Croatia

2018

Art of dry stone walling, knowledge and techniques

Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, France, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland

Inscribed in 2018 (13.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Mira Audiovisual Vidéo édition / Postproduction, 2017

The art of dry stone walling concerns the knowhow related to making stone constructions by stacking stones upon each other, without using any other materials except sometimes dry soil. Dry stone structures are spread across most rural areas – mainly in steep terrains – both inside and outside inhabited spaces, though they are not unknown in urban areas. The stability of the structures is ensured through the careful selection and placement of the stones, and dry-stone structures have shaped numerous, diverse landscapes, forming various modes of dwelling, farming and husbandry. Such structures testify to the methods and practices used by people from prehistory to today to organize their living and working space by optimizing local natural and human resources. They play a vital role in preventing landslides, floods and avalanches, and in combating erosion and desertification of the land, enhancing biodiversity and creating adequate microclimatic conditions for agriculture. The bearers and practitioners include the rural communities where the element is deeply rooted, as well as professionals in the construction business. Dry stone structures are always made in perfect harmony with the environment and the technique exemplifies a harmonious relationship between human beings and nature. The practice is passed down primarily through practical application adapted to the particular conditions of each place.

© Branko Orbanić, 2011



2018

Međimurska popevka, a folksong from Međimurje

Croatia

Inscribed in 2018 (13.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Međimurska popevka, a folksong from Međimurje

© Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, 2017

 

Međimurska popevka, a folksong from the Međimurje region, in the north-western part of Croatia, was historically predominantly a soloist vocal genre practised by women. Nowadays, it is performed by individuals and groups, men and women, in vocal, vocal-instrumental, instrumental, monophonic and multipart renditions, as a musical genre or incorporated into the dance. The lyrics are of great importance and establish a basis for the classification into, among others, love, sad-melancholic, humorous and church popevkas. The most active bearers are mostly members of cultural-artistic societies and associations, which have a long history in the country, but individual singers also play a key role as nuanced soloist renditions are typical for popevka. The element is practised in a broad range of social contexts, from solitary music-making to family and community happenings, work gatherings, religious events, and performances within and outside of Međimurje. The average inhabitants have all experienced popevka in numerous situations throughout their lives and are encouraged to join the music-making on such occasions. There are currently around fifty singers regarded as masters of the art for their transmission of classical merits of the genre and their capacity to imbue it with personal expressions, and women often serve as mentors in transmitting the practice to younger generations.

© Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, 2017



2016

Community project of safeguarding the living culture of Rovinj/Rovigno: the Batana Ecomuseum

Croatia

Selected in 2016 on the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices

© Ecomuseum Batana, 2014

© Ecomuseum Batana, 2014

A batana is a type of traditional fishing boat found in Rovinj, Croatia. Important to the town’s trade and heritage, with craftsmanship methods handed down by families, it became scarce with the popularity of industrial models until 2004 when local enthusiasts started an association to help safeguard it and its associated practices (an old dialect and traditional songs). The not-for-profit House of Batana, with the support of the municipality, the Heritage Museum of the City of Rovinj, Rovinj Historic Research Centre, the Italian Community of Rovinj and an eco-museology expert created the Batana Ecomuseum to raise public awareness and provide training on practices linked to the batana. It features a permanent exhibition showcasing how the batana is built and fishing equipment is made, as well as the variety of fishing activities conducted; runs workshops on constructing the boat, also available for shipbuilders; publishes expert material; hosts regattas encouraging involvement from young people; has a shipyard for building and repairing the boats that are now also used for guided tours; and cooperates on a national and international level, taking part in festivals, regattas and roundtable discussions to highlight the batana’s role in traditional vessel communities and to help safeguard maritime heritage.

© Ecomuseum Batana, 2004

© Ecomuseum Batana, 2004



2013

Mediterranean diet

CyprusCroatiaSpainGreeceItalyMoroccoPortugal

Inscribed in 2013 (8.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© 2012 par Câmara Municipal de Tavira

© 2012 par Câmara Municipal de Tavira

The Mediterranean diet involves a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions concerning crops, harvesting, fishing, animal husbandry, conservation, processing, cooking, and particularly the sharing and consumption of food. Eating together is the foundation of the cultural identity and continuity of communities throughout the Mediterranean basin. It is a moment of social exchange and communication, an affirmation and renewal of family, group or community identity. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes values of hospitality, neighbourliness, intercultural dialogue and creativity, and a way of life guided by respect for diversity. It plays a vital role in cultural spaces, festivals and celebrations, bringing together people of all ages, conditions and social classes. It includes the craftsmanship and production of traditional receptacles for the transport, preservation and consumption of food, including ceramic plates and glasses. Women play an important role in transmitting knowledge of the Mediterranean diet: they safeguard its techniques, respect seasonal rhythms and festive events, and transmit the values of the element to new generations. Markets also play a key role as spaces for cultivating and transmitting the Mediterranean diet during the daily practice of exchange, agreement and mutual respect.

