liki_nagajivimedved
The Mischievous Bear
Young Women’s Nightmare
The bear and the master from Ptujsko Polje probably represent the Gypsy and tamed bear who once walked and performed in the villages. Today we know two types of bears: the older version is dressed in a costume made of sackcloth, and the more modern ones are those with a head, a jacket, and pants made of sheepskin. They run in groups, accompanied by a large number of drovers dressed in old clothes and carrying various accessories: trumpets, bars, collection baskets, etc. They are fairly lively when performing, especially bears, who gleefully chase girls for everyone’s amusement.
liki_nagajivimedved
The Mischievous Bear
Young Women’s Nightmare
The bear and the master from Ptujsko Polje probably represent the Gypsy and tamed bear who once walked and performed in the villages. Today we know two types of bears: the older version is dressed in a costume made of sackcloth, and the more modern ones are those with a head, a jacket, and pants made of sheepskin. They run in groups, accompanied by a large number of drovers dressed in old clothes and carrying various accessories: trumpets, bars, collection baskets, etc. They are fairly lively when performing, especially bears, who gleefully chase girls for everyone’s amusement.

Traditional ethnographic characters

Masks are so widely spread that they hold a significant place in the history of the mankind. For centuries people have believed that the use of masks could help to make connections with the world beyond, with demons, gods, and ancestors’ spirits. Their driving force was to understand and influence natural and social phenomena. The celebration of the carnival goes back to the pagan period, before Christianity, when people celebrated the forthcoming spring and the inevitable end of the winter by performing the rituals of fertility and by magic of masks. Although later Christianity felt absolutely disinclined to this pagan performance, it could never really uproot the masquerading. To be preserved the carnival took place at the beginning of the 40-day Lent preceding Easter; in fact Lent lasts 46 days as the first day is Ash Wednesday. After the period of merry-making, excessive eating and drinking which end on Shrove Tuesday at midnight, begins the period of fasting. 

Masks and masquerading which have come into existence through various historical periods, can nowadays be divided into traditional masks with magic power, and contemporary carnival masks criticising and mocking different events happening in everyday life. In Slovenia, the Ptuj and Drava Fields, Haloze and Slovenske Gorice hills represent the area which deserves special attention for the number and variety of traditional carnival masks.

Kurent
the most important ethnographic figure
Old Woman Carrying Her Man
spirits of heaven
Gypsies
from Dornava
The Devil
fear, fear, is coming
Jürek and Rabolj
from Haloze
The Trough
the straw bride
Wedding Character – the Spearman
marital character
Kurike and piceki
for a good harvest
The Mischievous Bear
from Ptuj field
Ploughmen
draw a magic circle
Log-Haulers
to enchant fertility
Carnival dancers
from Pobrežje
The Whip Crackers
for happiness and well-being
Rusas
from Ptuj field
Fairies
dancing and singing
Traditional ethnographic characters