THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDENHORN

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THE KOMNA GENTIAN

THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDENHORN

On a rock along a mountain path, an almost imperceptible Pink Cinquefoil (Potentilla nitida) from the genus Potentilla grows luxuriantly in the form of a silver-haired pad. Its truehome, however, are the cliffs and rocky lawns high in the Alpine belt. During its blooming (June-August), cracks and lawns are covered like with drops of blood by its pink red (and only occasionally white) flowers. This is the plant that features in the legend of the Goldenhorn - white chamois with golden horns – which together with white women protected people, tended white goats and looked after the mountain paradise on the high plateau of Komna.

Blinded by love and greed, a poacher from the Trenta Valley shot at the chamois, for its golden horns were the key to a hidden treasure. A miraculous Pink Cinquefoil grew from the drops of blood of the wounded Goldenhorn. The dying Goldenhorn, however, ingested a herb that restored its life force and, terribly enraged, pushed the stunned poacher into the abyss. In the end, the Goldenhorn destroyed the mountain paradise, turning it into a scree slope, and together with the white women vanished for good … This story emphasizes the connection between Nature and man.

  • The Rose Cinquefoil or the Triglav Flower (Potentilla nitida). Photo: Klemen Završnik
    The Rose Cinquefoil or the Triglav Flower (Potentilla nitida). Photo: Klemen Završnik
  • The Goldhorn (»Zlatorog«) - white chamois with golden horns. Painting: Carl Huck, 1923, held by the Alpine Museum Innsbruck
    The Goldhorn (»Zlatorog«) - white chamois with golden horns. Painting: Carl Huck, 1923, held by the Alpine Museum Innsbruck

Credits:

Concept: Klemen Završnik, Martina Tekavec

Text: Klemen Završnik

Photo: Archive of the Bois de Chesne family, Tone Wraber, Klemen Završnik

Drawings: Samo Jenčič (dwarf Zoisy) in Carl Huck (Goldhorn)

Voice: Teja Malovrh Cigale

Reviewer: Špela Pungaršek

Language Editor: Henrik Ciglič

Sound editing: David Kunc

Slovenian Museum of Natural History, 2021