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From Memories to Legend: Fieldwork as a Basis for the Reconstructing of a Portrait of a Charmer and Social Context of Charming


Folkloristika 5/1 (2020): 29–72
Author: Ana Savić
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The article discusses a series of narratives recorded in the village of Ribare near Kruševac (central Serbia) in the period 2012‒2018, told by Cveta Milić (b. 1952), Miroljub Savić (b. 1952) and Miodrag Ristić (b. 1942). The interlocutors remembered a well-known local healer and charmer, Negosava Ristić. They recalled various events from her life and comented on her personality, her healing methods and medical skills, and knowledge of conjuring. Narrated memories, combined together, compose a story of the charmer, her personal traits, beliefs and religiosity, ethics, healing and conjuring practice, her social position and influence. The paper also shows the social context of charming and natural healing, as well as the position of the charmer in the patriarchal-rural community.
Keywords: charmer, charming, healing, folk medicine, life stories, fieldwork, Ribare (Kruševac), Serbia