Тraditional song ‘Ojkača’
Еlement inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Srpska
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The original song ‘ojkača’, having the title ‘Oj djevojko’, is a traditional element of the Serbian people from Potkozarje, particularly its western part, the area between the Sana, the Una and the Sava rivers. It originated as a syncretic element in a strong connection with weddings, folk gatherings and similar events. It is sung alternately by two groups while people dance in ‘kolo’ – a type of folk circle dance. Its performance is accompanied by ‘tamburica’, which is a traditional string musical instrument and a type of long-necked lute. The song itself is distinguished by epic verses of ten syllables (deseterac) with a rhythmic pause after the fourth syllable and it is commonly realized in form of a couplet. It is performed by people of all ages, from children to elderly performers. The element has been present in this area for decades.
‘Ojkača’ is a traditional song performed by a group of singers, in which one sings the lead voice, while others follow by singing bass lines, thereby creating a melody. It is performed a cappella or accompanied by a folk instrument called ‘tamburica’.