Stećak (tomb) or "stone sleepers" are are inexhaustible source of inspiration
The complex value of tombs called “stećak” in cultural, artistic, architectural, religious and historical sense is unique, not only in the Balkans, but throughout the whole Europe as well as in the world. Even today they are inexhaustible source of inspiration and despite many researches, mysticity of these tombs makes no one apathetic.
‘Stećak is for me what it is not for the others, what others did not know to see. Yes, it is a stone, but is also a word; it is earth, but it is also sky; it is substance, but it is also spirit; it is scream, but it is also the song; it is death, but it is also life; it is the past, but it is also the future.’ – Mak Dizdar
The synthesis of language and written forms, faith, customs and culture is sealed into the mysticity of stećak and they represent one of the most important medieval Bosnian legacy. Most of these tombs originate from the period between 12th and 16th centuries and are located in Bosnia and Herzegovina (there are 59.593 tombs at 2687 places), Croatia (4447), Montenegro (3049) and Serbia (2267).
One of the most important characteristics of tombs on the location of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the fact that all three church organizations had the same medieval understanding of death. It is logical to assume that every of the church organizations at that time cared for their deceased by their traditional patterns, but it can be considered safe that the tombs were used as the tombstones in the Catholic, Orthodox and Bosnian Church.
Ornaments and decoration on tombs are in various shapes, but they cannot help us with defining decedent’s religion, but sometimes texts on the tombs can discover to which one of three church organization that existed in medieval Bosnia and Hum (later Hercegovina) decedent belonged.
Texts on tombs called “epitafi” are extremely important for the study of language and they are written in bosančica. They show symbolism that characterizes medieval art, but also art from romanticism era and gothic art, and the whole life of decedent’s life is tagged, his abilities, how he died, his relation to death and love towards earth.
Thanks to many legends about stećak, they are not forgotten through the time. In 1950 in Paris was held exhibition of Yugoslav medieval painting and plastic and on that exhibition were presented tombs. After that exhibition the interest for this phenomenon characteristic for medieval Bosnia and Herzegovina suddenly grew between scientists and public.
“Stone sleepers”, as Dizdar names them, ensued in different occasions and are mostly related to the medieval location of Bosnia and Hum. They represent an authenticity and a long tradition of Bosnian – Herzegovinian culture and they are worthy historical heritage which makes us emotional and inspirational.
The motive of a lily is a symbol of rich medieval history of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The motive of a lily as a symbol of rich medieval history of our country has always supervened to admiration and respect. Even during a firm rule of the Kotromanić dynasty, on whose escutcheon it found its own sublime place, the lily was the object of great obeisances by neighbouring monarchs, but also hostile rulers.
Under a dark blue shield with six golden lilies separated with perfectly withdrawn white line, army of the Bosnian kingdom spread its boundaries to the sea and east. From the palace on Bobovac were sent authoritative and respected messages to whom the western and eastern primaries obeyed without hesitation. Until that age the Bosnian lily testified the most expansive period of the Bosnian statehood and the existence of the country in which we live nowadays.
Lilium bosniacum, from which everything started, got a special place on the botanical map of the lily family thanks to the specific look and origin, because it cannot be found nowhere else except beautiful Bosnian mountains. Kraljeva Sutjeska jealously keeps memories on that golden period in its Franciscan monastery. Despite many temptations and challenges, the Bosnian Franciscans succeeded to keep many worthy artifacts of medieval times through many centuries. On many artifacts are found lilies. Coins which were used to make transactions, carefully crafted and used, has survived to this day as silent witness of the age when the Bosnian statehood was created.
Entering this little “village” which belongs to the Kakanj municipality, you will find the silence that is interrupted by the mild gutter of the untouched Trstionica river, which divides Sutjeska into two parts – the old and the new one. The silence lives there for a while and it becomes louder, because the locals of this place are older generations of people. The youth goes to other cities to find their luck. Walking on the road along its flow, on the left side you will be welcomed by autochthonous appearance and splendor of one of the oldest mosques in Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose building was ordered by Sultan Mehmed El – Fatih.
