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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 02 | volume I | April-May, 1998



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 02April-May, 1998

The Concept of the World in Macedonian Folk Legends

p. 1
Ermis Lafazanovski

In general, the concept of the world in the Macedonian folk legends incorporates everything that the pre-Christian and Christian religious and philosophical mind understood to be included in the notion of the world. Such a concept was namely under the direct influence of the old and great religious systems like the Iranian and Haldeic philosophies and cosmogonies, especially the Maniheism, which later through the Armenian Paulicaism reaffirmed its thought flows and in the dualistic philosophy of the Bogomil, the traces of which are still visible in modern Christianity (Dragojlovikj D., Antikj V., 1990). In this respect, the most mystical and the most esoteric Macedonian legends – which according to their structure are not far from the myths – are cosmogonic legends of the creation of the world and life, where the concept world includes mainly dualisticly structured phenomena like god and devil, light and dark, earth and sky, sun and moon, plants and animals, man and woman and so on. (Sazdov, T.,1987, 128-142).
    The thing that is most important about these types of legends is the fact that they reveal a philosophical-religious interpretation of the organization and the mutual relation between man and the world. They reveal, at least approximately, the answer to the question about the ontological or gnoseological status of the world in relation to man. Of course, as in the great cosmogonic religious systems, so too in the Macedonian cosmogonic legends one of the possible solutions leads to the answer that man and the world are in an inseparable unity, namely in a constant dialogue. The dialogue may be taken as the basic category of communication between man and the world. Hence, they communicate by means of their own language based on symbolically interpreted questions and answers (Toporov, 1971, 9-62). And while the world poses various questions to man, he answers them with a symbolic interpretation of different mythological concepts like: the notions of god and the devil, light and dark, the saints, the priests, the sacred places (churches), the sacred marriages, the sacred tree and so on. By means of these symbolical interpretations man in fact introduces order into the previous chaos.
    This type of dialogue, containing both a symbolic and a communicative language, is probably most obvious in the Slav languages, and therefore in the Macedonian language too. On the subject of the influence of the language on the orthodox religious conceptualization, B. A. Uspenski gives several

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