Wednesday, May 29th

Giant Snow Sculpture

While some struggled with broken branches, downed power lines and snow drifts, one industrious Saxon Woods Road man built a massive snow sculpture with symbolic meeting in his front yard. I found Sahit Muja atop his monumental work called Ilirianman on Sunday morning 2/28/10 and asked him why he had created this most unusual snowman. He explained that he built Ilirianman to illustrate an Albanian legend, spread its message and honor his own Albanian heritage. In Muja’s own words, here is the story of Ilirianman.

From the beginning of time when people have seen the snow it has caused wonder and amazement. Snowmen have been built countless times throughout history. According to legend, five thousand years ago in Tropoje, Albania when a tribe who were among the first to settle in Europe saw snow for the very first time they built a snowman. Doing this they decided to use the snowman as a way to symbolize the best goals of humanity--to be innocent and pure-hearted. Then they saw eagles flying freely through the cloudless sky and decided to call themselves ilir--which means free men. This was the basis of a promise that they made and it defined them. This snowman didn't melt for a long time until one member of the tribe broke the promise and the ilirians agreed that God, who at the time was considered to be the sun-- was angry and melted the snowman as punishment.

As I traveled around the world I have seen countless snowmen. Wherever I went, if there was snow, I saw people building snowmen. I was struck by the amazing connection between people of all backgrounds and their will to sculpt snow into a human form. Inspired by this theme, I hand built a massive snowman--the biggest I have ever seen and called him "Ilirianman" in honor of my heritage. I have been amazed by how many people have stopped to ask me about the snowman. "Why did you build it?" and "What does it mean?" have been asked most frequently. So I decided to build a website, ilirianman.com in order for people to connect, express their thoughts and share their ideas about humanity. The snowman is the symbol of the website because it a symbol of the expression which guides all human creativity and brings people together. Ilirianman.com offers all people who visit the chance to build it, shape it and make it like the snowman.


Stop by to see this "golem of Scarsdale" on Saxon Woods Road before the temperatures warm up!

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