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Tales From The Samodivi

Eastern Europe

 :: 

Balkans

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ISBN #

Hardback:

Paperback:

eBook:

978-1-913500-93-1

978-1-913500-15-3

978-1-913500-62-7

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Coming Soon

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Samodivi

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This volume, Tales From The Samodivi covers stories originating in what we know as the Balkans. The Balkan Peninsula is a region in South-Eastern Europe, and has a full and rich history and tradition where cultures have been mixing for at least 2,000 years and Slavic civilisation has had an especially strong influence. The result is diverse and fascinating folklore with its own set of mythical beings and legendary heroes.

One of the more common characters of Slavic mythology is the Samodiva. The Samodiva is a forest spirit in the shape of a beautiful woman who never loses her youthful looks. The Samodivi bathe in forest springs underneath the moonlight and sometimes make young bachelors from the nearby villages play the kaval (a wooden flute) for them. If a man steals a Samodiva's veil, she becomes an ordinary woman and has to be his wife, but will spend every moment she can looking for her veil to regain her freedom, even if it means leaving her children behind. The Samodivi also protect forest animals.

These tales are taken from collections such as Serbian Folk-lore by Madame Elodie L. Mijatovich, published by The Columbus Printing, Publishing & Advertising Company, 1899, from Hero Tales and Legends of the Serbians by Woislav M. Petrovitch, published in 1914, and from Andrew Lang's various coloured Fairy Books from the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

These titles will grow over coming years to tell lost and forgotten tales from every continent. Even then, I’ll just be scratching the surface of the world’s folklore.
That’s the great gift in storytelling. Since the first of our ancestors sat around in a cave, contemplating an ape’s place in the world, we have, as a species, told each other stories of magic and cunning and caution and love. When I began to read through tales from the Celts, tales from Indonesia, tales from Africa and the Far East, tales from everywhere, one of the things that struck me clearly was just how similar are our roots. We share characters and characteristics. The nature of these tales is so similar underneath the local camouflage. Human beings clearly share a storytelling heritage much deeper than the world that we see superficially as always having been just so.

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