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Bies and Czady (Bies and San)

Original version
A longtime ago when the picturesque land of hills, forests and mountainous pastures was pure, an evil being resided there- Bies. From the appearance he was similar to man, though bigger and horned. At his shoulders he had large bat'swings. Evil Bies was envious of his land and he didn't want to share it with anyone. As the absolute ruler he didn't let neither for shepherds, nor for merchants to stay in these mountains any longer. Once upon a time a tribe came from a distant land, guided by young, strong and clever San. The wild land appealed to these wanderers. They decided to settle permanently here. They built cottages and established the village on the largest river. Evil Bies could not stand that his once unpopulated kingdom started to being inhabited. Filled with anger he disturbed tribesmen, as often as could. Where they cleared trees, he planted new, when they bred sheep he let wolves into enclosures. He sent wildlife to trample their farmlands. People started complaining, but San astonished with beauty of this land decided to withstand Bies and encouraged others to not leave their houses and belongings. Bies observed that he could not beat these hardy men alone and he summoned helpers – the Czadys. He conjured this many of them as many as there are old trees in the forest. They were misshapen figurines, busy, impish and cheerful - disturbed people, however they could. They fulfilled every order of the Bies with malicious delight. They chased cattle grazing on mountain pastures, danced in the crops destroying everything what was sown with human hand.Theyfrightenedchildren in cradles, wokeuppeoplesitting down after a heavy workingday, sprinkledmoresand for housewivesinto soup, dulledaxes for woodcutting.Theyweremalicious and shrewd, enumeratingtheirprankscouldstilllast. The life of the tribebecameevenharder. San vowed to defeatevilforces. One day, San worked in the forest longer than the strongest lumberjacks, he heard a squeaky groan from underneath a tree he just cut down. Then he noticed Czad trapped under heavy trunk. He pleaded San to spare his life. Merciful San freed the imp. The spirit claimed that his kind didn’t like to do evil and did so because of being forced by Bies. San convinced him to reason with his brothers and cease hostilities. Soon after that, little spirits started to help around the village doing menial tasks for the tribesmen. The idyll didn't last long, because soon enough Bies found out about his summons betrayal. Evil Bies has summoned all Czads and announced, that either they will be siding with him or he will annihilate them the same how created them. Horrified Czads came running to San - they wished to live, but didn't want to harm people. During the long meeting of oldest and cleverest tribesmen Czads gave the only way to defeat the evil tyrant. Only the strongest of people can defeat him and only at the dawn, when the Bies is unfastening magic wings and is taking a bath in the shallowest place of the wide river. Without wings he cannot do magic, but still stronger than any human. San thought advice of Czads over and challenged the Bies to the duel in the morning, when magic wings lay on a river bank. Bies had a burst of laughter at the sight of the man with the axe standing opposite to him, not trying even to reach for bat'swings. The fight has started and the two struggled from dawn to the dusk. The man weakened more and more, and the Bies seemed not to tire out. On the riverbank the entire tribe and all Czads watched the fight. When the Bies understood, that had found a worthy opponent and started to worry that he can lose, he tried to equip the magic wings. Suddenly, old Czad came out of now here threw the wings into the river, repaying the San for rescuing his life.The river absorbed the magical power of the wings and suddenly stirred, foamed and bubbled and then the tide blasted both opponents away. In the raging river both opponents sank. When waters tormented the following day, tribesmen found two figures clinched in the fatal hug. People named this river San just like their deceased leader and their hero. And it stayed this way how they wanted it - brave San on the land with which he fell in love. They named mountains through which this river is flowing, Bies-Czady, from name of their evil master and impish spirits. Supposedly it is possible to rarely come across Czadys here today, as the old trees which in holes they live in, are already scarce. Czadys are on the alert above the beauty of this Polish land. They are casting a sweet spell which causes the wanderers, to be charmed. There fore they have a strong urge to comeback to these lands.
Main characters
Czads (evil imps, malicious ghosts), Bies - the main leader of Czads, San and his tribe (people)
Connected artistic / architectonic / historical heritage
Connected places Wetlina (49.143041,22.484285) – name of a village and a river i Podkarpacie villages in Bieszczady- Cisna (49.211745,22.329931) , Ustrzyki Górne (49.108180,22.650390) , Sanok (49.555727,22.203183) Połonina Caryńska (Berehowska) ( 49.140300,22.602047) one of Bieszczady’s pasture Połonina Wetlińska (49.168605,22.523675) mountain range and pasture, one of the most-visited in the region Tarnica (49.074539,22.726332)the highest peak in Polish Bieszczady Solińskie lake (49.366874,22.457287) Monuments in Bieszczady - marvellous orthodox churches and Etnographic Museum of Bojki in Myczków
Local traditions or historical connections
Traditions of Bojki, regional mountineers from Bieszczady are rich and picturesque. They lived here for ages, cultivated the land and cherished their beliefs and traditions regardless of turbulent history of this part of Europe. After the WW II however most of them were evicted. Nowadays, the traditions are present mainly in historical sources and memories of Bojski's descendants. They lived mostly of breeding animals and farming. Originally pagan, later catholic orthodox, although the centre of each Bojki settlement was cerkiew (an orthodox church), they never abandoned their slavic traditions.
Didactical Relevance
While working with the legend students will get to know Bieszczady, south-eastern region, one of the most picturesque and natural part of Poland. They will understand better local traditions and beliefs, endangered with extiction, as the indigenous people are almost gone. The process of deconstructing the legend will teach students creative attitude towards their learning, arouse imagination and creative expression, help them discover their talents and passion and find bonds with cultures of other countries. In the terms of education students will develop their reading, analyticals and descriptive skills, as wellas IT skills for research and compiling information.
Didactical Activity
Activity: (for the whole class or group work) - Geographical – find Bieszczady on the map, ask students what they know about the place or let them find information online (characteristics of the area, geological and physical). - Historical – easily connected to geopgraphical, especially when seeking information online. art/architecture – look for monuments and churches (cerkiew) in Bieszczady. - Literature – read the legend and check for proper understanding especially if any folk or regional terminology appears. - Read the legend again and look for connections with the geographical/historical/art information that were found - Trip to Bieszczady (if possible) if not – a virtual trip


A virtual walk in Bieszczady


Bies i san
Bies i san

PDF version of the legend in national language

Polish version (824,4 kb)