< Customs and Rituals
Marta - dzurka

Krasimira Dubarova - curator in Department "Ethnography" at RHM Burgas

An interesting custom in March is preserved in several villages around the town of Asenovgrad /studied by J. Dieva/. It is performed by boys between 7 and 12 years, who every spring on 1st of March go "marching" Early in the morning, at 5-6 o'clock they leave the village and sing from house to house a special "March songs." The grandfather or father of any child made has made an object called "marta - dzhurka." With one hand the boys carry the "marta - dzharka" or "martata" and with the other "dzhurk" crisply with a string, made of twisted white and red thread. The boys are given eggs, which they carry in a special baskets.

"Marta - dzhurka" is a musical instrument with an interesting shape. It represents a pine tablet with three drilled holes. In the first and third hole a curved hoop is attached. The second hole is put rotating spindle, the top of which is secured a wooden chicken. The spindle goes also through the center of the ring. Cord /martenitsa of white and red thread/ drive the spindle ie "martata". The end is wrapped in tinfoil. Bringing the instrument to sound ie vibrate is performed by string.

Y.Dieva has recorded songs played during the custom with the accompaniment of the instrument "marta - dzharka":

References: Samokovlieva M., "Bulgarian folk customs and participation of children in them"
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