Rain and Dust
Dež in prah
The subject of this paper is the pan-Balkan rainmaking practice associated with the names ‘dodola’ and ‘peperuda’ and their many and various cognates. The paper develops out of the author’s experience in writing a long poem based on these customs (In a Time of Drought, 2006; U vreme suše, 2005). The paper proceeds to offer an analytical reading of the well known example of the Balkan rainmaking custom. In the course of close linguistic examination and comparative contextualisation, attention is focussed on one specific motif: the sieve. The paper opens conjectures that relate the Balkan practice to two ancient Mediterranean mythological motifs: first, to Minoan and Mycenaean rainmaking invocations, and, secondly, to the goddess Persephone, via the theories of V. V. Ivanov and V. I. Toporov.
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