Tuesday, 25 December 2012

24.12.2012 bis

video

U cara Trojana kozije usi
documentation, trial run, work in progress
Villnachern
24.12.2012
14.27h

Link to 24.12.2012

For Rakel Sverrisdòttir

Monday, 24 December 2012

24.12.2012


The following folk tale is presented here in its original language, followed by a translation in German, and a translation in English. 

U CARA TROJANA KOZJE UŠI

Bio jedan car koji se zvao Trojan. Imao je kozje uši. Svakog dana je dolazio po jedan berberin da ga brije. Posle brijanja, car bi svakog od njih upitao šta je vidio. Svaki je odgovorio: «Kozje uši». Potom bi car naredio da ga posjeku. Došao je red na jednog berberina koji se napravi bolestan i posla svoga učeníka kod cara.
Nakon što je momak obrijao cara, car i njega upita šta je vidio, na šta on odgovori da nije vidio ništa.
Car mu dade 12 dukata i reče mu da on od sada uvijek dolazi da ga brije. Momak je redovno odlazio da ga brije i od svih tajio da car ima kozje uši. Čuvanje tajne ga je s vremenom sve više mučilo, da se zbog toga skoro razbolio.
To je njegov majstor primijetio i stalno ga je pitao šta mu je.
Nato mu momak jednom odgovori: «Da mi je da nekom kažem odmah bi mi bilo lakše». Majstor mu onda predloží. «Kaži meni, ja neću nikom kazati, a ako nećeš meni, a ti izađi u polje pa iskopaj jamu te zavuci glavu u nju pa tri puta kaží šta te muči, te opet jamu zatrpaj».
Momak tako i učini.
Iskopa jamu, zavuče glavu u nju i tri puta reče. «U cara Trojana kozje uši», zagrnu zemlju i ode kući.
Posle izvjesnog vremena iz jame nikne zova. Čobani od nje napraviše svirale. Kad su počeli svirati iz svirale izađe glas:
«U cara Trojana kozje uši».
To se odmah razglasi po cijelom carstvu i na kraju sazna to i car.

Car tada pozove momka i upita ga zašto je cijelom narodu oglasio da su u njega kozje uši.
Momak se poče pravdati i ispriča caru kako je sve bilo.
Car odluči da provjeri njegovu priču, pa zajedno sa njim ode na mjesto gdje je jamu iskopao. Kad tamo, još samo jedan prut. Car naredi da se od njega napravi svirala. Odmah tako uradiše. Kad su počeli da sviraju, a ono iz svirale izlazi glas: «U cara Trojana kozje uši».
Onda se car Trojan uvjeri da se na zemlji ništa ne može sakriti, pa onome berberinu oprosti život, i pošle dopusti da svako može dolaziti da ga brije.
Narodna priča 



