Skip to comments.Bride, Kosovo
Posted on 12/14/2013 1:43:36 PM PST by nickcarraway
A tradition a thousand years old, passed on to generations in today's remote Donje Ljubinje in the Zhupa area in south Kosovo. Today, this tradition is at the verge of extinction, as only a 65-year-old lady continues preparing young brides according to their traditions. The bride's face is painted in many beautiful layers of color. Three golden circles symbolizing the cycles of life are tied to one another by the golden roads that one crosses over their lifetime. The inner red circles are symbols of fertility, where red and blue dots are born from, and the whole face is covered by them, wishing her a healthy and happy family.
Thank you for sharing your knee-jerk reaction.
Looks like some Lady Gaga schtick.
GMTA! I was just getting ready to post, “Please don’t give Lady Gaga any ideas”.
You're entirely welcome.Feel free to let me know if there's anything else I can do in the future to please you!
You’ve done enough, thanks. Personally, I don’t know if this girl is a Muslim, or not. You reminded me to either ask, or keep my ignorance secret.
Looks similar to Queen Amidala in one of those Star Wars movies. I wonder if George Lucas got the idea from this tradition.
Is that you Rachel Maddow?
...Mycenaean Greeks...used to do this
Wow! This is a very old tradition, to say the least.
Bulgarian folk narratives are distinguished by their stark, primal qualities, their spare poetic beauty and powerful archetypal characters. The characters are larger than life - epic heroes, warrior women and beguiling beings who inhabit a magical landscape that has its own reality, laws and logic. They are many-layered and reveal some very ancient roots, perhaps going back to Thracian times and beyond.
The ancient Thracians were an Indo-European tribal people who settled at least 5,000 years ago in that area of the Balkans whose heartland is now the modern state of Bulgaria. Lying at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Thracian culture reflected influences from the Scythians in the north, the Phrygians to the southeast and the Greeks to the west, yet it had its own distinct identity.
I hope they don’t have any confusion as to who the bride is.
the full story with images:
Bulgaria’s three main ancestral cultures - Thracian, Slavic and Proto-Bulgarian - left behind only fragmentary evidence of their individual mythologies. These mythologies combined with each other, developed and transformed to produce the body of folk customs, beliefs, artistic forms and traditional narratives that have existed right up until the modern era and which are now collectively known as Bulgarian folklore.
Of course it has incorporated other elements on the way. Bulgaria officially converted to Christianity in the ninth century but it did not completely abandon its ancestral pagan beliefs and customs. Instead many were absorbed into the new religion and survive in modified form through to the present day, interwoven with Christianity. The Thracian Horseman was reincarnated in the Christian figure of St George, seen as the bringer of summer and fertility. The Slavic thunder god, Perun, was reincarnated as the Christian St Ilya, and pagan folk festivals and rituals continued with a thin veneer of the new religion.
The Ottoman Turks conquered Bulgaria in the 14th century and ruled it for 500 years as part of the Ottoman Empire. This also left its mark on Bulgarian myth and folklore. For example, tales about Nastraddin Hodja, the Turkish imam and wise fool, were assimilated and adapted into the Bulgarian oral tradition, one positive product of this dark and bloody period of Bulgarian history.
In essence Bulgarian folklore is the combination of its ancestral mythologies in living practice, or in practice within recent historic memory. It still exists, albeit on a reduced scale, as strong living tradition and a vibrant part of Bulgarian culture. Its many layers hold the key to certain intriguing aspects of Bulgarian traditional narratives.
Bulgarian folk customs fall into two broad categories: those associated with the individual’s passage through life (birth, marriage, death); calendar customs associated with the annual cycle of nature and agriculture.
The most important of the life cycle customs are those associated with the Bulgarian wedding, and we’ll look briefly at some wedding customs as a way of understanding various aspects of Bulgarian traditional tales.
He’s marked for life, the decorations on the face of the Bulgarian Bride will wash off.
Fred, thanks for posting this.
From your link:
“Kukeri are masked male dancers and mummers, who wear fantastic, often animal like masks (like the one pictured above) and huge bronze cowbells round their waists (like those pictured below). They carry sticks, which symbolise the phallus, in a spring fertility rite possibly derived from the ancient Dionysian new year festival.”
A Bulgarian co-worker once told me of a ritual in his homeland where people dressed up like animals for a festival, and it was something I’d never heard of before, then I recognized what he’d told me in the passage above.
Interesting observation. I bet you're right.
Now doesn’t that tell you just how old these traditions and rituals are...no matter that the region in Bulgaria where the brides are so decorated is claimed to be muslim. The practice goes back thousands of years.
I love Bulgarian singing.
You’ll love this old lady: