Korant
   The Winter Months
   The Winter Spirits
   The Horned One
   The Korant
   St. Martin
   St. Martin Churches
   Martinovanje
Korant
In pre-Christian Carantania he most likely was the god of winter
His origin dates back to the prehistoric Lord of Animals

Korant (Kurent), in his typical shape and characteristic Carnival masque with wings, Sv. Marko niže Ptuja - Markovci, in the region of Ptujsko polje, Slovenia

Dr. Jožko Šavli

Close to the famous pilgrimage church of St. Mary on Sveta Gora above Sotla Valley in Lower Styria, are found two very ancient chapels dedicated to St. George and St. Martin. The structures have the basic outlines of one-time pagan temples. The Saints, to whom the chapels were consecrated, played an important role in the agrarian tradition: The farming season starts with St. George (April 24) and ends with St. Martin (November 11). It has to be taken for granted that each Saint was associated with a previous pagan god: St. George with the ancient Jarnik, the god of spring, and St. Martin with the god of winter, which still has to be individuated. (Author's Note)

In pre-Christian times, the winter was also personified in form of a deity. Even today, his figure can still be individuated in the popular tradition of many European nations, in several regions he appears in various shapes and under different names. He is also very popular in Central Europe, which was the cradle of the ancient Vends, a pre-Celtic people. After ca. 400 BC, Celtic migrations spilt Middle Europe, and much later the German language spread throughout the country. Anyway, the Vendic people with their ancient customs and symbols are well preserved in the substrate until this very day.

The Celts did not populate the Alps. Therefore, the Vendic people there preserved their cultural tradition in its relatively original condition. In the Eastern Alps, after the decline of the Roman Empire, arose the duchy of Carantania. It was a State of Slovenians, who were still a pagan people. After Christianization, carried out after 750 AD, several pagan deities associated with Christian Saints. As it seems, St. Martin replaced the god of winter, not only in Carantania but all over Middle Europe.
  
The Winter Months

Several scholars have theorized that in Middle Europe the veneration of St. Martin was introduced by Frankish missionaries, who worshipped him as their patron. Anyway, St. Martin's Day, like so many other Christian celebrations, coincides with pagan rituals from the pre-Christian era. This event falls together with the early winter festivities of light and fertility, celebrated by the pagans. In Germany, this day still marks the beginning of Carnival season. Children, participating in lantern processions, sing out on this special day.

In the early Christian era, Lent of Advent began after St. Martin's Day. So, we have information that in Gaul, at the end of the 5th century AD, people fastened three times a week during Lent. Toward the end of the 6th century this fasting habit was included in the calendar of the Roman Church. Before Lent, that is on St. Martin's Day, the Church permitted banquets. Later, probably in the 8th century, the duration of Advent was reduced to four weeks, while traditional St. Martin's Day celebrations continued.

On this day, people give thanks for the harvest, at one-time they thanked the deities and thereafter God. On this day the last pasture was ploughed. The herders thanked God for protecting their livestock. They were in their stalls and safe from wolves. On St. Martin's Day, in the Bavarian Forest and in nearby regions there is still a custom called Wolfablassen (wolf's breakout): boys with loud noises make themselves heard to the wolf, which was banned from the pasture until then, is now free to roam again.
  
The Winter Spirits

According to animistic belief in very remote times, winter was the period of the spirit: Spirits and souls of the dead were coming back to this world. After Christianization, the Christian Church did not succeed to extirpate numerous pagan customs, and therefore combined them with the feasts of the Saints.

Even nowadays, in Middle Europe, children and people in masques walk in processions through the streets on certain holidays, and go from house to house. The children, and in former times also poor people, wished good fortune and prayed for the dead. In return they received small gifts and treats. In Slovenia, St. Barbara Day (December 4th) is the first of such holidays, when people start to go round from house to house. Then follows St. Nicolas Day (December 6), when the benevolent bishop, accompanied by angels and horned devils, visits each home. Between Christmas and New Year, a special procession is held every year in the village of Srednja vas, in Bohin Valley. Among the participants we find lads in masques, called otepovci.  The church in this village is consecrated to St. Martin.

But there are more festivities, like for example St. Lucia Day on December 13th. According to the Julian calendar (until 1582), this was the shortest day with the longest night. One believed that the world was open to the spirits, patet mundus. Among them, the most fateful was a female demon, whose pagan name is no longer preserved. She was covered by St. Lucia's name. The Lucia shape is ambivalent: she carries presents and promises rewards to those who believe in her, and threatens with horrible punishment those who do not.

