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 BOSNIAN RITUAL WITH THE LEAD - SALIJEVANJE STRAHE

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KomentarNaslov komentara: BOSNIAN RITUAL WITH THE LEAD - SALIJEVANJE STRAHE   BOSNIAN  RITUAL  WITH  THE LEAD - SALIJEVANJE STRAHE Icon_minitimeSun Mar 10, 2019 2:12 am

The magical ritual of melting lead (fear pouring) is an ancient form of shamanistic practice of exorcism known in a large geographical area - literally from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria (sakbeh or rakwi), Algeria, Morocco (khfif), Turkey (kurşun dökme), the Balkans to Germany, Great Britain (melting lead, lead casting) and Scandinavian countries.

In our region, as it is usually presumed, this ritual appears by the arrival of the Ottoman Empire, with a whole set of other magic beliefs, practices and myths. But however, there are indications which tells that this ritual was originally Illyrian and that our ancestors as Roman Empire soldiers expanded it throughout the Middle East, and through Celts it also reached northern Europe.

Following this path from Palestine to Great Britain, we can notice this: in Arab countries, a ritual with lead is practiced in order to get someone free from the effects of malevolent eyes. In beliefs of Turkish people, it is intended for the treatment of fear and spells. In Bosnia the ritual is used for previously mentioned, but also for the attack of the demons, the black magic, and the blockade of human happiness. In the north of the Europe, this situation is quite different; the rite doesn’t have a healing, but exclusively divine aspect. In fact, in the countries of northern Europe, it’s practice for the New Year’s Eve (molybdomancy), which, for example, in Finland is called "uudenvuodentin", people gather, especially girls, and salvage melted lead in water to find out about the future ahead of themselves. Shortly, between this and the "salivanja strahe" there is a certain similarity, but also there is a significant difference. Both ways are aimed to detecting unknown events; through "molybdomancy" girls want to find out their love destiny in the next year. However, in the Bosnian ritual, people who practice rituals through different forms detect the physical and mental disorders of the patient. And that's the point where any similarity ends.

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Although the "salivanje strahe" as a ritual doesn't have Islamic roots, certain parts of that old shamanistic ritual are monotheistic, particualy in the speaking part, and therefore the ritual monitors the pronunciation of certain chapters and prayers in Qur'an. Besides, God's Prophet Muhammad and Hazrati Fatima are called to help, so that only by mentioning their names, evil presented in the form of illness would escape from the ill person. We can confirm the same case with the Bulgarian or Romanian witches who use the ritual of prayer of Our Father, referring to the world of the power of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or the cross. Any of them has a common usage of longer, or shorter magic formulas known as "basme" and "bajalice" ("bajati" comes from the Turkish word "baymak" – to charm, obsession (for the purpose of healing), cheat. – Abdulah Škaljić.)

To the ill, or possessed person the ritual  has a primarily a cumulative effect, which is confirmed by the statements of all those persons who were submited to it. But also, there are contradictory opinions that slow down its effectiveness, nameing  it as the “placebo effect”, which many "stravarke" demonstratively return with the following arguments; in fact, the ritual is equally effective if it’s done by a person who knows about it and the one who doesn’t know, such as young children. The only reproach is that the water in which the lead is melted, because it is a toxic metal, prefer not to be consumed, drinked, or that it could be poured into a crossroads, or the patient could only washes his face, hands and feet.

In spite of this, individuals tend to consume that water, in small quantities, whose harmfulness in relatioan to the daily consumption of cigarettes to the organism is nevertheless minimal. For instance, in cigarettes, besides lead which can be poisonous in large quantities, is a polonium, a cancer-causing radioactive element.

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KomentarNaslov komentara: Re: BOSNIAN RITUAL WITH THE LEAD - SALIJEVANJE STRAHE   BOSNIAN  RITUAL  WITH  THE LEAD - SALIJEVANJE STRAHE Icon_minitimeWed May 08, 2019 5:23 am

Long tradition in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In a not so distant past, every bigger or smaller place, or even every street had at least one  stravarka, which is called  for help at any time of the day. Today, the situation is completely different, and the number of people who deal with this kind of treatment of the human soul has drastically dropped, despite the fact that demand for them, in this modern and stressful times, is the same or even higher than it was before.

There are very few young stravara and  stravaruša which are dealing with this type of work, since as the interest in the treatment of folk medicine is lost, and hence, in itself, imposes a real need to document and segregate this segment of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian tradition in written form for some future generations.

By exploring this interesting field of folklore medicine, I came across the impression that through the history of BiH, at some time interval, in the distance of fifty and a hundred years, individuals were endowed with a supernatural gift, chosen by spiritual forces, whose primary mission was to help and heals the people.

The „chosen ones“ („odabrani“) were coming periodically, almost in a silent way, most often in smaller environments, and in different lifetimes, but their real potential for healing and treatments would manifest themselves in a relatively late ages, because due to everyday tasks and duties, such as marriage, birth and care for the family, there was no real possibility that the "chosen ones" would be completely handed over to his work. This resulted in a stereotype that  the most famouse and best stravarke are those in the older ages  who "passed through the menopause".

