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Illyrian cult of Tur

In the religion of our Illyrian forefathers Tur was one of the main segments of the ancient cult of fertility whose influence was retained until today among the Bosnian people. Aleksandar Stipčević, Alojz Benac authors of the book “Cult symbols among the Illyrians: structure and contributions of systematization” (1981) mention the following:

“In farming cultures of the earlier iron age, in which the role of a woman, especially in terms of land cultivation is of the utmost importance for the life of the community, the cult of the bull as a principle of fertility represents a dominant component of the entire belief of people at the time. Bull, i.e. bovine, becomes an animal tied to the fertility of earth as the plough farming developed and the role of a woman in ploughing and farming in general lead to incorporation of the symbol of the bull as the principle of fertility in the basic of the religious cosmos of the matriarchal society. iconographicaly reduced to the horns, the bovine quickly became the symbol of the moon because of the similarity of the horns with the new moon. And the moon, as we mentioned earlier, is closely tied to the fertility of nature itself. Hence, the role of the woman in farming work, help of the bovine in the work, similarity of the bovine horns with the new moon, correspondence of the moon phases with the length of menstrual cycles of women, all of this gave an extremely important role to the bovine in the symbolic system of farming cultures from the earlier iron age onward. With the weakening of matriarchy and its substitution by patriarchy in the metal age didn’t lead to the disappearance of the bull as the principle of fertility. In Greek and Roman religion the bull plays a large role as a sacrificial animal tied to the cult of fertility.”

Mythology of Bosnia and Herzegovina
18/07/2016 23:21