IT'S NOT JUST A HOBBY


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

South Korea 2019 - The Style of Hanbok


Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 09 September 2019
Quantity: 672,000
Denomination: KRW 380
Printing Process: Offset 4 Colors
Size of Stamp: 30 mm x 40 mm
Image Area: 38.5 mm x 40 mm
Perforation: 13 1/4 x 13
Sheet Composition: 4 x 4 (165 mm x 185 mm)
Paper: White Unwatermarked
Designer: Shin Jaeyong
Printer: Southern Colour Print for POSA
Stamp: 
380 Korean Won - The 1500s Hanbok
380 Korean Won - The 1600s - 1700s Hanbok
380 Korean Won - The 1800s Hanbok
380 Korean Won - The 1900s Hanbok

The Style of Hanbok

Korea Post is issuing commemorative postage stamps to promote the exquisite beauty of the hanbok which the world has great admiration for and also to nurture Korea's clothing culture.

While the hanbok has gone through a number of changes in keeping with the times, it is the only traditional attire in the world that has retained its fundamental structure. The men's hanbok isi comprised of Jeogori, Baji, Po, and Gwanmo for the head. The most basic components of the women's hanbook are Jeogori and Chima while the full attire can be completed with the addition of the beoseon, a tie belt, and shoes.

Referring to the traditional clothing artifacts from the 16th to 20th centuries, we have created commemorative stamps that feature the transformations of the hanbok over time. As the hanbok signified the wearer's social status in the 16th century, it was designed to impress, boasting both a great length and width, regardless of the wearer's physique. Thus, after the Japanese invasion, the 17th century saw distinctively practical changes to the design of the hanbok.. Jeogori was narrowed and shortened so that it hovered above the waist of the Chima, which made it possible to produce more clothes with a lesser amount of material. In the later period of Joseon in the 19th century, through the reign of Yeongjo and Jeongjo, the design of the hanbok became more diversified while the basic structure consisted of a close-fitting Jeogori and a wide bottom with the shape of a bell. A Jang-ot, an outerwear worn by upper class women, acquired another use as the women began to wear it as a veil to cover their faces. On the other hand, in the 20th century, the types of Jeogori were simplified, and the length of Jeogori in the history of the hanbok. In fact, it was shortened to such an extent that there appeared an article in the Jeguk Sinmun that said "(women's) Jeogori should be lengthened so as not to reveal any flesh."

As Korea's traditional attire, the hanbok has gone through a series of transformations that reflects the prevalent living culture and circumstances as well as aesthetics of the time while still maintaining its graceful beauty and unique value. We hope that the issuance of these commemorative stamps will provide an opportunity to appreciate the importance and meaning of the hanbok.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pakistan 1993 - Dresses of Pakistan


Date of Issue: 10 March 1993


The stamp set features traditional costumes from:

PAKISTAN WOMEN DRESSES - PUNJAB PROVINCE
PAKISTAN WOMEN DRESSES - SINDH
PAKISTAN WOMEN DRESSES - BALUCHISTAN PROVINCE
PAKISTAN WOMEN DRESSES - NWF PROVINCE

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Tunisia 2019 - EUROMED, Costumes in the Mediterranean

 
 


Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 05 September 2019
Size: 41 x 28 mm
Number Issued: 500,000 each stamps
Printing Process: Offset
Drawing: Leila Allagui

Mediterranean Costumes : 
0.75 Dinar - Traditional Costume For Women From The South of Tunisia, The City of Douz
1.00 Dinar - Traditional Costume For Men, The City of Kairouan

Mediterranean Costumes
As apart of its contribution to make known the distinguished heritage of costumes and actively contribute to the activities of the Postal Union for the Mediterranean and considering its significant role in the development of cooperation and partnership with the Postal euro-Mediterranean Institutions, the Tunisian Post issues Septermber 05, 2019, two postage under the theme Mediterranean Costumes.

The first postage stamp represents a special women's costume for the women of southern Tunisia, in which the Amazing style was fused with the Arab style, giving this costume an esthetic and remarkable heritage richness.

The second postage stamp depicts a traditional Kairouan-style clothing for men, consisting of a Jebba in creamy wool and a woolly Bornos in brown, known in Tunisia with a kabbouss and a turban above the head called Kachta.

Traditional Costume for Women from The South of Tunisa, The City of Douz:
Millia or Hrem or Hauli is a cloth whose color and decoration vary by the regions.  It is the traditional dress of the South Tunisian women who are adorned in its decoration and its tightness is controlled by two attractive buckles and a waistband.

Douz women's uniform is characterized by the striped blue-gray color o the side, placed by the woman on the shoulders and then pulled from the sides at the chest level by two silver clips called Alkhalal then attached at the waist with a cotton or woolen belt and this quilt covers the woman's body from shoulder to wrist.  The woman wears under the Millia a transparent white shirt with wide sleeves fabric lace.

The woman puts on her head a pink scraft or other color according to her taste and pulls it on top of the head at the level of the forehead with an Agar hanging from it a silver clip consisting of five silver necklaces.

The women's clothing of this region is characterized by simple engravings and silver decorations, which is necessitated by the daily life of the women of the South.  Most of them are dressed in the garment of gold in official occasions.

Traditional Costume for Men from The City of Kairouan:
The costume is made up of a Jebba and a Bornos with a Kabbous and a turban widely used in the city of Kairouan.  It is also present in Tunis and many other Tunisian regions.

Jebba is a costume worn throughout Tunisia.  It is woven in wool or islk, sewn from the front and leaves an opening on the side of the chest.  It is adorned with a so-called Harj that is made of natural ar artificial silk.  Its traditional colors are green, blue, gray and creamy.  Also, the man wears on the Jebba a Bornos in wool or any other thick fabric,  the favourite dress of city dwellers, the Bornos can be in different colors going from white with a creamy yellow to a dark color, this tends to a large part of population.

The headscraft is made up of a red pinch and a turban.  Tunisians have historically paid special attention to the Chachia with the Kubita and to the manufacture of Kabbous or before called Taguia.  They excelled in its industry and they dedicated its especially a market.

It should be noted that the Tunisian country has a legacy of fashion that distinguishes it from its neighboring countries of the Maghreb and Mediterranean countries, although some of them are similar in designations and forms.  It is a rich blend of colors, shapes, variety of fabrics, embroidery and embelishment.  These costumes vary according to cities, climate, geography, customs, and traditions.  Some of them date back to the Punic, Amazigh, Carthaginian, Turkish, Andalusian, and Arab-Muslim periods, reflecting the diversity, originality and tradition of the civilizations that have succeeded our country.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Hungary 2018 - History of Clothing #2


Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 03 April 2018
Face value: HUF 840 (4 x HUF 210)
On the date of issue, HUF 210 pays the postage of a Domestic priority letter up to 50 g.
Printing Technique: n4-colour offset
Number of copies: 60,000 Miniature Sheets
Perforated size of stamps: 30 × 50 mm
External Imperforated Size of Miniature Sheet:  80 mm × 140 mm
Paper Type: Gummed Postage Stamp Paper
Printed by: Pénzjegynyomda Zrt.
Photographs by: Attila Mudrák,MTI Fotó/Csaba Jászai,Gellért Áment, Cultiris/AKG
Designed by: István Weisenburger
Source: Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

HISTORY OF CLOTHING II

Magyar Posta is continuing the stamp series History of Clothing, which began in 2016, by presenting two 17th-century wedding outfits that are kept in the Esterházy treasury. Sixty thousand copies of the miniature sheet designed by the graphic artist István Weisenburger were produced by the banknote printing company Pénzjegynyomda. The new issue will go on sale from 3 April 2018 and from that date will be available at first day post offices and Filaposta in Hungary but may also be ordered from Magyar Posta.

