rhapsode V.K. sings the feats of Royal Marko accompanied on the gadulka.
Panivceri, Bulgaria, 1994.
Piece 5 of
V. K. 's repertory (...) poses in epic terms the problem, well identified
in historical anthropology of kinship, of the hypogamic marriage to which
the king's daughter is reduced if her parents do not succeed in arranging
for her isogamic marriage through political alliances. From the first verses
the cosmological horizon of the subject is traced. The vili and samovili,
those familiar figures of Bulgarian popular mythology, inform Marko that
a divitsa, a divinely beautifull princess, is waiting for him at
Nikjup (Nicopole) and urges him to come, since valliant knights are proposing
to her and the Black Arab (the Ottoman Turk) risks of obtaining her. Marko
leaves without delay with his adopted brother Semo (...). Semo hears that
the princess will announce her choice to his pretenders at the horo, the
"fiery round" that will be held on the same day. She will ask
Marko and the Black Arab to leave the horo, because she will decide
in favour of one of them. The Black Arab appears brandishing his war spear.
Marko appears with his spear in the hand and the two vaillant knights prepare
to fight, but the princess (...) forbides them to do it. She replaces this
destructive ordeal by a constructive one : for Marko, to build a tower that
reaches the sky, for the Black Arab, to make the Danube flow in Nikjup.
But, contrary to Marko who fights loyally with his own forces, the Black
Arab is disloyally assisted by three hundred slaves and wins the fight.
The princess gives herself to the winner during the wedding banquet that
is celebrated at the court of Nikjup. But the supplanted pretender, Marko,
suddenly appears after having accomplished his feat.
He unsheathed his spear
Turned left, turned right
and cut the Arab in two
and cut down the princess of Nikjup.
Les Noces de Marko, Le rite et le mythe en pays bulgare, Paris, PUF,1998,
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