by Giedrius Kavaliauskas, Miša Rygrova
Blukis dragging is an ancient community ritual in the Baltic States. People from small towns and villages used to drag Blukis or tree stump during the darkest night of the year, believing that visiting each home of their community members, they would gather all of the bad things, negative emotions, disputes and anger.
After the completing the ritual dragging of the Blukis, the community would burn the stump together and believed that this was a way to renew from the problems from the last year
The stump was seen as a symbol of a mystic underground being, sometimes a devil,that had hidden the sun from the people. Burning the Blukis down was believed to free the new sun, which is born in fire and thereby start a new cycle for the people.
Blukis in year 2011 was the first official Lithuanian theme camp. The stump ritual was dragged all over the Atlantic Ocean to the Nevada desert and presented as art concept for the Rites of Passage theme. Blukis camp was an interactive space for participants to relax and the Blukis on wheels was dragged all over the Black Rock City, visiting Theme Camps, playing and interacting with the participants, presenting the ritual and also gathering various evil energies. Though the stump of Blukis wasn‘t burned.
In Burning Man Fertility 2.0 Blukis will come to the Playa for a second time, this time as a CORE Project. It will be a giant tree stump sculpture with carvings of mystical runes&symbols illuminated by light emanating from inside the sculpture. With the help of Czech burners the Blukis will be burned ceremoniously with the other 33 CORE effigies from around the world.
The documentary will depict the journey of the stump, from the birth of the idea and designing of the theme camp in Lithuania to Blukis’ journey across summer festivals and events, finally, to its final destination of burn in the Nevada desert. It will introduce the viewers to the artists behind the Blukis camp, will explain the old tradition and will show its revival in this modern world. Blukis’ myth is familiar to many European countries, and through its travels the stump will unite the story, encouraging other countries’ participants to tell their folklore. Blukis documentary will picture the different surroundings where the stump ceremony will take place. It will reveal phenomenon of Burning Man festival, from its colorful participants and their mutant vehicles, to the other ceremonies and rituals happening there. The Blukis tradition will be shown through the people participating in it and through the environments it is happening at.
CORE Poster displayed at the Regional Network Center (11×17) – click on image to download Adobe .pdf copy: