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  • #345720

    Anonymous

    image

    Štehvanje in Savlje near Ljubljana. Štehvanje, or Kufenstechen in German, is an old Slovenian folk game, mostly known and preserved among Carinthian Slovenes in Austria, Zilja valley (Gailtal) to be precise. The event is very alive in the village of Bistrica v Ziljski dolini. There is also an annual Štehvanje in Savlje, near Ljubljana city, for over 58 years now.

    The oldest mention of the exact Štehvanje is from 1804 and places it in Zilja valley, but was seen also around Beljak (Villach). The exact origin of this game isn't known, some say it originates from the Baroque era and was made as a copy of knights' tournaments by Slovene peasants in Zilja valley, where the horse breading tradition was and partially still is alive. Similar games were known also in upper Italy and Istria until the 19th century. It is seen as a way to maintain the art of horse riding and serves as some kind of initiation in the adulthood for boys (showing of their skills to get married).

    [img width=700 height=450]http://www.etno-muzej.si/files/oc/sustersic/5987.jpg” />
    Placing of the wooden barrel

    The game is played so that you ram a wooden pole in the ground and place a small wooden barrel with hazel rings on top. Boys in folk costumes then ride on barebacked horses past the pole and smack the barrel with iron bats. The goal is to shatter the barrel and catch the hazel rings. When the barrel is shattered the boys ride past three times to catch the prize wreath from the public. After the game is finished the boys take the girls in folk costumes to a dance under the village's linden (Rej pod lipo), where they dance to old Slovene folk songs (both Slovene and German in Carinthia).

    [img width=700 height=525]http://slike.hribi.net/slike4/0581428528713_IMG_0331.JPG” />
    Iron bat (Količ) for Štehvanje

    [img width=700 height=465]http://www.kleinezeitung.at/mmt_scaled//upload/images/large/pic_677499.jpg” />
    Catching the prize wreath

    Kir(ch)tag Melweg 2010
    Štehvanje near Šmohor, Austria

    Kufenstechen in St. Stefan [19.08.2012]
    Štehvanje in Sveti Štefan, Austria

    #420843

    Anonymous

    One among the coolest traditions! :) Sadly these ppl are mostly Germanised now.

    #420844

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    One among the coolest traditions! :) Sadly these ppl are mostly Germanised now.

    Yes, but you can still hear them sing Slovene songs on those Kirchtags.

    Sm mel kr probleme najt dober video o Štehvanju. Maš en video iz Savelj, pa so tak slabi, de rajš nisem. ;D Korošci sod stolčejo v ene 5-6 krogih (tut mej), naši tam so pa čez 18 krogov nucal … :(

    #420845

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Yes, but you can still hear them sing Slovene songs on those Kirchtags.

    Yep they do. An most interesting phenomenom. :D Also interestingly they haven't vandalised statues of well known local wrriters, etc. like Matija Majar & co.

    Quote:
    Sm mel kr probleme najt dober video o Štehvanju. Maš en video iz Savelj, pa so tak slabi, de rajš nisem. ;D Korošci sod stolčejo v ene 5-6 krogih (tut mej), naši tam so pa čez 18 krogov nucal … :(

    Hahah ja lej tradicija in predanost devata svoje. :D

    #420846

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Yep they do. An most interesting phenomenom. :D Also interestingly they haven't vandalised statues of well known local wrriters, etc. like Matija Majar & co.

    Uh, truly interesting, Ziljski was afteral the father of Zedinjena Slovenija program. :D

    Hahah ja lej tradicija in predanost devata svoje. :D

    Heh, bo treba še mal žganov pojest, jl? ;D

    #420847

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Uh, truly interesting, Ziljski was afteral the father of Zedinjena Slovenija program. :D

    Heh, bo treba še mal žganov pojest, jl? ;D

    Yes. Well actually i was suprised one fella from Gailtal knows bout Majar & co. :D Btw where did you find that info bout origins of štehvanje. Another thing i been told word štehvanje itself steems from German word right?