KAISER TROJAN HAT ZIEGENOHREN

Es war einmal ein Kaiser namens Trojan, der hatte Ziegenohren. Jeden Tag kam ein anderer Barbier, um ihn zu rasieren. Nach dem Rasieren fragte der Kaiser jeweils, was er gesehen habe. Jeder antwortete: "Ziegenohren!" Daraufhin liess ihn der Kaiser köpfen.
Eines Tages kam ein Barbier an die Reihe, der sich krank stellte und seinen Lehrling zum Kaiser sandte. Nachdem der Junge den Kaiser rasiert hatte, fragte der Kaiser auch ihn, was er gesehen habe. Der Junge antwortete, er habe nichts gesehen. Der Kaiser gab ihm zwölf Taler und sagte, dass er von nun an immer kommen solle, um ihn zu rasieren. Er solle aber das Geheimnis bewahren, dass der Kaiser Ziegenohren habe.
Doch dieses Geheimnis zu hüten, quälte den Jungen mit der Zeit immer mehr, so dass er fast krank wurde. Das merkte sein Meister, und er fragte den Jungen immer wieder, was ihm denn fehle.
Der Junge antwortete: "Wenn ich es jemandem erzählen könnte, würde es mir gleich besser gehen!"
Der Meister erwiderte: "Sag es mir, ich werde es niemandem weitererzählen. Wenn du es mir aber nicht erzählen kannst, so gehe aufs Feld hinter der Stadt und grabe ein Loch, steck deinen Kopf hinein und sage dreimal, was dich quält, und dann schüttest du das Loch wieder zu."
Der Junge tat, wie der Meister ihm geraten. Er grub ein Loch, steckte den Kopf hinein und sagte dreimal: "Kaiser Trojan hat Ziegenohren." Dann füllte er das Loch wieder mit Erde und ging nach Hause.
Nach einiger Zeit spross an dieser Stelle ein Holunderstrauch. Als die Äste dick genug waren, machten Schafhirten daraus Flöten. Aber als sie darauf spielten, ertönte aus den Flöten eine Stimme: "Kaiser Trojan hat Ziegenohren!"
Dies verbreitete sich schnell im ganzen Kaiserreich, so dass es am Ende auch der Kaiser erfuhr. Dieser rief den Lehrling des Barbiers zu sich und fragte ihn: "Weshalb hast du überall verbreitet, dass ich Ziegenohren habe?"
Der arme Junge sagte, er habe niemandem etwas erzählt, und vertraute ihm den wahren Vorgang an.
Um zu prüfen, ob der Junge die Wahrheit gesagt hatte, fuhr der Kaiser mit ihm an jenen Ort, liess aus einem Ast des Holunderstrauchs eine Flöte anfertigen und darauf spielen. Aus der Flöte tönte es: "Kaiser Trojan hat Ziegenohren!"
So musste der Kaiser feststellen, dass man nichts auf der Welt verbergen kann und dass die Wahrheit eines Tages zum Vorschein kommt. Den Jungen liess er am Leben, und von nun an durften ihn alle ungestraft rasieren.
Volksmärchen 


THE GOAT'S EARS OF THE EMPEROR TROJAN

Once upon a time there lived an emperor whose name was Trojan, and he had ears like a goat. Every morning, when he was shaved, he asked if the man saw anything odd about him, and as each fresh barber always replied that the emperor had goat's ears, he was at once ordered to be put to death.
Now after this state of things had lasted a good while, there was hardly a barber left in the town that could shave the emperor, and it came to be the turn of the Master of the Company of Barbers to go up to the palace. But, unluckily, at the very moment that he should have set out, the master fell suddenly ill, and told one of his apprentices that he must go in his stead.
When the youth was taken to the emperor's bedroom, he was asked why he had come and not his master. The young man replied that the master was ill, and there was no one but himself who could be trusted with the honour. The emperor was satisfied with the answer, and sat down, and let a sheet of fine linen be put round him. Directly the young barber began his work, he, like the rest, remarked the goat's ears of the emperor, but when he had finished and the emperor asked his usual question as to whether the youth had noticed anything odd about him, the young man replied calmly, 'No, nothing at all.' This pleased the emperor so much that he gave him twelve ducats, and said, 'Henceforth you shall come every day to shave me.'
So when the apprentice returned home, and the master inquired how he had got on with the emperor, the young man answered, 'Oh, very well, and he says I am to shave him every day, and he has given me these twelve ducats'; but he said nothing about the goat's ears of the emperor.
From this time the apprentice went regularly up to the palace, receiving each morning twelve ducats in payment. But after a while, his secret, which he had carefully kept, burnt within him, and he longed to tell it to somebody. His master saw there was something on his mind, and asked what it was. The youth replied that he had been tormenting himself for some months, and should never feel easy until some one shared his secret.
'Well, trust me,' said the master, 'I will keep it to myself; or, if you do not like to do that, confess it to your pastor, or go into some field outside the town and dig a hole, and, after you have dug it, kneel down and whisper your secret three times into the hole. Then put back the earth and come away.'
The apprentice thought that this seemed the best plan, and that very afternoon went to a meadow outside the town, dug a deep hole, then knelt and whispered to it three times over, 'The Emperor Trojan has goat's ears.' And as he said so a great burden seemed to roll off him, and he shovelled the earth carefully back and ran lightly home.
Weeks passed away, and there sprang up in the hole an elder tree which had three stems, all as straight as poplars. Some shepherds, tending their flocks near by, noticed the tree growing there, and one of them cut down a stem to make flutes of; but, directly he began to play, the flute would do nothing but sing: 'The Emperor Trojan has goat's ears.' Of course, it was not long before the whole town knew of this wonderful flute and what it said; and, at last, the news reached the emperor in his palace. He instantly sent for the apprentice and said to him:
'What have you been saying about me to all my people?'
The culprit tried to defend himself by saying that he had never told anyone what he had noticed; but the emperor, instead of listening, only drew his sword from its sheath, which so frightened the poor fellow that he confessed exactly what he had done, and how he had whispered the truth three times to the earth, and how in that very place an elder tree had sprung up, and flutes had been cut from it, which would only repeat the words he had said. Then the emperor commanded his coach to be made ready, and he took the youth with him, and they drove to the spot, for he wished to see for himself whether the young man's confession was true; but when they reached the place only one stem was left. So the emperor desired his attendants to cut him a flute from the remaining stem, and, when it was ready, he ordered his chamberlain to play on it. But no tune could the chamberlain play, though he was the best flute player about the court—nothing came but the words, 'The Emperor Trojan has goat's ears.' Then the emperor knew that even the earth gave up its secrets, and he granted the young man his life, but he never allowed him to be his barber any more.
(Volksmarchen der Serben.)



