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Vodník / Vodanoy / Water Sprite - Kampa Island (Prague)
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
N 50° 05.178 E 014° 24.459
33U E 457624 N 5548394
Quick Description: This statue of popular supernatural being from Czech and Slavic fairytales - vodník (vodanoy, wassermann, water sprite) - is guarding the wheel of Grand priory mill (Velkoprevorský mlýn) in Kampa Island in Lesser Town of Prague...
Location: Hlavní město Praha, Czechia
Date Posted: 1/23/2011 10:28:51 AM
Waymark Code: WMAK0R
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 185

Long Description:

This statue of popular supernatural being from Czech and Slavic fairytales - vodník (vodanoy, wassermann, water sprite) - is guarding the wheel of Grand priory mill (Velkoprevorský mlýn) in Kampa Island in Lesser Town of Prague.

The life-size statue of vodnik called "Kabourek" is work of local sculptor Josef Nalepa.

In Czech and Slovak folklore the features of the vodník (vodnici = plural of vodník) are markedly different to the East-Slavic conception; he has a completely human constitution and habits, except for few differences – vodníci have gills, webbed membrane between their fingers and their skin is algae-green in colour (as well as their hair, which is typically of pale green tone). Their overall dress and appearance is weird, sometimes even resembling a bum or vagrant; patchy shirts and (by modern standards) odd hats - often boaters with long speckled ribbons - are commonplace. They can withstand lingering for hours outside their ponds. When they do so, one can tell them unequivocally by their wet coat-tails from which water is dripping under all circumstances. The vodník's face is usually unshaven and it is not uncommon for a vodník to have a large, wet, tangled beard.

Czech and Slovak tales have both evil and good vodníci (relative to human beings) who do (or don't, respectively) try to drown people when they happen to swim in their territory. Anyway, whoever drowns, vodníci would store their souls in porcelain lid-covered cups. They consider their cups as the most valuable heritage and display their "work", and number these cups they see as proportional to their wealth and/or status among other vodníci. When the lid of such a cup is removed, the soul within (in a form of a bubble) will escape and be liberated. Except for fish (or perhaps fish spirits), they do not have servants. Otherwise, vodníks spend their time by running their territory or – in their spare time – playing cards, smoking pipes or just sitting at the water surface (on rocks, willows nearby) and loitering. Fishermen ask the vodník for help by placing a pinch of tobacco in the water and saying, "Here's your tobacco, Lord Vodník, now give me a fish." In Czech and Slovak tales vodníci live in ponds or rivers; there is no mention of a particular dwelling and the 'half-sunken log' is unapparent. There are almost no references to vodníci with connection to sea water, but it is supposed that it would be dangerous, even deadly for them. [wiki]

Time Period: Middle Ages

Approximate Date of Epic Period: circa from 5th to 19th century

Epic Type: Mythical

Exhibit Type: Figure, Statue, 3D Art

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