The Church tried to banish the pagan demon with the benevolent shape of the holy woman, but did not succeed. So, on this day two Lucia figures make the round: the pagan "dark Lucia" and the "light Lucia" (the Christian woman martyr). This custom extends from eastern Germany over Bohemia, Moravia, Burgenland, eastern Slovenia and western Croatia to middle Dalmatia. It is the ancient territory of the Vends. Rich customs for St. Lucia' Day have also been preserved in Sweden, which in the pre-Germanic period was a flourishing region of the Vends. One of the customs is the magic Lucia bread, called lucijšcak in Slovenian, lussibröd in Swedisch: it is a multigrain bread enhanced with herbs, which are actually gathered on St. John's Day (Kretzenbacher 1954).

Since the new Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582, St. Thomas Day (December 21) marks the longest night and the shortest day. Therefore, several traditions and customs were transferred from St. Lucia to this day. According to a fairytale, St. Thomas playing his fiddle is saving the souls from hell. Moreover, his figure clearly reflects the very ancient Slovenian god called Kurent or Korant. Thus, the poem says:When he was making a new barrel of wine, the white Death came and asked for some. But he locked her in the barrel. Then God asked, where the Divine Maiden has disappeared to, because not one soul comes to heaven anymore… (Štrekelj 1895, No. 579)

After Christmas and New Year comes the Feast of Epiphany (January 6). On the eve of this feast, in several Slovenian regions appeared another female demon called Pehtra. She frequently wears a masque with horns, as for example in the Zila Valley. She is known as Pechtre in the Salzburg land, as Percht in Germany, as Šperechta in Bohemia, as Befana in Italy, as Tante Arie in France… Moreover, she appears perhaps in North Africa (Haguza, in Morocco), and in Central Asia (Bleichsteiner 1953, see Kuret 1989, 133).

Pehtra of the Zila Valley (Carinthia). She very probably is the embodiment of the prehistoric Lady of Animals.

I suppose, she could only have been a residue of the pre-historic Lady of Animals, which dates back to the Palaeolithic, but reaching its peak in the Neolithic, in the period of the Matriarchate. Around 2000 BC, the Indo-Europeans conquered Europe and introduced the Patriarchate all over the continent. In Middle Europe, however, a substratum of the previous culture survived. From it the people of the Vends (Veneti) developed, which preserved several elements of the ancient Matriarchate. Anyway, the figure of the Lady of Animals has also been preserved in other regions. She is known under titles like Mother Goddess or Great Mother, Cybele…In Greek mythological tradition, she is called Potnia Theron and she also appears in some variations of Artemis… (Ernst W. Kimowsky, at Lurker 1988, 287).

In early agriculture, the shape of the Lady of Animals associated with the Great Mother, in particular with the Great Mother of Earth. In this way, she also adopted, at least in part, the character of a chthonic deity. Therefore, she appears in an ambivalent role: she gives donations (to the diligent) and she punishes (the wanton).
  
The Horned One

Palaeolithic cave paintings, as for example Trois Frères in France (ca. 13,000 BC), depict the figure of a stag standing upright or a man dressed in stag costume. It is the ancient spirit, the well-known Lord of Animals, the central figure in the mythology of the then people of hunters and gatherers. It must be considered, that the Lady of Animals appeared not much later. But with the developing of agriculture she associated with the goddess-mother of earth, even though she continued to appear as a female demon also (the dark Lucia, and Pehtra).

The Horned One (Lord of Animals) on a picture from Trois Frères in France (13,000 BC)

Originally, the Lord of Animals was first a spirit, and later he became also a god. We have to suppose that in peoples' imagination he was the Horned One. Its characteristic attribute were the horns, the ancient symbol of sun and moon, of divine strength (Avesta), of light overcoming darkness… (Lurker 1988, 320). In the Indo-European area, the Horned One has been preserved in the very authentic shape of Pashupati (literally: Lord of Animals), a pre-Aryan and Aryan god. He bears horns and is regarded as a proto-type of Shiva.

