Local Craftsmanship as Intangible Cultural Heritage

Categories: Local Craftsmanship



Woodcarving in Konjic
Woodcarving in Konjic is an important part of the cultural heritage not only in this region, but also throughout entire Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was declared as an important heritage for entire humanity by UNESCO, after enlisting it in the world's immaterial cultural heritage. Woodcarving is one of the surviving crafts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is especially popular and common entrepreneurship skill in Konjic, where the Nikšić family acts as a keeper of the centuries-old woodcarving tradition. This craft is an essential part of the local community culture. It helps distinguish the beauty of homes and offers a sense of belonging and tradition. Local raw materials, different wood types, such as: walnut, cherry tree, yew and maple tree, which are processed in traditional ways, are used for manufacturing. The assortment of wooden products with traditional ornaments, mostly recognizable by the floral and faunal motifs, is wide: souvenirs, carved boxes, trays, traditional chairs and coffe tables (Peškun) of different sizes, shelves, closets, dressers, carved office furniture, etc. 

Copper engraving
Copper engraving was established in this area as a distinctive and valuable craft during the Ottoman rule. Its value is best attested by the fact that, next to the Istanbul, Van and Caucasus styles of copper engraveing, there was also a Bosnian one. This style is characterized by the simplicity of the motifs and identical engraving depth. The most prevailing motifs are elipses, traditional coffee-pots, pitchers (Ibrik), cypress trees and various types of leaves. 

Opanci are a type of traditional farmers' footwear in Herzegovina usually made of leather. It is a form of ancient shoe with an exceptionally simple pattern, which primarily serves its main purpose  – to cover and protect the feet. Gradually, some artistic local ornaments were being introduced and included in manufacturing of this well-known footwear which also meant that based on the decorations engraved on the opanci, one could determine which region the farmer comes from. The opanci manufacturing process is determined by tradition which has already been passed for years from grandfathers and fathers to grandsons and sons. 

Handicrafts at Jablanica
The Jablanica Women's association was founded in October 2009 upon the initiative of fifteen women who have passed their education and began implementing a project from the "Žene za Žene International" (Women for women) Sarajevo organization.
From the very beginning of the association's work, creative workshops have been organized through various projects, where handicrafts are made. They started off with old traditional production of handicrafts like weaving, embroidery, knitting, sewing, and have climbed to modern production techniques like decoupage, image production on foil, etc. With the aim of economic empowering of women and the association, a souvenir shop was established which is now a part of the Museum of the "Battle of Neretva". It is their exhibition space where they display their extraordinary pieces of work. The Women's association "Most" traditionally organizes the manifestation "Tastes of Jablanica“ usually taking place in the beginning of August. A gastronomic and touristic offer of the Jablanica area is also presented as part of this traditional and well visited fair.

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