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The Guschg Herdsmen's Doll

This type of legend is widespread throughout the Alpine region. In Switzerland it is known as 'Sennentuntschi'.

Up in Guschg, an Alpine meadow in the Valorschtal Valley near Schaan, a group of herdsmen and shepherds spent what little spare time they had making a life-size doll out of rags. They would speak to her, eat with her and do many other things. On occasions they would even beat her.

As autumn arrived and the time came to bring the cows down from the meadow, the doll sat up one evening during dinner and began to speak. The herdsmen and farmers were so scared that they could hardly say a word. "All of you but one may leave the meadow to bring the animals down into the valley," she said. "But one must stay with me." Then she pointed to the herdsman she had chosen, and stay he did. As the remaining herdsmen and shepherds were driving the livestock down into the Valorschtal Valley, they turned and looked back up towards the meadow. There they saw the herdsman's skin stretched out across the roof of their mountain hut, with the doll sitting nearby, laughing.

Book recommendation: Liechtensteiner Sagen - neu erzählt (available in German only)
Herbert Hilbe (text) & Susanne Smajić (illustrations) 
Liechtensteiner Sagen - neu erzählt 
160 pages with many colour illustrations
Format: 17 x 23.5 cm 
Bound hardback edition: ISBN 978-3-905881-05-9 
36.00 Swiss francs / 19.90 euros (Germany) / 20.50 euros (Austria) 

For more information and to order the book (German only)
Buch "Liechtensteiner Sagen - neu erzählt"

Illustrations on this website
Copyright Susanne Smajic


Illustrationen auf dieser Website
Copyright Susanne Smajic