In Europe, after the mankind culture passed to herdsmen and farmers, the spirit of the Horned One changed into a god, even though, in many people's customs he continued to be a spirit. This change is evident in the case of Cernunnos, a Celtic god. He is depicted with antlers of a stag, as we can see at the famous Gundestrup cauldron (late 2nd century BC, Denmark). The figure of the Horned One, even though many new elements were attributed to it, remained preserved until Christianization and perhaps beyond. In the people's customs, his ancient totemic masque with horns survived until nowadays.

As it seems, his masque was connected with a totemic animal, which for the Celts almost certainly was a deer. For the Vends (Veneti), however, the totemic animal very probably was a bull. Not in vain does its picture appear in "classic" Vendic countries like Mecklenburg (Abodritia) and Lusatia. For the Vends (Slovenians), who had settled in the Alps, the totemic animal evidently was the steinbock.

From Noricum, the Roman province in the Eastern Alps and predecessor of Carantania, an inscription has been preserved, which could be an indirect testifying, that the people at that time venerated the Horned One. It is the inscription of Magdalensberg - Štalen, which says, that a sacrifice was made to Capricorn. In this case, it is probably not about the well-known astrological sign, but about the steinbock, the messenger of the Horned One, the almighty Great Spirit. Thus, the Capricorn's month is December, whereas the sacrifice was carried out in November. This is, in the month of the ancient beginning of the winter.
  
The Korant

In present-day Carinthia, besides the sacrifice offered to the steinbock, we discover another trace of witness, which confirms that in ancient Noricum the Great Spirit or the Horned One, was venerated. Thus, on Ulrichsberg - Šenturh, next to goddess Noreia's inscription, a marble plate was found bearing the otherwise unknown name: Casuontanus. It is very probably the name of a god venerated by the village people (Gerndt 1973, 103).

It was also supposed, that this name could have been part of a longer inscription together with that consecrated to Noreia, which spells: Noreiae Isidi F A Trebonius Proc. In this inscription the letter F is to be read as a partially ruined E (Egger 1949, 44). Then, the full inscription spells: Noreiae Isidi e(t) Casuontano A(ulus) Trebonius proc(urator) /provinciae Noricae/. This is: To Noreia Isis and Casuontanus Aulus Trebonius procurator /of the Noricum province/. It is not to exclude, that the name Casuontan(us) could have been a corrupted Latin record of Karuontan, Korantan (Korant) and similar name forms of the Horned One or Great Spirit. He was venerated by the people, but he did not claim his place in the pantheon of Noricum. Thus, he did not have the shape of a god.

On Magdalensberg - Štalen, there is a beautiful Roman tombstone consecrated to Caius and Quintus Vettius. The inscription (CIL III 4858) says, that they originated from the civilian district of Pollia (evidently Polja /fields/, probably meaning the present-day Zollfeld - Svatne under the hill). In spite of the Roman names, the Vettius were indigenous people. This is witness to the indigenous religious symbols on the tombstone, among them the winged god hovering on the waves and surrounded by a half circle. This god is not found in the Roman pantheon.

The winged celestial god found on a Roman tombstone from Magdalensberg - Štalen, (Carinthia)

After the decline of the Roman Empire (476 AD), of which the province of Noricum was part, the Romanized leading class gradually moved away. In this way, the official pantheon, on which the Norican nation was based during the Roman period, also fell into decay. Amidst the rural people, who remained in the country, the ancient divinities survived, but with names and shapes known to the people. Goddess Noreia, for example, could only have been called by her ancient name Zemla (Earth), because Noricum did not exist anymore.

The aforesaid rural people were the ancestors of the Slovenians. They, after about a century of barbarian kingdoms in Italy, became an independent nation (568 AD), called Carantania in the records. In great prevalence they still were a pagan nation and were Christianized after 750 AD. Christianization, however, could not banish the ancient pagan customs. They have survived in the traditions of the rural people until today.

Ptujsko polje (Ptuj/Pettau field), Slovenia, the classic region of the Korant, where he appears during Carnival season.

In these customs, as I think, the ancient spirit of the Horned One can be individuated in several shapes all over the ancient Vendic area of Middle Europe. In Slovenian territory his most authentic figure appears in Carnival processions with masked people, where he represents the central figure. Normally, he is called Pust (Shrovetide). Anyway, in the region of Ptujsko polje (Ptuj/Pettau field), he presents himself in a very ancient shape and he bears a particular name. It is about the masked figure called Korant, or Kurent. In the sense of his looks and his mysterious meaning, this figure is certainly unique.

