Feb 23, 2016

The Legend of Aždaja

Aždaja in the village Umoljani

One of the surviving legends about the Bosnian dragon in village Umoljani goes like this:
Once upon a time in a village far far away, a lot of people gathered to party. They partied for days and thus made such a noise that woke the Aždaja, a giant serpent that slept in the nearby canyon. Aždaja crawled out of the canyon and hurried towards the people to put an end to the terrible noise. As soon as they realized the danger, the people chanted their prayer which saved them by petrifying the Aždaja. The trail of Aždaja can still be seen today in a form of a winding creek leading to the village, and the beast itself petrified on a nearby cliff.
The village is situated near the canyon of river Rakitnica which is where the dragon lived. The creek leading from the canyon to the village is called Studeni potok or "The cold creek".
It is quite obvious the legend got skewed and deformed by the passing ages, turning the dragon (Aždaja) into a mindless beast that threatened the people. In fact, the opposite is true. That is why I made this film - to show the world the real dragon of Bosnia.

Here is a map showing the locations from the legend:

Feb 16, 2016

Two Faces of the Bosnian Dragon

Ancient legends speak of the Great Bosnian mountain dragon that dwells in faraway forgotten lands of the Bosnian empire. Through the ages a few shamans from the remote mountain villages have mastered the craft of summoning this dragon.

The dragon shows up as two parts - the black and the white. Only when two parts intertwine, they form a magnificent creature in perfect balance and harmony.

The Black Dragon

Takes up the form of a great serpent composed of black stone plates with dark smoke pouring from within. He is the darkness, the powerful masculine physical manifestation. Without thoughts or reason, the black dragon, will devour anything in its path as he is the embodiment of destruction and chaos. He is the powerful force of entropy in nature. This dragon brings thunder, earthquakes and raptures the volcanoes. The shamans know he can only be tamed with the help of the white dragon.

The White Dragon

She is the faint and fragile spiritual dragon, the light. She is the brightness of the sunlight, the reason and the force of life. Whenever she appears, she spreads joy, happiness and harmony among all earthly creatures. She knows no size, thus sometimes appears so small she can fit on a daisy flower and twirl between leaves of grass. Other times the white dragon creates the most intriguing cloud shapes as she swings her tail through the skies. The people say she brings the purest of love.

Feb 5, 2016

The Inspiration for the Dragon

Two intertwined dragons on
stećak in Brštanica
The dragon in the film is comprised of two opposing yet complementary parts - the light and the dark. They intertwine and balance each other, forming the perfect dragon, a protector of the village.

The concept was directly inspired by the particular symbol found on mysterious stećak tombstones reliefs. The relief shows two serpent-like dragon creatures facing each other while their bodies are entangled. Only four tombstones have this symbol and I was lucky enough to find them all and make some photos, along with a selfie, of course.