Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Lower Saxon Clan Names

The ancient Germanic tribes that made up the Saxon confederation in northern Germany were divided into clans that often took their name from an aspect of their natural environment. This is made very clear in the novel by Hermann Löns, Der Wehrwolf (The Warwolf) published in 1910:

"Many of the clan names originated from nature, eg Ul `owl`, Wulf `wolf`, Bock `goat`, Specht `woodpecker`, Katz `cat`.

These clan names continue to the present day as surnames. In the cemetry in Langelsheim in the Oberharz one may find many gravestones with my mother`s maiden name Bock, indicating that this tribal name is still very numerous in Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony). The Low German for Niedersachsen being Nedersassen.

The goat is an animal which is sacred to the God Donar and this may indicate that this clan were originally worshippers of the Thunder God and their houses were decorated with the sign of the goat.


batman said...

Then You probably know that at least two families named
'Bock' have some very exiting family-chronicles.

The one in Finland - where the main family was called "Bock-stroem" (modernized Boxstrom) have kept an entire saga as a family-secret, transceived ONLY by a private and hereto secret family-tradition - generation by generation since before 1248, when Finland was catholicized. At that time the last string from the old, traditional schools of knowledge - during ancient antiquety found all over Eurasia - lost its very last hold.

Between 1249 and 1857 these stories would survive only in the finnish language-area, During the end of the 19th century also these oral traditions ("rune-sining") were dying out. Though a good number were recorded by pen, today stored in the Lonroth Collections. On the basis of these Lonroth wrote 'Kalevala'

Similar myths were recoded during the 13th and 14th century on Iceland - later also from the fragments still left with the German, English and Danish folklore traditions.

In 1857 the two foremost traditons-carriers of a more complete and unbroken saga came together in Finland, as the 'bauernadel' of the Bockstroem- and the Rastroem-families made a fusion marriage - where two twin-sister from the latter married two sons from the former. Thus they spun their separate traditions - kept separately within both families since "the union with Sweden" (and a due catholisation) in 1248.

Spending two hours a day - six days a week - it took 21 years (!) to tell and explain the entire saga within the Bock family. Within the ra-family it took 23...(!!)

The merged variation was condensed to be 20 years - and the story given to the oldest child of the Bock-family, being the daugther Kristina Vic-toria, born 1857. When her first brother Knut ("knot") Vic-tor he got to learn it too. When he grew up and made a family his virgin sister would be - as in the good old days - responsible for teaching the story to his fist children, becomming Rakel and Rafael Boxstroem.

Later Rafaels sister Rhea got a boy named Bror Holger - or Ior - Boxstoem, who was supposed to become the only and last male of theese old family-line, who could count their agnastic line unbroken back to the very first inhabitants of Fenno-Scandia, called "The Aser-family".

As Rakel and Rhea eventually died, as of 1976 and 1984 respectively, Ior was the last family-member left. Thus, at the age of 42, he was supposed to tell the entire family-saga "openly, to the public". Consequently he contacted the Institute of Folklore in Helsinki, where the first outline of the saga was recorded, during summer 1984. The same year he collected a few friends and aquaintances that had the proper interest, which led to a process where more and more of the saga was learnt by others - by oral transmission. Some of it have later become tapes - as well as a small book - in Finnish.

3-4 years ago two danish guys collected all the existing material made digitally and made available at various internet-sites. Their (own) extensive introduction to the material - as well as links to written and oral recordings of the saga itself - can be found at www.torshammer.eu

batman said...

This material is obviously unique, but what's worse - its real and it keeps being proven, by a series of new discoveries from our modern, natural sciences throughout the last 20 years, that is years AFTER 1984-1987, when the saga had been presented, in its entirety. Thus this ground-breaking saga has already proven itself - beyond any doubt - to be based on a clean-cut basis of solid facts.

That most people have major problems in accepting the existence of this saga doesn't seem to affect the validity of the saga itself. After three decades of 'skepticism' and 'political' rejection the saga still stands, better than ever, when compared to the facts comming out of modern archaeology, linguistics and genetics. The critical question is not wheter the saga it "true" or not - but wheter we still have the ability to adapt" - and accept that even new and 'controversial' information can be as "true" as anything we learn from our post-modern faculties and televised news.

batman said...

Thanks for a great blog!

Hope you like the info I gave.

Best regards

Wotans Krieger said...

Batman, I'm sorry. I forgot to thank you for this information. Better late than never! By coincidence this saga was brought to my attention originally in 2004 when someone found out that my mother's maiden name was Bock!