Kurent and the great flood

Ancient Slovenes believed, that in the beginning reigned a golden age, when bread grew on trees and the wheat ears were half a fathom long. In this happy beginning people were good. Yet advancing time brought with it corruption and evil, so the gods decided to make an end of the world.

It started to rain heavily and the water rose high covering the earth. All the people drowned, except four. Folklore is silent concerning how three of those survivors managed to survive, but how the fourth was saved a tale is told.

He was stood on a high hill, and upon it was a vine which reached even further into the sky. As the rain poured and the water rose even to the peak of his high hill, the man grasped the vine and began to climb.

Kurent, a god, highly revered by the ancient Slavs, saw him and was most pleased, that the man sought help through one of the plants which was sacred unto Kurent. Thus he took pity and saved the poor fellow.

As the water began to recede and the earth became drier, the rescued man promised Kurent that he and his descendants would always value the two plants, sacred to him, these being the vine and the buckwheat, and that they would be forever pleased to eat their produce.

The rescued man took in one hand the vine, in the other the buckwheat stalk and went on his way in a bid to find a place to settle.

On the banks of the Adriatic Sea he stopped. From the vine that he carried, he cut a switch and planted it into the ground. And to this day they have very good wine in Prosek.

He also sowed the buckwheat. His sons spread throughout Kranjska and to this day Kranjci for the greater part live on buckwheat and value wine, and with gratitutude remember Kurent, their old benefactor.

Adapted from: www.thezaurus.com

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4 Comments

  1. Kullervo said,

    27 May, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Do myths like this back up the historical claims of Genesis, or do they merely point to a possible common mythic origin?

    Or, alternately, does the Noachian flood-myth in Genesis back up the historical claims of the tale of Kurent?

    Or did they just both steal the true Sumerian story of Utnapishtim?

    In any case, a world-flood myth from outside the fertile crescent is interesting because it undermines even the credibility of the local flood hypothesis.

  2. Michael Bark said,

    27 May, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks for the comment Kullervo, it’s good to know that someone visits occasionally! 🙂

    Personally, I feel that the regular appearance of flood myths stems from marine fossils being found on mountain tops. How else would the ancients have explained it?

    Slovenia has a good number of peaks, So I imagine a number of marine fossils have been discovered on them for innumerable years.

    Hmmm, that’s an interesting line of thought, I must follow it through with a little web research.. 🙂

  3. Debora Thomsen said,

    28 June, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Interesting story and comment…personally, I think the human drive to make sense of things gives us a very rich ability to make things up; punishment and reward are common themes, and floods are the most metaphorical disaster going!

    Question: I need to find at least 3 simple Slovenian folk tales that would be appropriate for 7-10 years olds to act out as a summer camp activity. Can you recommend a good source in English? (Along the lines of Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, or Goldilocks and the Three Bears for American kids?)
    Thanks!

  4. Michael Bark said,

    3 August, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    It seems like I’m too late, Sorry. Here’s the site I’ve often visited in the past – http://www.thezaurus.com/webzine/category/Myths%20and%20Legends.

    Three stories I’d consider are King Matjaž, Martin Krpan, and then maybe a classic fairytale like Janko in Metka (Hansel and Grethel).


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