Nataša Gliha Komac
The monograph illustrates the festive year of Slovenes in the Canale Valley from the perspective of current ritualistic practices (still in use today). The identifying elements of the Slovenian linguistic community are recognizable in the implementation of various (popular) religious practices by the local population. The author presents the rituals (with selected prayer formulas), described as an integral part of their life by Slovenian-speaking informants – all of whom are indigenous, native people of the Canale Valley – that was described, from the point of view of experts in the fields (e.g. Kuret 1989) as typical of the Slovenian community in general.
Popular Piety in the Canale Valley: The Skull that is Washed and Wrapped in Cloth first delivers a brief geographical and historical description of the Canale Valley, with an emphasis on the life and level of organization of the Slovenian linguistic community. The text focuses especially on the review of the history of teaching the Slovenian language as an important identifiable element of the local Slovenian linguistic community. The villages Ugovizza (Slovenian Ukve / German Uggowitz /Friulian Ugovitse), Camporosso (Slovenian Žabnice / German Seifnitz / Friulian Cjampros) and Valbruna (Slovenian Ovčja vas / German Wolfsbach /Friulian Valbrune) are examined, which once had the largest native Slovenian-speaking population and where the ritual of washing and wrapping a skull in cloth was recorded.
According to Matičetov (1955: 231), it is “a special custom that is performed among the Slovene population when bodies are exhumed and moved. It consists in cleaning the skull, wrapping it in a cloth and placing it back into the grave next to a new corpse.” Records of the presence of such rituals in Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Macedonia are a proof of the connection of this ritual of washing and wrapping skulls in cloth with the wider South Slavic area (Schneeweis 1935; Gasparini 1955; Matičetov 1955; Maister 1975; Tolstaja 1999), while recent research (Kajkovski 2014) confirms that the cult of the skull was worshipped by all neighbouring South Slavic nations as early as in the early Middle Ages.
Slovenski raziskovalni inštitut (SLORI) / Instituto sloveno di ricerche (SLORI); Slovensko kulturno središče Planika Kanalska dolina / Centro Culturale Sloveno Stella Alpina Val Canale
Studia mythologica Slavica – Supplementa Supplementum 9
hardback 17 × 24 cm 111 pages
05. 12. 2019