Funkcije povedk o nočnih srečanjih s čarovnicami in njihova vloga v konstrukciji prostora in časa
Tales about Nighttime Encounters with Witches, Their Function, and Their Role in the Construction of Space and Time

Mirjam Mencej



The authoress deals with the memorates of meeting night appearances of witches in the form of lights or of invisible witches, that can cause people to lose their way. The stories were recorded in the period 2000-2001 in the rural region of Slovenia, but they are only one part of a larger context of witchcraft beliefs there. This paper focuses on different and changing functions of these stories that can be realized from the data. The night witch can be taken as an excuse, pretext for losing one’s way due to drunkenness or a delay; it also seems that sometimes such stories are caused by sexual tensions; they can provide means of diminishing the reputation of a woman due to the neighbourhood tensions etc. Although the dramatis personae of night adventures are mostly men, it seems that women are typical »tradition bearers« of these accounts, which tenders many possible reasons as to why it is so. On the other hand these experiences don’t happen anywhere or anytime – in this way we can also understand them as indicators of liminal, safe and dangerous space and time for people living there.

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