What Pegman Saw: Worth His Salt

Gorky Park, Minsk: Image by Giovanni Scarpari on Google Maps

Bronimir sat upon the table, not his usual place at all. He sat between a yeasty loaf that made his clay mouth drool and the smallest imaginable dish of salt. His family wanted something of him, and he knew what it was. Yet he’d do nothing until they asked.

Same as he’d waited when the Krivici hammered them from the north… and when Rurik’s Rus from out the west tried to trample on their toes… and all that trouble with the Varvags exacting tribute. Then the Baltic Lithuanians… and the Poles… and the Russian occupation (how many times was that?); and the French and the German. But today’s trouble was closer to home. Young Čestmír had been found in compromising situation with the golden-haired Sveta next door.

Domovoy that he was, Bronimir must sweeten the air. Yet again. But not before they asked him and gave him bread and salt.


149 words written for What Pegman Saw: Minsk, Belarus

image from Wikipedia, public domain

Domovoy was a family god in the form of a baked-clay man; his usual place was in a niche beside the door.

He was loyal to his family throughout the generations and remained in residence with them whenever and wherever they moved.

 

 

 

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in History, Mostly Micro and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to What Pegman Saw: Worth His Salt

  1. Lynn Love says:

    I like this idea of a household goods who’s there for the family though small problems and very large ones. He’s a trusted being to fall back on whether they’re being invaded or having girlfriend trouble! Love that sweep of history and culture in your story. Very satisfying

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’d hazard a guess that they were a common feature of all Indo-European tribes, since they’re found amongst Hindus, Greeks, Romans, the Balts and Slavs, the Celts… all Indo-European peoples.

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      • Lynn Love says:

        I’ve read about the Roman Lares, but I confess I know little about other countries. I must read more 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was common throughout the Indo-European peoples. So it follows that the Proto-Indo-Europeans, in their native Steppes homeland, also had these family/house spirits.

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      • Lynn Love says:

        It makes sense. What would you need a god for more than your home, to ensure you’re safe and secure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • In that respect, it’s interesting to note that the P.I.E. word *-polis means a protected hill (where the people gather for safety. In UK we think of them as the Iron Age hillforts. It is the origin of the Acropolis.

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      • Lynn Love says:

        I didn’t realise that. I thought polis meant people. Interesting

        Liked by 1 person

      • It has come to mean so. But originally… a place of gathering. Think of Britain’s henges, and before then, the causewayed camps. If, as is speculated, the Proto-Indo-Europeans were the inhabitants of what the archies have named the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture (it stretched from the Danube to beyond the Ukraine), then we understand the meaning, for they had ringed villages that houses 10,000 people… back in 6th and 5th millennia BCE. Not one, but several. That’s mega.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        It’s surprising how large some of these early communities could be. There’s a common idea we lived in small groups until perhaps the Early Modern era or some time before. But I remember taking an OU course on Ancient technologies (fascinating!) and realising there were communities of tens of thousands BCE, planning cities and dealing with sewage and all the tricky elements that come from living in large settlements. Really interesting stuff

        Liked by 1 person

      • Flushable toilets in ca.2500 BC, for a start.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Fantastic! I remember studying the development of wheeled vehicles and street layouts, how some cities didn’t have what we’d think of as streets because they didn’t use carts and pack animals. There was one place where you got from one part of the city to another walking on the roofs of the houses rather than on pathways between them. I liked that idea

        Liked by 1 person

      • Catalhuyuk. In Turkey (Anatolia). Incredible place. Arguments about whether it should be accounted a town, as there’s no evidence of specialiisation; probably nont even priests. The Minoans had sewers and indoor plumbing. The Indus Valley culture had flushable toilets, a totally amazing public water system, and baths, And then it all went downhill

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      • Lynn Love says:

        Oh, you genius – should have known your know where I was talking about 😊. There must be a theory, then, why humanity developed so many of these technologies and then lost the knowledge. War, perhaps? Empire and conquest destroying all the towns and the clever people who’d designed them?

        Liked by 1 person

      • As far as Crete was concerned, some believe it succumbed to the Sea Peoples, some of whom became the Philistines. Others, probably correctly, maintain it was the culture was taken over, peacefully or not, by the Mycenians… those Greeks who fought Troy. As to the Indus Civilisation, they jury’s still out. Was it climate change? Very possible. If the rivers stopped flowing… and it is known that one river at least went underground, then the inhabitants must move elsewhere to survive. And there is evidence of that move, but not conclusive regards the reason. The other theory is of a incoming warriors from the steppes… which is taken to mean Indo-Europeans bringing the Hindu language and religion. It’s mostly the Hindi who object to this theory since it credits incomers with the origins of their religion. Yet genetics does prove such an influx of people, though more likely from the lands to east of Caspian Sea, with exceedingly close ties with Iranians… linguistics, religion, everything says it. But were these people responsible for the exudos from the towns? There is no evidence of violence, despite what some YouTube theorists might say.
        Over recent years the controversary regards origins of Beaker People and Proto-Indo-European languages has been more or less settled by study of ancient DNA. So maybe we’ll eventually get concensus on the Indus Valley too.

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      • Lynn Love says:

        I find it wonderful that after years of debate these big questions can be answered. I know there are a lot of big questions we’ll never know the answers to but the fact that science funds a way to solve some of these puzzles is just amazing to me

        Liked by 1 person

  2. hrh66 says:

    I’m reading the Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden and this totally reminded me of those novels. Have you read them?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pennygadd51 says:

    Wow! Are there really families with a domovoy as old as the one you describe? I shall have to look them up, and see how they were used. Fascinating piece of (pre)-history.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Violet Lentz says:

    Wow! Excellent story and really interesting back story. I saw the whole scenario in a completely different light after having read it. Brilliant all the way around!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh! I do like where you took this story. I took a class on Russian folklore about two years ago. This reminds me of some of those tales. Lovely! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale says:

    You truly are the queen of bringing the past to life. This was eye-opening. Wonderfully done, as I have come to expect from you!

    Like

    • Thanks Dale. See, it combines my interests of mythology and history. It was a way to condense the later years of history, for my previous knowledge of the area stops around the type (the Scandinavian) Rurik and his Rus founded Novgord to the north of Minsk… and stayed to *conquer*. The Rus were Scandinavians, not Slavs.

      Like

  7. Cool bit of history!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love where you took this. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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