Every age has had eye-catching and popular fashions that are nevertheless short-lived. What they all have in common is the endless ingenuity that inspires people to define themselves through their clothes. On the second miniature sheet of the stamp series, selected historic garments of the Hungarian nobility, who set fashions for many long centuries, are shown.

The first stamp shows a dolman, the undercoat of Hungarian male clothing, which could be worn over a shirt without a pelisse. The sumptuous baroque suit was made of red Italian satin in Hungary around 1680 and is adorned with pairs of fasteners each formed of two half hearts held in white hands with gold-winged white doves perched on the hearts and hands. It was once thought that the dolman was Palatine Miklós Esterházy’s nuptial suit but more recent research suggests that Palatine Pál Esterházy wore the outfit at his second wedding, when he married Éva Thököly in 1682.

The second stamp shows a woman’s wedding outfit comprised of a skirt and bodice, which according to the 19th-century tradition were part of the wardrobe of Pál Esterházy’s first wife Orsolya Esterházy. Later evidence indicates that these items were associated with Éva Thököly, but it is also possible that they were the bridal wear of both women. The matching skirt and bodice were made and embroidered in Hungary. The once dark blue Italian velvet has discoloured and turned green, yet the set remains an exceptional example of old Hungarian attire. All the extant garments housed in the Esterházy treasury originate from the 16th and 17th centuries. This is the only known collection of related clothing of this nature in Central and Eastern Europe, comprising 21 garments, which has been in the safekeeping of the Museum of Applied Arts since 1919.

In the background of the stamps, a 19th-century depiction of the Esterházy Palace in Kismarton (today Eisenstadt, Austria) and the Leopoldina temple in the grounds of the palace can be seen.

Source: Emese Pásztor (ed.): Textiles of the Esterházy Treasury in the Collection of the Museum of Applied Arts, Museum of Applied Art, Budapest, 2010; András Szilágyi: Esterházy Treasures. Five Centuries of Artworks from the Ducal Collection. Museum of Applied Art, Budapest, 2006.

Hungary 2016 - History of Clothing #1



Technical Details:
Date of issue: 8 November 2016
Face value: HUF 250 (Supplementary Denomination)
Printing Method: Offset
Number of Copies: 80.000 pcs.
Perforated Size of Stamp: 30 x 50 mm
External Size of Miniature: 80 x 140 mm
Paper Type: Gummed Stamp Paper
Produced by: Pénzjegynyomda Zrt.
Designed by: István Weisenburger
Source: CULTiRiS / INTERFOTO / Sammlung Rauch • Hungarian National Museum


HISTORY OF CLOTHING I.

With the aim of presenting garments of various epochs, the Magyar Posta is launching a new special series of miniature sheet of postage stamps entitled The History of Garments. The first miniature sheets of stamps will present King Louis II and Queen Mary's wedding garments from the collection of the Hungarian National Museum. 80,000 copies of the novelty have been printed by Pénzjegynyomda Zrt. based on the designs made by graphic artist István Weisenburger. The stamp is available at first-day post offices and Filaposta from 8 November, but can also be ordered from Magyar Posta.

King Louis and Queen Mary's wedding garments can be viewed as part of the National Museum's permanent exhibition. It was in 1928 that the museum acquired the two garments from the Mariazell pilgrimage church in connection with which the Mariazell tradition held that those were the wedding garments of Louis the Great and his wife Elizabeth. However, in 1929, based on the fabric of clothes and the pattern, József Höllrigl, a scientific associate of the museum, found that those clothes were in fact the garments of Hungarian King Louis II and his wife.

The queen's garments followed the German Renaissance fashion typical of the first half of the 16th century: it was tailored from a green rosette-pattern Italian damask, was decorated with gold brocade and embroidered with gold and silver thread. The waistline was lifted and the upper part was made narrow and wide open. The skirt with a pleated waist expands towards the bottom into a barge skirt. The ends of the narrow sleeves are decorated with funnel-shaped cuffs covering also the hands. In its appearance, the royal mantle reflects the contemporary Hungarian tastes. An interesting fact related to the garment is that its front part is shorter and the back part is longer, which adds to the majestic appearance of the young king both when seated on a horse and when kneeling before the altar during the ceremony. The overcoat was made from silk brocade woven on both sides. It was a special technical accomplishment that the outside was patterned with gold, while the inside with silver. The shirt was made of fine woven fabrics of flax.

Sources: mnm.hu; Katalin F. Dózsa: Queen Mary's wedding dress in the light of recent research; Mária V. Ember: Louis King II of Hungary and his wife's clothes; tudasbazis.sulinet.hu/

Russia 2019 - Seventh Issue of Standard Stamps "Eagles" (Definitives)

not real pictures

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 07 August 2019
Paper: Self adhesive
Colors: Multicolor
Perforation: 11½
Format: 20.0 x 27.5
Circulation: mass
Artist: Nikonov V
Design Artist (design): Moskovets A 
Printing Method:
  Offset + Protective Complex + Figured Carving (No. 2509–2519);
  Offset + Protective Complex + Figured Carving + Bronze Paste (No. 2520)

The Federal Communications Agency, Marka JSC and Goznak JSC prepared a new, Seventh issue of the Orly standard postage stamps of the Russian Federation. It will consist of 12 self-adhesive stamps with face values ​​from 50 kopecks to 100 rubles.

The postal miniatures depict the emblem of organizations of the federal postal service of the Russian Federation in an ornamental design.

Denominations of stamps: 50 kopecks, 1 ruble, 2 rubles, 2 rubles 50 kopecks, 3 rubles, 4 rubles, 5 rubles, 6 rubles, 10 rubles, 25 rubles, 50 rubles, 100 rubles.

The seventh issue of standard Russian stamps provides an unprecedented set of measures to protect against forgery of state signs of postage. In addition to microtext, unique figured die-cutting and the use of special inks, for the first time, postage stamps are made on self-adhesive paper with protective fibers and special anti-gluing notches. The protective complex of the new standard is not inferior in its characteristics to the measures used in the manufacture of banknotes.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Finland 2019 - Art Award, Fashion



Date of Issue: 11 September 2019

Posti Ltd has given the stamp art promotion award of 2019 to Mert Otsamo, a fashion designer who has designed clothes and jewelry for various celebrities for events such as galas, stages and the annual Independence Day Reception. AD Paula Salviander is responsible for the graphic design of the Posti art award 2019 stamps. The stamps will be issued as a 10-stamp sheet containing 2 different domestic no-value indicator stamp designs.

