Rake in Slavic tradition – part 2

Sometimes, a rake was an omen of trouble: it predicted a quarrel if thrown on the field with the teeth up, as the Slovenes believed, or a difficult childbirth if a pregnant woman stepped over it.

But most often rake brought good luck. In order for the sheep to have a lot of milk, the Serbs would leave the rake in the barn for a “sleepover”. During the flax sowing, Poles would put a rake in the field for a good harvest. In Bosnia, an owner who wanted to sell a cow, would scrub its back with a rake for good luck and to ensure that the animal will not be “returning home”.

In Serbia, childless spouses went to the mill, and the husband “gathered” water with a rake, while the wife drank it to get pregnant. The rake also helped young Serbian girls to attract young men: on the eve of St. George’s Day, they sat astride a rake, drove around the house and said: «Како грабуље грабе, тако се и младићи грабили за мене» (As the rake drags, so let the guys “drag” after me).

How did your grandparents (or yourself) use the rake? Only for their intended purpose or also in magical rituals? 😉

Source: “Slavic Antiquities” – encyclopedic dictionary in 5 volumes by Institute for Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.