Recently I read the article ”22 Ambassadors Recommend the One Book to Read Before Visiting Their Country”, the list being very interesting and offering interesting books from countries like Azerbaijan and Bhutan among others. So I was thinking ”Which book would I recommend to somebody planning to visit Bulgaria?”. There are emblematic Bulgarian classics translated worldwide, but a big part of them talk about Bulgaria under the Ottoman occupation which is an interesting part of Bulgarian history and past, but it’s not really a suitable reading for somebody looking to discover Bulgarian traditions, beauty, and culture as a tourist.
After meticulous research, I came to the conclusion that the book I would recommend is ”Legend of the First Kuker Warrior” by Dimitar Petrov published by the production company ”Studio Zmei”. The story and the characters in the ”Legend of the First Kuker Warrior” are inspired by Bulgarian mythology and folklore.
Legend of the First Kuker Warrior by Dimitar Petrov
Furthermore, this amazing book tells the legend of how the First Kuker Warrior appeared and how he invented the first Kuker costume with huge bells and a giant and scary mask. Legend of the First Kuker Warrior is a sort of Bulgarian manga with great illustrations and a storyline that is suitable for adults and children. Samodivi (mystical female creatures) help Anton – a human being who becomes the First Kuker Warrior to chase the evil from their village. Anton on his hand is a blacksmith who creates the first huge bells which sound chase the evil. As a master Kuker warrior, Anton is called Babuger.
I am not going to tell you the Legend of the First Kuker Warrior by Dimitar Petrov in details as it’s better to watch the short film made by its creators. The storyline in the book and in the short film is the same but told differently (narration and video). Thus, the book is not yet translated into English and for the time being, if you are curious to know more about Bulgarian mythology and folklore through this amazing fantasy, just follow The Golden Apple’s website and Facebook page.
Are you curious to know more about Kukeri? Read my review of Kukerlandia and come to Bulgaria to chase the evil.
Thanks for reading!