west slavs

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S-senpai? O-oh, this is too much..I’m flustered.

Thank you for asking ! :)

The first couple of pictures have Captions, so read up if you’re interested in an explanation! :)

Concerning Mr Poland today, out of all the ex Yugoslavs, he really considers Mr Serbia a really good bro of his. Namely, they are both considered a bit whack  by European nations. Slavs unite, right? Via drinking and track suits, of course!

Samodiva

Samodivas are woodland fairies found in South and West-Slavic folklore and mythology. Samodivas are commonly depicted as ethereal maidens with long loose hair, sometimes also with wings. They are usually dressed in free-flowing gowns, their garments decorated with feathers by means of which they can fly like birds. Samodivas are most often described as being blonde, tall and slender women with pale, glowing skin and fiery eyes. Samodivas are believed to be very beautiful women with an affinity to fire. They have the power to bring about drought, burn a farmer’s crops, or make cattle die of high fever. It is said that, when angered, a Samodiva would change her appearance and turn into a monstrous bird, capable of flinging fire at her enemies. They are usually hostile and dangerous to people. Men who gaze upon a Samodiva fall instantly in love (or at least in lust), and women go so far as to take their own lives at the sight of such beauty. Sometimes a Samodiva would seduce a man, commonly a shepherd or a trespasser in her forest, and take him as her lover. However, in doing so, she would take all of his life energy, his essence. The man would then become obsessed with the Samodiva and chase her relentlessly, unable to think about anything else (including his own nourishment). The Samodiva, fuelled by the energy stolen from her admirer, would then proceed to torture the man until he dies of exhaustion. Another important aspect of the myths surrounding samodivas is their dance. Neverending and beginning at midnight to finish at dawn, their dance symbolized the raw, and often harmful to the unprepared, energy of both nature and the supernatural world. Accompanied and following only the rhythm of the wind and their own singing, their dance was said to have been often witnessed by lost or late travellers, some of them choosing to join it, seduced by the beauty of their song and visage, only to die of exhaustion at dawn, when the samodivas finally disappeared. Much like the Vila in Slavic folklore, a Samodiva’s power is believed to come mostly from her long (usually blond) hair. A samodiva would sometimes give a small portion of it to her lover to strengthen her control over him via its magical effects. However, if her hair is damaged in some way, she will either disappear entirely or be stripped of her powers and beauty. In Slavic folklore, a Samodiva can blind every person who sets eyes upon her. Whether or not the act of blinding is metaphorical (falling in love with the Samodiva) or a curse that has an actual physical manifestation is not known. In Bulgarian folklore, a Samodiva’s close connection to the forest makes her knowledgeable about magical herbs and cures for all illnesses. It is said that if a person managed to eavesdrop on a gathering of Samodivas he could also gain knowledge of these remedies. In many stories this is exactly what the hero is forced to do to save a loved one, as a Samodiva would never share her secrets willingly. Balkan mythology holds that samodivas were actually the daughters of Lamia. This, combined with their mostly nocturnal nature, leads to them being considered more or less negative, or at best neutral in their nature.

So-called ‘Laughing Polish Woman’, 13th-century statue depicting princess Regelinda, Naumburg Cathedral, Germany.

Regelinda (also: Reglindis) was a Polish princess born around the year 989 AD. She was one of three daughters of the Polish king Bolesław I the Brave and his third wife Emnilda, daughter of Dobromir (Slavic ruler of Lusatia and Milsko). 

Regelinda married German Margrave Herman I around the year 1002, becoming a Margravine of Meissen and ensuring a short period of alliance between the German Mark of Meissen and the early Polish kingdom. Not much more is known about her life - their marriage was most likely childless, and the date of her death is still a matter of disputes between historians (estimated between 1014-1030).

She and her husband Herman were depicted among famous 12 donor portrait statues in the gothic cathedral in Naumburg, Germany sculpted by 13th-century anonymous artist known as the Naumburg Master. It’s unknown why did the Naumburg Master choose to depict her smiling, and who posed for the statue, or whether any historical depictions of her existed at the time of creation - more than 200 years after her death. The statue is still commonly known as the ‘Lächelnde Polin’ (in German) or ‘Śmiejąca się Polka’ (in Polish) - meaning the ‘Laughing Polish Woman’.


Images via Wikimedia Commons.

You can find more characters from Polish history here under by tag ‘short bio’.

20 questions

About Me 

I was tagged by the wonderful @galadrieljones and @thevikingwoman  thank you so much <3

Rules: answer the 20 questions and tag 20 amazing followers you would like to get to know better.

