Sunday 27 August 2017


This is a shepherd's shack from Montenegrin highlands.  

This is a type of semi temporary shelter which consists of wooden stakes frame, which is then covered by crisscrossed branches (sticks) and a thick layer of debris (or hay) and reinforced by additional interlocked wooden beams.

I believe that this is probably one of the earliest types of shelters made by man, because it is so easy to make even without any cutting tools.

Here you can see how such a shelter can made in the wilderness by simply collecting and piling up deadwood logs, stakes and sticks and then covering the whole structure with branches and dead leaves from the forest floor:

 This is a good video showing how to make these shelters.

Of course cutting tools like axes would help speed up this building process and make it easier to get hold of young long strong saplings that are perfect for making stakes which can be used for shelter's frame.

Once you have strong long stakes, if you use a hide or canvas cover instead of a debris cover you get a classic tipi:

And if you stick the support stakes into the ground, and interweave the branches around them, you get wattle. If you then mix a debris (hay, dried grass) with mud and smear this mixture over the wattled walls, you get a wattle and daub house. You then use more debris (dry grass, reeds, hay) to cover the structure and you get a thatched wattle and daub house... 


This great video entitled "Primitive Technology: Wattle and Daub Hut" shows complete procedure of building one of these wattle and daub huts.

Now this type of shelter is in Serbian called "koliba" or "koleba". The word means "hut, cottage, cabin". The word is also found in all Slavic languages with the same meaning "hut, shack, hovel". It is also found in Greek as "καλύβα" (kalýva), in Romanian as "colibă", Albanian as "kolube, kalive, kolibe", Persian as "kulbe" and Turkish as "kulübe" with the same meaning "hut, shack, hovel".

This word is also found in Ancient Greek as "καλύβα" (kalýva) meaning "hut, shack, hovel, cover". This word has no known etymology in Greek. And so because of the word space time distribution, it is accepted that this word comes from the Balkans and that it has pre Greek (Pelasgian) origin. The Greeks then adopted it and passed it on to Slavs, Albanians, Turks...

However there is a problem with this theory. The word "koliba" actually has full root etymology in Slavic languages. When I say full root etymology, I mean that the word "koliba" can be broken into parts whose combined meaning gives us the full meaning of the word "koliba". 

The full meaning of the word "koliba" is "a shelter made from stakes (and covered by debris or hides or canvas or...)" 

In my post "Kolac - Golac" I talked about the Serbian word for stake, stick "kol, kolj" and the fact that its root is probably the word "gol" meaning "naked, bare, stripped of (leaves and branches)", which is the way you make stakes, sticks from saplings. This word has cognates in all Slavic languages. But also in Gaelic where we find:

cuaille, g. id., pl. -acha (cuailne), f., a stake, a pole, a club, a baton; do bhuail sé an ch. comhraic, he brandished the battle-staff; cuaille fir, a tall, slender man;

In Serbian we also find the word "izba" meaning "room". This word has cognates in all Slavic languages: Polish "izba" (Old Polish izdba, istba, izba) meaning "room, hut", Slovak "izba" meaning "room", Russian изба (izba) meaning "peasant house", Bulgarian изба (izba) meaning "cellar", Sorbian "jstwa, stwa" meaning "house", Polabian "jázba" meaning "house, room"...

Official etymology says that this word comes from either Old High German "stuba" meaning "heated room, oven" or a Romance word "étuve" meaning sauna, hot room, oven...

The problem with this etymology is that in Serbian we also have these two words:

"jazbina" meaning "lair, den"

"jȁzva" meaning "hole, pit, wound". Borrowed into old Prussian as "eyswo" meaning wound.

All these Serbian words point at the common root meaning "hole, pit, lair, den, shelter, place where you can hide and sleep".  

Have a look again at a primitive debris shelter. Do you see how it looks like a "hole, pit, lair, den, shelter, place where you can hide and sleep"?

And have a look at the traditional Slavic semi sunken house known as "zemunica". This one is a reconstruction of a house found in a Slavic settlement Březno, which was discovered in Bohemia , north-west of Prague and was dated to Prague archaeological culture (VI-VII centuries).

This is a cross section of one of these houses

Do you see the similarity of these primitive houses with the primitive debris huts and with animal lairs, dens? They all look like holes you crawl into to take shelter and sleep...

