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The legends

pra martin 17.9.12 043
The Dolasilla Legend
Dolasilla was the beautiful daughter of the King of Fanes, infamously greedy and power-hungry and always hunting for more gold and silver, metals which were extracted by dwarfs in the mines around Canazei.
When the king robbed the dwarfs of their fortune, Dolasilla, out of compassion and fear of their revenge, gave their stolen treasure back to them. In a sign of gratitude, they in turn gave her a shiny white fur and foretold that she would become an invincible warrior and transformed her fur into an armor. They went on to warn her that if the armor changed color, she must stay away from the battlefield, or else she would die. In the end, they gave her one more present: a silver powder that if thrown into the “silver lake” would let the king seize possession of a marvelous treasure. 
 
The king exalted by the thought that his daughter would become a great warrior had the “silver lake” watched day and night. One day his men noticed that the lake was covered by silvery reeds, which he had cut and made into a set of unfailing arrows for Dolasilla.

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Dolasilla led the Fanes through a long series of victories. In one of these, Dolasilla was triumphantly crowned by her father on the Plan de Corones. Later while sleeping one night, one of her enemies appeared and prophesized that her good fortune would not last forever, unless she stopped using her magic arrows. In spite of her fear and her mother’s worries, the king would not let her stop fighting. In the following battle against the Duranni led by an alliance between prince Ey-de-Net and the sorcerer Spina de Mul, her dream became reality: a magic arrow was fired from Spina-de-Mul’s bow injuring Dolasilla. Nevertheless the Fanes won the battle, and Ey-de-Net, fascinated by the princess’s beauty, decided that it was his destiny to stay at her side in life and in battle. With this in mind, he walked to mount Latemar to have an enchanted shield built for Dolasilla by the dwarfs who lived there. The dwarfs built an enormous shield that was so heavy only he could carry it, thus ensuring his entry into the Fanes’ army.

Ey-de-Net went to the court of Fanes and asked to enlist in the army. The king had no choice but to let him enlist because he knew his daughter was in danger and the prince was the only one capable of protecting her with the enchanted shield. Ey-de-Net hence became the princess’s shield-bearer. After another series of battles, Ey-de-Net asked for the princess’s hand in marriage which profoundly displeased the king. He remembered the words of the dwarfs of Canazei, “Dolasilla will succeed in battle as long as she does not marry.” The greedy king agreed to the marriage, but demanded that Dolasilla continued to fight, despite the warning from the dwarfs. While Dolasilla and Ey-de-Net – madly in love – were waiting for the wedding, the defiant king wove a plot with the enemy. He gathered all of the “southern peoples” together (Caiütes, Cadubrenes, Lastoieres, Peleghetes, Latrones and Ampezzani) and told them that Dolasilla would not fight in any more battles, which would grant them easy victories. In order to get rid of Dolasilla, the king banished Ey-de-net from the kingdom in hope that the princess would leave to go find him. In the meantime, the king went to hide in Lagazuoi to watch his people die because of his deceit. Dolasilla indeed went looking for Ey-de-Net and wandering along the Armentarola fields, came across 13 ragged, evil boys who asked Dolasilla to give them something. Dolasilla, very frightened, gave each one of them (who were actually demons sent by Spina de Mul) one of her silver arrows. Her armor suddenly changed color and turned red as a sunset on the Dolomites prophesying her death. 

Nevertheless, Dolasilla decided to lead her people in this last battle, without her armor or her magic arrows or Ey-de-Net’s protection. The last battle took place in the fields of the Pralongià. Thirteen archers were equipped with Dolasilla’s silver arrows that were taken by Spina de Mul’s trickery. Once again, the arrows did not fail and the princess fell to the ground; just before dying, she invoked her love Ey-de-Net. With Dolasilla gone, the Fanes’ hope also died and they were soon defeated. The deceitful king faced a similar end because his enemies saw that Dolasilla ended up fighting – even though the king had made a pact with them that she would not. The king mocked by the enemy and now faced with the fact that he sent his people and his family to their deaths, understood that he was a “false king” and turned to stone, like traitors and liars. Even today, you can see the king’s head on the mountain wall of Falzarego pass under Lagazuoi.



 
Notes
Dolasilla: is the only character with a real name, the other ones are called only with appellative. But is it true? Probably the name Dolasilla (sometimes she is called Doresila) was an appellative too. K.F.Wolff tried to explain the name “-sila” with the assonance with the word “sala” (sala in ladin means mill channel or source tube), associating Dolasilla to water. The root "-sill" appears also in ancient ladin (or late “reto”) with the word “fursill” which means iron. “Sill” probably means metal? Is there an assonance and a connection with the German “Silber” (silver)? So Dolasilla probably means “metal belt” or “metal bright”… One day some linguist will tell us!

Angel Morlang
Angel Morlang (1918-2005) born in Pieve di Marebbe and spent his life in ladin valleys. Just as Staudacher he was ordine a priest. He had many interests such as painting. In 1951 he published, in ladino of Marebbe, the novel "Fanes da Zacan", republished in 1978 by the Istitut Ladin "Micurá de Rü" of San Martin de Tor.
As Wolff (who greeted him with joy and emotion) had repeatedly called for, this text intended to be the script for a popular outdoor drama. The script was really represented in Valley and in San Vigilio of Marebbe. Morlang reprised the Wolff’s version with some exceptions (for example Spina-de-Müsc instead of Spina-de-Mul, the vulture, which takes the place usurped by the eagle,…)
Some differences are related to performing needs, some other show different “badiotta” tradition (for example the only country from Pralongià to Furcia of Fers), some other else probably are good Christian falsification (for example Dolasilla buried by Ey-de-Net). The mountain priest sermons are evident and scattered generously.

 

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