Traces of Heroic Time: The Angelushevo Water Source and “Radetzki” Steam Boat Cover Image
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Следите на героичното време: Ангелушевото кладенче и параходът „Радецки“
Traces of Heroic Time: The Angelushevo Water Source and “Radetzki” Steam Boat

Author(s): Nikolay Nenov
Subject(s): Anthropology, Social Sciences, Ethnohistory, Military history, Oral history, Social history, Modern Age, Recent History (1900 till today), Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Culture and social structure
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН
Keywords: heroic anthropology;sacred site;healing water source;Botev’s troop;“Radetzki“ steam boat;national history;

Summary/Abstract: The article traces the regained popularity of a healing water source, promoted by the feigned healer and wonder worker Angelush. The activities of Angelush are connected with the appearance of the Great Comet, which was observed in Europe in 1861. Many newspapers from this period reflected the miracles and the impressive crowds of people that visited the healing water source in Northeast Bulgaria, near the Danube River. The present-day“intervention“ in media context seems to result from the need of shedding light on the visible traces of the “heroic time,“ which were pertinent due to the proximity with the anniversary of the April 1876 uprising and with the exploit of Hristo Botev’s troop and the use of “Radetzki“ steam boat in that year. The text analyzes a concrete case of inventing a tradition, which has appeared necessary for present-day political and social purposes. The significance of Angelushevo water source as a sacred place is construed entirely in media context, creating the myth that “Radetzki“ steam boat was built with the money earned from transporting visitors to the healing water source. In this case, the theme of the “heroic time,“ and the immediate relation with the national narrative were used to testify the significance of a religious site,the belief in which should have been sufficient justification of its existence. Thus, in 21st century we are witnessing how an increasing number of churches and monasteries in Bulgaria are construing their past through the links they establish with nationally significant topics,characters and images. They do so by emphasizing not that much the spiritual and religious aspects – as connected with faith or with sacred scriptures, but rather – with the presence of traces of heroic time, which inscribe the cult sites in the toponymic space of the nation.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 8-18
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Bulgarian