Now in Slavic languages "I sleep" is "Ja spa". Is it possible then that "izba (jazba, jstwa)" meaning "room", "jazbina" meaning "lair, den" and "jazva" meaning "hole, pit, wound" all come from "ja spa" meaning "I sleep, where I sleep"?

Now we have two Slavic words:

1. "kol, kolje" meaning "stake, stick, stakes, sticks"
2. "izba" meaning "hole, pit, lair, den, shelter, place where you can hide and sleep"

And we have the word "koliba" which means "a shelter made from stakes (and covered by debris or hides or canvas or...)"

koliba = koljistba = kolje + istba = stakes + room = hut, shelter

The word koliba is what you get when you pronounce kolje istba fast...

Do you think this holds water?

O yeah and have a look at this. In Polish, the word "koliba" also has a form "chalupa". Now compare this with the word chalet, from Swiss-French chalet "herdsman's hut, Alpine cottage" Unknown etymology, possibly from a pre-Latin language [Barnhart]...

Now remember how this word comes from the Balkan pre Greek (Pelasgian) population? Who were they and which language did they speak then?

Sunday 20 August 2017


slogan, is a short and striking or memorable phrase used to quickly and effectively capture the attention of the audience.

It is used in advertising

And in politics

Slogan can be written but it can also be vocal. Please note that the people on the above picture are carrying a placard with a written slogan but they are also shouting slogans. And this is the original meaning of the word slogan: a short and striking or memorable phrase shouted by a group of people to describe their common cause. 

"Slogan first written down 1670s, earlier slogorne (1510s), "battle cry," from Gaelic sluagh-ghairm "battle cry used by Scottish Highland or Irish clans," from sluagh "army, host, slew" and gairm "a cry". Metaphoric sense of "distinctive word or phrase used by a political or other group" is first attested 1704"

This is following picture is a scene from the movie Braveheart. In it, just before the main battle with the English, Mel Gibson, who plays the Scottish leader William Wallace, yells a battle cry: "Alba gu bràth" which in Scots Gaelic means "Scotland until judgment" or roughly "Scotland Forever". And all the Scottish warriors repeat it, to show to the enemy, and to each other, that they stand united and that they will fight united. 

This unity, this readiness to fight together and for each other, is what transforms a group of people into a sluagh "army, host, slew". 

Now the Irish word "sluagh" comes from Old Irish "slúag, slóg" meaning "army, host, throng, crowd, company, assembly". This word is then said to come from hypothetical Proto-Celtic "*slougos" meaning "troop, army", which is then said to have come from hypothetical Proto-Indo-European root "*slowgʰo-", "*slowgo-"  meaning "entourage". Now what is interesting about this proposed PIE root is that the only other words that come from this PIE root, apart from the Celtic ones, are Proto-Slavic "*sluga" meaning "servant", whose descendants are found in all Slavic languages, and Lithuanian "slaugà" meaning "servitude". 

Again we see interesting connection between Celtic and Slavic languages....

But I believe that the connection is even more interesting. 

What is it that turns a group of people into a troop, an army? The common cause that unites them. Original troops, armies were groups of family, clan, tribe members united together in order to protect the family, clan, tribe and its property. Or take over another family, clan, tribe's property. It was their unity, the readiness to fight together and for each other, that gave them their power. The mobilization of the people to join the family, clan, tribe army was done through shouting slogans. Like "For McLeods" or "Death to McLeods" depending on the situation :) Once the army was mobilized, the morale and unity of the troops was reinforced by shouting the same slogans that made them join the army in the first place. And just before and during the battle, the same slogans were shouted in order to show to further reinforce the morale of each member of the troop and show him that he is not a lonely individual, but a member of a united army which is fighting together. And also to show the same thing to the enemy. You have to deal with all of us, a united army...

Nothing really changed here since the beginning of time. People still most commonly fight for their families, their clans, their tribes, their nations, their countries....And it is the common cause, declared and reinforced through slogans, that motivates them to do so. 

Unless they fight for money that is...But that is another sad story...