© Ioannis Drinis, 2009

© Ioannis Drinis, 2009



2012

Klapa multipart singing of Dalmatia, southern Croatia

Croatia

Inscribed in 2012 (7.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Euroval d.o.o.

© Euroval d.o.o.

Klapa singing is a multipart singing tradition of the southern Croatian regions of Dalmatia. Multipart singing, a capella homophonic singing, oral tradition and simple music making are its main features. The leader of each singing group is the first tenor, followed by several tenori, baritoni and basi voices. During performances, the singers stand in a tight semicircle. The first tenor starts the singing and is followed by the others. The main aim is to achieve the best possible blend of voices. Technically, klapa singers express their mood by means of open guttural, nasal sotto voce and falsetto singing, usually in high-pitched tessitura. Another feature is the ability to sing freely, without the help of notation. Topics of klapa songs usually deal with love, life situations, and the environment in which they live. Bearers and practitioners are skilled amateurs who inherit the tradition from their predecessors. Their ages vary with many younger people singing with older singers. In ‘traditional klapa’, knowledge is transferred orally. ‘Festival klapa’ is more formally organized with a focus on performance and presentation. In ‘modern klapa’, young singers gain experience by attending performances and listening to recordings. Local communities see klapa singing as a central marker of their musical identity, incorporating respect for diversity, creativity and communication.

© 2011 by Ministry of Culture

© 2011 by Ministry of Culture



2011

Bećarac singing and playing from Eastern Croatia

Croatia

Inscribed in 2011 (6.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Film ‘Bećarac singing and playing from Eastern Croatia’ © 2008 by Ministry of Culture of Croatia

Film ‘Bećarac singing and playing from Eastern Croatia’
© 2008 by Ministry of Culture of Croatia

Bećarac is a popular genre of music in eastern Croatia deeply rooted in the cultures of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem. Communication among its performers is essential: lead singers interchange vocal lines, striving to out-sing one another while creating, emulating and combining decasyllabic verses and shaping the melody – all the while accompanied by a group of singers and tambura bands. The music conveys community values, but also enables singers to express thoughts and feelings that might be inappropriate if uttered directly or in other contexts. Each lead singer shapes his or her performance according to the context, with the performance lasting as long as the creativity and energy of the singers permit. Lead singers must possess both a powerful voice and a wide repertoire of old and new couplets, and be apt, quick and clever in choosing and combining them. Nowadays, men and women are almost equally represented among tradition bearers. The Bećarac is spread widely throughout eastern Croatian communities and remains part of living practice – whether in completely informal situations of music-making or in contemporary festive events and celebrations. Many sub-types of Bećarac also exist, in addition to particularities introduced by lead singers. Bećarac is therefore an extraordinarily vivid, dynamic genre that is recreated in each performance.

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture of Croatia

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture of Croatia



2011

Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland

Croatia

Inscribed in 2011 (6.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Croatia-Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland
© 2008 by Ministry of culture

Croatia-Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland - © 2008 by Ministry of culture

Croatia-Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland – © 2008 by Ministry of culture

The Nijemo Kolo is practised by communities in the Dalmatian hinterland, in southern Croatia. Nijemo Kolo is performed in a closed circle with male dancers leading female partners in energetic, spontaneous steps – the male dancer publicly testing the skills of his female partner, seemingly without defined rules. The steps and figures, often vigorous and impressive, depend on the mood and desire of the participants. The defining feature of the silent circle dance is that it is performed exclusively without music, although vocal or instrumental performances may precede or follow the dance. Nijemo Kolo is traditionally performed at carnivals, fairs, feast days and weddings, and acts as a way for young women and men to meet and get to know each other. Differences in the performance of the Nijemo Kolo from one village to another are also a way for the residents to distinguish their identities. The dance is transmitted from generation to generation, although increasingly this occurs through cultural clubs where its movements have been standardized. Some villages of the Dalmatian hinterland, however, preserve the spontaneous performance of steps and figures. Today, Nijemo Kolo is mostly danced by village performing groups at local, regional or international festivals and at local shows, carnivals or on the saint days of their parish church.

