NON-MATERIAL HERITAGE OF SLAVONIA
Non-material cultural heritage is internationally recognized as an important and vital guideline for preserving cultural identity. Its preservation promotes and develops cultural variety, human creativity and has a significant role in the area of national and international development by promoting tolerance and penetration between cultures. On the UNESCO list of protected international non-material heritages there are 12 Croatian features, and three of them are closely connected to Đakovo.
1.Gorjanaladies/Queens (on the list since 2009)
The queens from the town of Gorjana are girls who in the spring, on the holiday of Pentecost, in a line go through the town and perform a ritual made of characteristic songs and dances with swords. They are divided into queens and kings; approximately ten kings carry swords and male hats decorated with flowers, and half the number of queens have on their heads, like brides, white wreaths. From the broader repertoire of queen texts they choose songs appropriate for the families they are visiting; mostly they sing to a girl, a young man or a young bride. Then the kings perform a dance with swords and the queen comments the dance figures with a song. Following this is a national dance with musicians where the members of the household can also join. After they are treated with food and drinks, the parade goes to another house. The second day of Pentecost they go to the neighbouring town or a nearby city. At the end there is a mutual feast and party at the house of one of the participants.
THE CULTURAL ARTISTIC SOCIETY:
2. Production of licitar (cookies)– on the list since 2010
The art of producing gingerbread products appeared in certain European convents during the middle ages and when it arrived to Croatia, it also became a trade. Gingerbread tradesmen, who also produce honey and candles, worked in the area of northern Croatia. The process of producing gingerbread products demands skill and speed. The recipe is the same with all producers and includes flour, sugar, water, soda bicarbonate and of course spices. The licitar is formed with moulds, is baked, dried and coloured in various eatable colours. Each tradesman decorates the licitarin a special way, often with pictures, small mirrors and poems or messages. The licitar heart is the most frequent motive and is often prepared for weddings, decorated with the names of the newlyweds and the date of the wedding. Every gingerbread tradesman works in a certain area without disturbing other tradesmen. Through the centuries the trade has been handed down from generation to generation; at the beginning it was handed down to men, but today to women as well. The licitar has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Croatian identity. Today’s gingerbread tradesmen are key participants in local celebrations, events and gatherings, which gives a sense of belonging, identity and continuity to the local population.
In Osijek there is only one active gingerbread – candle workshop. It was founded in 1953 and it nurtures the traditional way of producing licitars and candles. Licitars are unique, handmade products from dough which gather attention with their beauty and symbolic. The most frequent motifs are hearts, babies, and a horse with a characteristic red colour with various decorations. A specially recognizable way of decorating licitars was created in the workshop Blažeković and they have become one of the original souvenirs of Slavonia and Baranje.
BLAŽEKOVIĆ MEDIČAR I VOSKAR: Reisnerova 131, 31000 Osijek, 031 372 546, 091 6287 536, owners and managers Antonija and Josip Ranogajec.
3.Bećarac (singing) – on the list since 2011
Bećarac is a vocal or vocal – instrumental way of singing which is popular in the area of Slavonia, Baranje and Srijem. It has merry and happy texts and is most often with allegories and metaphors. The name comes from the Turkish word bekar, which in Croatia marks a young bachelor, man, single man, a happy man prone to enjoying life, food, drinks and women. It is usually sung at weddings and other occasions when people gather to enjoy themselves.
Bećarac is a music type which in a certain melodic form and its numerous versions is sung through the contents of various double lyrics, most often love and metaphorical erotica; praised is ones virtues, beauty, capabilities, wealth and others and competitors are made fun of and provoked.
When the bećarac is sung, there are usually two or more leading singers who follow the group singing and the music of national instruments, once bagpipes and tambourines and then tambourine bands with a violin, harmonica and tambourines. The bećarac is usually performed so that the first verse or part of the verse, which creates a certain meaning, is sung by one singer and then he is joined by other singers. The second verse is usually a humorous antithesis to the first verse, and is usually sung by all of the singers. The verses are usually made up during the performance itself, taking as themes present individuals, events and contexts in which the performance is being done. Singers with good dictions and a strong voice are respected and who know the repertoire of old and new double lyrics and who are imaginative, skilled and quick in forming new double lyrics.