Sunday, 3 April 2011

Rübezahl



The above is a carving in the Silesian Museum at Görlitz. There's quite a few carvings there, but I like this one best. It's by Paul Mutter (1920-1970), made c.1945.

I hadn't heard of Rübezahl before, but he's a popular folk character around these parts - in Poland as well as this area of Germany, which was all Silesia.

The entry in the guidebook explains:


Rübezahl, Lord of the mountains, is the most famous inhabitant of the Sudenten Mountains (German: Riesengebirge). Early stories portray him as a demon and ghost of the mines, or even a devil. Later he became a moral figure who helped those in distress and punished wrongdoers. More recently, the growing tourist industry has put Rübezahl to use as a publicity figure.

The Rübezahl character is renowned not only in German-speaking areas but also in Poland, where he is known as 'Duch Gór' and in the Czech Republic, where he is known as 'Krakonŏs'.


There's a section on Nazi occupation is which a little girl fleeing her home thought to take just one possession with her - her toy Rübezahl, which was recovered and displayed below.




When I crossed over into Poland, and Wrocław - the capital of Silesia - I saw many more examples in the street markets.



 Interesting titbit of local mythology.

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