Posti’s art award given to fashion designer Mert Otsamo – Stamps featuring Otsamo’s statuesque evening gowns to be issued in September

Posti Ltd has given the stamp art promotion award of 2019 to Mert Otsamo, a fashion designer who has gained fame for the evening gowns he has designed for occasions such as the annual Independence Day Reception at the Presidential Palace. The award consists of a EUR 10,000 cash prize and a stamp publication of the artist’s work. Stamps featuring Otsamo’s statuesque evening gowns will be issued in September.

As a fashion designer, Mert Otsamo has become known for his original style and statuesque evening gowns. Otsamo has been interested in shapes all his life. “What interests me in design is the diversity that exists both in clothing and in jewelry. As a designer, I think it is important to be innovative and experiment with different materials and techniques. Through my work, I want to illustrate the changes taking place in our culture.”

Mert Otsamo was surprised to receive the art award. “I am very excited and grateful for the award. Stamps show the spirit of the time they were issued, and I am very happy that I can become a part of this distinguished tradition through my works. I can hardly wait for the stamps to be issued in September.”

The art award finds new designers for stamps

With the art award, Posti wants to raise the status of stamps and increase people’s appreciation for them. “The evening gowns designed by Mert Otsamo represent unique Finnish design and are visually interesting. We use the award to find new and surprising people to design stamps. Mert Otsamo is a young and talented artist who works skillfully in various fields of design,” says Design Manager Tommi Kantola, Chairman of Posti’s Art Committee.

This is the third time Posti’s art award is being handed out. In 2017, the art award was given to sculptor Jasmin Anoschkin, and in 2018, it was given to graffiti artist EGS.

Mert Otsamo, 28, is a fashion designer who dramatically draws attention to the contrasts of the human figure in his designs. He has designed clothes and jewelry for various celebrities, for example Finnish musicians. His designs have been worn by guests at galas and the annual Independence Day Reception over several years. Otsamo rose to fame through the 2009 Muodin huipulle (Finnish version of Project Runway) TV show, aired on MTV3. Otsamo reached the top 3 in the competition. In fall 2018, Otsamo and jeweler A. Tillander released a collaboration in the form of a ten-piece jewelry collection called My Childhood Dreams.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Jordan 2018 - The 33rd Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts


Jerash Festival will be held during the period from July, 19 to July, 28 2018 at the Ancient city of Jerash (South, North, Main) theaters and from July, 29 to August, 3 2018 at Amman city.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Faroe Islands 2019 - Faroese Church Textiles on Stamps


Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 23 September 2019
Value: 11,00 and 19,00 DKK
Stamp size: 40,00 mm x 30,00 mm
Design: Karin Brattaberg and unknown artist
Printing Method: Offset
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France
Postal Use: Small letters inland and to other countries 0-50 gr

Chasubles - Set of mint 
Posta has decided to issue three stamp series, extending over the next three years, dedicated to church textiles used in the Church of the Faroe Islands.

Faroese Church Textiles on Stamps
Posta has decided to issue three stamp series, extending over the next three years, dedicated to church textiles used in the Church of the Faroe Islands. These issues will be covering the liturgical colours as well as presenting the craftmanship of the textiles while observing a fairly even geographical distribution of churches in the Faroes.

The first two stamps will be issued on September 23, 2019, featuring respectively a red chasuble from the church in Sandvík in Suðuroy (consecrated in 1908) and a green chasuble from the church of Funning in Eysturoy (consecrated in 1847).

The red chasuble is made of velvet, decorated with vestment trims and a cross design on the back.

The green chasuble is made of Norwegian wool and cotton. It is hand-woven and inspired by the hymn ”Eg skar mítt navn í grein ta hvítu” (I inscribed my name on the white branch) by Jóannes Patursson in 1901. The chasuble is a gift from the family of Knút Højsted. It was presented to the church in 1990. Karin Brattaberg has designed and produced the chasuble and the associated stole.

Chasubles
After the Reformation, the Lutheran church continued using chasubles, which originally were an old Catholic custom. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the form and styles of the chasubles were greatly debated. There were substantial differences in designs and sizes, and the same is true today. When a church receives a new chasuble, a decision must be taken on whether it is intended to fit more than one of its ordained ministers or only the currently serving minister.

The chasubles are used for the Eucharist and if baptism is to be performed on the same day, many ministers also wear the chasuble during the baptism. Otherwise, the use of the chasuble differs somewhat, but in churches using chasubles in the four liturgical colours, many ministers wear the chasuble during the first part of the service before the sermon, and take it off when they enter the pulpit. Other ministers keep the chasuble on throughout the service.

The Colours of the Liturgic Year
Chasubles and stoles adhere to the colours associated with the holy days of the Church Year, the so-called liturgical colours. However, several churches do not have ecclesiastical vestments in all these colours.

The liturgical colours are white, red, violet, green and black. These are the specific hues used for vestments within the context of Christian liturgy and associated with the ecclesiastical festivals and holy days. The colours signify the following conditions:
  • The white colour signifies purity, joy, holiness and innocence. It is the church's celebratory colour. The white colour is used on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Sunday between Christmas and the New Year, New Year's Day, Sunday after the New Year, the Epiphany, the 6th Sunday after the Epiphany, the Annunciation, Maundy Thursday, Easter Day and the second in Easter, the 1st-6th Sundays after Easter, the Ascension of Christ, Trinity Sunday, All Saint’s Day and the 27th Sunday after Trinity Sunday.
  • The red colour signifies fire, blood and love and is the colour of the Holy Ghost. The red colour is used on the second day of Christmas, the Day of Pentecost and the second Day of Pentecost.
  • The violet colour signifies repentance and conversion, thoughtfulness and fasting. It is used during the 1st- 4th Sunday in Advent, Septuagesima, Sexagesima, during Lent, on Shrovetide Sunday, during 1st-3rd Sunday in Lent and Mid-Lent as well as on Palm Sunday and General Prayer Day.
  • The green colour signifies growth and vitality, maturity and hope. The green colour is used for the most of the liturgical year, during Epiphany, 1st-5th Sunday after Epiphany, Trinity Sunday and 1st-26th Sunday after Trinity.
  • The black colour signifies grief and death and is only used on Good Friday. 
Since 1982, Paulina M. K. Eliasen has been registering all liturgical vestments and textiles used in the Faroese churches, prayer houses and schools used for church attendance. Looking at the registration, we can readily see that well-nigh all churches in the Faroes, just as churches in Denmark, have used the red chasuble of velvet with a golden cross on the back and with one or two vestment trims around the edges. The oldest chasubles in these churches date back to the 1890s and from approx. 1900 and beyond. Some are still in use and in some churches the age of these vestments is unknown. The Danish Parament Trade, founded in 1895, has made chasubles for the Faroese churches.

These records do not indicate any changes until in the latter half of the 20th century. Christian’s Church in Klaksvík, which was consecrated in 1963, got a green chasuble of brocade fabric in the 1970s, made by the Danish Parament Trade. The West Church in Tórshavn, which was consecrated in 1975, received chasubles in all the liturgical colours of the Church Year. The green and the red chasubles are made in Denmark, and the white and violet in England.

