Bosnian Wor(l)d

Bosnia-Hercegovina is a multinational state. Today, most citizens identify themselves as one of three groups: Bosniaks (48 percent, Illyrians), Bosnian Croats (14 percent, Illyrians), or Bosnian Serbs (37 percent, Slavs).


Tana and Vidasus

Sculptures which depict god Vidasus, sometimes accompanied by Tana, show him encircled by girls dancing or in the form of nymphs, water faeries. Beside the data which confirm that the Bosnian folk were familiar with faeries from ancient times, this information is extremely important for further study about correlation with persons which came into direct contact with faeries and gained healing powers as well as texts of spells. From Bosnian tradition we know that faeries are skilled in healing with medicinal herbs and spring water in which, according to legends, they would bathe.

What was especially interesting to notice when gathering materials for this research are individual ways of initiation of certain persons into the world of magic and healing and for which it is impossible not to find a direct link with Tan, Vidasus or even a snake, holly totem of our forefathers.

-"Bosnian folk believes that spells are a gift from spirits, especially faeries, which is evidenced by numerous testimonies about initiation. A large part of older women in the past that used to work with spells were illiterate and they used to live in villages. Their initiation into supernatural was always based on weird dreams in which young and beautiful girls used to appear, usually three, they would teach the chosen woman healing formulas in the dream. There are different examples. According to sayings of a well-known witch from Velika Kladuša called Ćanka, an unknown man and woman appeared in her dream, clad in white clothes. They pulled her by her large toe and "woke her". Then they told her that they chose her to heal and help people. Another woman received her initiation into the world of magic by a snake bite. Namely, at one time while she was out working in the field she got tired and she laid down to rest. Without realising she fell asleep and when she woke up she felt pain in her lips. As soon as she came home she saw that her lips were swollen and dark. She quickly went to a doctor who determined that she was bitten by a snake. It wouldn't have been a sensational event if she hadn't felt that she "knew" strange things and that suddenly she knew how to perform love magic and cure people of it."

Bosnian Wor(l)d
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