No. XXVI (1995)

Common Traits in Serbian and Greek Folklore Traditions

Dragoslav Antonijević
Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Published 01.12.1995


  • Arabs masquerades,
  • folklore traditions,
  • Serbs,
  • Greeks,
  • Balkans

How to Cite

Antonijević, D. (1995). Common Traits in Serbian and Greek Folklore Traditions. Balcanica - Annual of the Institute for Balkan Studies, (XXVI), 195–210. Retrieved from


The various Arabs masquerades have many common elements, both in Serbia and Greece: two essential structural components, one of which has been forgotten or abandoned today, the definite religious and magical component, and the more preponderant mimetic and cathartic component of folk theatricalness performed for entertainment, suppressing thus the cultic content. However, both components were permeated in the past with the important social component. The ritual, with its comic action and behiavior, emphasized eroticism and completely inversed the fundamental values of the patriarchal ethos, characteristic of life in a Balkan village until the recent past. Arabs, and many other masquerades in the Balkans, contains dramatic elements of revoit, pressure and unrestrained behiavior and the right to legal anarchy and symbolic destruction of normative order, denoting the climax of catharsis in social tensions.


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