The Realm of Fern: a Mijak Colony

In the central part of the country, just above Veles there lies one of the most beautiful and well preserved, but at the same time, one of the most deserted villages in this rather populated region. Papradiste is part of the Azot area famous for subversion and social unrest from medieval Bogumils to 19th century revolutionaries and 20th century partisans. It is situated in the upper stream of the Babuna river and nested in the Dautica mountain at 980 meters above sea level. The village was founded by families originating from the Mijak region – from Galicnik, Gari, Lazaropole, Tresonce and Selce. Together with the nearby Orese, and Smilevo (Bitola region) they are the only three Mijak villages outside the original Mala Reka area in the western part of the country. There is evidence that the first family was the Kuzman who came here in the 1770s. The village was a midway home to the masons between their work place in Veles and the ancestral Mala Reka region. The legend says that the old name of the depopulated village was Zvezdanovo (village under stars) and the current name was given after the new settlers covered their roofs with fern instead of straw, Papradiste meaning abundance of fern. The wealth of the village was based on sheep breeding, masonry and cloth making. Read more… 

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