vađenje ognja


A lot of interesting examples have survived regarding Bosnian folk medicine, through ethnological documentation as well as practice of individual stravarke, about the belief of the origin of a disease and cures for it. They’re all based on a traditional belief that there are around 3000 diseases in the world of which only 1000 belong to the domain of official medicine. From that number 700 of them are curable and for the other 300 people are still searching for a cure. 2000 diseases are being cured with religious and magical methods, prayers, herbal medicine, etc.

How do you cure a disease called oganj (ingle)

The word oganj is of an Illyrian origin and signifies fire; among the Bosnian people this word was used to denote a disease which was manifested as acne on a face, usually in small children. Those acne would become small wounds over time and they would leave deep scars on the skin. Among the people, oganj was usually cured by a blacksmith which would perform a ritual called “vađenje ognja”.

In ethnological documents GZM from Sarajevo a similar case was described. A small boy of a village woman got sick, even two official doctors couldn’t help him, she then after being talked into it sought help from Avdo the blacksmith. Suspecting what type of disease it was asked her to bring him some bracket fungi (Polyporaceae), a fungi which grows on beech wood, it is also called fire fungi, a piece of green wool cloth, nine branches of blackberry, peal of rose hip, a few branches of linden and fresh butterfat. When the mother gathered all of it she brought it to Avdo, he took a hammer and a piece of “cold iron” and to his daughter he ordered to hold a piece of fire fungi close to the iron. He placed the iron on the anvil, he whispered something, and when he struck the iron a second time a few sparks flew from it and they set the fungi on fire. Everyone that was present was overjoyed and the blacksmith’s  daughter said: “It’s Oganj, oganj! The child will be cured!” Avod commanded loudly: “Quickly, give me a rag!” and as soon as Zlatka brought it he used it to wrap the head, he started blowing into it until it ignited as well. He placed it then into a metal bowl, branches of linden and peal of rose hip, nine branches of blackberry and finally the green wool cloth.



When it all burned down he gathered the remains into one heap, chopped it up and placed into a glass with the butterfat and mixed it well. He then addressed the lady whose child was sick: -“Take this glass, call an elderly woman, at dusk under an eave, she should use a chicken’s feather to rub this mixture onto your son. Let her wipe it down his face, always from top to bottom, never the other way around. Let her perform this for three nights in a row and I trust in God that he will be cured!”. They rubbed the child with the mixture for a few days as Avdo told them and allegedly after only a few days the wounds healed.

Among the Bosnian people it was believed that there are two versions of oganj, the first one is the “wooden” one and the second an “iron” one. Wooden, it was said is a more complicated ritual, but allegedly better, since it is the real oganj and wounds heal faster when it is being used.

Wooden oganj was performed on a soft wood, usually linden. A small rod was taken and was sharpened on both ends. The tips are then placed into a hard wood and the rod is then fixed. The rod is wrapped in something, usually a leather belt, then from both sides two men stand and with quick movements pull the belt towards themselves, to and fro, so that the rod, i.e. its tips move quickly and due to friction they would catch fire. It was believed if the diseased fell ill from oganj, the tips of the rod would catch fire, otherwise they wouldn’t. If they would catch fire then the coal from the rod would be taken, it would be crushed into dust and mixed with fresh butterfat. The treatment would be undertaken in a similar manner as in the first example.

But, in some areas of BiH people believed and claimed otherwise that the ritual with iron is better and more difficult to perform than the wooden one. However, people who seriously performed these rituals claimed that for the efficiency of the ritual the only relevant thing is the type of oganj that the child has. It was also claimed that the ritual was a real magical skill since if the diseased was not afflicted by oganj the fire will not be lit no matter how hard you would try.

When a person falls ill from mrak (dark)


From the old days across Bosnia there was a taboo according to which washed clothes should not spend the night hanging outside because of the danger that the owner might fall victim to evil ghosts. According to traditional belief with the sun setting the Jinn and devils are being released and they spread quickly across the dark and they’re lurking and attacking people. They use various ways with that intent and one of them is to possess washed clothes which is hanging on the balcony or in the yard. Allegedly, people whose clothes is left outside, overnight will be afflicted by various fears, insomnia and mental distress.

Stravarka Fatka Hasanović from Banovići is probably among the oldest folk healers in BiH. She started practicing lead melting ritual back in 1945, when she was nine years old. Speaking about herself and her healing work in the Sarajevo magazine, claiming that she helped women which cannot stay pregnant even after ten or more years of marriage, she spoke how she cured the following: našice, krajčicu, spellbound eyes, fear, smolanice, sapunice, ringworms, ulcers.

Explaining what type of disease is hidden behind the name našice stravarka Fatka warned that we should avoid washing clothes in the afternoon and leaving it wet overnight since in that case “mrak will stick to the clothes and dry on it, when a person puts the clothes on and falls asleep it will rule over his mind. Since the old days this disease was called našice. As Fatka claims našice are best recognised by waking up a man in the middle of the night. When he suddenly jerks and wakes up the man is completely disoriented, and if he stands up to go somewhere, to the bathroom or kitchen, something will pull him back and he will fall down, this happens even to the strongest man, says stravarka from Banovići.


stravarka Fatka Hasanović

-If the clothes stays dry overnight nothing will happen since mrak will not stick to it. But if it stays overnight, wet, then it is better to wash it again in the morning so it can dry during the day or once you pick it up in the morning you should light a candle at dusk and you should bring around it all the clothes that stayed outside overnight. With this, stravarka Fatka claims, you will neutralise all of the negative effects on it.

Jun 16, 2017

Shaitan and the woman

 Long time ago there was a man and a woman, they constantly tried to outsmart each other, they tried to prove who was smarter and more resourceful. Neither of them wanted to quit, and these pranks of theirs would last forever until the man came up with a bold idea. He suggested that it would be best for them to compete who could talk the devil into entering a hollow pumpkin where they could trap him.

-The devil (Shaitan) is a liar and a scrappy, no one can fool him, and whoever succeeds is the smartest, said the husband to his wife.

In this almost impossible task the husband tried first, trying all day in various ways to trick the devil. He begged him, promised hills and valleys, but to no avail. Night came and he got tired and gave up. The wife smiled and took the pumpkin from him, looked inside and started to wonder, her eyes widened, inhaling and smiling to something that she sees inside. This immediately sparked the devil’s curiosity but he didn’t want to react he waited for the woman to start to gaud him as the husband did. But the woman didn’t even look at the devil, looking into the pumpkin she started to switch it to her right eye so that she can see better the thing that amazed her. Now, the devil was evidently nervous and curios, not being able to wait any longer, he asked the woman what is so amazing inside, she mumbled something quickly and continued to look into the pumpkin. This angered the devil and he shouted at her, to which the wife replied calmly and mellifluously:

-It would be best, powerful and great devil, that you go inside and take a look by yourself, since myself, illiterate, poor woman – the woman started to act and fake – couldn’t describe what type of wonder is inside. And you my dear devil, are so eloquent and very smart, you will recognise this thing immediately.



To these words the devil laughed haughtily and answered to her that he agrees with her, since a stupid woman like herself doesn’t know better than to look into a pumpkin and laugh, and it is best for him to see. As soon as he said these words the devil rushed and entered the pumpkin to which the woman quickly closed it and in the end won the hard bet. Since that time it is believed that a woman and the devil are one and the same – both use lying and seduction to get their will.