Note 1. The original folk tale ending reads: "Then the emperor knew that nothing can be hidden on earth, and he granted the young mans life, and afterwards allowed anyone to come and shave him." 
My own translation. 

Note 2. Comparing languages, it becomes clear that the revealing plant, "zoja", or "elder" in English, is the "holunder" in German,  associated with Frau Holle. See previous posts 02.12.2012 and 03.12.2012


Sources: 
for the Serbian/Croatian original language and German translation:
http://www.iik.ch/wordpress/downloads/maerli/serbo/kaiser_trojan_hat_ziegenohren.pdf
for the English:
Andrew Lang's Fairy Books, The Violet Fairy Book (1901)
Project Gutenberg
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/641/641-h/641-h.htm#link2H_4_0007


Thursday, 13 December 2012

13.12.2012


Lussi

Lussinatta, the Lussi Night, was December 13. Then Lussi, a female being with evil traits, like a female demon or witch, was said to ride through the air with her followers, called Lussiferda. This itself might be an echo of the myth of the Wild Hunt, called Oskoreia in Scandinavia, found across Northern, Western and Central Europe.
Between Lussi Night and Yule, trolls and evil spirits, in some accounts also the spirits of the dead, were thought to be active outside. It was believed to be particularly dangerous to be out during Lussi Night. According to tradition, children who had done mischief had to take special care, since Lussi could come down through the chimney and take them away, and certain tasks of work in the preparation for Yule had to be finished, or else the Lussi would come to punish the household. The tradition of Lussevaka – to stay awake through the Lussinatt to guard oneself and the household against evil, has found a modern form through throwing parties until daybreak. Another company of spirits was said to come riding through the night around Yule itself, journeying through the air, over land and water.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lucy

Friday, 7 December 2012

07.12.2012



Members of the Wild Horde
Photographic documentation
Villnachern
07.12.2012
15.59 -16.33h

Thursday, 6 December 2012

05.12.2012



from the series: Conversations
Members of the Wild Horde (III, IV, VI, VII)
work in progress
ink on paper
14.8 x 10.6cm each


05.12.2012

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

04.12.2012 bis



Legends of the Wild Hunt or Wild Host. The frenzy and the din, the ever-present elements of noise and speed of the regional traditions, find a counterpart in the Wild Host or Wild Hunt of legend. We frequently meet in German folklore tales about this phantom hunting party or phantom army which rides at night in sound and fury through the sky, and this host, the stories have it, is often headed by the goddess.40 Musical instruments and the voices of beasts create clamour as the ever-present mark of the phenomenon. A description of the wüttige heer, which issues from the Hörselberg under the leadership of Dame Holle, speaks of the blowing of horns, the roaring of wild beasts,the squealing of pigs. Luther wrote of 'fraw Hulda' with her fiddle; the Savage Hunt of Heidesheim is known for its music, its wailing cats and howling dogs. The legends also observe the presence of mutilated and fur-clad figures, of dwarfs and giants, of artisans carrying their tools. Frequently, though not always, the orgiastic train and its leader is beheld by the frightened spectator in the nights of wintertime.  