© 2008 by Ministry of culture



2010

Ojkanje singing

Croatia

Inscribed in 2010 (5.COM) on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

Film ‘Ojkanje singing’ © 2008 by Ministry of Culture

Film ‘Ojkanje singing’
© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

Ojkanje two-part singing, found in the Croatian regions of the Dalmatian hinterland, is performed by two or more singers (male or female) using a distinctive voice-shaking technique created by the throat. Each song lasts as long as the lead singer can hold his or her breath. Melodies are based on limited, mostly chromatic, tonal scales, and the lyrics cover diverse themes ranging from love to current social issues and politics. Ojkanje owes its survival to organized groups of local tradition bearers who continue to transmit the skills and knowledge, representing their villages at festivals in Croatia and around the world. Although Ojkanje is traditionally passed on orally, audio and video media and organized training within local folklore groups now play an increasing part in its transmission. However, the survival of individual voice-shaking techniques and numerous two-part forms depends greatly on talented, skilful singers and their capacity to perform and to pass on their knowledge to new generations. Recent conflicts and rural to urban migration that reduced the population of the region and changes in ways of life have caused a sharp decrease in the number of performers, resulting in the loss of many archaic styles and genres of solo singing.

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture



2010

Gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia

Croatia

Inscribed in 2010 (5.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Film ‘Gingerbread Craft from Northern Croatia’ © 2008 by Ministry of Culture

Film ‘Gingerbread Craft from Northern Croatia’
© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

The tradition of gingerbread making appeared in certain European monasteries during the Middle Ages and came to Croatia where it became a craft. Gingerbread craftspeople, who also made honey and candles, worked in the area of Northern Croatia. The process of making gingerbread requires skill and speed. The recipe is the same for all makers, utilizing flour, sugar, water and baking soda – plus the obligatory spices. The gingerbread is shaped into moulds, baked, dried and painted with edible colours. Each craftsperson decorates gingerbread in a specific way, often with pictures, small mirrors and verses or messages. The gingerbread heart is the most common motif, and is frequently prepared for marriages, decorated with the newlyweds’ names and wedding date. Each gingerbread maker operates within a certain area without interfering with that of another craftsperson. The craft has been passed on from one generation to another for centuries, initially to men, but now to both men and women. Gingerbread has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Croatian identity. Today, gingerbread makers are essential participants in local festivities, events and gatherings, providing the local people with a sense of identity and continuity.

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture



2010

Sinjska Alka, a knights’ tournament in Sinj

Croatia

Inscribed in 2010 (5.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Film ‘The Sinjska alka, a knights' tournament in Sinj’ © UNESCO

Film ‘The Sinjska alka, a knights’ tournament in Sinj’
© UNESCO

The Sinjska Alka is a chivalric tournament that takes place annually, as it has since the 18th century, in the town of Sinj, in the Cetinska krajina region. During the contest, knights ride horses at full gallop along a main street, aiming lances at an iron ring hanging on a rope. The name of the tournament derives from this ”alka” or ring, a word whose Turkish origin reflects the historical co-existence and cultural exchange between two different civilizations. The tournament rules, codified in a 1833 statute, promote ethics and fair play, and stress the importance of participation in community life. Participants must be members of local families of Sinj and the Cetinska krajina region. The whole community helps to make, conserve, restore and reconstruct weapons, clothes and accessories to support the continuation of the tradition. The tournament is also entwined with local religious practices, social gatherings, family visits and festivities at home and in the open air. The Sinjska Alka is the only remaining example of the medieval knightly competitions that were regularly held in the Croatian coastal towns until the nineteenth century. It has become a marker of local history and a medium for transferring collective memory from one generation to another.

