Maciek Dziedzina-Wiwer – the Janosik of Pieniny

The lack of interesting stories about the brigands from Pieniny was filled by Michał Słowik-Dzwon. His great novel “Turowy róg” (“the Corn of an Aurochs”) describes the adventures of Maciek Dziedzina-Wiwer from Szczawnica. read more

The lack of interesting stories about the brigands from Pieniny was filled by Michał Słowik-Dzwon. His great novel “Turowy róg” (“the Corn of an Aurochs”) describes the adventures of Maciek Dziedzina-Wiwer from Szczawnica. This “man of honour” and a religious brigand, who was robbing mansions and cloisters, survived 100 strikes of a beech branch and then was forced to join the emperor’s army.The notes about the brigands from Pieniny are very short. The sources mention just a couple of them who appeared on these territories, e.g. historical Baczyński of Tylmanowa. But it didn’t discourage Michał Słowik-Dzwon, “the bard of Pieniny”. This highlander from Szczawnica, a reader of Tetmajer and Witkiewicz, left a high class “epopee of Pieniny” called “Turowy róg” (the Corn of an Aurochs).

The main protagonist of the novel is, probably fictional, brigand Maciek Dziedzina-Wiwer – a figure not worse than Janosik. Every spring Maciek climbed Jarmuta mountain, took out his old aurochs corn and called his companions. They had their seat on a glade among Radziejowa forests, with a beautiful view of Pieniny and Tatry. This was the place where, in accordance with the brigands celebration – they accepted new companions and prepared robbery expeditions. Always “honorary” with sense of humour, religious in their own way, teased local noblemen, monks and rich farmers. And finally, after many adventures and betrayed by one of their companions, they got into the heads of Austrian justice. Maciek’s trial in Nowy Sącz is a perfect material for a great film scene. Thanks to the mediation of his mistress, he was pardoned from a death sentence and then survived the punishment – 100 strikes by a beech bat in the presence of his compatriots of Szczawnica. Before he fully recovered, he was forced to join the Austrian army. Słowik-Dzown included in this story a fictional episode about the stone figure of Holy Mother of the Rosary, called the Holy Mother of the Brigands. Today this figure, renovated lately, stands near the Bus Station. According to Słowik, the shrine was placed here as a result of the deception of one of the brigands, who sold it near Kiezmark to an unaware citizen of Szczawnica.

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