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The Appearance of Vukovi in the Wedding Customs near Novska
; Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (571 KB)
Černelić, M. (2001). Pojava vukova u svadbenim običajima u okolici Novske. Studia ethnologica Croatica, 12/13(1), 125-134. Preuzeto s http://hrcak.srce.hr/48529
The article considers the appearance of the uninvited guests, who call themselves vukovi ("wolves"), in the villages near Novska, which were included in this research. This custom is basically about the appearance of the uninvited guests at a certain moment during the wedding ceremony, who perform all sorts of pranks and practical jokes, until the hosts give them something to eat and drink. The common characteristics in all the researched villages were the following: vukovi are always uninvited, they are mostly younger, unwed men, they yell and make a lot of noise, they are not masked, and the members of the wedding party bring them food and drink in front of the house, since they are not supposed to enter. They appear during the wedding ceremony in the home of the groom, although the time of their arrival can differ from village to village.
This custom, with the same name and in similar or slightly different form, can be found in some regions around Dinara Mountain. By using the comparative analysis on the vukovi custom, in all the regions where it appears as part of the wedding customs, the author is trying to establish the possible origin of this custom. A large number of common characteristics in all the regions where this custom can be found, definitely points to the conclusion that it represents a part of the traditional heritage brought by the immigrants from Bosnia and Lika to this region. Basically, we can talk about the same custom bearing some local traits. It is most commonly found in the western part of the Dinaric region and among the members of the three nationalities inhabiting the broader areas around the Dinara Mountain. Almost all the elements of this custom can be found in the West Slavonia and in Lika. The appearance of vukovi during the procurement of the bride and groom is typically found in Bosnia, but is not completely unknown in West Slavonia or in Lika. These few confirmations point to the conclusion that this variant of the custom was also present in the past, and that in the earlier period it could have been present in a broader region. With time, the appearance of vukovi during the wedding ceremony prevailed, and spread from the harassment of the wedding couple to the harassment of the whole wedding party. This line of development could have been supported by the fact that the wedding customs of the older, kaikawian population, also included the appearance of the uninvited guests on the wedding ceremony, to whom the members of the wedding party would give food and drink, after which they would be 'pacified' and would leave the ceremony. Because of the massive immigrations of the population from the Dinaric regions in several waves, the custom has changed towards the variant in which Dinaric elements were prevailing. The common elements of this custom among the populations of different origin, were favourable for its preservance. So, specific variants of the title vukovi for a group of uninvited guests are regionally limited, as research has shown so far, to the areas of west and south-west Bosnia, a part of western Herzegovina, southern Lika and to the region of Western Slavonia. There are some traces in the middle of Dalmatia, where this custom has been abandoned long time ago, and hence it is possible that, sometime in the past, it was more common in this region, too. The title vukovi points to the cattle breeding population as the original carriers of this custom.
Vukovi is just a small section of the wedding customs in the villages near Novska which points to the prevailing Dinaric elements. This conclusion is significant because in the research carried so far, this section of the wedding customs, among some others, has been unknown in this region.
wedding customs; vukovi (wolves); Novska region
Hrčak ID: 48529
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