Tuesday, 4 December 2012

04.12.2012 bis

Legends of the Wild Hunt or Wild Host. The frenzy and the din, the ever-present elements of noise and speed of the regional traditions, find a counterpart in the Wild Host or Wild Hunt of legend. We frequently meet in German folklore tales about this phantom hunting party or phantom army which rides at night in sound and fury through the sky, and this host, the stories have it, is often headed by the goddess.40 Musical instruments and the voices of beasts create clamour as the ever-present mark of the phenomenon. A description of the wüttige heer, which issues from the Hörselberg under the leadership of Dame Holle, speaks of the blowing of horns, the roaring of wild beasts,the squealing of pigs. Luther wrote of 'fraw Hulda' with her fiddle; the Savage Hunt of Heidesheim is known for its music, its wailing cats and howling dogs. The legends also observe the presence of mutilated and fur-clad figures, of dwarfs and giants, of artisans carrying their tools. Frequently, though not always, the orgiastic train and its leader is beheld by the frightened spectator in the nights of wintertime.  

Source: The Winter Goddess: Percht, Holda, and Related Figures, by Lotte Motz; Folklore vol. 95:II, 1984;

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