Bagpipes (gajde) are a class of instrument that are made of tanned goatskin. The gajdunica, naška, roga, dulca and trubnja (bordun, burdon, and drone) are made of wood. Inside the bagpipes, in the chanter and drone are one-way valves made of reed or elder tree wood. In the chanter (gajdunica) there are two reeds, which is typical of all old Croatian instruments with skin, except for the duda, which has three or four reeds in its chanter. In the drone (trubanj or bordun) there is one reed that gives the low, basic sound of the bagpipes. The wooden parts often have tin-inlay decorations.
Folk or national dancing is a distinct reflection of the historical, socio-economic and cultural particularities of specific regions. It plays an important social role, given that any significant group or community gathering is accompanied by dancing in the course of which people get better acquainted and connected, mutually displaying their spiritual and physical abilities. The various ways of participating in dancing show the social status of individuals in the group and community. In additional to bringing together members of various cultural groups, communities and peoples it has a marked educational role.
In addition to the mute circle dance, the hrvatski tanac, or mišnjača (the term deriving from mijeh, the ancient aerophonic instrument with a bag, which accompanies the dance) is also found in Lika, a mountainous part of Croatia. The instrument is widely played in the mountainous region and is also known on the Adriatic islands.
The duda is a lovely old instrument. It is a type of bagpipe that has almost completely disappeared from our area. But not so long ago the duda was played in Bilogora, Moslavina, Posavina, Turopolje, Podravina, Međimurje and Croatian Zagorje. The duda is very similar to bagpipes, but it is distinguished by the number of reeds in the chanter, by the final sound, and by the manner and technique of playing. There are three or four reeds in the duda pipe made of elder tree wood or reed. Bagpipes have only two reeds. Because of the greater number of reeds, the sound of the duda is richer and very specific. The duda is most often made in the key of F, although there are dudas in the keys of E, G, and even in the key of A (although this is very rare). In Croatia there are two types of duda: four-part and five-part dudas, the latter found in Podravina. The difference between them is in the number of reeds in the pipe, and therefore, also in the playing technique.
Croatian dance traditionally refers to a series of folk-dances, the most common being the Kolo. Croatian dance varies by region, and can be found throughout the various regions of Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Serbia, Hungary, and Romania. The traditional kolo is a circle dance, where dancers follow each other around the circle, is relatively simple in form and widespread throughout other Slavic countries. Due to immigration, Croatian folk dance groups are prevalent throughout the diaspora, most notably the United States, Canada, Australia, and Germany.
Music is a very important part of Croatian folk dance, with of the most common instruments used are the tamburica, lijerica, jedinka, šargija, bagpipe, and accordion. Today, kolo is danced at weddings, baptisms, holidays such as Easter, and ethnic festivals.
|Once upon a time when giants lived on the Earth, a man was walking along a river bank. He was alone. Only the wind played around his shoulders, running here and there through the reeds that grew along the riverbank. Suddenly, he heard a strange sound, different from any other sound he had ever heard before. Silence, then the sound again. Silence, then the sound again. With every gust of wind, he would hear the sound, which stopped as the wind abated. The man approached the reeds to discover what creature made such strange sounds. He did not see anything, only one hollow, split reed stem that stood out from the rest. The wind blew again, the reed vibrated and he heard the sound again. The man’s heart was full of joy; he took the broken reed and blew into it. Since that time, he was never alone again.
Although the times and the world are different, I believe that even today, somewhere deep in the forest the fairies dance when someone somewhere plays the bagpipes, shepherd’s pipes or at least a twin-reed.
Let us now look at this miraculous world of old Croatian traditional instruments.
* Gajde , Gaida , Croatian bagpipes ,
Croatian national costume or Croatian dress (Croatian: narodna nošnja, plural: narodne nošnje) refers to the traditional clothing worn by Croats living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, with smaller communities in Hungary, Montenegro, and Romania. Since today the majority of Croats wear Western-style clothing on a daily basis, the national costumes are most often worn with connection to special events and celebrations, mostly at ethnic festivals, religious holidays, weddings, and by dancing groups who dance the traditional Croatian kolo, or circle dance. Each Croatian region has its own specific variety of costume that vary in style, material, color, shape, and form. Much of these regional costumes were influenced by the Austrian, Hungarian, German, Italian, or Turkish presence, due to whichever power ruled the region.
For the female dress, attire consists of a plain white dress or blouse (košulja) or underskirt (skutići), which is usually the basic form of the costume. It is then added with other clothing and decorations, which may include another overdress or skirt (kotula), a decorative jacket (đaketa, djaketa, paletun or koret), apron (ogrnjač or pregjača), scarf (ubrsac), kerchief or shawl which are usually decorated with a floral or animal motif. The embroidery is very intricate and is usually red, white, blue, gold, or black. Her jewellery, ranging from necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings could consist of gold, silver, beads, pearls, or even corral from the Adriatic. Hair is interwoven into one or two braids and decorated with red ribbons for girls or women that are unmarried, while married women wear woven or silk kerchiefs on their heads. Costumes of brides consists of a crown or wreath often made of flowers (vijenac) and large amounts of jewelry. The woman's head could be adorned by a kerchief, cap, or a headdress, the most famous being the headdresses worn by the women from the island of Pag. The amount of paraphernalia a woman is adorned with, either very much or rarely any at all, depends on the region. Completing the costume are stockings (bječve) or knee-high socks, and boots or a special kind of sandal called opanci.
For the males, the national dress usually consists on loose, wide slacks (gaće širkoke) and a shirt, and both are usually either black or white, or both. The man may wear a decorative or plain vest (fermen or jačerma), over his shirt, and possibly a waistcoat. The man almost always wears a cap, varying in shape and design depending on the region. The most famous cap is perhaps the Lika cap, worn in the Lika region for centuries by the people. Footwear, like the women's', consists mainly on boots and sandals. Because of the weather, certain places often have woolen vests, cloaks, coats, or fur for the colder regions, and silk and light linens for the warmer climates.
There are four main types of costumes associated with the regions: the Pannonian style in the north and east, the continental or Dinaric style, and the coastal style on the coast.