Slavs used feathers as talismans as well as medication

In Belarus, the feather of a stork (as an “enemy” of reptiles and all evil spirits) was stuffed into the floor or into the wall near the bed from fleas. For similar purposes, Bulgarians used crane’s feathers. To protect a woman in labor from evil spirits, Serbians fumigated her with a straw and feathers taken from three empty nests.

To heal a fever, Slavs used a smoke from several feathers plucked from a young hen, which had not yet laid any eggs. With fresh feathers of a partridge or an owl, the Poles treated aches in the lower back and joints, covering sore spots with them.

For healing, the South Slavs used the feathers of sacrificial hens, chicks and roosters (usually black), which were slaughtered during the “wolf” holidays. Such feathers Serbians used to fumigate sick children or women in labor during childbirth. Bulgarians used rooster feathers for healing, and chicken feathers for fortune-telling.

Stork, chicken, crane, owl, partridge … What other birds do you know, whose feathers have special properties?

More interesting facts can be found in: “Slavic Antiquities” – encyclopedic dictionary in 5 volumes by Institute for Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.