Now in Slavic languages the word for unity, the thing that turns a group of men into an army, and which is achieved through common motivation reinforced by the use of slogans, is "sloga"... :) 

Could this word be somehow related to the Old Irish "slúag, slóg" meaning "army, host, throng, crowd, company, assembly"?

Saturday 5 August 2017


Muslims from Zenica region celebrating Aliđun 1936

Second of August lies midway between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox. It also lies bang in the middle of the zodiac sign of Leo (July 23 to August 22 each year) which is ruled by the sun. The sun god Svetovid ascends to it's throne on the summer solstice day (21. of Jun). But the power of the sun is not at it's maximum yet. The power of the sun is the greatest on the 2nd of August. This is the hottest part of the year, the time of droughts. I talked about this in my post "Two crosses". And right there, after the day of the maximum heat, the days start getting cooler. This is why the 2nd of August, marks the end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn. In Serbia it is actually believed that it is summer until the noon and autumn from the noon onward. 

This day, the 2nd of August, is in Serbia known as Ilindan (Day of Ilija the Thunderer). I wrote about this day in my post "The thundering sun god". Ilindan is one of the most important Slavas (Holy days) in Serbia. In Serbia there is a saying "Od Svetog Ilije sunce sve milije" meaning "From St Elijah the sun gets more pleasant (kinder, milder)". 

But what most people don't know is that Ilindan is also one of the most important Slavas (Holy days) among Northern Albanian and Bosnian Muslims, who are almost all converted Slavs (Serbs). The Balkan Muslims call this day "Aliđun" (pronounced "Aligjun") and meaning "The day of Ali or the day of Ilija". This is the day of fairs when people from all the surrounding villages gather to celebrate together, exchange goods, arrange marriages. 

What is very interesting is the Balkan Muslims have preserved the memory that this day used to be dedicated to Perun. 

And this is why:

Veles, the great horned serpent, the dragon, the symbol of the heat of the sun, stole "the waters of heaven", "the celestial cows (clouds)" from Perun at the beginning of the summer. Basically this is the description of what the excessive heat of the sun does during the summer. It causes drought. 

So on the 2nd of August, the day of the most intense drought, people would climb the mountain tops where they would light bonfires and pray to Perun for rain. Each family sacrificed a cockerel (which must be the same color, red is considered the most favorable). The reason why red cockerel is sacrificed to Perun is because fire cockerel was a sacred bird dedicated to Perun. I wrote about this in my post "Cockerel and lion". 

And if the drought was really bad, the whole village would sacrifice a bull. Bull was another animal sacred to Perun. The reason for this is that bull is the symbol of the summer which starts on the 6th of May, in the Taurus. The bull literally brings the summer heat between its horns. This is why killing of the bull on the 2nd of August symbolizes killing of the summer summer heat. It represents the end of the summer. 

The most interesting thing that shows the link between Perun and the bull is a special type of bull fights that are organized in Bosnia on the first Sunday in August. 

I wrote about these bull fights in my post "Bo - Vo". 

In these bull fights, bulls fight bulls and the idea is to find the alpha male bull which is then used for fertilizing the cows in order to improve the stock blood line. I believe that originally these bull fights were probably part of the Ilindan (Aliđun), Perundan celebrations organized on the 2nd of August. I wouldn't be surprised that during the times of extreme droughts the winner was sacrificed to Perun as a special offering. 

I believe that these bull fights come from the Serbian tradition, but they are today part of Orthodox, Muslims and Catholics tradition in Bosnia. 

So the bonfires are lit, the sacrifices are made. 

And every year, on the 2nd of August, Perun hears the prayers of the faithful, accepts the offerings and kills Veles. And releases the waters of heaven, the celestial cows. The clouds return to the sky and the rain starts falling...

The summer ends and the autumn begins. 

Until 100 years ago people in Bosnia, Orthodox, Muslims and Catholics celebrated Ilindan (Aliđun) together...

Wednesday 2 August 2017

The thundering sun god

In North Germany, the peasants say, when they hear the low rumbling of distant thunder, "Use Herr Gott mangelt" meaning 'The Lord is mangling, or rolling the thunder.