Source: The Winter Goddess: Percht, Holda, and Related Figures, by Lotte Motz; Folklore vol. 95:II, 1984;
http://winterscapes.com/forestdoor/WinterGoddess.pdf

04.12.2012


The Wild Hunt is an ancient folk myth prevalent across Northern, Western and Central Europe.[1] The fundamental premise in all instances is the same: a phantasmal, spectral group of huntsmen with the accoutrements of hunting, with horses and hounds in mad pursuit across the skies or along the ground, or just above it.[2]
The hunters may be the dead or the fairies (often in folklore connected with the dead).[3] The hunter may be an unidentified lost soul, a deity or spirit of either gender, or may be a historical or legendary figure like Theodoric the Great, the Danish king Valdemar Atterdag, the Welsh psychopomp Gwyn ap Nudd or the Germanic Woden[1] (or other reflections of the same god, such as Alemannic Wuodan in Wuotis Heer ("Wuodan's Army") of Central Switzerland, Swabia etc.)
...
Seeing the Wild Hunt was thought to presage some catastrophe such as war or plague, or at best the death of the one who witnessed it.[9] Mortals getting in the path of or following the Hunt could be kidnapped and brought to the land of the dead. A girl who saw Wild Edric's Ride was warned by her father to put her apron over her head to avoid the sight.[10]Others believed that people's spirits could be pulled away during their sleep to join the cavalcade.[11]
In Germany, where it was also known as the "Wild Army", or "Furious Army", its leader was given various identities, including Wodan (or "Woden"), Knecht Ruprecht (cf. Krampus), Berchtold (or Berchta), and Holda (or "Holle"). The Wild Hunt is also known from post-medieval folklore.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Hunt

Monday, 3 December 2012

03.12.2012 bis


The Wild Hunt
Trial - photographic documentation
Villnachern
03.12.2012
16.46h

03.12.2012

...

Holle is a triple moon goddess – Holle is the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone and thus the embodiment of the three stages of womanhood.
As Maiden, Holle is the ash girl, Whose face is half black with soot. Destined to marry Holler, King of Winter and Frost, He tested Her with a riddle to be sure of Holle’s worthiness. She had to come to His palace neither naked nor clothed, neither riding nor walking, neither alone nor with companions, in neither light nor darkness. Holle answered by arriving wrapped in a fishing net, sitting on a donkey with one toe dragging on the ground, surrounded by twenty-four wolves at twilight.
Holle as Mother is said to be seen as a woman from the front and a tree form the back. Representing fertility and growth She guards and nurtures all the green growing things of the forest.
As Crone, Holle is called ‘Mother’ Holle and She is viewed as the wise Queen of Winter. She shakes Her bed till the feathers fly to make it snow. When it snows in Holland, people still say, ‘Dame Holle is shaking Her bed’.
...
Source: http://dutchie.org/goddess-mother-holle/

Sunday, 2 December 2012

02.12.2012


In Germanic folklore as established by Jacob Grimm,[1] Frau Holda or Holle is the supernatural matron of spinning, childbirth and domestic animals, and is also associated with winter,witches and the Wild Hunt. Her name is cognate with Scandinavian beings known as the Huldra and the völva Huld,[2] and Jacob Grimm traced her to a goddess of Germanic antiquity.[3]
Frau Holle is an ancient figure. The name Hludana is found in five Latin inscriptions: three from the lower Rhine (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum XIII 8611, 8723, 8661), one from Münstereifel (CIL XIII, 7944) and one from Beetgum, Frisia (CIL XIII, 8830) all dating from 197 AD- 235 AD. Many attempts have been made to interpret this name.[4] The most steadfast connections are with Frau Holle and Hulda on one hand, and the Old Norse Hlóðyn, a byname for the Earth, Thor’s mother, on the other. She is also frequently equated with Nerthus, who also rides in a wagon, and Odin's wife, Frigg, from her alternate names Frau Guaden [Wodan], Frau Goden, and Frau Frekke as well as her position as mistress of the Wild Hunt. The similarity of meaning and etymology between German "Holl(d)a" and Old English "Hella," as well as both being described as leading the dead, could point to a link between them.
In popular legends and fairy-tales distributed extensively throughout Hesse and Thuringia Frau Holle (also Holde, Hulda, Hulle, and Holl) is manifested as a superior being with a helpful disposition who is never cross unless she discovers disorder in household affairs. The legend of Frau Holle is found as far as the Voigtland, past the Rhön mountains in northern Franconia, in the Wetterau up to the Westerwald and from Thuringia to the frontier of Lower Saxony. She is also called Frau Bercht, Frau Percht, and Striga Holda, among other names.


Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holda

...
Long ago, when the Germanic religion still honored Nature's power, both her blessing and devastating aspects, she was the rain-giving clouds, the spouse of the god of storms. Later, she became a sky queen who, besides mastery over clouds and winds, she also had the power of granting sunshine and prosperity to the fields, and also, as the motherly protector of women's life, she controlled feminine work, namely favoring spinning, and, as Frau Holda or Holle, she kept the souls of the unborn or dead children. In some countries it was said that her home was in a mountain, a magnificent cave, and still in some others, it was in the waters of some fountains or ponds, where it is still said that children come from [this water allows women to become fertile?].
At the turning of the winter sun, with her spouse Wodan, would she hold a procession through the land, which began as a blessing, turning later into a wild hunt.
...

Source: Nordic Magic Healing: runes, charms, incantations, and galdr; On Frau Holle; Taken from: Otto Freiher von Reinsberg-Düringsfeld, "Aberglaube-Sitten-Feste Germanischer Völker, das festliche Jahr", Reprint-Verlag-Leipzig (reprint of the original 1898).
www.nordic-life.org/nmh/frauholle.htm

Sunday, 4 November 2012

04.11.2012




from the series: Conversations
Dream based study
work in progress
ink and graphite on paper
14.8 x 10.6cm each

04.11.2012

Saturday, 3 November 2012

03.11.2012


from the series: Conversations
Upside Down Moon Games II
work in progress
ink on paper
14.8 x 10.6cm

03.11.2012

Friday, 2 November 2012

02.11.2012




from the series: Conversations
The Monster and the Moon
work in progress
ink on paper
14.8 x 10.6cm

02.11.2012

Sunday, 26 August 2012

15.08.2012 bis





Work in Progress: The Goat
First Trial walk with The Goat, 
documentation,
near:
Chamanna d'Es-cha CAS
7524 Zuoz,
Switzerland
14th and 15th August 2012

46°36'56.16"N
9°54'09.57"E
2613m above sea level

15.08.2012

video


Work in Progress: The Goat
First Trial walk with The Goat, 
animated documentation,
near:
Chamanna d'Es-cha CAS
7524 Zuoz,
Switzerland
14th and 15th August 2012

46°36'47.49"N
9°54'14.52"E
2575m above sea level

Monday, 6 August 2012

06.08.2012



Mind Map - pt1
Process Documentation
06.08.2012



First part of mind mapping the information I have so far gathered regarding Goat in Folklore and Traditions, written on infrared heater, writing continues on window (not shown). 

Friday, 6 July 2012

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

13.06.2012





Earth Work Series (Roots)
performance documentation
Villnachern
13.06.2012
14.05-14.17h


photographs courtesy Martin Siegrist




About my own hole in the ground.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

23.05.2012

territory |ˈterəˌtôrē|noun ( pl. territories )an area of land under the jurisdiction of a ruler or state: the government wasprepared to give up the nuclear weapons on its territory | sorties into enemy territory.• Zoology an area defended by an animal or group of animals against others of the same sex or species. Compare with home range.• an area defended by a team or player in a game or sport.• an area in which one has certain rights or for which one has responsibility with regard to a particular type of activity: a sales rep for a large territory.• with modifier ] land with a specified characteristic: woodland territory.( Territory )(esp. in the USCanadaor Australiaan organized division of a country that is not yet admitted to the full rights of a state.an area of knowledgeactivityor experience: the contentious territory of clinical standards | the way she felt now—she was in unknown territory.PHRASESgo (or come ) with the territory be an unavoidable result of a particularsituation.ORIGIN late Middle English: from Latin territoriumfrom terra land.The word originally denoted the district surrounding and under thejurisdiction of a town or city, specifically a Roman or provincial city.