In recent years, many chasubles have been designed and made in the Faroe Islands. They vary greatly in terms of design, fabric and sewing. However, many chasubles are still bought from abroad, especially from Belgium and Denmark. Judging by the material it appears that, in general, church textiles are undergoing changes, both in terms of colours and design. Many churches today have more than one chasuble, while most churches have several altar cloths. Several churches also have chasubles in all the liturgical colours for use during the Church Year. However, this varies greatly from one church to the next. Some churches have not received new church textiles during this period, while others have received several new textiles. One church has for instance got three new altar cloths. Some churches had only one altar cloth and still have only this one altar cloth. There are many different artistic viewpoints on how to prioritize church textiles – whether they should be purchased from abroad or from artists in the Faroe Islands. Vestments and chasubles that are mostly bought from abroad, while Faroese women have in most cases been making the altar cloths, and the same is true of the carpets, which in many cases are woven in the Faroe Islands.

Source: "Kirkjuklæði" (Church Vestments), a book by Paulina M. K. Eliasen, is expected to be published later this year.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Switzerland 2019 - Traditional Swiss Costumes



Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 05 September 2019
Designer: Müller Lütolf, Berne
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, La Loupe, France
Process: Offset
Colours: 4 Colours
Size Stamps: 34.7 mm × 36.5 mm

Miniature Sheet: 149 mm × 45 mm

Swiss costumes have a long tradition and are known for their extraordinary variety. They are a valuable part of our national cultural heritage. This is illustrated by historical examples depicted on four stamps, produced as a se-tenant on the miniature sheet. A remarkable collection of traditional costumes can be found at the Swiss National Museum. Much of it was gifted by the costume researcher Julie Heierli. The Atelier Müller Lütolf in Berne, which is experienced in philately, has selected four examples from this collection to feature on the stamps. Left to right:

Lötschental: a costume as it was worn until well into the 19th century in Lötschental in Valais. The sleeves that extend only to the elbow are a distinctive feature of the outfit. A shirt was worn underneath the costume, while a garland typically adorned the head. The apron is made of printed cotton.

Fribourg: a procession costume from the 19th century. The large amulet (the “Ginge”) and the puffy sleeves are typical features. The costume is still seen in Düdingen, Tafers and Heitenried at the “Kränzlitöchter” tradition, where it is worn by unmarried women along with the “Schapel”, an ornately decorated headdress.

Valle Verzasca: a Sunday costume as worn in the Valle Maggia at the beginning of the 19th century. Like all traditional costumes, it reflected the fashion of the day. As such, the high empire cut worn below the breast is a typical aspect of the design.

Engadin: this costume dates from the late 18th century. As it is also influenced by the fashion of the period, it is called a Graubünden “rococo costume”. It is accompanied by the “Capadüsli” hat and is still made today. Costumes from this region are documented and looked after by the Graubünden costume association.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

ASEAN Joint Issue 2019 - National Costumes Stamp Pack

(Click to view larger image)

Stamps from ASEAN Countries - National Costumes:

Brunei Darussalam
Cambodia
Indonesia
Laos
Malaysia
Myanmar
Philippines
Singapore
Thailand
Vietnam

Friday, August 23, 2019

Croatia 2018 - Croatian Ethnographic Heritage



Technical Details:
Issue Date: 28 June 2018
Designer: Orsat Franković, designer from Zagreb
Printer: AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
Process: Multicolor Offset Printing
Size: 29.82 x 35.50 mm
Values: HRK 1.00, HRK 3.10, HRK 8.60, HRK 15.00

About Croatian Ethnographic Heritage

Šestine
Šestine is a village on the foothills of the Mount Medvednica. Today, it is a part of agglomeration of the City of Zagreb. It got its name after šestina,a type of a tax imposed during the time of feudalism. The settlement began developing in the 13th century.

The Šestine folk costume got its current form during the second half of the 19thcentury. Various historical layers are visible in it. The three-part women's costume consists of a rubača(skirt sewn onto the vest), opleća and fertuna(apron). The cloth for the attire was made by weavers so it was simple, made from flax or hemp yarn with sparse embellishments in the format of multi-coloured thin stripes. Similar folk costumes in the foothills of the Mount Medvednica got the Šestine type name after this costume. This type of costume has been preserved due to the proximity of Zagreb because the costume worn by the women in the foothills became a symbol of product quality (cheese and sour cream, fruits and vegetables), services (laundry washing) and flowers sold (especially spring flowers) offered on a daily basis on the markets of Zagreb, especially Dolac, the main market.

In the past, the people from the foothills wore cloaks, vests and coats made of fur and leather. In the 19thcentury they started making the same items using wool cloths, felt and stout peasant cloth. Men and women used large cloaks called čoheto cover themselves with appliques made of cloth, leather and wool embroidery made by specialised craftsmen called čohaši. Surke, short coats and vests, lajbeci, were made of felt or fabric embellished with embroidery appliques or by various embroidery techniques and multi-coloured threads made by craftsmen from Zagreb.

Slavonia
Slavonia is a historical and geographical area in the eastern part of Croatia and it mostly spreads out in the Pannonian lowlands. It consists of the land between the Sava River in the south and the Drava River in the north, the Ilova River in the west the Bosut River and Vuka River in the southeast. The name comes from S(c)lavonia, a name from the Middle Ages meaning“theland inhabited by the Slavs“. It is a diverse geographical area that features mountains, hills and flatlands and is known for its oak forests and high quality soil ideal for growing grains, grapevines and various fruit cultures, as well as farming domestic animals sold on the market.

The economic power of the Slavonian villages was evident in the traditional clothing that stood out with its diversity and richness of domestic cloths, jewellery and embellishments. During the second half of the 19thcentury, especially in the eastern Slavonia, the growth of the economy provided for procurement of expensive materials, such as silk cloths from the central Europe, France and Italy made of either real or artificial silk threads. This is the time when silk brocades with flower design were popular and were used to make visible parts of women's clothing: blouses, skirts and aprons.

Prior to the beginning of the 20thcentury, girls and women in Đakovština wore skirts made of multi-coloured brocade silk with flower motifs during the winter months that were called granare, granaši. At the start of the 20thcentury, in the Village of Gorjani there was a fashion trend of procuring and wearing large silk scarves with flower motifs women used to wrap themselves with during the procession of the spiritual custom entitled ljelja, giving the scarves the name ljeljare.

Susak
Susak, in terms of its size, is one of the smallest inhabited islands of the north Adriatic and is a part of the Cres – Lošinj archipelago. The island is made of limestone covered with several meters of sandy layers so macchia and reeds grow abundantly. There is a settlement on the island with the same name where a few permanent residents live today. The island was mentioned in documents as early as the 9thcentury. Its residents were involved in seamanship, fishing and viticulture. Trojišćina, an old grape sort immune to phylloxera, was thriving in the vineyards on the main flatland on the island. The island reached its peak in terms of development during the 1930s. The people of Susak developed viticulture, wine-making, fishing and fish processing to a point where they opened processing facilities. Following World War II, many residents, as political and economic immigrants, moved to the United States of America. The community with the most members is, even now, in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Women's folk costumes were worn on the island until the middle of the 20thcentury. The newer clothing version named po losinjskuwas preserved as bridal attire after World War II. It is possibly the reflection of the 18thcentury fashion, and between the two world wars, the skirt was shortened to above the knee. The costume is lively because the pink colour dominates as the basic colour with plenty of embellishments. The costume consists of a silk pink blouse richly decorated with multi-coloured ribbons, lace, metal threads and glass beads on the chest, back and sleeves. The pink coloured skirt, named kamizot, has small folds and three strongly starched underskirts give it width. Apron, tarvijerslica, is made of pink silk and features the same embellishments as the blouse. The outfit is completed with pink coloured socks.