In the Korant's masque two elements symbolize the ancient cosmic principles: the horns (meaning sun-rays) on the top, in front the beak and the great wings (meaning a celestial origin) on both sides of his head. His long red tongue (symbolizing procreation) is very probably of pre-historic origin. Of much later origin must be regarded his belt of chain, on which five bells are suspended. The sheepskin coat, in which he is dressed, remembers the period of herders, in which the ancient Lord of Animals appears as Wolves' Herder.

Korant figures: the first one with characteristic wings (Ptujsko polje), and the second one with bull horns  (Slovenske gorice).

The linguists took pain to explain the meaning of his name, but without success. Says France Bezlaj: He most probably is a masked personification of a totemic demon(see Kuret 1984, 194). This statement is very close to the matter-of-factness. In the comparisons with Scandinavia, Franc Jeza is trying to explain the name "Korant" as follows: the stem Kor- is a derivation of the root *kor-  which stands for many Slovenian etymons connected with fertility, like koren (root), korenina (root), korist (profit, in origin: something bearing fruit)… and the ending  -and (-ant, -ond) meaning a spirit (Jeza 1967, 40, 41). He considered him the supreme deity of the Norse mythology, called Kor or Hor and also Ull, the god of sun, light and vegetation.

The animal masques, which appear among the Korant's retinue, still remind of the ancient Lord of Animals. In the region of Ptujsko polje we find the following: medved (bear) rusa (horse), kokotic (cock). Not indigenous is gambela (camel, evidently of medieval origin). The oraci (pron. oratchi, i.e., plough) is connected with the agrarian cults. But there is more to it! In the upper part of Carniola and in Lower Styria, a trace of  sveti Korant (holy Korant) has been preserved perhaps. In the country, mothers added in the evening prayer also a Lord's prayer and a Hail Mary for the holy Korant, who "will have his feast tomorrow " (Valjavec 1922, see Kuret 1989, 194).

The name Kor, it is true, is certainly of pre-historic origin. It could have been the original name of the Lord of Animals, the various shapes which later developed to gods. The name corresponds to Horus, or maybe Hor(us) of the ancient Egypt, who appeared in an elder and a younger form. Horus the Elder (Harueris) is also a creator god represented by a falcon, who flew up at the beginning of time (R. T. Rundle Clark 1991, 216). The Horus symbol was a winged sun disc, a sign, that he was firstly a god of sun, heaven and cosmos (Assmann, at Lurker 1988, 322). The remote Lord of Animals, then a Great Spirit, also was conceived as a Lord of cosmos. If the Korant reflects the same principle, then the primordial meaning of Kor and Hor coincides.

In many Slovenian tales he bears the name Kurent, and he appears as the god of joy and wine. Several traits of his character remind of those of Dionysus. Anyway, his figure evidently associated with many mythological elements. In several scenes, with his fiddle (a magic instrument) he irresistibly forces people, and even the Death, to the dance. He perhaps cheats or overcomes the Death, and is a patron of joy and life's serenity (Stanonik 1992, 78).
  
St. Martin

From the above displayed facts one can conclude, that the Horned One (the previous Lord of Animals) ruled over the winter months. In pre-Christian Carantania, his name with greatest probability was Korant (its derivation: Kurent). It is not clear, to what extent his primordial nature of the almighty great spirit and of the cosmic god was still preserved.  Anyway, he protected the people from the forces of darkness, which have been personified in chthonic figures like the (dark) Lucia, or Pehtra, or the horned dickens…

After the Christianization of Middle Europe, was he replaced by a Christian saint, too?  At least in Carantania? Yes, he evidently was, but only at the beginning of the winter months. This saint is St. Martin, who closes the farming season and opens the winter months. A silent witness to the replacement of the old system is very probably the role of the Wolves' Shepherd found in several myths. This is particularly true in Slavic nations, which could be a sign of his Vendic origin. In the Russian popular tradition, for example, the Wolves' Shepherd is a wood spirit: He is riding on a white horse followed by wolves, he allots them the fodder and gives them the orders…In the more recent versions he is replaced by Christ or by male Saints.  Among other things, the white horse is a riding animal and messenger of the deity. (Lurker 1988, 551).                             

