2020 Announcement: Ethnographic Case Study on Perchta

The Alpine Lachsner project would like to introduce you to the time…

When the first snows fall in the Alps, many villages present a dark and archaic aspect. This is the time of “Die Wilde Jagd”, the Wild Hunt. Featuring in many local folk-tales, it tells of a wild hunter and his wife, Perchta, leading the Wild Hunt accompanied by an army of spirits.

This book is an ethnographic study of the cult of Perchta in both the Bavarian and Austrian Alps. Chapter I – Overall framework for Perchta, her mythology, appearance and function in Alpine traditions and mythology. Chapter II – historical records of Perchta in Bavarian/Austrian traditions, and specific related sites. Chapter III – the earliest ethnographic records of the Perchten- and Krampuslauf, their role in the Alpine winter and the meaning of the Rauhnacht. Chapter IV – what ethno-historical records of this area may tell us about surviving remnants of an earlier tradition, and another well-documented alpine figure known to have practiced and engaged in witchcraft; the Lachsner. Chapter V will be reviewing the ethnographic data and comparative mythological connections of Perchta to other mythological characters.

Sources for the book will include works in Bavarian and High German never before translated in English, making a rich and unique reference study for Alpine traditions and Perchta in particular. This book will be used for further research projects, especially the publication of a long academic research paper.

PerchtaBuch_edited-1

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