Fairy Tales

Fairy tales are one of the types of folk literature. They are mostly the integrated old beliefs of an ethnic group, a specific image of the world. Fairy tales feature a host of supernatural beings – both good and evil, but usually quite alike the humans – sometimes good, sometimes bad. They depict an erstwhile understanding of the world as a unity of the visible and the invisible, the material and the spiritual.  A fairy tale is similar to a myth, but while in myths a hero is a superhuman being in a superhuman world, in fairy tales we find an ordinary man in an imaginary realm. The world of fairy tales is the world where a hero – fighting or partnering with a superhuman but still natural forces – seeks and finds his own place. A fairy tale hero is usually the youngest son to a king, who has to win his right to the throne by fighting his evil elder brothers or dragons and giants, with a help of magical objects or demonic helpers. This is the world of a pagan man who has not yet realised that the nature could be ruled over through love and unity with God, the unity of man and world. The tales end as the heroes live happily ever after, and even beyond that – a hint of a Christian ending in the pre-Christian times.


The word bajka comes from an Old Slavonic verb „bajati“, meaning to tell or spin stories. With time, the word changed its meaning to get a new one today – to practice sorcery, cast spells.


The best known Serbian fairy tales are: Baš-čelikBiberčeA Golden Apple and Nine PeahensSnake-GroomThe Castle between Heaven and Earth


Vuk Karadžić recorded both the folk songs and tales. Although recorded as late as in the 19thcentury, they express the old, pre-Christian beliefs.