Of course, another reason for this sequence of events is often hidden in the shift of generations, knowledge accumulated and traditionally inherited (transferred) from a spiritualally endowed predecessor - from the mother-in-law to the daughter-in-law, from the mother to the daughter, from her grandfather to grandson. Only when „teacher“ becouse of serious illness, or its old ages retired, his „student“ could replace him by appropriating his acquired knowledge and all his former "clients".  However, as far as I managed to find out, „student“ rarely succeeded in surpassing his „teacher“, probably because, like his predecessor, his knowledge was not devoted from more mighty power, but learned.

In the spirit of what's told till now, current formulation of the term stravarke, or stravar, would be a woman of an older age, sometimes a man, which has the ability to cure psychosomatic disorders (psychopathology) by subjecting the patient to a shamanistic ritual that contains an admixture of the alchemical procedure.

In spite of the fact that the very form of ritual, melting and pouring of lead, at first glance is quite simple it is actually very complex and content. Holding in a hand a piece of the lead, stravarka performs a ritual circle around the patient's head, or by lightly touching certain places on the body, in order to "connect" the ill (obsessed with evil spirits) person with the metal energy in the ultimate suggestive-magical way. In order to focus as much as possible on the fearsome, stravarka whispers the following exorcism formula: "Oo you fear, flee behind nine mills, behind nine fields, behind nine rocks ...". Then the lead is placed in direct contact with the fire and after that with water too. For the above mentioned reason, the connection with fire and transformation,  beside iron, the lead was always in the consciousness of the Bosnian people, contained an apotropic property, protecting from evil and freed the soul.

The possibility of melting the lead from a solid form is brought into fluid form and vice versa provoked human fascination and supported the idea that magical manipulation can "catch" or "capture" evil spirits and thus defeat them.
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When fear turns out to a lead

To many of us, there is a remembrance of the habit of our old grandmas  that kept at least some pieces of lead in their houses, usually it was kept  in a sewing box „for bad days, may God keep them far away“, to be at hand if someone's child is frightened, falls under the influence of evil eyes, or some of the inmate people suddenly start to suffering from a mental illness.

When it was necessary, the lead would be washed and discreetly referred to stravarka leaving her, or him  to pray over it as such as Yasin prayer, and then the next day would return to her, or him again, this time for a session of treatment.

It is evident that in the past decades there was no child, especially in rural areas, to whom this ritual was not practiced at least once. As soon as the mother of child would notice that her child was frightened, she would have suspected that it had become a victim of a terrible shock or fear that swept its dreams and took away its strength. It was believed that it was necessary to act as soon as possible  in the direction of treatment, primarily because of the fear that fear would not "revive" in the young being and cause it additional complications, or even a death.

In the magazine "Bosanska vila" ( Bosnian Fairy) from 1888, No. 3, under the heading "How to treat fear?", it describes the case of a villager Joka, a wife of Petar Kokotovic, from the village  Racic, whose ill child was not able to find a drug and cure, but to a woman, stravarka,  named Nelka.

-My son Mile, when he was a child, suddenly got sick and he was in such an agony for a whole month, that he could not even close his eyes and sleep during the day or night. As soon as he managed totaly tired to fall asleep, he would suddenly wake with a scream and a cramp.

The worried mother first approached for help to a monk near the Bosanska Krupa, who made him three amulets, with the instruction to burn one with its  smoke and turn it the child around on, and the other to put it in the water he would bathe, and the third one for child carrie around its neck. It was a bit better to Milo, but his condition was getting worse soon. After that, the mother went with a child to an old Orthodox priest to pronounce prayer above the child's head, but none of it had any use.

- To my luck, someone from my neighbors told me to go to an old Bosniak woman, Nelka, stravarka  from Podastrana, and I immediately went to her with my child. As soon as I told her what's the  problem I'm dealin with, at the same moment she took a leaked bullet from a wooden box, put it on a metal spoon and then pour it in the fire.

Then, in a quiet voice, she spoke, but I did not manage to understand anything except the words "Euzubillah, you will be better and healed". When the lead in the spoon melted, she poured a bit of water in the copper bowl, brought it near the forehead of my son, and with the other hand she took the spoon with a lead and poured it into that water. As soon as the hot lead touched the surface of the water, there was a very sizzling effect and the lead drops to the bottom of the bowl.

Nelka pulled him out of the water with a spoon, and, focusing to it she was looking at it  for a few moments, then she was silent and at the end said:- "Here, I see your son was frightened by some animal with horne immediately after you gave birth, or when it was very small."

At that moment, I remembered that one of our goats came to the doorstep and wandered into the house when my son Mile was born. When I looked better into a piece of lead that Nelka held in her hand,  I could clearly see and recognized the figure of the goat.

„ You know“, told me Nelka, -„ if someones child is scared of something, that shows me in a form in which lead is melted, but this knowledge and this skill can not be known to everyone, only to whom it is given by the angels".

After that, Nelka dissolved the lead twice more and poured it into a bowl of water (above the breast and legs of my son) and when she finished she said,- "Listen, dear, the cause of your child's disease is that goat, so it's not good that it remains alive, slaughter it ".

Then, she came accross with that water on my son's right cheek and big finger on left foot and then left cheek and a big finger of the right foot, right hand and left leg, left hand and right leg, and took the rest of the water out and spiled it under some tree outside.

As soon as I came home I told my husband to slaughter that goat and from that day my son was completely healed. So, if wasn't that woman stravarka Nelka, my child would not be alive today. May God bless her!
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