The women's folk costume, along with the specific čakavskiaccent, is the specific characteristic of the people of Susak who regularly visit their island during the summer months. On the last Saturday of each July, they celebrate the Emmigrants’ Day, and this is when their language can be heard and their folk costume can be seen.

Bratina (Pisarovina)
Bratina near Pisarovina is the centre of a cluster of villages south of Zagreb and today, it is the name of a town. It is mostly a lowland known for the remnants of former wooden architecture and houses covered by hay. Prior to 1848, the villagers from the Bratina area were peasants on the property owned by the noble Erdödy family. The customs and the material culture of this area are similar to those of the noble farmers in Posavina and Pokuplje. The folk costume belongs to the Kupinec-Bratina version of the Pannonian type.

The women's costume consists of three basic woven flax parts: rubača(skirts sewn onto the vests), blouse called oplećak and zastor(apron). During weaving, the cloth was embellished with distinctive stylised geometric colourful flower motifs. The basic colour of the embellishment, various shades of red colour, black and white, their combination or nonexistence symbolise the social, age and cast status of the woman wearing it. The women's headwear also indicated the cast and age status. In some areas of Pannonian Croatia, the girls' partaindicated their maturity until they got married. In Bratina the symbol of girlhood was hair braided into two braids and twisted around the head. At the front, the head was covered by a parta, a narrow and soft decorative ribbon placed on the hair from ear to ear.

The partain Bratina was embellished with sewn in multi-coloured glass beads skilfully arranged into flower motifs. The multi-layered headgear of married women was especially rich. The upper cap was tied low on the back of the head. It was richly embellished for special occasions with jewellery of various shapes and decorative ribbons with glass beads. In Bratina women were not buying finished jewellery. They would get glass beads of primarily central European production and they would skilfully embroider the motifs using glass beads on the ribbons for headgear and make necklace strings according to traditional samples.

Dr. Tihana Petrović Leš, PhD
Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies at the University of Zagreb

Croatia 2017 - Croatian Ethnographic Heritage


Technical Details: 
Issue Date: 16 March 2017
Designer: Orsat Franković, designer from Zagreb
Illustrator: Photographs of Zlarin, Konavle, Istria: Ivo Pervan, photographer from Split,
Photographs of Podravina: DIF archives, Koprivnički Ivanec
Printer: AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
Process: Multicolour Offset
Size: 29.82 x 35.50 mm
Values: 3.00 HRK; 4.60 HRK; 5.00 HRK; 6.50 HRK

About Croatian Ethnographic Heritage 2017

Zlarin
Zlarin is a small island in the Šibenik archipelago. It is also called the “coral island“ due to the development of harvesting and processing of white and red corals that began in the 15th century. Even though small in size, the island bears significance because of its historical monuments. One of the more important ones is the parish register of the brotherhood of people in the Church of Our Lady of Rašelj written in the Chakavian dialect in 1456. In the 70s, older women on Zlarin dressed as documented in photos from the beginning of the 20th century. The basic attire consisted of a long linen shirt, the garments worn on top were dark blue or black vests with a red trim and long pleated skirts made of a brown or black wool fabric often with red bands just above the hem. The skirts were tightened on the chest and lengthened into shoulder straps made of red ribbons turning them into typical bell-shaped Mediterranean skirts with straps. The pleats were secured around the waist with colourful wool belts where the women would tuck their handkerchiefs. Married women wore white scarfs on their heads, while girls wore braids wrapped around their heads with red ribbons. The life on the Croatian islands and in the Adriatic region was humble, but it has kept up with the fashion trends from the earliest times because of trading and maritime commerce. This has also been manifested in jewellery. Young women and girls adorned themselves with gold and silver jewellery with semi-precious and precious stones. The jewellery was made by skilled domestic and foreign craftsmen using the old techniques of casting, refining, filigreeing, granulating and inserting. Due to its value, jewellery has been passed from generation to generation within the immediate and extended family. The most popular pieces were earrings of various shapes, pieces worn on the neck and chest consisting of shorter or longer gold or coral necklaces with pendants, as well as embellished broches and pins typically used to close the shirts on the chest area.

Podravina - Koprivnički Ivanec
Podravina is a geographical and historic Croatian region located in the lowlands and bounded by the river Drava, the hills of Bilogora and the extension of the Kalnik Mountain. Ethnologically, Podravina is known for its specific folklore (music and dance), national costumes and beliefs, as well as naive style paintings. In the village of Koprivnički Ivanec, not too far from Koprivnica, the local community nurtures the so-called Ivanec embroidery as its special identity characteristic. The embroidery adorns visible sections of national costumes worn by women, such as sleeves on shirts called “opleće” or “pleček”, and “poculica” hats. In the past, embroidery could be seen on handkerchiefs as well. This type of embroidery is created with a needle and a coloured thread using several techniques. Its characterised by various floral motifs from the nature (tulip, rose, daisy, lily of the valley, clover, oak leaf), and especially by motifs such as old clocks and hearts that are combined in various arrangements and colours of other elements of the embroidery. Dark to light shades of red colour dominate the embroidery, followed by green, blue, purple, white and black. The motif and the colour selection depend on the age of the person who wears it and the purpose of the item. Therefore, older women wear garments with humble dark colour embroidery, and younger women and girls wear garments with exuberant light colour embroidery. What makes the Ivanec embroidery special is the fact that it is directly stitched into the fabric without drawings. Since the Ivanec embroidery features a large number of decorative motifs, it is used to embellish table linens (tablecloths and napkins), but it has been also transferred onto ceramic dishes as a decorative pattern. Today, in addition to making replicas of national costumes, it is also used to embellish modern clothing and various other items. In light of its significance, in 2011 the art of Ivanec embroidery was listed in the register of intangible cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia.

