Goddess Dodola  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Dodola Image
"DODOLA "(TO GIVE MILK) IS A SLAVIC CLOUD AND RAIN GODDESS FROM THE OLD SLAVIC MYTHOLOGY. SHE RULED OVER THE WATERS AND THE RAIN...WHICH WAS THOUGHT TO BE A FORM OF DIVINE MILK. IT IS SAID THAT EACH SPRING SHE FLIES OVER THE FIELDS AND SPREADS GREENERY WHILE DECORATING THE TREES WITH BLOSSOMS. SHE IS THE WIFE OF THE THUNDERBOLT GOD, PERUN.

THE SLAVS BELIEVED THAT WHEN DODOLA MILKS HER HEAVENLY COWS (THE CLOUDS), IT RAINS HERE ON THE EARTH. THAT IS WHY IN TIMES OF DROUGHT, THE SLAVS ORGANIZED A FESTIVAL WHERE THEY WORSHIPPED THE GODDESS AND PRAYED TO HER FOR THE MUCH-NEEDED RAIN. IN SEVERAL EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN AREAS OF THE BALKANS, THIS RAIN-MAKING RITUAL IS STILL PRACTICED TODAY, WHILE IT HAS DIED OUT IN MOST OF THE OTHER AREAS. THE RITUAL, OUTLINED BELOW, WAS THOUGHT TO CONVINCE THE HEAVENLY WOMEN TO RAIN UPON THE EARTH.

AT TIMES OF DROUGHT, YOUNG LOCAL GIRLS (SOME SAY ONLY ONE GIRL) WOULD UNDRESS AND THEN CLOTHE THEMSELVES FROM HEAD TO FOOT WITH VARIOUS COMBINATIONS OF LEAVES, FLOWERS, HERBS, AND BLOSSOMS TO PERFORM THIS RAINMAKING RITUAL. THE GIRLS WERE THEN LED BY AN OLDER GIRL OR A WOMAN, WHO WAS DRESSED THE SAME WAY, IN A PROCESSION THROUGH THEIR VILLAGE. THEY USUALLY STOPPED IN FRONT OF EACH HOUSE TO DANCE AND SING SONGS. ONE OF THE SONGS THEY SING GOES LIKE THIS...

"WE GO THROUGH THE VILLAGE;"THE CLOUDS GO IN THE SKY;"WE GO FAST;"FASTER THAN THE CLOUDS;"THEY HAVE OVERTAKEN US;"AND WETTED THE CORN AND THE VINE. "

THE HOUSEWIVES WHEN THEN COME OUT AND DOUSE THE LEADER OF THE GROUP WITH WATER WHILE THE GIRL/WOMEN SPINS AROUND; SOMETIMES THE GIRLS THEMSELVES WOULD SPRINKLE WATER OVER THE COURTYARD USING SPRIGS AND LEAVES. THE GIRLS WERE THEN REWARDED WITH GIFTS OF FLOUR, FOOD, AND SOMETIMES EVEN A LITTLE MONEY.

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