Sixty Folk-Tales From Exclusively Slavonic Sources by A. H. Wratislaw
THE Croats are believed to take their name from their former abode in the ancient Chrobatia, north of the Carpathian Mountains, whose name retains the same root, CRB(or P)T. Among them we meet with a wonderful hero, 'Marko' (No. 52), the account of whose buzdovan, or mace, the southern representative of Thor's hammer, may be compared with 'Little Rolling-pea's bulava (No. 22), and that of 'Ivan Popyalof' (Ralston, p. 66). Marko appears to have been a very unprincipled hero, with very slight ideas of honesty and fair-play. He is represented as gaining his vast strength from a superhuman source--a Vila, of whom more anon. In No. 53, we are carried into cloudland, and meet with representatives of the 'Clashing Rocks' (Symplegades), through which the good ship Argo had to pass before she could make her way into the Black Sea, and which, till their reappearance in this story, seem to have dropped altogether out of folklore. From this story, and also from several incidents in No. 52, we perceive that the Vilas of the South Slavonians are not denizens of the earth, the waters, or the woods, but of the clouds, and thus a journey has to be made into cloudland to find the daughter of their king. (1) No. 54 will remind us of Aladdin and his wonderful ring and lamp, although animals play a part in it unknown to the Oriental tale. No. 55 introduces us to the singular relations supposed to exist between human beings and wolves, and No. 56 exhibits a curious mixture of destiny and ingenuity.
1: It must also be noticed that
the hero is represented as catching the Storm-mare, just as Bellerophon
does the horse Pegasus by the fountain Peirene.
The text came from:
Wratislaw, A. H. Sixty Folk-Tales From Exclusively Slavonic Sources. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, & Company, 1890.