© 2009 by Ministry of Culture

© 2009 by Ministry of Culture



2009

Annual carnival bell ringers’ pageant from the Kastav area

Croatia

Inscribed in 2009 (4.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Annual carnival bell ringers pageant from the Kastav area

Annual carnival bell ringers pageant from the Kastav area

During the January carnival period, bell ringers march through the villages that dot the Kastav region in north-west Croatia. Clothed in sheepskin throws with bells around their waists and sporting distinctive hats embellished with sprigs of evergreen, two to more than thirty ringers swagger in groups behind a guide carrying a small evergreen tree. They enliven their gait by bumping each others’ hips rhythmically and leaping into the air as they walk. Groups may also include theatrical characters such as a prankster ‘bear’ who regularly escapes the control of his two ‘guards’. When they reach a village, the bell ringers form concentric circles in the town square, ringing fiercely until the residents offer them food and a chance to rest before they continue their journey. At the end of the carnival, the ringers proceed through their own village, collecting rubbish at each house and burning it out front, involving everyone present in the ceremony. With variations distinctive to each village, the annual carnival bell ringers’ pageant is a way to strengthen bonds within the community and a valuable means of renewing friendships among the towns in the region while integrating newcomers into its traditional culture.

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture



2009

Festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik

Croatia

Inscribed in 2009 (4.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

The evening before the festivity of Saint Blaise in Dubrovnik, Croatia, as all the church bells in the city ring and white doves are released as symbols of peace, worshippers gather for a ritual healing of the throat to preserve them against illness. On the third of February, the official day of both saint and city, parish banner bearers flow into the city in folk costume for the centrepiece of the festival, a procession attended by bishops, ambassadors, civic leaders, visiting notables and the people of Dubrovnik. The festivity embodies many aspects of human creativity, from rituals to folk songs, from performance to traditional crafts (including the making of the historical weapons fired in celebration). The ritual dates back in some form to at least 1190 and has reinforced a close identification of Dubrovnik’s residents with the city’s patron, Saint Blaise. Over time, the festivity has evolved as Dubrovnik and the world have changed. Each generation adapts it slightly, inspired by its own ideas and needs to make the ritual its own. On Saint Blaise’s day, Dubrovnik gathers not only its residents, but all those who pay respect to tradition and the right to one’s freedom and peace.

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture



2009

Lacemaking in Croatia

Croatia

Inscribed in 2009 (4.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Lacemaking in Croatia - © 2008 by Ministry of Culture

Lacemaking in Croatia – © 2008 by Ministry of Culture

At least three distinct traditions of Lacemaking in Croatia persist today, centred on the towns of Pag on the Adriatic, Lepoglava in northern Croatia and Hvar on the Dalmatian island of the same name. Pag needle-point lace was originally used to make ecclesiastical garments, tablecloths and ornaments for clothing. The process involves embellishing a spider web pattern with geometrical motifs and is transmitted today by older women who offer year-long courses. Lepoglava bobbin lace is made by braiding thread wound on spindles, or bobbins; it is often used to make lace ribbons for folk costumes or is sold at village fairs. An International Lace Festival in Lepoglava celebrates the art every year. Aloe lace is made in Croatia only by Benedictine nuns in the town of Hvar. Thin, white threads are obtained from the core of fresh aloe leaves and woven into a net or other pattern on a cardboard background. The resulting pieces are a symbol of Hvar. Each variety of lace has long been created by rural women as a source of additional income and has left a permanent mark on the culture of its region. The craft both produces an important component of traditional clothes and is itself testimony to a living cultural tradition.

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture



2009

Procession Za Krizen (‘following the cross’) on the island of Hvar

Croatia

Inscribed in 2009 (4.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

After mass on Maundy Thursday before the Christian holiday of Easter, each of six villages on the Dalmatian island of Hvar in southern Croatia sends out a group that will proceed through the other villages in a circle, covering twenty-five kilometres in eight hours before returning home. Each party in this community-organized Za Krizen (‘following the cross’) procession is led by a cross-bearer who walks barefoot or in socks, never resting. The cross-bearer, formerly selected from among religious brotherhoods and today chosen by registration up to twenty years in advance, has a much-desired and respected position, reflecting the devotion of the individual bearer and his family. He is followed by two friends with candelabra and others carrying candles and lanterns, five choral singers who sing the Lamentation of the Virgin Mary at several points along the way, and many worshippers of all ages from Croatia and abroad wearing the tunics of religious brotherhoods. The procession is greeted by the priests of each of the other five villages and returns home; the cross-bearer runs the last hundred metres to receive the blessing of his home priest. A long-established and inalienable part of Hvar religious and cultural identity, the procession connects the communities of the island to each other and to the world Catholic community.