"St. Martin cuts his coat in halves and gives it to a poor person".
It is the most frequent scene on the pictures of this Saint. This beautiful mosaic originates from Saint Martin's Abbey (Benedictines) of Lacey, near Seattle (Washington, USA).

In the sense of several explanations, St. Martin replaced the very ancient Lord of Animals (the Horned One), the figure of which continued to exist in the Wolves' Shepherd. Christians welcomed the exchange of the horrible figure of the very ancient Lord of Animals with the affable and charitable St. Martin. Herdsmen expected from him to further tame the wolves and spare their flocks. (Kuret 1989, 116, 117). Here we find a comparison to the Wolf's breakout, quoted above.

In the following Slovenian tale this replacement is quite evident: St. Martin pastured the sheep, and in the sense of the then custom he played the shepherd's flute. Every day, besides songs and prayers, he honoured and praised God with his flute. One morning, when at a stream he was singing the matinal song, a large wolf fell upon his biggest and most beautiful sheep, and dragged it into the brush… Anyway, St. Martin immediately went after the wolf and beat him on the back with his flute. The wolf collapsed to the ground, and the sheep was saved. (A. Benigar 1865, see Kuret 1989, 116).

The flute is a shepherd's symbol. Here it is evidently about the magic flute, which appears in ancient mythologies. Like in the case of other music instruments, its sound often symbolizes the divine power. In Indian mythology, for example, Lord Krishna wove magic on his flute. To his melodious tunes did not only dance mortals but also the animal kingdom. - In the tales of the Kurent, the flute as a typical shepherd's instrument which has been replaced with the fiddle. The symbol of its sound remained the same. It represents the divine power, against which no one can defend himself, and even the Death is constrained to dance.
  
St. Martin Churches

After having read the above facts, it is not surprising to find so many St. Martin Churches in the territory of ancient Carantania. So, in the present-day Slovenian territory we meet no less than ca. 120 St. Martin churches. The oldest ones originated in the 9th century AD, like those in Hajdina (close to Ptuj), in Laško, Bohin, Bled, Šmartno (close to Kranj), Šmartno (close to Litija), and in Slovenj gradec. It is not surprising that many early churches were former pagan temples, as it has been ascertained in the case of St. Martin and St. George chapels on Sveta Gora, not far from the Sotla River.

St. Martin was born in Sabaria (Szombathely, Hungary) in Pannonia, at that time a Roman province. He died as Bishop of Tours, Gaul (France) in 397, and is known as Apostle of Gaul. His religiousness and his benevolence toward the poor made him a very popular Saint. According to tradition, one-time he cut his coat in halves and gave it to a poor person. Then, he recognized that it was Jesus himself, who, dressed as a beggar, had tested him. St. Martin became a model to missionaries, and they honoured him with churches in his name. Much later, when Chlodwig I, the Frankish king (466 - 511 AD), was baptised in Reims, the Franks choose him for their patron.

Many Austrian scholars connect the history of this event to the circumstance, that in the territory of modern Austria (ancient Carantania, except Tyrol) a great number of churches, no less than ca. 260, are consecrated to St. Martin. The scholars adduce, that after 791 AD several Frankish armies, marching against the Avars in Pannonia, passed the "Austrian" (at that time Carantanian) territory, and on this occasion many St. Martin churches, like the one in Klosterneuburg close to Vienna, should have been established.

Not very probably, because on the northern part of Carantania the Franks passed alongside the Danube (today the provinces of Upper and Loser Austria), whereas on the southern part they marched over Istria and Illyricum (Croatia). Thus, not through central Carantania (today's Carinthia and Styria). Therefore, the origin of several St. Martin churches must be of another kind.

In this regard, says Niko Kuret, the well-known Slovenian ethnologist: St. Martin very probably took the place of a Celtic deity (Kuret 1989, 110). He evidently was thinking of Cernunos without pronouncing his name. Thus, because he obviously was not entirely convinced. On base of my research, this happened in traditionally Celtic lands, first of all in France. In Vendic territory of Middle Europe, however, St. Martin replaced a Vendic deity. In Carantania, he could only have replaced the Korant, who in its popular shape was the god of winter.

St. Martin church in Spodnje Trušnje (Niedertrixen, Carinthia). It was built in ca. 800 AD and goes back to the time of Christianization of Carantania.

