Learning Experiences in Croatia
I discovered many different lifestyles in Croatia. Each region has its foods and lifestyle.
The style of traditional clothing in the most southern part of Croatia, on the territory of what once was the Dubrovnik Republic.
There, stretches the beautiful Konavle range, where the soft, downy silk moth has been cultivated for centuries.
The main reason for its cultivation is the exquisite folk costume made of sturdy home-made cloth.
The home-made cloth has sewn-on patches and beautiful embroidery done in soft home-spun silk.
The famous and elegant attire is renowned for its blue and black cloth.
For its white scarves that seem like sails, including the richly embroidered cuffs, also, the busts on the woman’s dress.
The men's costumes sports silk on waistcoats, and on cummerbunds which at one time served to retain silver-encrusted weapons; daggers Sabres and pistols.
The people of konavle had a connection with silk from the day they were born to the day they died. A silken thread was to tie the umbilical cord.
A silken thread was used to secure a dead person feet, and hands cross on the chest.
The silk road found its new natural cradle.
There was a time when almost every woman in a small village called Ćilipi in Konavle, scattered over seven hills and had carried a cocoon of silk moth in her bosom.
Croatia did not lag behind other countries of Eastern Europe in the cultivation of the silk moth and silk production.
As early as 1018 the town of Rab was paying a tribute of several pounds of pure silk produced in Rab, to Venice.
I attended the event in Cilipi the small village not far from my village all part of the Konavle region. I had watched the traditional dance.
It was an incredible experience to see how the story holds the music and dance all together.
Men led the women and danced in the fast pace.
I experienced many great moments in Croatia.
Now looking back at the small places where I had visited and had I enjoyed I changed with the beautiful moments.
The Silk Road is perceived as the long land communication route between Asia and Europe, as an image of a massive ball of silken thread that has been unraveling for centuries over thousands of kilometers. That is replete with priceless experiences, ideas, and inventions.
I am amazed by each region with a different style of traditional dressing. The different colored clothing looks attractive and very pretty.
It takes time to dress up in a traditional outfit.
I remember when I first came to Croatia after meeting many families.
I met an old lady and she is one of the oldest ladies in the village to have still worn the outfit daily.
She had to get up much earlier to get dressed and each set of clothing she put on had to be on an accurate setting and fitting.
It took her at least an hour and a half to fit into the parts of the outfit.
Someone at a young age will take half an hour to get into the traditional outfit.
I was asked to dress up in the traditional outfit, I am not sure if I want to go that far. Though it is something for me to think about and will try not to be shy when or if I do take that challenge on.
Korčula is an island in which the Marco Polo family lived continually from the thirteenth century and almost to this day.
Other families even living in other parts of Croatia are still pointed out as part of the Polo family.
An interesting history is connected with the Polo family to the island of Korčula.
The house of Marco polo in Korčula is a part of a guided site seeing tour of the old town of Korčula.
I found what was possibly the house of Marco Polo a picturesque late-Gothic ruin with a Renaissance tower.
I wonder what actually inspired Marco Polo to dream about things on the other side of the mountain of Korčula?
Korćula during the Festival of Chivalric Games: dances and tourneys like the photos as presented here are of the Moreška are performed to the sound of bagpipes and drums. When Sabres clash sparks fly.
I have not yet seen this great performance but would like to at some time.
Despite the high level of emigration in the past, the island of Korčula remains one of the most dynamic of the Croatian islands.
Alongside being engaged in tourism, shipyards and stone quarrying, in vineyards and olive groves in wine cellars and oil works in which the golden olive oil is produced.
The Islanders find time to involve themselves in their traditional festivities.
They take part at a particular time of the year.
In the city of Korcula itself it is the Moreška that is performed: a war dance with Sabres, the event is on the first Wednesday of July when one can see all the dances performed in the city.
The dancers are dressed in a combination of red black and white.
I have visited the island of korčula but not at the time of Sabre Dance.
From the eventful lives of traditional dancers to the Marco Polo family history on the island of Korčula, all of what I had experienced had allowed me to feel happy and I learned so much more about Croatia.
The small country I once had no idea of and did not think it had existed on this planet.
The traditional folk dances are performed on Sundays in the village of Cilipi surrounded by many traditional markets.
The Croatian women make extraordinary patterns from embroidery and the silk threads are used for the actual designs. I was given a hand-made bookmark and with such beautiful colors.
The hand-made crafts are made during the winter and during the summer are sold at the local markets.
The traditional outfits are very expensive and are kept for many generations.
In this modern day, the new generation is following their tradition and it is interesting to see how devoted the younger women are to the traditional dancing.
Tradition in Croatia has great meaning and that I don't often see in many cultures.
A rich culture that holds onto their tradition with valuable performances.
The men dress up in black waistcoats and the pants are sort of flare at the bottom and they wear hats with small patterns sewn on.
The widow dresses up in a black traditional outfit after the death of her husband.
Croatian culture is from the Roman times and in many households this tradition is still alive.
I found that difficult for me to grow into this culture and could not keep up with it. I live my life differently and enjoy each day with new surprises.
I have learned how to make liquors, and now recently my new remedy lavender oil.
As my new experiment, I am in the process of making lavender oil.
I added four bottles of sunflower oil in a complete dry jar with dried lavender sprigs and I left the jar to soak in a sunny spot for six weeks.
I picked more lavender to dry during the course of fourteen days and the process continues.
Lavender oil can be used for dry skin, and for slight burns.
Life in Croatia has improved my knowledge of my surroundings and of the culture but still learning each day and my focus is on what I know best.
The new learning adventures have not stopped and will continue to grow as I spend my time exploring new avenues.
Traditional Croatian dress costume
Traditional Folklore Dances
Different cultures have different lifestyles
Did you know much about the Croatian Traditional Dressing?
© 2014 Devika Primić