Monday, 21 May 2012

21.05.2012 bis




Earth Work Series(Mouth): homage to Ana Mendieta
photographic documentation
Villnachern
20.05.2012
14.10h


In another letter written in the early 1980's Ana Mendieta tells of an 'African custom which I think...is analogous to my work...The men from Kimberly go outside their village to seek their brides. When a man brings his new wife home, the woman brings with her  a sack of earth from her homeland and every night she eats a little bit of that earth. The earth will help her make the transition between her homeland and her new home'.

Source: Terra Infirma - Geography's visual Culture, Irit Rogoff, Routledge,  London, 2000
pp124

21.05.2012



Earth Work Series(Back): homage to Ana Mendieta
photographic documentation
Vollnachern
20.05.2012
14.00h



The Primordial sense of Nomos (the Law) is enacted by drawing a line in the soil. This very act initiates a specific concept of law which derives order from notions of space. [It is from this very image] the plough draw lines - furrows in the field - to mark the space of "the own".
_Vismann

Source: Terra Infirma - Geography's visual Culture, Irit Rogoff, Routledge,  London, 2000
pp135

Saturday, 12 May 2012

12.05.2012 bis






Examination of any varied collection of charms (Hand Gestures)
with reference to  entry 12.05.2012
photographic documentation
Villnachern
28.09.2010
19.05-19.19h

12.05.2012








Examination of any varied collection of charms will show that the hand is a common amulet in itself, also that it is used in combination with other objects: sometimes merely grasping them, and sometimes, while grasping the actual charm, making at the same time the important protective gesture.






Source: The Evil Eye, Frederick Thomas Elworthy1895Ch.VII, p272; www.sacred-texts.com

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

28.03.2012



From the series: Conversations
Work in progress
Ink on paper
23.02.2012



included in the works of
The Red Earth Society
at Chamanna d'Es-cha SAC hütte
from Sept. 1st 2013

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

15.02.2012


Le anguane


Le figure leggendarie più presenti in queste tradizioni sono indubbiamente le anguane. La tradizione più consolidata vuole che le anguane siano donne selvatiche e bellissime, dalla chioma fluente, che indossano lunghe vesti, spesso nere, sotto le quali forse nascondono piedi caprini. Vivono in comunità esclusivamente femminili nei boschi e nelle grotte, nei pressi di sorgenti, cascate o corsi d’acqua.
Le anguane non erano le uniche donne selvatiche: talvolta si sentiva parlare anche di guandane o di fade. Ormai si è persa la differenza e queste creature tendono ad assomigliarsi.
Si raccontava di loro…
Le anguane mettevano paura e soggezione, ma ci sono anche racconti di pacifica convivenza tra esse e gli umani. In contra’ Repele, una anziana afferma che una anguana era stata a servizio in questa contrada…ed aveva i piedi rovesciati.
Ad esse, molto spesso associate all’acqua, si attribuiscono molti saperi insegnati agli uomini, ad esempio nell’ambito dell’uso dei prodotti alimentari e delle erbe delle quali sono esperte conoscitrici; grazie alle loro proprietà curative possono vivere rimanendo belle e in forze anche duecento anni.
Non si mostrano volentieri, ma talvolta è possibile scorgerle quando la notte sono intente a lavare ampie lenzuola bianchissime nei ruscelli o nelle sorgenti e a stenderle lungo fili invisibili tra gli alberi.

Source: www.lessiniavicentina.it/2011/02/mistero-e-antiche-leggende/

Other sources:
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anguana
http://www.propordenone.it/pdf/06_05.pdf

The anguane
The most present figures in these traditions are undoubtedly the anguane. The most established tradition narrates that the anguane are wild women of incredible beauty, with flowing hair, who wear long dresses, often black, under which they hide their cloven feet. They live in exclusively female communities in the woods and caves, near springs, waterfalls or waterways. 
...

It is said of them...
The anguana caused fear and awe, but there are many tales of peaceful cohabitation between them and humans. In contra`Repele, and old woman tells that an anguana was in service in this district...and she had backwards feet. 
To them, often associated with water, wisdom taught to mankind is attributed, for example, the use of foods and herbs of which they have expert knowledge; thanks to their healing properties they can live remaining beautiful and strong for even two hundred years.
They don't show themselves very often, but at times it's possible to catch a glimpse of them, during the night, when they are busy washing large white sheets in the streams, or at the source, and putting them up to dry on long invisible lines between trees. 
(My own liberal translation.)