Keepers of the Lost Villages

Keepers of the Lost Villages

My idea is to present all that is linked to one folk custom called POKLADE that has survived to the present days in rural parts of Serbia. This includes exhibition performance with music, songs, photography, dance ritual, instruments playing, scents reliving, meat degustation, which should highlight five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch).
During POKLADE people are masqueraded, dressed up in animal attire; their heads are covered with special ritual masks. In this way, before Eastern feast, masked people with their instruments, shouting and noise intimidate all those evil spirits who, during the winter, were hidden below the thresholds, in houses and backyards.
This is the custom that is preserved and preformed till present days, spreading the story about masked people who are keepers of the lost cities, where birthrate is getting lower and lower; people are leaving the villages for a better life...
With this custom we would not slip away from oblivion and lose villages.
Our customs will save abandoned sites.

1 year 43 weeks
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Thanks for sharing this Julija! I like it that there is something for all the five senses! So, what happens when people move from villages into cities, isn't there anything from the Poklade tradition that survives or transforms and becomes part of urban life, in one form or another?

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Comment ID: 6619

Thanks for asking this Gunilla...
The Poklade is the special ritual that is directly linked to rural areas of Serbia.
For proper marking of this custom there is need for open spaces such as meadows or uninhabited places in towns and villages, where a great fire could be installed, in which the evil spirits who lived in our homes and souls throughout the winter could be thrown away. In the evening, all the young and old jump over the fire to confirm human power over the evil forces and expressed their skills of maneuvers.
At the time of Poklade many of those who left the villages and went to live in the cities, come to their hometown and join the event.
In the cities this sustainable custom has grown into a form of carnival, which due to incorrect interpretation of the traditional custom of eliminating evil spirits and preparing for the feast, actually provides entertainment with contemporary costumes and music that comes out the traditional framework and its meaning, so has become an urban entertainment for children and young people.
My wish is to show the original guardians of our heritage and our moribund villages.

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Comment ID: 6625