Legends

The people of the Viškovo area have preserved many beliefs and legends that date back to ancient times and which are connected to Old Slavic and other ancient traditions.

MALIK: Malik is a dwarf with the height of a 5-year-old child. He wears a red hat and lives in underground caves and pits, and people used to say that he also lurks in šterne waterwells. He is not evil but might lure away a child that could afterwards not find their way back home. Adults would often warn children not to look over the edge of šterne because Malik could pull them inside. Some also believed that there is a Malik in every pit, guarding his gold.

FAIRIES: Fairies were imagined as beautiful blonde girls in a white dress with a golden belt and with a golden crown on their heads. They dwelled in the forests, danced in the glades at night, and bathed in ponds. They kept their magic powers in an embroidered scarf, which they would toss over their shoulder in order to fly and become invisible. Fairies are benevolent creatures that help people in the forest but who only rarely show themselves.

ČOŠKA AND MAROŠKA, DAUGHTERS OF A FAIRY: The most famous legend of Halubje is the one of the sisters Čoška and Maroška, who were born in Marišćina Forest on the border between Viškovo and Klana. The forest was owned by the inhabitants of Marčelji until the 21st century. The remains of the Limes boundary wall, which are still visible here, probably inspired the legend of a nobleman with a bad character who lived here. One night, when returning home from an inn, he heard laughter at a nearby pond. He saw some fairies bathing and stole the scarf of one of them. The other fairies flew away, but the one whose scarf had been stolen remained his captive. She married him and gave birth to two daughters, Čoška and Maroška. After the nobleman was killed in a fight, the fairy found her scarf and flew away. She would come every night to play with her daughters, who grew up to become diligent women respected by the local people.

After a dry summer, a terrible storm destroyed all the crops and caused starvation. God and St. Peter came to see how the people were coping with the hardship. Čoška and Maroška welcomed them warmly and offered them water and acorn bread. But then a miracle occurred: wine started to flow instead of water and the bread that came out of the oven was white. Čoška and Maroška were rewarded for their diligence and kindness, and such a terrible storm never happened again. They both married well and divided their estate with their neighbours – the inhabitants of Marčelji.

In Halubje, a hailstorm is still called šoška. One may also say ‘It’s raining Čoška and Maroška’

THE LEGEND OF SOVJAK: There is a deep pit called Sovjak located in the Marinići area. Legend has it that in the past there was a noble estate and a house in which two sisters lived. They did not care about anyone but were selfish and heartless. Their brother Mate lived modestly and would warn them about their behaviour, but they did not listen. When God and St. Peter passed by disguised as beggars, the sisters would not give them water. In revenge, there was an earthquake that made the entire estate fall into the deepest pit in the area. The inhabitants would see two owls circling around the pit at night, so they concluded that the owls were the souls of the two selfish sisters and named the pit ‘Sovinjak’ after the Croatian word for owl – sova.

Their brother Mate felt sorry for them and had the Chapel of St. Matthew built on a nearby hill, where he prayed for their souls. A village emerged around the chapel, which was eventually turned into a church. The village around it was named Sveti Matej (St. Matthew).

In the 20th century, people began dumping waste in Sovinjak. By the end of the century, the deepest hole in the area had become a prominent hill, and Sovinjak is now only remembered in the legend.