Consequently, in present-day Carinthia, the core land of ancient Carantania, there are found perhaps 44 St. Martin churches (ca. 17 % of those in Austria). In this part of the country we also find the most number of sites bearing St. Martin's name like: St. Martin am Silberberg, St. Martin am Techelsberg (Dholica), St. Martin am Wallersberg (Vašinje), St. Martin bei Feldkirchen (Trg), St. Martin bei Frojach (Broje), St. Martin bei  St. Georgen am Längsee (Št. Jurij ob jezeru). St. Martin bei Niedertrixen (Spodnje Trušnje), St. Martin im Granitztal (Gradnica), St. Martin am Krappfeld (Grobniško polje), mentioned already in 991 AD...

A particular example represents the filial church of St. Martin found close to Spodnje Trušnje (Niedertrixen), in the surroundings of Völkermarkt - Velikovec. When mentioned in the records in 1332 AD, its right for burial is especially stressed. In 1969, at the restoration of the church, six Carolingian guilloche stones originating from ca. 800 AD, have been discovered. This means, its origin dates back in the times of Christianization. Did it replace the former Korant temple?
  
Martinovanje

In Slovenian, this means the celebration of St. Martin's Day. This feast, which is not only a Slovenian festivity, evidently replaced Thanksgiving's Day, already observed in pre-Christian times. People gave thanks to the deities for good harvest and, because on this day the last pasture of the season has been harvested, they also asked for protection of herds and flocks. In late fall meat had to be prepared for the long cold winter, and some animals like pigs, chicken, turkeys, geese… were butchered. So, the very special treat on St. Martin's Day became a symbolic deed, which it is still today.

It was close to the (ancient) Advent Lent, and the Christian Church permitted banquets. In this way, St. Martin's Day became a kind of autumnal Carnival, celebrated all over Middle Europe. The "obligatory" meal on this day is symbolically represented by the Martin's goose. On St. Martin's Day the wine matures, too. Therefore, like in other wine-growing countries, in Slovenia the celebration on this day is in particular connected with the new wine tasting. Then, the cheerful atmosphere is brimming over. In the cellars men and women are tasting all sorts of new wines, and they crack jokes, laugh, sing… St. Martin is the most merry of all Saints.

Anyway, there are still traces of ancient belief in the sense of which the spirits of the dead return to earth on this day. In the region of Bela krajina, for example, when guests are leaving the zidanica (vineyard-cottage), they put a majolica of wine with a glass on the table. It is meant for the souls in purgatory, so that they also can participate in the festivities, if they visit from time to time.

Martinovanje (Martin's celebration) and Kurentovanje (Carnival of Ptujsko polje) are the most characteristic events. On this day the figure of the very ancient god in his modern embodiments appears in popular customs. I imagine that his wings at the head (in some examples) are the sign of the Great Spirit and the horns that of the Lord of Animals. But it is always about of the same divine shape, which in the different cultures that followed changed its appearance.
Bibliography:
   Niko Kuret: Praznicno leto Slovencev /The Feast Year of Slovenians/, Ljubljana 1989
   Niko Kuret: Maske slovenskih pokrajin /Masques of Slovenian regions/, Ljubljana 1984
   Robert Bleichsteiner: Perchtegestalten in Mittelasien, in: Archiv für Völkerkunde 8, Wien 1953, p. 58 ff.
   Leopold Kretzenbacher: Das slowenische Luzienbrot ("Lucijšcak"), in: Slovenski etnograf  6/7, Ljubljana 1954
   R. T. Rundle Clark: Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt, London 1991
   Karel Štrekelj: Slovenske narodne pesmi I, Lublana 1895
   Helge Gerndt: Vierbergerlauf. Gegenwart und Geschichte eines Kärnter Brauchs, Klagenfurt 1973
   Rudolf Egger: Der Ulrichsberg, ein heiliger Berg Kärntens, Klagenfurt 1949
   Marija Stanonik: Kurent, in Enciklopedija Slovenije 6, Ljubljana 1992)

Correction to the article Korant:
In the article concerning the Korant, I mentioned the figure of the Middle-Winter-Woman in connection with the Korant. At that time I didn't know, that in pre-historic times a "goddess" female figure (the Lady of Animals) existed, in distinction to a "god" male figure (the Lord of Animals). Very probably, it is about the divinities of the matriarchate and the patriarchate. In the later period, the characteristic elements of both deities were interwoven.
(cf: Baba)