Knitted Kozara wheel
Еlement inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Srpska
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The most present ‘wheel’ or folk dance in the repertoire of the plays of Kozara and Potkozarje, that was performed on all occasions (weddings, rallies, birthdays, ‘slavas’, sittings, ‘prelos’ ect.) is a dense, knitted, ‘Kozara’, ‘Kozarachko’, our, folk and ordinary wheel, as it has been called by everyone in this region.
Simplicity of the play pattern of this wheel turns us to look for its origin in the distant past. The wheel has been an integral part of the lives of the Serbian people in this area and it followed of their lives’ events. Many tales were told through song in the Wheel (the lyrics were telling) which could have themes of love, epic, tales of heroes from the past wars, comic character for entertainment or they simply spoke of the ordinary, everyday day life events.
Moreover, the fact that the Wheel has been an integral part of the people’s lives in this area, we can understand the variety of themes as well as melodies that these sons possessed as they have been sang in the Wheel. Besides singing, the Wheel could be played with music and primarily to the three-stringed tamburitza and sometimes, a mouth-accordion (music, the way that instrument has been called in these parts).
What gives this Wheel a special charm and what makes it so unique is the handholding fashion and closeness of the players. With hands held crossed on front of their bodies, the dancers are in the immediate vicinity of each other therefore, being more intimately bonded creating a specific energy and giving the Wheel unique strength and firmness.
Nowadays, the Wheel is alive and ever-present and being performed in various occasions as an inevitable part of all celebrations. Besides that, it is actively performed within folk ensemble and communities that deal in traditional plays and preservation of tradition.