Pavel Hajko

Pavel Hajko

Naive painter

Srpski SR
Slovenský SK
English EN

There are no people where the rooster doesn't sing his song

There are no people where the rooster doesn't sing his songHow did it dawn when there were no roosters? The Slovakian folktale about the tomcat, rooster and stick tells, that every day, people would go for the morning to the nearest hill. They would bring the day on their back, all until the eldest of three brothers sold them a bird that invokes the day. Since that time, the rooster is always next to people. In an other tale, a little black chick appears as the incarnation of the devil himself.

The rooster is therefore also solar animal, but a bird of ill omen as well. In the old mythology systems, the rooster is mostly of solar symbolism: in India, where these birds come from, the rooster is the attribute of the God of the sun; in old Japan his singing is calling the goddess Amaterasa out of the cave; in Greece he belonged to Zeus and Apollo (but also to the lunar goddesses Lethy and Artemida); in the Near Eastern deity he was the symbol of god Attis, the one who died and raised from the dead; according to the Scandinavian tradition the rooster is the symbol of military vigilance, as from the top of the European ash, the tree of life, he's announcing the enemy is coming. The Pueblo Indians believe that the very sun has left the roosters to us, so that somebody could wake us up. In the Bible Jesus Christ is also presented by the rooster - together with the eagle and lamb, he presents his light and resurrection. In the Book of John he symbolizes God's wisdom, in the Gospels according to Mathew and Mark the rooster shows vigilance and readiness ("... tonight, till the rooster sings his song, you will renounce me for three times" and "Therefore watch then; because you don't know when the lord of the house is coming, either in the evening, at dawn or in the morning").

The dichotomism of the solar and lunar symbolics is presented also through the Serbian folk religion. The belief the rooster brings happiness and progress is a general diffusion: there are no people where the rooster doesn't sing his song. The function of the rooster as a protector is also drawn by this conviction: when moving into a new house, first a rooster would be carried in, so the members of the household would be watchful and cheerful as him; a rooster would be slaughtered when the foundation of a new house was laid- he was sacrificed for the well of the whole village; a rooster (hen, chicken) is a clairvoyant bird which can predict the weather, the arrival of a guest, journey or death; in marital customs and agricultural rituals the rooster represents fecundity and fertility. At the end of the harvest or treshing season - usually on St. Elia's - an old rooster has been sacrificed, as he probably was presenting the demon of ripe grain, killing because his strength was at the end; or the wheat was poured with his blood before the sawing to raise the fruitful strength of the grain, kept in the seeds.

There was also the conviction that the rooster's singing is of divine origin. Back to the times of Pagans goes also the idea of a white rooster living in heaven, the king of all roosters. When he sings, his citizens on earth have to respond. Christianizing this conviction, it means that all roosters sing at God's order - God himself has ordered the angels to sing in heaven and the roosters on earth.

The heterogeneous presence of the rooster in the frame of the systems of mythology, religion and folklore also carries a suitable art production as side effects.

Because of his visual attraction, the rooster has remained interesting also for the contemporary art of painting, although his stratified symbolics has become misty by withdrawing the demons of the night into foggy memories of our sub consciousness. Just the Naive Art has discovered the rooster again - collective traditions of the Ordinary folk, the naive painters usually have their origin of, have saved the marks of the centuries for the longest. Some of the naive painters have the rooster made a cult-bird, at the same time moving the focus of its meaning from magic to a closer idea of sensuality.

Thanks to his drawings and paintings, PAVEL HAJKO has been lined up with the guards of the tradition of this rich motive. At the same time, he is starting a new phase of his opus. MY ROOSTERS are closer with the aesthetics of ugliness then of pleasantness as the Naive Art used to. But, in spite of this, their artistic value has not been disparaged. On the contrary - everything is here: the recognizable landscape with the filigree of branches, idyllic cottages, only the master of this place, the rooster seems not to feel well. So thin, with his neck nude, bristled, he seems more like a tired warrior who has survived water and fire, but at the same time very energetic and unshakable, a bird which has mounted the moon, this rooster seems to announce a new dawn - to us as well as to the author.

Tomaš Čelovski

(C) 2010 Pavel Hajko