Konavle
The region of Konavle is located south-east of Dubrovnik in the most southern part of continental Croatia. Despite tourism and lifestyle changes in the 20th century, the women of Konavle have managed to preserve and continue to wear national costumes that speak of the extensive history, culture and economy of this region through their simplicity, beauty and elegance. The basic attire for women consists of long linen or cotton shirts in the shape of a simple tunic with sleeves. Embroidery is applied around the neck, on the chest and along the sleeve hem. The embroidery embellishment is the most exuberant and most visible on the bust area ending with yellow silk tufts. The beauty of the embroidery from Konavle was recognized at the end of the 19th century. Teachers, Ms. Paulina Bogdan Bijelić and Ms. Jelka Miš who managed an association and embroidery school in Cavtat during the period from 1922 to 1946, investigated and gathered patterns and taught women how to do embroidery. The women who do the Konavle type of embroidery show their skills and mathematical precision when counting surface threads in the process of creating embellishments that resemble weaving. The embroidery is made from the surface of the fabric by pulling a stitching needle with homemade wool, silk or factory-made cotton threads of various colours. This type of stitching produces geometric motif of numerous versions with various names. The women of Konavle used the embroidery to emphasize their social, wealth and marital status on their busts. For decades, the Konavle embroidery has been applied to modern items and souvenirs (tablecloths, purses, dresses, mats, pillowcases, shopping bags), and during the recent years, the embroidery motifs have been transferred to ceramics and glass. The Konavle embroidery has deep identity roots in the community and is made by women of Konavle of all generations, even by those who live in other parts of Croatia or in the diaspora. In light of its significance, the art of embroidery was listed in the register of intangible cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia.

Istria
Istria is the largest peninsula on the Croatian side of the Adriatic Sea. It is positioned close to the heart of Europe and it represents a bridge that connects mid-European continental area with the Mediterranean. This has been manifested in its rich and diverse ethnographic heritage. Two-part singing and playing in the Istrian scale, a characteristic musical phenomenon, was added to UNESCO's representative list of intangible cultural heritage. Fabric handwork in Istria has inherited mid-European, Mediterranean and Slavic traditions. In Istria, women handled the tasks of processing and preparing raw fabric materials, while men were in charge of weaving. Weavers were greatly respected people who took up weaving alongside their primary agricultural tasks. The skill of weaving was passed from father to son or from weavers to their apprentices. Weavers from the area around Žminj, Kringa and Zrenj were renowned for the quality of their weaving. They worked on large horizontal looms and they weaved flax, hemp and wool fabrics of natural white and brown colour with the help of two or four heddles. The weaving production had begun to disappear at the end of the 19th century, and it almost completely disappeared during the 1960s. Today, weaving is done by older persons for the purpose of presentations and workshops. There are two basic types of outerwear patterns found on Istrian women’s garments where centuries have accumulated: dresses tailored using pegs (“modrne klinarice”) and dresses that consist of vests and pleated skirts (“modrne na skas”). Both types are made from domestic hemp, wool or purchased fabrics. Pleated skirts are adorned with simple embellishments above the hemline with narrow or broad trim stripes of various colours. They have many pleats giving the garments elegance and special effects in dance movements.

Tihana Petrović Leš, PhD

Croatia 2014 - Croatian Ethnographic Heritage


Technical Details:
Issue Date: 20 October 2014
Designer: Orsat Franković, designer, Zagreb
Printer: AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
Process: Multicolor Offset Printing
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 29,82 x 35,50 mm
Values: 0.41, 0.76, 0.99, 1.44

About Croatian Ethnographic Heritage 2014

Do they wear short skirts on Dugi otok (Long Island)? No, but on the island of Susak. Do golden flowers grow on Zlatni rat (Golden Cape) beach? No, but in Đakovo region. Are blue surkas (short coats) worn in Plavić (a toponym meaning “blue“)? No, but in Slavonia region. We could continue with a long sequence of such jokes. But even this is sufficient to remind us that the small Croatia is endless, that it has so many varieties on its surface which is a boundary and the bridge between the Middle Europe and the Mediterranean, between the Pannonia Plane and Dinaric mountains, between the basins of Sava and Danube rivers and the Adriatic coast. Even the smallest geographical units were once marked with their own, specific dialect, which differed from other dialects by the nature of its vocabulary, accents, by the role of gradual intermediation between more powerful milieus. That what counts for the verbal, expressive world, counts also for the world of visual arts. Each geographic area has “designed” human appearance in a different way, using different materials in accordance with what it demanded from the land and what the land gave in return. Somewhere in the foundations there is flax, somewhere sheep; somewhere silk fibre, skein of wool, pieces of glass, somewhere coral. When the industrial civilisation entered the world of manufacture, as the most precious decoration, just in the Vrlika region, there started a practice of sawing machine-produced buttons on garments. There are great differences also in the representation of human figure. Tall and upright young girls from Zagora region, like the caryatids, fluttering butterflies in broad, short skirts from the above mentioned island of Susak, gilded queens of the north-eastern Croatia, flower-covered women from Posavina region… Stylisation of human figure originated, however, from memorising style and thus the national costumes are a kind of herbarium of fashion of passed times. But, as the universal media even up the differences, as the machine extrudes hand and the unique becomes multipliable and moreover that multipliable presents itself as a virtue investing only in the creativity of template, the geographical nuances of dialects –those verbal equally as visual - fade away; the same happens with the traditional concepts of presentation of human figure and matter which are no more demanded from the land or returned by it. Thus, national costumes become exhibits; they are transferred from primary to secondary life, into museum showcases, into tourist attractions. Their strong, remained function is still the function of inspiration. And, as they managed to preserve the memory, now they become themselves its treasure. The treasure with which we still dispose to a high degree and by which we identify the talents of our past. Sending this treasure to the world for insight, Croatian Post has issued a series of stamps in several sets. In the last one details from garments from Slavonia, Vrlika, Gorski kotar and Lovas are presented. Marvellous, up-to-date framed details, however, do not have only artistic and differential value, but also some symbolic suggestions. Slavonic surka (short coat) is characterised by the warmth of tissue, proportioned with the chilliness of the north; autumn twigs – suggest year season when the purpose of Slavonic land is fulfilled; a considerable amount of blue colour – there is nowhere so much blue colour as there where the sky is immense above the plane; the three colours – red, white and blue – suggest a thought of flag - always and even in moments when that flag does not seen to imply a thought of you. On the piece of tissue from Vrlika visible is the speeded-up, uniform, abstract rhythm, resembling to the song and folk round dance of equal features; tiny and patient weave, sharing shapes with far away regions of eastern world. Black-and-white Gorski kotar, something like snow and woods, the imprint of oblivion and memory: this, so much neglected region, that it must keep its memory itself. And, in the end, Lovas where one gets goose bumps from associations: white flower on the bloody background sprinkled with gold flakes of honour. These are, however, our knowledges.