Name: Aleksandra / Ola

Nickname: I don’t think I have one…

Zodiac sign: Gemini

Height: 5′6″

Orientation: straight

Ethnicity: west Slavs

Favorite fruit: just like @thevikingwoman blueberries and raspberries. And grapefruit 

Favorite season: Late Spring when the mud is finally gone and the green appears. In the summer I always fear that the autumn comes too soon and this feeling spoils all the fun :P

Favorite book series:  Heechee saga by Frederik Pohl, The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny, Sprawl trilogy by William Gibson, The Belgariad by David Eddings. 

Favorite flower: good old roses

Favorite scent: lavender, jasmine, orange peel, seaweed…

Favorite color: blue and teal

Favorite animals: sheep

Coffee, tea or cocoa: green tea or cranberry infusion. But I require a big cup of coffee with milk every morning :)

Average sleep hours: 6 but I wish I had more

Cat or dog person: Dogs, I love cats but cannot get near them unless I take some strong pills…

Favorite fictional characters: I’m going to more or less recycle the last list:

Spike Spiegel - Cowboy Bebop, Solas (of course),  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (by Jhonen Vasquez), Ragamuffin (out of Lenore by Roman Dirge), 
Gann of Dreams - Neverwinter Nights: Mask of the Betrayer,
Fall-from-Grace - Planescape Torment, Molly Millions - sprawl trilogy by William Gibson, Corwin - The Chronicles of Amber, Malcolm Reynolds and Kaylee Frye - Firefly / Serenity, Tony Stark - Iron Man.

Number of blankets you sleep with: down duvet because I’m always cold

Dream trip: Patagonia (Argentinian part), a lot of the national parks in the USA, New Zealand, Iceland, Japan, and then once in a while I need to revisit Scotland, just because I miss it. 

Blog created: June 2016

Number of followers: more than I deserve!!! 398, Kisses to you all!

I am tagging: @tel-abelas-mofo @lindiedraws @lisutarid-a @theblackdomino @smuttine @kejj @diagk @love-in-nature @littleblue-eyedbird @felandriss only if you want to! And sorry if you were already tagged :)

omg I can’t believe I missed their introduction ;o; I’ve been waiting for them to show up for so long! ;u;

if only I had more time to draw ;o; thankfully I managed to at least color this sketch ^^;

the west slav countries are finally complete~ ^u^

btw, they are wearing clothing from Horňácko, Krzczonow, and Čičmany respectively. I’m very sorry for any inaccuracies in the clothing ;n; the refs that I used were either cropped, blurry or very small pictures…so it was very difficult at times to make out some details :( 

Świętowit / Światowid / Swantowit / Swantewit / Svątevit / Svetovid / Svantovit - one of the major Slavic deities, god of war, fertility and abundance.

WHAT IS ACTUALLY KNOWN?

The Slavic tribe dedicated to Świętowit was Rani (Ranowie), West Slavic Polabian (Lechitic) tribe, which inhabitated the southwestern mainland across the Strelasund and the island of Rügen (also known as Rugia and in the extinct Polabian language probably Rana, Roja, Ruja or Rujana), today located in the northeastern part of Germany. Main worship centre of Świętowit was located in the legendary Jaromasburg / Arkona at the Cape Arkona.

[Side note: all Slavic people were free to worship any deities from the Slavic pantheon, but it is known that (certainly among the West Slavic tribes) each deity was having one specific tribe dedicated to her/him - the tribe was erecting and maintaining the main temple, which was becoming a place of pilgrimages for the deity’s worshippers from all around Slavonia. Some popular deities could have a number of such worship places, but one of them being the most respected / first.]

The oldest known informations about Świętowit can be found in the documents of Friedrich Barbarossa (from the year 1170), in the Helmold of Bosau’s chronicle (“Chronica Slavorum”, ca. 1120 - after 1177) and in the Danish chronicIe of Saxo Grammaticus (“Gesta Danorum” from the 12th century with descriptions of the wars with Slavic people).

According to Helmold, Świętowit was the highest god, deus deorum, among alI the Slavic tribes (although it should be read as the “West Slavic” tribes, as those were the only Slavonic people with whom he came into contact) and the high-priest of Świętowit had a greater power and enjoyed a greater obedience than some kings and counts of that time. He also mentioned that Świętowit was believed to be the most effective of all deities to turn to during the oracles. Świętowit’s name in the medieval manuscripts was Latinized to e.g. Zuantevith, Zvantevich, Zuentevich, Zuanteuit.

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