> Do you mean the Skomorokh mask? Then it was valid at least until 1480,
> when, after the 100-Chapter Counsil, they started making Christmas
> decorations out of the Skomorokhs, hanging them whenever possible.
> Though, try to find anything browsing about the word "Ofenya"
> (Ophenya???). They were professional traders, first of all book
> traders, with their special language (for the customer NOT to
> understand), rituals and all - not a city
> corporation, but something in between a bunch of fellow conspirators,
> family school of hidden knowledge and remnants of Skomorokh system in
> later times (references to Ofenyas and their language until early XX
Oooooooohh! Neat! Even if this isn't the mask she was speaking of, you have
given me an interesting direction in which to research further. What exactly
is/was the Skomorokh system and can you give any more info on the Ofenyas
and their language? I wait with baited breath! ;)
I have two books that might interest
> you and can answer some of the questions:
> Religion and the decline of Magic,Studies in Popular
> beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeeth Century England by
> Keith Thomas
> Gypsy Demons and Divinities The magic and Religion of
> the Gypsies. By Elwood B. Trigg.
> I also found the answeres to other of those questions
> when I was visiting Slovakia last summer. Definately
> old beliefs die hard.
Speaking of old beliefs dying hard, I was at one time in correspondence with
an assistant professor from Charles University in Prague who taught classes
in Slavic Pagan culture and Vampires...he said when he was younger he used
to fight vampires...I never knew what to make of that...(the "should I take
him seriously or is he blowing smoke up my butt" debate)...In any case he
was an intriguing individual and a lot of fun to talk to...do any of the
people of Slovakia or other Slavic countries still carry on the old
practices in regard to Vampires?
I will indeed look up the books you mentioned above, thanks for the