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture



2009

Spring procession of Ljelje/Kraljice (queens) from Gorjani

Croatia

Inscribed in 2009 (4.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

The Procession of Queens is performed by the young girls of the village of Gorjani in the Slavonia region of north-east Croatia every spring. The girls in a group are divided into ten ”kraljevi” (kings), who wear sabres and men’s hats, and about five ”kraljice” (queens), who wear white garlands on their heads like brides. On Whitsunday (a feast in the Christian calendar), they process from house to house, performing for the families they encounter. While the kings dance with their sabres, the queens comment on the dance in song. The family then joins in a larger folk dance and provides refreshments before the girls continue to another house. The next day, the party visits a neighbouring town or village and returns for a feast at one of the performers’ homes. The entire community, including the elementary school, the church and many of the town’s families, assist in the preparations for the procession, which is a source of particular pride for the women who have participated in it. Although the meaning and origin of the ritual are uncertain, villagers view it as a symbol of Gorjani and a showcase for their children’s beauty and elegance.

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture



2009

Traditional manufacturing of children’s wooden toys in Hrvatsko Zagorje

Croatia

Inscribed in 2009 (4.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

Villagers along the pilgrimage route to the Marian shrine of Our Lady of the Snow in Marija Bistrica in Hrvatsko Zagorje in northern Croatia developed a technique for traditional manufacturing of children’s wooden toys that has now been handed down for generations. The men in a family take soft willow, lime, beech and maple wood from the region and dry, hew, cut and carve it using traditional tools; the women then apply ecologically-friendly paint in improvisational floral or geometric patterns, painting ‘from imagination’. The whistles, horses, cars, tiny furniture, spinning dancers, jumping horses and flapping birds produced today are almost identical to those made more than a century ago – though no two toys are precisely the same, thanks to the handcrafted production process. Popular among both locals and tourists, these toys are sold in parish fairs, markets and specialty shops around the world. They have also evolved with the times and, in addition to the traditional shapes such as horses and carts, new ones representing cars, trucks, airplanes and trains have appeared, reflecting the world surrounding modern-day children. Tiny toy instruments, carefully tuned as they are created, still serve as important components in the musical education of rural children.

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture



2009

Two-part singing and playing in the Istrian scale

Croatia

Inscribed in 2009 (4.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

On the Istrian peninsula in western Croatia, several varieties of two-part singing and playing in the Istrian scale are preserved by Croatian, Istro-Romanian and Italian communities. The style is characterized by vigorous, partly nasal singing. It involves a degree of variation and improvisation in both vocal parts but always ends with two performers singing in unison or an octave apart. Typical musical instruments are the ”sopele” shawms, always played in a pair, bagpipes, flutes and the ”tambura” lute. Several local sub-styles have developed their own characteristics. For example, in ”kanat,” performed primarily by the Croatian population, the second voice is often exchanged for or doubled with a small sopele; in the widespread variant known as ”tarankanje,” words are sometimes replaced with characteristic syllables (ta-na-na, ta-ra-ran, etc.) designed to imitate the sound of the flute. This tradition is still a part of everyday life and festive occasions, including wedding ceremonies, community and family gatherings and religious services. Its bearers, about a hundred outstanding singers and players and some ten craftspeople, have acquired their skills and knowledge from their elders. Nowadays they are often associated with organized amateur folklore groups, spread throughout the region.

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

© 2008 by Ministry of Culture

Republic of Croatia joined UNESCO on 01.06.1992

Croatia is a country in South East Europe, whose borders are: with Slovenia and Hungary to the north, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the east. Southwest has an outlet on the Adriatic Sea. The area of the country is 56,613 km², of which 56 500 km² land and 113 km² water area.

National Commission for UNESCO

President: Mr Vladimir Markovic

Deputy President: Kresimir Nemec

Secretary-General: Mrs Rut Carek

Ministry of Culture Runjaninova 2 10 000 Zagreb CROATIA

Telephone (385 1) 48 66 304 Fax (385 1) 48 66 526

E-mail unesco(a)min-kulture.hr; rut.carek(a)min-kulture.hr;

Web site http://www.min-kulture.hr/unesco
Permanent Delegation to UNESCO

H. E. Mr Mirko Galić – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Croatia to France, Permanent Delegate (04/04/2007)

Maison de l’UNESCO Bureau M.3.44 1,

rue Miollis 75732 Paris Cedex 15

Telephone  01.43.06.12.97 ; 01.47.05.04.42

Fax 01.45.68.31.48

E-mail dl.croatie(a)unesco-delegations.org