Zduhać

Zduhać (plural: zduhaći; pronounced as IPA| [ˈzduxaːtɕ] (s.), [zduˈxaːtɕi] (pl.)) is a spirit in Serbian mythology, recorded in Montenegro, Metohija, western Serbia and Herzegovina. [http://www.mythasdestiny.org/phase1-bazaart-raz.html Myth as destiny] ]

Zduhać is in fact a man who has extraordinary, supernatural properties. His spirit comes out of his body (usually while he sleeps), and then leads the winds, drives away clouds, takes away hail or downpour, or fights with an ala (a creature that brings a storm). A zduhać (through his spirit) also often fights with other, hostile zduhaći. These fights can be very fierce, and various weapons are used: stones, beams, leaves, millstones, water drops, trees, logs, roots, etc. [cite web
last = Ćorović
first = Vladimir
authorlink = Vladimir Ćorović
title = Istorija srpskog naroda
url = http://www.rastko.org.yu/rastko-bl/istorija/corovic/istorija/1_5.html
] It was believed that every local area, clan or extended family had its own zduhaći. Thus, the zduhać is a good spirit who does his region only good, protects it and fights for it.

Zduhaći can be children or women, but usually they are adult men. Their appearance isn't much different from that of the ordinary people. However, they are able to resist all kinds of hardships. They are resourceful in the face of a problem, overcome various troubles and tribulations, and they are often stronger than the ordinary people. Basically, the zduhaći are of a heroic character. Although the zduhaći don't belong to the evil spirits, there are, nevertheless, those who put their strength and knowledge at the devil's service.

Many historical people were believed to be zduhaći – for example Marko Miljanov and Petar I Petrović-Njegoš. A prominent zduhać was also a famous 19th-century herb doctor and prophet Mato Glušac from Herzegovina. Once, in the middle of a conversation, he opened his mouth as wide as he could after a thunder was heard, because he, as a zduhać, had to fight with "džinovi" (a sort of demons or giants in Serbian mythology; pronounce: 'jee-no-vee). [ [http://montenegrina.net/pages/pages1/istorija/cg_u_xix_vijeku/ban_crnogorski_novica_cerovic_cetvrti_dio.htm Ban crnogorski Novica Cerović - četvrti dio] ] [ [http://montenegrina.net/pages/pages1/istorija/dokumenti/crnogorska_prorocanstva_c_bacovic.htm Crnogorska proročanstva] ]

Zduhać is also present in beliefs of Vlachs of Serbia (who inhabit parts of Eastern Serbia), by them also known as "vlva". A prominent ethnologist of Vlachs, Paun Es Durlić, tells us a story of two Vlach zduhaći in the 1960s, namely Djordje Kurić and Strain Dragojević, from the village Rudna Glava. They had to prove by contest which one of them was the better zduhać, because people got annoyed by their constant quarreling in the local pub, about who obliged the village more with his zduhać services, and who was consequently to be more respected by the villagers. They were forced to crawl up a three-storey house and bring a slate from the roof. Strain succeeded, whereas Djordje fell from half-way up and broke a leg. [cite web
last = Durlić
first = Paun Es
title = Kult mrtvih kao osnova za odredjenje religije Vlaha
url = http://www.muzej-mpek.org.yu/radovi/religija_vlaha.htm
]

There is a similar character named "grabancijaš", recorded in parts of Croatia. A man becomes a grabancijaš when he finishes twelve schools and then performs a certain ritual. After that, his supernatural activities are the same as those of a zduhać. [cite book
author = Vuk Stefanović Karadžić
title = Живот и обичаји народа Српскога
origyear = 2005
publisher = Politika : Narodna knjiga
location = Belgrade
language = Serbian
pages = 273-274
chapter = Брзино коло, грабанцијаш
]

Notes

References

*cite book
author=Š. Kulišić
coauthors=P. Ž. Petrović, N. Pantelić
title=Српски митолошки речник
origyear=1970
publisher=Nolit
location=Belgrade
language=Serbian
chapter=Здухаћ

*cite book
author = Dr Ivan Kovačević
title = Semiologija mita i rituala I
origyear = 2001
publisher = Biblioteka XX vek
location = Belgrade
language = Serbian
chapter = Mitska bića i rituali


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