    Anways this picture is epic;

    [img width=446 height=700]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/Ritt_zum_Kufenstechen.jpg” />

    #420848

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Yes. Well actually i was suprised one fella from Gailtal knows bout Majar & co. :D Btw where did you find that info bout origins of štehvanje. Another thing i been told word štehvanje itself steems from German word right?

    How? And German Austrian Carinthian knew 'bout Ziljski?

    Yup, the word itself seems to be of German origin, afterall KufenstechenŠtehvanje.

    I found some info about the origin on the German Wikipedia. If you read the article about Štehvanje in Slovene and German you get some good info as both include something what the other doesn't … And I put in some of my own knowledge from before and from watching the videos, although, I must say that there seem to be many slight variations of the game and thatfor the exact rules don't aply for everyone – sometimes it's hard to understand.

    #420849

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    How? And German Austrian Carinthian knew 'bout Ziljski?

    Well i dunno atm but i think he lives near that statue. :D However he also seems to be on the educated side & can speak this dialect a bit. You know what i mean? :P

    Quote:
    Yup, the word itself seems to be of German origin, afterall KufenstechenŠtehvanje.

    Could i assume that word štihajne (or štihanje) is also derivate from German?

    Quote:
    … And I put in some of my own knowledge from before and from watching the videos, although, I must say that there seem to be many slight variations of the game and thatfor the exact rules don't aply for everyone – sometimes it's hard to understand.

    Would be glad if you made detailed describtion of these variations and their rules. :) And what is supposed to be meaning behind this "ritual" anyways?

    #420850

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Well i dunno atm but i think he lives near that statue. :D However he also seems to be on the educated side & can speak this dialect a bit. You know what i mean? :P

    Oh I see. So he is kinda Slovene Carinthian (otherwise he probably wouldn't have a clue of Wind'sche Sprach', or?).

    Could i assume that word štihajne (or štihanje) is also derivate from German?

    You should as in most of modern day Slovenia only the word "štihanje" is known, few have ever heard of "štehvanje". Yes, it of course is derivated from the same word.

    Would be glad if you made detailed describtion of these variations and their rules. :) And what is supposed to be meaning behind this "ritual" anyways?

    Thatfor I would have to watch hours of stupid low-quality Austrian Štehvanje videos … :- And in the end I couldn't really serve with anything really …

    I only ment that in some villages the participants have to catch the hazel rings after barrel is "kaput" and somewhere the don't. It also seems that not everywere they ride 3 rounds before the winner catches the prize wreath, which is ussually smaller (so that your hand with količ goes in just sligtly), but somewhere it's also made bigger, like an usual wreath.

    I guess the ritual's purpose is mostly to show the whole village how good these boys can ride (since they ride barebacked horses, called "noriške kobile" in Slovene, idk what that means …), and their physical power, since you can't really be weak to smack that barrel apart. So I guess in the end it helps them to get a girl or future wife – at least in the past. Perhaps it could be seen as some sort of initiation into manhood, but I doubt that, tbh. I also thought it could be a kind of practice of military skills for the boys, since the game is practically a copy of knight's tournaments and horsebreeding is traditional in that area, so sure a lot of young men had to join the Dragoon Regiment Nr. 5 (Styrian-Carinthian-Carniolan regiment) or so … The area from which the men for the Dragoons came changed a lot throughout the years, but it always included the are of IR 7, which is wole Carinthia. Anyhow, I suspect it could be made after a few medieval knight's games, similar to "quintain":
    [img width=700 height=294]http://www.shakespeare-navigators.com/as_you_like_it/quintain.jpg” />

    And the final part (catching the hazel rings and prize wreath) could be taken from a game similar to sinjska alka, where also a ring must be caught with a lance.
    [img width=466 height=700]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2346/2538147627_62294810dd_o.jpg” />

    Then you still have the most simple purpose: all for fun!

    #420851

    Anonymous

    The course of Štehvanje with photos and description.