Croatia 2010 - Croatian Ethnographic Heritage


Technical Details: 
Issue Date: 15 March 2010
Designer: Orsat Franković and Ivana Vučić, designers, Zagreb
Printer: Zrinski
Process: Multicolor Offset Printing
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 29,82 x 35,50 mm
Values: 0.22, 0.43, 0.63, 0.98

About Croatian Ethnographic Heritage

What we call folk art is a result of longer, slowed-down time. The history was always created by individuals, and the same is with art. But the art was slowly depositing in consciousnesses, it was lying balled longer than the time needed for the events to pass, in mountains and valleys not connected one to another, over seven rivers and seventy seven mountains. Since our country is very diverse, we possess an immense treasure of this slowed-down history. Aware of its value, as well as its volatileness we make it a sign today – we confer to it the sign of identity. Indeed, we possess a lot of that treasure, but in the words of a poet „it is still there, it is still there thanks to some with pride“– and we shall possess it as long as we shall preserve that pride. This set of stamps by Croatian Post is a contribution to this purpose. By continuing its series „Croatian Ethnographic Heritage“, Croatian Post seizes into an immense treasury that is surely among the exquisite treasures of this world. Often unaware of what we possess, we let it decay in daylight or vegetate in darkness. The light however is needed for admiration: to these patterns, colours, petals of an imperishable garden which resists to dryness and rains, snows and centuries. National heritage has surely saved us much from that which faded in the changing of high styles. In that covert garden the tulips that were the subject of possessed desires in 17th century, still open. Baroque roses and small Biedermeier roses flourish, romantic forget-me-nots and art deco lilies intermingle. In the world history once there existed a coded language of flowers. Each flower, each colour had its exact sense and meaning. A seemingly innocent bunch of flowers contained a legible message. Today the nuances have vanished, but the task of mediating love and thankfulness remained preserved in flowers. How much love and thankfulness is there on these folk costumes from Draganić in Pokuplje, over Dubrovnik littoral and then again in Međimurje and Posavina! Almost white on white, tender flowers of Pokuplje combine with small branches of Dubrovnik, drawn precisely as hyssop. Succulent roses from Međimurje smell with maturity and fullness. To the Pokuplje whiteness in the end corresponds the black background of Posavina, on which the filigree contours of calyxes discern like when the eye closes against too strong light. The folk heritage comprises all forms and dimensions of life. Though, it is nice to offer it in the form of flowers: fragile and short-lived like the flowers, let us pick them by the glance, today, while we still exist, happy for existing.   Željka Čorak.

Croatia 2012 - Bobbin Lace, Joint Issue Croatia - Spain


Technical Details:
Issue Date: 31 March 2015
Designer: Ivana Vučić and Tomislav-Jurica Kaćunić, designers from Zagreb
Illustrator: Photograph of lace from Lepoglava by: Robert Leš
Printer: AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
Process: Multicolor Offset Printing
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 34.08 x 35.50 mm

About Bobbin Lace - Joint Issue Croatia - Spain

LEPOGLAVA LACE
The best known bobbin lace got its name by the municipality of Lepoglava, situated in the Varaždin County, in the north-west Croatia. In Lepoglava in the 19th and 20th century bobbin lace of various techniques and motifs was manufactured. Already at the end of the 19th century the lace craft in Lepoglava became part of the social politics i.e. organised home production, with the aim to ensure an income to village women. A new rise of the lace craft in Lepoglava began in the 1930-ies with Danica Brössler (1912 – 1993), who in a short period of time became an excellent designer and lace craft teacher. Having researched the market and the European lace craft, Danica Brössler changed the by then used technique and motifs and created the recognisable lace which by its technological features can be classified as the Croatian variant of the Duchesse lace. It is a kind of fine lace made of very thin thread and joined floral motifs which were created by various types of interweaving and leaves with low relief ribs. The lace created in this technique was used to make or decorate garments, underwear and home textiles. In Lepoglava, in the period between 1931 and 1942 Danica Brössler organised the work of lace women based on the principles of human work. This period was the „golden period“ of the lace craft in Lepoglava, because its author was awarded a diploma for drafts at the international exhibition in Paris in 1937 and the medal and diploma for the drafts of exhibited lace at the Belin International Crafts Exhibition in 1938.

In the last two decades the care for the by then almost dead lace craft in Lepoglava was intensified and encouraged by a number of projects and in 1997 in Lepoglava also the International Lace Festival was founded. The lace craft is of great importance for the local community and thus the bobbin with the wound thread is also represented together with the Pauline Father’s symbol - black raven, in the town's coat of arms. For its importance and role at the local and national level the lace craft of Lepoglava, together with the lace craft of Pag and Hvar was entered in 2009 in the UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the mankind.

Tihana Petrović Leš, D.Sc.

SEVILLE LACE
In recognition of the artistic and cultural values shared by Spain and Croatia, the postal services of both countries will circulate a joint issue dedicated to bobbin lace. The Croatian stamp will show lace from Lepoglava, and the Spanish stamp lace from Seville, both from the early 20th century. One special feature of this issue is that both stamps have perforations in the design, like real lace.

Made with silk, linen, cotton, gold or silver thread, lace was created and developed in Europe, spreading throughout the continent. Although its age is impossible to determine, lace became popular in the early 16th century when this delicate fabric became an essential part of European royal court attire. Italy and Flanders specialised in manufacturing, selling and distributing the latest lace fashions that were soon copied by other countries.

As one of the decorative arts, lace evolved in line with the artistic styles of each era, and we can identify Venetian, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Art Nouveau, Art Deco or contemporary lace. Bobbin lace requires a pillow to support the pattern, pins to set in the places marked by the patterns, and wooden bobbins, used to wind the threads.

Croatia has a rich history of needle lace and bobbin lace making. The tradition is particularly strong in the town of Lepoglava, in the north-west, where an international lace fair is held each year. The piece shown on the stamp was produced by Danica Brösles, who is famous in her country.

There is evidence of Spanish lace dating back to the late 15th-early 16th century, when skilled hands created a native style known as "punto español". The lace from Seville depicted on the stamp was made by Cándida García, a teacher who created new models based on those produced in Andalusia since the 17th century, known as twelve-bobbin lace. Patterns were produced for each customer, used only once and signed by the creator.

Yolanda Estefanía
Postal and Telegraph Museum Library

Croatia 2012 - About Rab - San Marino


Technical Details:
Issue Date: 16 October 2012
Designer: Ivana Vučić, graphic designer from Zagreb
Printer: Zrinski - Čakovec
Process: Multicolor Offset Printing
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 96.50 x 79.50 mm (29.82 x 35.50 mm)
Values: 1.91

About Rab – San Marino

Modern concept of town twinning implies connecting of two or more local communities by means of various activities. The twinning charter between the town of San Marino and the community of Rab was signed on 22 June 1968.

The founder of the Republic of San Marino, the patron of stonecutters and faulty accused people and the lasting connection between the island of Rab and San Marino – all that is St. Marino, a stonecutter from Rab, who lived in the 3rd and 4thcentury. The story about St. Marino is a combination of real history and myth. Marino was a stonecutter born in Lopar on the island of Rab and he remained remembered in history as the saint founder (Il santo fondatore) of the Republic of San Marino in 301. His day is celebrated on September, 3rd, the day of his death, which is also state holiday in San Marino. San Marino is the oldest republic in Europe and the reason can probably be found in the legend that says that St. Marino before his death said to his followers: “Sons, I liberate you from any kind of reign, civil as well as ecclesiastical“.

