#1 Guide To Bosnian Myths And Folktales

Many Bosnian myths and folktales owe their origins to the rich heritage of the people who came from the area of Europe that is now Bosnia and Herzegovina and date as far back as the time of the Roman Empire. In this blog post, we will enjoy some of the most famous stories about fairies, dragons, demonic creatures, giants, and fantastical snake people. Let’s begin!

The Bosnian Fairies

Bosnian mythology tells us that Bosnian fairies come from the droplets of dew that drip from the leaves of a tree that grows on an unknown mysterious hill. The fairies are said to have magical powers they can use for good or evil purposes. Poems about abandoned fairy children have spilled into real life as the Bosnian people believe these supernatural beings inhabit the human body of orphans. This means that thousands of abandoned babies have been adopted by parents who believed that adopting abandoned fairy children resulted in happiness and prosperity being brought into the home.

However, it is also said that the fairies are also fond of stealing human children and replacing that human child with fairy babies of their own. This was done in retaliation because, in the past, humans stole their babies. To prevent this from happening, Bosnian mothers are known for placing a metal spoon, or another metal object, at the base of their baby’s crib whenever the child needs to be left alone.

Angering a fairy is usually a bad idea as Bosnian mythology claims the demonic creatures will take revenge by cursing the perpetrator and psychologically disturbing the human.

Bosnian Myths And Folktales. Rowing Boat on a Lake with a Fairytale Castle

Ušušur, The Famous Male Fairy

The most famous male fairy was known as Ušušur. Bosnian mythology tells how Ušušur fell in love with a gorgeous young woman. However, she fell for another man. Knowing that fairies seek revenge for this behavior, Ušušur drowned the woman in a river. Becoming distraught by his actions, he threw himself in after her. However, his magical powers prevented him from drowning himself. As a result, he chose to chain himself to the riverbed, which became his home.

The Bosnian Snake People

The myth of the Bosnian Snake People dates back to the snake being the first creature God created and placed on Earth. Other folk tales tell of a gigantic snake encircling the planet. It is also said that as a celestial power and one of the most potent forces in the heavens, the snake is the size of a mountain, yet, as Bosnian legend claims, it can show itself to us in its diminutive form.

Bosnian Myths and Folktales. Tiny Enchanted Garden.

Bosnian Dragons

In the past, Bosniaks believed dragons stalked the lands and dominated the skies. The dragons were described as giant snakes with wings. It is said that the dragons were attracted to young beautiful women and animals, including cows. The giant snake would wait outside the home of a human woman and use its powers to put her into a trance and have its wicked way. The next day, the mortal woman would have no recollection of what had occurred.

Bosnian Jinn Or Dzini

In Bosnian mythology, Bosnian people describe the Jinn or Dzini as small demonic creatures with a tail and a single eye. They either take the form of a dark silhouette or can take the state of an animal or a human being. Local inhabitants claim the favorite animal forms for the Jinn to take include snakes, cats, and dogs.

Servants to wizards and witches, the Jinn are keen on seducing humans by calling out their names and dancing in a fiery circle. They are also said to inhabit humans until the person suffers mental illnesses. Those not wishing to be seduced are advised to say: “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful,” while blowing at the mischievous imp who has probably taken the form of a whirlwind by this point.

Bosnian Sheitan

Like the Jinn, the Bosnian Sheitan is thought to enjoy inhabiting the human body and causing their hosts to commit naughty vices such as lying and stealing. Like the Jinn, the Sheitan can be dismissed by saying: “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” Bosnian mythology tells how after god created Adam, a Sheitan settled on his left shoulder, telling Adam they were now friends. Seeing this, God sent an angel to rest on Adam’s right shoulder to counteract all the naughty things the Sheitan might try to persuade Adam to get involved.

Bosnian Prepasti

More recent Bosnian mythology tells of the Bosnian Prepasti, scary apparitions that show themselves as whirlwinds and black clouds on roads or near rivers. These demonic creatures began to appear after the end of world war II and are thought to be the ghosts of dead soldiers. This is given more veracity as they usually appear in areas once the scene of a battle where soldiers were massacred during the conflict. Some are said to wander the Earth in search of their missing limbs. The scary dark figures will eventually find rest when the rain washes the blood from the soil and the plows churn their bones into the Earth.

Mythical And Magical Vocabulary In Bosnian

Do you want to impress the locals with your stories about myths and legends from your country? Use the Bosnian words below!


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