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Huns in Switzerland

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This is a partial translation of

One of the most interesting people of the mountain valleys of Switzerland are the inhabitanst
of Anniviers.

The swiss history sources regarding them are inexhaustible, but their true origin never has been cleared. Their lifestyle, habits, customs, build, folkmusic, ethnological treasures are alien for the people of Wallis. Because their origin -the solution of the "mistery"- has been searched only amongst neighbouring people close or distant by the historians living in the vecinity of them,a conclusion never have been reached.

The hungarian Horváth Mihály in the magazine "Századok" (Centuries), from 1881, in the article
"Egy kis hun-kérdés több nagy között" (A little hunnic question among other greater) consider them the descents of the huns. This view he supports with the fact that this strange people consider and considered themselves the descendets of the huns. He writes about them in the followings:

"They say they are the descendents of the old huns. This little tribe lives in the Wallis canton, made up of 4-5000 souls, considering themselves too the sons of the huns and speak a peculiar language,in other ways you can hardly distinguish them from the other inhabitanst of Wallis. The majority of them have lightblue eyes or grayish green eyes,blonde or brown hair, with large and bony forehead, with a slightly outstanding yoke-bone. They have a common nose, broad chin, proeminant shoulders and neck and they are in general low statured.

Their language -which is on the verge of dying out due to the spread of french language and culture- is disimilar to any european language and also never have been studied thoroughly nor their customs, but what the world have learned about them supports in some way or degree what they say about themselves.

It is an extremly interesting fact that at burial they weep and shout besides the dead for hours ,and after the burial they have long and vivid feast, and for last they have a tendency for wandering.

Some of the placenames have totally hungarian sonority like Penszék, Kuimez, Luk, Náva, Návaszék, Kalló, Barma, Feja etc. It would be a great loss if their languge would die out, before experts would have the occasion to study it in a detailed way. "

In the past they did not intermarried with the outsiders.
Anton Karl Fischer writes about them :"With the strangers they are open,friendly and hospitable and never subserviant, they are self-conscious and free of pride." The arhitecture, insulation, cover material, the shindeling of their houses is the same one used also by the székelys (szeklers in their english name).

In their tales Kurtaczavas is a name for night spirit,also Ladonna,Follaton. Tupil is the bad spirit.
Gargantos is the giant.

The inhabitants of Annievers valley lived for a long time isolated from the people living in the neighbouring valleys,especially isolated form the inhabitanst of Rhône valley. To this contributed to a great extent the inaccessibility of the valley. This isolation lasted for centuries, so the people of the valley could rely only on themselves and their isolation from the Rhône valley was total until the 18 century.

In 1834 Val d'Annivierst was hit by a natural disaster, huge floods and avalanche inundated the valley causing great damages. The self-recpecting people of the valley refused the charity saying "we are able to overcome every adversity of the fate through our own power "

Mark Theodor Bourrit, the chorister of the cathedral from Geneva writes in 1781 how much trouble was for the bishopric of Sion the people of Eifisch-valley (Val d'Anniviers) who were pagan and stubbornly sticked to
their pagan religion when all the Wallis was christian since a very a long time.

What does the history tell us about them?

Every historical source agrees that the inhabitanst of Eifisch-valley (Val d'Anniviers) were christianed later then the other inhabitants of Rhône-valley.
Sigmund Furrer writes in Geschichte, Statistik und Urkundensammlung (Sitten) ,1881, that the Eifisch-valley was conferd as feudal tenure in XI century by one of the ancestors of Savoya counts, Ulrich for his bishop nephew Aimo II as reward for the christening of the valley.
The legend of conversion to christianity of the Eifisch-valley was written by Mario (Troillet) in 1889 with the title: Un vieux pays, croquis valasians.

The research ( non-hungarian ) regarding the origins of Val d'Anniviers did not succeeded, due
to also to the fact the researchers did not know hungarian. Unfortunately their language died out, we are in the last minute, but we can reach the past in their family names and placenames.