Maybe you will not feel the royal spirit in this small place immediately, but with entering in the space around the Monastery, a gentle glance of Queen Katarina from replica of her throne, which is placed at the foot of the old walls of the former glorious castle, will tell you the proud history of Sutjeska. You expect that she is going to greet you gently every moment, because it seems like she is there, like in the period when the feeling of belonging to the famous Bosnian crown was spread out of here. The high rocks that from the north side surround Kraljeva Sutjeska make the gate that upstream along the Trstionica river leads to the even higher Bobovac. Hills between these two places observe every curious passenger. Bosnia was born and dressed in this area. The Bosnian signet was here hit, fed and defended. And it will exist, if God gives!
Crafts are a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Balkan and world traditions, is something that everyday promotion needs to work more. There are fewer children who know that shoes can be repaired, that the body can be replaced with great savings and the like. Is it worth it? Of course there are patches that do not pay off, but there are those that are recommended.
Leatherworking is not a job where without success and work overnight, success is achieved
Crafts are a trademark of the old Bosnian-Herzegovinian charms. The word craft in the Bosnian language came under the Turkish language. In Turkish, it is originally an art, and its basic meaning in the Arabic language, would be work, profession, production, and – artistic crafts. The mere meaning indicates that the craft is actually both art and craft at the same time.
One of the crafts that slowly disappears is tannery. Interest to which many old Sarajlija have dealt with, and by whom they have given up their families. The portal www.domacin.ba today brings you a story about the family business of Bešlić family. Namely, Senka and Enes have been successfully engaged in tanning for many years. They conveyed their love for leatherwork and tailoring to their children who successfully attended the Central Textile School in Sarajevo.
In the video attachment, see how one process of making a leather handbag and belt looks:
The Kozlo family has spoken in the universal language of music
Since ancient times, the Kozlo family has spoken in the universal language of music. Tradition and culture have been preserved and nurtured and cared for the love of music for the new generation. One of the youngest members of this music family is Zerina Kozlo.
Weapons exhibition that calls to preserve the cultural heritage and power of interpretation of the history trough material elements(video+360 Photographs)
Within the exhibition in the Bosnian Institute – Adil Zurfikarpasic foundation there are few example of weapons and firearms from the period of XV til XX century. The weapons often symbolise the time from when it dates, so is with these examples. They show power, progress and the creative spirit of the time that it dates from.
Also, one of the characteristics of the weapons is showing and maintaining the status of the man in society as a symbol of the protector of the family and house. Actually these weapons characterise Bosnia and Herzegovina from that period and from which we can see the progress and the competence for the war. There are few examples of weapons that were used in our country -Jatagan- or -Handzar- which is a type of long knife that was usually carried by men in Bosnia and Herzgovina. -Sablja- was a common equipment between weapons that came in our country rough the Ottoman Empire, and very quickly the small shotgun called -Kabura-. There were few more firearms that gained their names by the place where they were produces. The biggest firearms that men were carrying were this long shotguns, so called -Sisane-. Actually the weapons were produced in many places in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and with those were opened stores that were selling weapons.
The weapon is a characteristical part of the material and non material heritage. The men were using it as a display of the power and status so they were giving big attention to the production of the weapon. Beside that it was very important to have weapons that are richly decorated so that process was made with different caligpaphical methods and sometimes they were embellished with stones and mother of pearl. It was interesting that the men were not showing on big events without expensive weapons and the same was not intended for fights. If you look at this weapons you can clearly see the status of Bosnia and Herzegovina in this period. Its very important the existence of an exhibition like this, that calls for the preservation of the cultural heritage and the power of interpretation of the history trough material evidence. With that it gives to all of us space to conclude something abut the weapons from the period from XV-XX century.