The exhibits are from the ethnographic collection of the Carmel of St Elijah monastery and spiritual centre at Lake Buško. The exhibition was conceived by Father Zvonko Martić and is held under the auspices of Croatian Government (Ministry of Culture) and Vjekoslav Bevanda, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina, joined by co-sponsor the Croatian State Office for Croatians Abroad.

 

 

A noteworthy ethnographic exhibition of the Traditional Jewellery of the Croatians of Bosnia-Herzegovina organised by the Croatian Heritage Foundation opened at the CHF on 5 December. Many gathered at the gala opening ceremony to see the exhibits from the ethnographic collection of the Carmel of St Elijah monastery and spiritual centre at Lake Buško near Tomislavgrad.
This exceptional exhibition was conceived by Carmelite Father Zvonko Martić, joined by project coordinator Srebrenka Šeravić, head of the CHF culture department. The exhibition is held under the auspices of Croatian Government (Ministry of Culture) and Vjekoslav Bevanda, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina, joined by co-sponsor the Croatian State Office for Croatians Abroad.
On hand for the opening were numerous eminent guests from Croatian and Bosnia-Herzegovinian society and political scene, including Bosnia-Herzegovina Federation Ambassador to Croatia Azra Kalajdžisalihović; Ivo Jelušić MP, vice chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Croatians Abroad and chairman of the CHF Board of Directors; Ivan Tolić representing the City of Zagreb; Petar Barišić, acting deputy head of the State Office for Croatians Abroad; representatives of the Croatian Carmelite province of the Holy Father Joseph; and Father Dominik Magdalenić, the prior of the Carmel of St Elijah monastery at Lake Buško.
The event opened with welcome speeches from CHF director Marin Knezović and the author of the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue Father Zvonko Martić. These were followed by short addresses by the head of the State Office for Croatians Abroad Daria Krstičević, Assistant Minister of Culture Vesna Jurić Bulatović speaking on behalf of the exhibition sponsor, and by Lazar Prkačin, envoy and advisor to Vjekoslav Bevanda, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who declared the exhibition open.
The event’s musical programme featured performances by Ana Ćorluk and Ana Šitum from the Derventa area representing Croatians expelled from their homes and emigrants, a men’s vocal group from Posušje, the Kamešnica Croatian Culture & Arts Society women’s vocal group from Podhum near Livno, and the Ravnica Culture & Arts Society women’s vocal group from Oštra Luka-Boka near Orašje.
This is the first ever presentation in Croatia of this valuable collection of traditional Croatian jewellery in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is a great support to its further preservation.
The Traditional Jewellery of the Croatians of Bosnia-Herzegovina is the only collection that collects and preserves the traditional dress and jewellery of Croatians from across Bosnia-Herzegovina, and includes as many as 140 complete old folk costumes and over five hundred different ornamental objects. For the most part this is silver jewellery from the 19th and early 20th century. Prominent among the collection of jewellery are some exceedingly rare specimens. Besides jewellery created by master craftsmen, the collection also includes bijouterie and ornaments crafted by gifted individuals. Particular to this collection are preserved folk costumes and jewellery from the Croatians of western Bosnia, where these objects are hard to find and where few Croatians presently remain. The exhibition is open through to 19 December and is accompanied by an excellent catalogue published by the Croatian Heritage Foundation.

Text by: Željka Lešić; Photos by: Snježana Radoš