J. J. Rousseau born in Geneva writes about them in the XVIII century:
"The annievards are very simple,exceptionaly dilligent, the idleness is unknown for them. They are very simpatic very hospitable even if they are very modest. They can sunnily support the greatest unjustice . They have this ability for a long time,which was developed by the obligative adaptation to their hostile sorroundings since old times "

Mark Theodor Bourrit writes in 1781 in Description des Alpes Pennines et Rhetiennes (Genéve)that "a hunnic fraction found refuge in the valley , at the beginnings in a very primitive situation, very hardly reached the point to become a very go-ahead people "

A swiss history book written in 1786 mentions the name "Tschudi" as a member of swiss federal council . According to the author "this man is foreigner, he could be a 'madschare' who got in the captivity of the allemans in the time of roamings, about them we know they often ravaged in those times the
abendland provincies from Hungary "

A german traveller relates this about them (this account is retelled by Toldy Schedel Ferenc in Hun maradék a helvétiai havasok -Hun remaining in swiss alpines ):
"Among the people of the fair from Sion the traveller's attention was arouse by the particular features of a peasant woman who was selling besides some wares pieces of ores collected in the mountains and she did not speak neither french,nor german or italian but an alien, ununderstandable dialect. A priest, the parish priest of the nearby lying Hérémence village (probably Grimentz) told to the traveller that she is his fellow countrywoman, both had been born in Anniviers valley (in german Eifisch) . The public holds that they are of asian origin, the remainings of Attila's army who raided this region , from the fields of Piemont they had to withdraw in the mountains,in an uninhabited valley "

Horváth Mihály was the first who checked the parish registers of Vissoie village which contained the oldiest family names of the village, the earlier registers probably were distroyed by fire. This book contained the names of baptised, married ones, dead ones, of wittnesses at marrieged. He found 50 names simmilar to hungarian names between them names like Bartha, Bond (apears also in the Székely chronicler ),Rua (the name of Attila's uncle ), Kálló (apears also in the Székely chronicler)

The name of their villages (in hungarian spelling):

Penszék, Viszój, Ajer, Grimencz, Prász, Major, Külmez, Luk, Návaszék.

Penszék as they say is their oldies place ,(the szeklers name their places with -szék in the end ) it lies on the top of a mountain,fen in hungarian is up ,Fenszék in hungarian expresses well this.

Luk is a very secluded,isolated,hided village lying in a hardley accessible valley.Lyuk in hungarian means hole, this expresses well it.

The name of the mountaine ridges
Ponset; Sándolin; Tinyózsa; Ruaz; Tónó; Barnózsa,Irek, Vujbe, Bendéle, Cziruk, Czászele

The names of revulates:
Navezsencz, Gugra

The name of the pastures:

Tarampon, Labarma, Leszeitisz

Some Words:
viez=viz water
borra = boru sadness
feja = fejos milking ,in milk
vujku = kuvik owlet
dorbade = dorbézolás debauch

Mitological names:

Gargantoa, Tupil, Ladonna, Kurtaczavas (the hungarian csorvás), Follaton

They had the burial after feast custom which was not usual in Wallis.

The true researcher of the valley was Anton Karl Fischer,the transylvanian saxon scientist-engineer, who published in 1896 the monography:
Die Hunnen im schweizerischcen Eifischtale und ihre Nachkommen bis auf die heutige Zeit.
This is the bible of every Eifisch valley researcher. Everybody uses this as source basis.

He writes about their language that they do not know the nasal voices and they pronouns the words simmilar to the hungarian ear. He writes "their language was peculiar language a dilect slighly different from hungarian". He also notes their tendency to use double vocals like the szeklers.

Placenames of Val d'Anniviers.

A map of the zone.

"Он обнаглел. И мигранты эти обнаглели, и муфтий их обнаглел" (с) Игумен Сергей
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