“Ivanka”

Bell-making craft in the Republic of North Macedonia
25/05/2021
“Developing safeguarding plans for intangible cultural heritage in Greece”
25/05/2021
“Ivanka”
Republic of North Macedonia
Domain: Ritual practice
Inscribed on the National ICH Registry

 

“Ivanka” is a ritual practice, still preserved under this name in the town of Resen, located in Prespa region in the Republic North Macedonia. In the past it was a common practice in almost all of the settlements in the region but now it has been practiced only in Resen. Ritual practice is dedicated to the birth of St. John the Baptist, also known as “Ivanden”, celebrated on 7th of July. This ritual practice is filled with elements that has been transformed in time, but it still possesses the main element – “Ivanka” doll. According to folk narratives, early in the morning, when the Sun twinkles and “dances” for three times on summer celestials, young girls, that still hasn’t entered the age of puberty, form a ritual groups in every neighborhood. Ritual practice starts the day before the beginning of a celebration, with flower-picking of “magical” “Ivanden” flower. These flowers would be, later on, used for making of the ritual figure “Ivanka”, central element of the celebrations. The flowers are synonym to the Sun – yellow circle in the middle with white leafs, that make a strong connection to the Sun and its rays. Sun in this adjacent period of the year is highly positioned on the sky “moving towards winter” and this ritual accompanied with the preparation of the doll, ritual songs, and now, long forgotten, Ivanden fires, in a certain way should influence the increase of power of the “tired Sun”. In the same time the practice is filled with predictions for the fertility, health and conclusions of marriages. The “Ivanka” doll is made of metal cattle, filled with water from three fountains, and jewelry of the young girls, then formed with the Ivanden flowers and dressed like a girl. The uniqueness of many elements preserved within the Ivanden celebration cycle of the Macedonian population, contributed to the fact that it is assigned on the Macedonian national list of protected intangible cultural heritage.