Heritage: June 2003 Archives

June 12, 2003

Throwing the Kukeri book

Bulgaria: Traditional masked dancers are a venerable tradition in Bulgaria:

THE Bulgarian tradition of masked dancers known as Kukeri dates back centuries to pagan times and each year hundreds of groups of masked men visit the homes of villages throughout the country to perform ritual dances for the occupants' health and well-being.

But there are problems:

The masks are judged by festival juries on their presentation and arrangement and, though most regions rely on the furs and feathers of domestic animals and birds, the Durrel Wild Fauna Protection and Support Centre noted the disturbing phenomenon of villagers from the Pernik, Radomir, and Breznik regions increasingly using rare and protected bird and animal species to decorate their masks.

The authorities have started an awareness campaign, and also a competition for masks which do not use endangered species, and festival organisers are on the side of the conservationists. The article offers lots of information on a fascinating tradition as well. Eco Echo - Unmasking the Kukeri - The Sofia Echo, 12th June 2003.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Heritage category from June 2003.

Heritage: May 2003 is the previous archive.

Heritage: July 2003 is the next archive.

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