Summer with Bosnian fairies

“Her golden hair shines while she bathes in the Neretva river, ready for a new adventure beyond the Vilenica mountain, helping women raise their crops and men in their endeavors…” 

Illustration: Dalila Manso (@dalilaman)

Oh, the stories about Bosnian fairies we collected from you during this spring! 

One can hear whispers of stories similar to this one in every corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina. From the fairies who help heroes fight off aždaje to those who steal flour from the water mills, we grew up hearing about their magic. Vile te odnijele! - May the fairies take you away! - cried our elderly when we did small mischiefs as children. Fairies make a large part of local mythologies here.

It is no wonder - Bosnia and Herzegovina, the blue heart of Europe, the mountainous little country famous for its nature - is a place where magic underlies tradition.

These inspiring stories have to be told in Bazerdžan. Think of Tudup, a mythical creature who lives in Kazan near Konjic. Kazan is a mysterious place within the Neretva river where annual diving competition takes place - and Tudup helps the divers stay safe. Think of the Sad Fairy of the Kukavičko Jezero - who cried the whole lake out near Kupres, or the heroic fairies who organized to save the character from Bosnian epic, Mujo Hrnjica.

Illustration: Dalila Manso (@dalilaman)

Or the magical fairy of Bey Ljubović. Our dear painter, Dalila, was especially inspired by this story of a fairy who falls in love with a human somewhere in the mountains of Bosnia and decides to hide her wings in the closet so she can stay with him. Aching for freedom for many years, she finally puts them back and flies away. 

Illustration: Dalila Manso (@dalilaman)

Long, golden or fiery red hair, bright eyes and with bushy eyebrows, Bosnian fairies live among the people. In their own, secluded communities, they go out at night or charm those who pass by through secluded parts of forests, mountains, glades and meadows.

They ride wild horses into the sunset, steal flour from the mills, raise orphans and enchant young men. Bosnian fairies tell stories of generosity, community, sharing and care for nature.

Often, Bosnian mountains and rivers have a magical element to them. Be it river fairies, lake fairies, mountain fairies or forest fairies, the richness of the landscape contributes to these stories being intertwined with our own personal experiences. 

Does your birthplace have a fairy story? A good one, a bad one? Keep sharing with us on our Instagram and see how we interpret them in our upcoming summer collection!

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