Croatia 2015 - Croatian Intangible Cultural Heritage


Technical Details:
Issue Date: 27 July 2015
Designer: Orsat Franković, designer from Zagreb
Illustrator: Photographers: Mario Romulić (Traditional singing and playing in Eastern Croatia –Slavonia, Carnival bell ringers from Kastav), Ivo Pervan (The Alka of Sinj), Archives Aklapela festival (Dalmatian a cappella choir singing)
Printer: AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
Process: Multicoloured Offsetprint
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 35.50 x 35.50 mm
Values: 3.10 HRK x 4

About Croatian Intangible Cultural Heritage

The Alka of Sinj (Sinjska alka)
The Alka of Sinj is a chivalric game symbolically connected with the liberation of Sinj – a small town in the hinterland of Split and in the surrounding area known as Sinjska Krajina - from Turkish rule in 1715. Alka is a name for the tournament and the target. The alkars (competitors) on horses, riding in gallop must hit the target (alka) – a ring of wrought iron hanging above the racetrack, with a kind of spear. Alka is composed of two concentric circles interconnected so that they divide the outer ring space in three parts; the space one hits brings different scores. All competitors have two tries while the third race is reserved only for the best. In the competition there are minimum eleven and maximum seventeen alkars. The organiser of the activities and in charge for passing down the alka tradition is the Chivalric Society of the Alka of Sinj. The alkars are differentiated by function and honour which determines also their place in the festive procession of alkars which takes the precisely determined route to arrive to the racetrack: the commander called duke (vojvoda), competitors led by the commander called alaj-čauš, alkar- squires headed by harambaša, the escort composed of alkars who do not participate in the competition but have honour distinctions of barjaktar (the bearer of the flag), duke's assistant, squire etc. Alkars wear old and richly decorated clothing differentiated by colours and decoration and have ancient weapons; it is considered that such kind of clothing was worn by members of higher class. Alkar squires wear clothes as was typical for the peasants from Cetina Region, complemented with ancient weapons.

Alka takes place every year on Sunday in the first third of August. However, the preparation of alkars and their families and the people from the whole Cetina Region start months earlier. They are preceded by competitions aimed to local community: two days before the main competition – bara and a day before – čoja. Alka is an event aimed primarily at guests and friends and is connected with showing hospitality and preparation and eating of traditional dishes. A long tradition of competitions and the infiltration of the values of alka in everyday life resulted some decades ago in the establishment of a new tradition - alka competitions for children. Because of its great importance for the local and national community the Alka of Sinj was included into the UNESCO- Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.

A yearly carnival procession of Bell Ringers from Kastav
The Bell Ringers of Kastav Region were entered into the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2010. Kastav is a smaller territorial, historical, cultural and administrative region encompassing the hinterland of Opatija and today's municipalities Kastav, Matulji and Viškovo. The bell ringers are in costumes dressed or masked participants of carnival processions which take place in winter period until the last carnival day - a Tuesday before the Ash Wednesday. In the processions only men take part, wearing masks on their heads, dressed in white-blue t-shirts, white trousers and caped with sheep-skin with fur turned outside and fixed round the waist with the belt on which one to three tied bells hang. Moving in special and various ways which demand physical strength and endurance, they produce deafening noise with their bells, wherefrom the name for these carnival characters was derived: bell ringers. According to their look and way they move there are three types of bell ringers: bell ringers with zoomorphic mask and one big bell, bell ringers with flower masks on their heads and three bells and bell ringers with head masks made of paper tapes in various colours and with three bells. They have differently shaped and decorated wooden bats in their hands which they use in movement and dance. About ten groups of bell ringers in the Kastav Region have their traditional routes with the goal to pass through their own and neighbouring villages where they are welcomed with food and drink by their hosts. In these carnival customs of bell ringers evident is the old magical fertility ritual, preserved until our days, which still today has an important social function and meaning. The bell ringers’ processions imply various forms of social behaviour in connection with special relationships between the hosts and the bell ringers, preparation, serving and consuming of ritual food, dancing and giving toasts. Also, in history and in modern life the bell ringers play special cohesive roles within community but also in the whole Kastav Region. Tradition is passed down and kept alive by including children, future tradition bearers, into the bell ringers’ processions.

Traditional singing and playing (bećarac) in regions of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem
Bećarac is the best known and most widespread traditional, vocal and instrumental musical form in the region of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem which serves to establish communication, express one's thoughts and feelings which cannot be expressed in everyday, decent conversation. It is rarely performed without instrumental accompaniment. It is assumed that this way of singing originates from the so called “nightly singing of men” which was noted at the end of the 19th century. The name of this musical form became customary around the middle of the 20th century and originates from the word bećar, of Turkish origin, referring to a merry person, young boy, single person, usually a bachelor, inclined to life without obligations and with lot of fun. On a melody pattern ten-syllable double verses are sung, often with love and lascivious, erotic themes, but also themes that describe everyday life and events; in these songs the accent is on one’s own virtues, capabilities, beauty, wealthiness in contrast to other persons or communities, on which occasion quite often the mocking, defiance and spite are expressed. It is often performed by oversinging of two or more singers accompanied by instruments – in older times by pipes and tamburitzas and recently by tamburitsa bands or even mixed violin, accordion and tamburitza bands. The singer usually sings the first verse or part of the verse which presents a kind of meaningful thesis and then the second verse - which is often a humorous antithesis to the first verse, is sung by all singers. Appreciated singers are those with strong, enduring voice who are familiar with the old repertoire of ten-syllable double verses, who are creative and can quickly improvise, combine and invent new verses during the performance, who can create a theme by referring to persons which are present or the context of the performance on the spot. This kind of singing (bećarac) is very popular also today and performed on various merry occasions, especially on wedding celebrations. It is an indispensable repertoire part of many folklore and musical associations which perform it often and with pleasure on various occasions. Bećarac is performed also by many stage artists and because of its popularity the word bećarac is also used to name various dishes and cakes of the manifestation. Croatian artist Zlatko Bourek it used it in 1966 as the theme for an animation movie. Bećarac from the region of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem was entered into the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2011.

Dalmatian a cappella choir singing (Klape)
A cappella choir singing is a specific way of singing in a group (klapa), characteristic for Dalmatia and Croatia. It is considered that this kind of singing developed about the middle of the 19th century in Dalmatian towns. It was influenced by Gregorian choral, church folk and Glagolitic singing Mediterranean – particularly Italian music and singing and other factors. Klapa singing is singing in three or four voices without instrumental accompaniment and with recognisable movement of melody lines, harmony and text content. The texts of the songs cover a wide variety of themes from everyday life such as love, nature and family. The authors of texts and melodies are unknown. Modern composers often take verses of renowned Croatian poets. There is a difference between traditional (folk), festival and modern singing groups (klape). Traditional folk klapa is a non-formal group of singers which gathers spontaneously and sings on various occasions: before and during work and after work in evening hours in taverns or in front of houses. The appearance of a large number of singing groups and the spreading of klapa-singing throughout the region was influenced by the Dalmatian Klapa Festival in Omiš which was founded in 1967. Along with political, social and cultural changes in the 90-ies of the 20th century the klapa singing has changed considerably. This kind of singing became very popular and many groups were formed so that it resulted in a real “klapa movement”. Next to Dalmatia the centres of klapa singing become also Zagreb and Rijeka. Women vocal groups also joined the klapa singing - their tradition arising from the women’s folk singing. The large number of klapa choirs has led to a recognisable style, genre, repertoire and performance nourished in fourteen centres of klapa singing. From the 1960-ies the klapa singing becomes one of the symbols of Dalmatian and Mediterranean and then also Croatian identity. Because of the importance klapa singing has for Croatian culture, it was entered into the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.

D.Sc. Tihana Petrović Leš