    [img width=700 height=525]http://slike.hribi.net/slike4/032428528482_IMG_0315.JPG” />
    First, the barrel is brought to the site with a wagon.

    image
    Then the barrel is set on the pole.

    [img width=700 height=462]http://www.lavanttaler.at/kaernten/brauchtum/kufenstechen/kufenstechen01b.jpg” />
    What follows is the opening round, where all the riders simply ride past the barrel, or just slightly tough it with thekolič. The barrel can be struck with all strenght already at this stage, which gives you an advantage, but it is considered dishonorable, so few or none do it.

    [img width=525 height=700]http://www.visitljubljana.com/file/483938/posavsko-tehvanje.jpg” />
    After the opening, the riders ride past the pole and smack the barrel as powerful as they can.

    [img width=700 height=477]http://wwwu.edu.uni-klu.ac.at/ahebein/lv-inet/Kufens6.jpg” />
    After a few rounds the barrel looks somewhat like this …

    image
    When the barrel is destroyed completely, a round follows, in which the riders must catch the hazel rings with theirkolič. This isn't done in all villages.

    image
    Then the riders must ride past the pole three times to catch the prize wreath. Usually a girl holds it in her hand and in two of those three rounds the wreath isn't given to anyone.

    [img width=700 height=466]http://i45.servimg.com/u/f45/16/05/08/03/20112615.jpg” />
    image
    In the third round the wreath is then caught by one of the riders and by this he is declared winner. With this the game itself ends.

    image
    Then the boys escort the girls (all in folk costumes) under the village's linden tree or vilagge's square if there is no linde, andRej pod lipo begins, lasting late in the night. :)

    #420852

    Anonymous

    image
    Then the riders must ride past the pole three times to catch the prize wreath. Usually a girl holds it in her hand and in two of those three rounds the wreath isn't given to anyone.

    I found better pictures to describe this stage of the game, from the annual Štehvanje in Savlje, Slovenia.

    [img width=700 height=525]http://slike.hribi.net/slike4/0555428528943_IMG_0347.JPG” />
    So, one can see the girl in folk dress holding the wreath …

    [img width=700 height=525]http://slike.hribi.net/slike4/0683428529038_IMG_0348.JPG” />
    … and evading the rider'skolič on this one.

    I should also mention, that the game isn't without risk, as riding barebacked horses can result falling on the ground, if the rider is not very good in his skills, or if the horse gets frightened.

    Also, I found an old drawing of Štehvanje from Carinthia.
    [img width=700 height=563]http://artgen.billerantik.de/articles/E/8459_P.jpg” />

    #420853

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Oh I see. So he is kinda Slovene Carinthian (otherwise he probably wouldn't have a clue of Wind'sche Sprach', or?).

    Yeah. :D

    Quote:
    (since they ride barebacked horses, called "noriške kobile" in Slovene, idk what that means …)

    It means Noric mare. Noric horse is a certain horse breed; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noriker_horse

    #420854

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    It means Noric mare. Noric horse is a certain horse breed; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noriker_horse

    Oh yeah, how couldn't I see this before? :D Thanks!

    #420855

    Anonymous

    Added to front page articles :)

    btw this is same as Croatian Sinjska Alka? (i mean very similar, not same)

    image

    image

    #420856

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Added to front page articles :)

    btw this is same as Croatian Sinjska Alka? (i mean very similar, not same)

    image

    image

    Not really that much as it may seem. The main goal is to smash the wooden barrel that is on the pole. Catching the wreath is more of a "fancy" way to pronounce the winner, since the winner isn't the rider who catches the wreath but the wreath is let to be catched by the winner. The winner the rider, who smashes of the last piece of the barrel.

    Sure, one of the purposes was probably also mounted fight training and štehvanje partialy looked up to older medieval knight's tournaments, but unlike like Alka (played with a lance), štehvanje resembles more fighting with a mace or sword – even though the name of the tool is "kolíč".

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