Jelka Vince Pallua To Present “The Slavic ‘Baba’ as an Aquatic Deity”

 Jelka Vince Pallua, autorica knjige o fenomenu virdjina. Foto: Neja Markicevic / CROPIX

Jelka Vince Pallua. Foto: Neja Markicevic

Jelka Vince Pallua, Ph.D., senior scientific advisor, is an ethnologist and cultural anthropologist who for twenty years taught at the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Philosophical faculty, University of Zagreb, Croatia. She continues to teach at the same Department on the Ph.D. level after having moved to the Institute of Social Sciences in Zagreb. She has published around fifty papers in Croatian and international journals and publications and delivered presentations at twenty two international and thirteen Croatian scientific conferences

Last year her book The Enigma of Sworn Virgins – An Ethnological and Cultural Anthropological Study was published addressing questions connected with mythological issues as well. The dedication of the book  “To all the ‘invisible women’ in history” sums up the motivation for her continuing work on women’s issues, more precisely on the topic of women in traditional culture. Guided by the same interest, she has started to publish articles about women figures in Slavic mythology.

Dr. Vince Pallua’s presentation for the ASWM Conference is The Slavic Baba as an Aquatic Deity

This contribution builds upon my previous research on monolithic Babas (baba in some Slavic languages meaning ugly old woman) published in 1996, 2004 and 2013. During fieldwork in Croatia, I discovered that water/humidity is the most important element, omnipresent with all the snotty and slimy rocks Babas (which are always situated by the wells, streams, lakes etc.). The Baba is the female cultic substrate of fertility and well-being. . . Both Mokoš and the Baba stand close to water, an element so much needed for fruitfulness of the agrarian cosmic cycle. By the sacral interpretation of the landscape, as well as by etymological interpretation of the word baba, I place it as a “mythologem” within the pre-indoeuropean mythical structure.


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