kurent

Kurenti by Buileshuibhne

There are two types of Slovene Kurent-Korant: the so-called »feathery« (from the town of Markovci) and the »horned« ones (from Haloze), with the difference being mainly in the look of the head covering. The Kurent-Korant wears a massive sheep skin garment, and around its waist hangs a chain with huge bells attached to it – all that resulting noise does a great job of chasing away winter, which is, ostensibly, the Kurent’s function. The Korent also wears heavy boots and special red or green leg warmers, while the head is covered by a towering furry hat festooned with ribbons, and a mask typically sporting a long, red tongue. A wooden club is normally carried in the left hand.

France Mihelič, Mrtvi kurent, 1955, barvni lesorez, 47 x 70 cm

Umetnostna galerija Maribor

O korantu

Pred vojno je bilo pustno poskakovanje kurenta večkrat prepovedano. Razlog so bili pretepi med posameznimi skupinami kurentov. Kurenti so se med seboj postavljali z metanjem ježevk v zrak in jih lovili. Največja sramota za kurenta je bila, če so mu na silo sneli kapo ali vzeli zvonce. Tega se je bal vsak, saj je to pomenilo sramoto tako zanj kot za domačijo in vas (zvonci so bili pomemben del družinske tradicije in so prehajali iz roda v rod). Zato so imeli za pasom tudi strelno orožje. Tako je prišlo tudi do krvavih kurentovih srečanj…

Kurent

The Slavic god of wine, Kurent is typically depicted by a feathered or horned sheepskin mask or costume, worn by dancers at the Kurentovanje festival to celebrate the arrival of spring. They shake wooden clubs with hedgehog skins, to chase away the last of winter. 

Long ago, when the first men were living in a hidden valley, their only source of water were the seven rivers that flowed from a single egg. Despite the abundance of these rivers, the humans became greedy for more, and smashed the egg. This unleashed an apocalyptic flood which killed all those who lived in the valley, save for the watchman Kranyatz He was saved by the trickster Kurent. 

Kranyatz thanked Kurent, but the god told him instead to thank the vine, and promise to always hold its fruit above any other. Kranyatz swore that he and his descendants would forever love wine above all else. This love of wine would later become his downfall. Eventually, Kranyatz challenged the god for rulership of the earth, and defeated him after several trials. 

However, when Kranyatz climbed the mountain where the gods lived, he ate of their meat and drank of their wine, provided by Kurent. Once drunk, the gods overpowered him easily, kicking him down the mountain and robbing him of his power.