When I was a kid, I spent my summers with my grandparents. One year, around the 2nd of August, the day of the St Ilija the Thunderer, a late summer storm was rumbling over the village. My grandmother turned to me and said: "It's St Ilija the Thunderer driving his chariot over the clouds. The rolling thunder and flashing in the clouds are made by the fiery wheels of St Ilia's chariots bouncing off the bumpy tops of the clouds".

So this would indicate St Ilija the Thunderer is probably the Christianized pagan god of thunder lightning and rain.

But Serbian folk tradition also says that every year St Ilija the Thunderer gets so angry that he wants to  "burn the whole world down". As I already explained in my post "Two crosses", the 21st of June, the mid summer, is the day of the maximum sun light. But it is the 2nd of August the day that marks the end of summer, that is the day of maximum sun heat. And this is the day when Serbs celebrate St Ilia the Thunderer. The period three days before and the three days after the 2nd of August, is in South Slavic tradition called Kresovi meaning Fires. These are the days of wild fires and droughts. These days are also known as the dog days, because these are the days when the dog star Sirius is in the sky with the sun.

But thankfully "Ilia the thunderer" does not burn the earth. Every year, on his day, the 2nd of August, the day of St Ilija the Thunderer, he gets persuaded by his wife/sister, Ognjena Marija (Fiary Mary) to calm down. In Serbia there is a saying: "Od svetog Ilije sunce sve milije" which means "From St Ilija the sun starts getting kinder, milder, gentler". The first part of the 2nd of August is considered summer and the second is considered to be Autumn. And thus every year on the 2nd of August the summer ends and the autumn begins.

The fact that it is "Ilija the thunderer" who is accused of "wanting to burn the whole word", shows direct link between "Ilija the thunderer" and the burning late summer sun. Is it possible that Ilia the thunderer is also a Christianized sun god?

How is it possible that the same character could personify the burning sun and the storms?

Well do you remember my post "Sun, Thunder, Fire"? In it explained how modern science has proven the existence of the direct link between the solar winds and lightning. In short, without solar winds there would be no lightning.

When we compare our current knowledge of the development of thunder and lightning with the above description of the "Thundering sun god driving his chariots over the tops of the clouds with flashes of lightning sparking from the chariot wheels", we can see that this is pretty faithful description of what is actually happening during August thunderstorms. 

There are two basic types of lightnings:

1. Vertical, cloud to earth (or earth to cloud)

2. Horizontal, cloud to cloud.

A vertical lightning strike from cloud to earth arrives at the ear as a bang. A cloud to cloud strike can sound like rolling thunder because the bang you hear comes along the length of the bolt.

Belgrade school of meteorology has been conducting 35 year long research in frequency and characteristics of lightning over Serbia. 

In Serbia the number of thunder and lightnings is the highest at the end of June and beginning of July, but during that time thundering is very strong and short due to the angle under which the solar wind enters the atmosphere. If there is rolling thunder it is always very short.

On the contrary, the first days of August have the largest number of rolling thunder and lightnings. This is the period of the year when solar wind arrives from the sun under the smaller angle which creates longest rolling time of the solar wind particles over the tops of the clouds. Heliocentric electromagnetic research have shown that due to high speed, particles of the solar wind bounce off the tops of the clouds in the same way a flat stone bounces of the surface of water. Every bounce causes a sound effect in the shape of thunder and a flash of lightning. During that period you can hear how the fireball consisting of the particles of the solar wind, approaches and then goes away. Based on the audio and visual data you can precisely calculate the line and direction of the rolling of the thunder wheel. 

Just as if "the thundering sun god was driving his chariots over the tops of the clouds with flashes of lightning sparking from the chariot wheels"...

We know that wheel is a symbol directly linked with sun. But it is also linked with thunder and fire. We can see this through the symbols of Svetovid and Perun: their wheels. The wheel of Perun is "like" the wheel of Svetovid. It is actually the fiery version of the wheel of Svetovid. Sun creating fire through lightning. 

So the fiery wheels of Perun, the Thunder god, are actually burning sun wheels of Svetovid, the Sun god.  This is symbolic representation of now scientifically proven link between the sun and lightning. 

And the same link between Thunder and Lightning (Perun) and Sun (Svetovid), is also represented by the character of Ilija the Thunderer, the Thundering Sun...The thundering sun god driving his chariots over the tops of the clouds with flashes of lightning sparking from the chariot wheels...