Safet Hasanbegovic

Dr. Aida Vidan 2



“Embroidered with Gold, Strung with Pearls : The Traditional Ballads of Bosnian Women”

(Copyright 2003 The Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature.)


DISCLAIMER AND COPYRIGHT. The text presented here is intended for NONCOMMERCIAL USE and for the benefit of those who are not able to obtain the printed version.




40 Bosnian traditional ballads are now available to the English reader in a bilingual edition offering a selection of never before translated or published materials from Harvard University's Parry Collection.


Table of Contents


Series Foreword                                    ix

          Stephen Mitchell

          Gregory Nagy

Foreword                                           xi

          Mary Louise Lord

Acknowledgements                                   xiii

Introduction                                       1   (1)

      Songs by Women Performers in the Milman      2   (10)

      Parry Collection of Oral Literature

      Problems of Genre and Terminology            12  (19)

      Towards a Classification of Ballads from     31  (6)

      the Milman Parry Collection

      Questions of Microstructures and             37  (28)

      Macrostructures in the South Slavic

      Traditional Ballad

        Instances of Fixity and Near-Fixity        37  (4)

        Newly Composed Songs                       41  (3)

        Between Fixity and Novelty: the Spectrum   44  (1)

        Between Fixity and Novelty: Pronounced     45  (6)

        Textual Stability

        Between Fixity and Novelty: Relative       51  (4)

        Textual Stability

        The Theme, the Pattern, and the Plot       55  (5)

        In Pursuit of a Theme                      60  (3)

        Formula and Dialectal Influences           63  (2)

      The Role of Mythology                        65  (7)

      Formulaic Language in Translation            72  (7)

  Part I Background

  Basic Biographical Information                   79  (2)

  Conversations                                    81  (16)

      Hasnija Hrustanovic's biography and          81  (2)

      family background as told by her son

      Ibrahim Hrustanovic

      Emina Sakovic's biography and family         83  (1)

      background as told by her son Hamdija


      Conversation with Dula Dizdarevic            84  (6)

        Part I                                     84  (3)

        Part II                                    87  (3)

      Interview with the collectors Hamdija        90  (7)

      Sakovic and Ibrahim Hrustanovic

  Part II Songs

  Songs                                            97  (158)

    Text 12220 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written     97  (22)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

      Text 2887 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written    99  (3)

      down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

      Text 2889 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written    102 (2)

      down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

      Text 1032 by Emina Sakovic, written down     104 (2)

      by Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 1992 by Emina Sakovic, written down     106 (2)

      by Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2331 by Dula Dizdarevic, written        108 (3)

      down by Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2674 by Zulka Tanovic, written down     111 (3)

      by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

      Text 2903 by Zehra Sakovic, written down     114 (5)

      by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 1035 by Emina Sakovic, written down by    119 (2)

    Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 2274 by Emina Sakovic, written down by    121 (14)

    Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2828 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written    123 (1)

      down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

      Text 2224 by Kana Tanovic, written down      124 (6)

      by Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2344 by Delva Sakovic, written down     130 (2)

      by Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2544 by Haska Dilic, written down by    132 (3)

      Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 3073 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      135 (3)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2641 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      138 (7)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

      Text 2192 by Kana Tanovic, written down      140 (2)

      by Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2251 by Dula Dizdarevic, written        142 (3)

      down by Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 2036 by Emina Sakovic, written down by    145 (9)

    Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2839 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written    150 (4)

      down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2615 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      154 (2)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2451 by Emina Sakovic, written down by    156 (2)

    Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 2872 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      158 (2)

    by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2858 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      160 (4)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

      Text 2407 by Hata Ovcina, written down by    161 (3)

      Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 2846 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      164 (2)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 11686 by Dula Dizdarevic, written down    166 (5)

    by Halid Dizdarevic

    Text 2611 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      171 (3)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 12207 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written     174 (1)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2129 by Emina Sakovic, written down by    175 (9)

    Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 11747 by Dula Dizdarevic, written       181 (3)

      down by Halid Dizdarevic

    Text 3047 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      184 (2)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 3074 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      186 (2)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 11754 by Dula Dizdarevic, written down    188 (4)

    by Halid Dizdarevic

      Text 11724 by Dula Dizdarevic, written       188 (1)

      down by Halid Dizdarevic

      Text 1318 by Dula Dizdarevic, written        189 (1)

      down by Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 1036 by Emina Sakovic, written down     190 (1)

      by Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 6501a by Raba Zvizdic, phonograph       190 (2)

      records 3596-97

    Text 971 by Emina Sakovic, written down by     192 (6)

    Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 12227 by Hasnija Hrustanovic,           194 (2)

      written down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

      Text 7086 by Dula Dizdarevic, written        196 (2)

      down by Halid Dizdarevic

    Text 10080 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written     198 (2)

    down by Delva Hrustanovic

    Text 10062 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written     200 (2)

    down by Delva Hrustanovic

    Text 2586 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      202 (2)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2314 by Dula Dizdarevic, written down     204 (3)

    by Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2450 by Dula Dizdarevic, written        205 (2)

      down by Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 2771 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      207 (3)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2854 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      210 (6)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

      Text 11725 by Dula Dizdarevic, written       212 (2)

      down by Halid Dizdarevic

      Text 6450 by Hajrija Sakovic, phonograph     214 (2)

      records 3489-3493

    Text 2692 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      216 (2)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2702 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      218 (1)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2740 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      219 (1)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 1990 by Emina Sakovic, written down by    220 (2)

    Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 2897 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      222 (3)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2334 by Emina Sakovic, written down by    225 (2)

    Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 2460 by Emina Sakovic, written down by    227 (4)

    Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 1070 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      231 (6)

    down by Camila Sakovic

      Text 2343 by Delva Sakovic, written down     232 (3)

      by Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2233 by Najla Sakovic, written down     235 (2)

      by Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 2127 by Emina Sakovic, written down by    237 (3)

    Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2122 by Emina Sakovic, written down     238 (1)

      by Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2169 by Mena Tanovic, written down      238 (2)

      by Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 2727 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      240 (1)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2315 by Emina Sakovic, written down by    241 (3)

    Hamdija Sakovic

      Text 2618 by Dula Dizdarevic, written        242 (2)

      down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 3037 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      244 (3)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2772 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      247 (2)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

    Text 2291 by Dula Dizdarevic, written down     249 (2)

    by Hamdija Sakovic

    Text 2857 by Hasnija Hrustanovic, written      251 (4)

    down by Ibrahim Hrustanovic

Glossary                                           255 (2)

Selected Bibliography                              257 (10)

Index                                              267


Zlatom veze, a biserje niže

Embroidered with Gold, Strung with Pearls : The Traditional Ballads of Bosnian Women. Aida Vidan. Copyright 2003 The Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature.

Knjiga je dobila Heldt Translation nagradu Društva za žene u slavističkim studijama, ogranka American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS).

(usmenoknjiževna preoblika engleskog promotivnog teksta:)

Južnoslavenske narodne balade svojom su ljepotom i izrazom intrigirale mnoge, od Goethea do Milmana Parryja i Alberta Lorda. Sada se one predstavljaju anglofonim čitaocima u dvojezičnom izdanju s izborom materijala iz zbirke Milman Parry (pretraživa baza podataka u pripremi! nf) na Harvard University. Svih četrdeset usmenoknjiževnih tekstova, od kojih se mnogi ovdje javljaju u različitim inačicama, izvele su Bosanke, a prikupljene su u području Gackog (BiH), tijekom tridesetih. U opsežnom uvodu, Vidan naznačava potrebu da se teorije Parryja i Lorda dopune širim etnološkim, kulturološkim i povijesnim podacima, kako bismo razumjeli: kakva je postojanost pjesme? Kako se ona širi i prenosi? Kako se povezuje s mitologijom?
Zadnjih desetljeća postoji neuravnoteženost u proučavanju južnoslavenske narodne poezije, neuravnoteženost u korist epskih pjesama; na nju ova knjiga upozorava, pokazujući, istovremeno, kako svaki pjesnički žanr zadržava vlastite stilske posebnosti, premda se oba sastoje od istih temeljnih elemenata. Osim poredbene analize građe iz Parryjeve zbirke, Vidan navodi brojne objavljene i neobjavljene primjere hrvatskog i srpskog (valjda i bosanskog, op. prepj.) usmenog pjesništva.

Knjigu nemaju: NSK Zagreb, knjižnice Filozofskog fakulteta u Zagrebu. Na internetu nisam našao nikakav prikaz na južnoslavenskim jezicima (nažalost, ni bilo kakav mukte čitljiv; ne daju ni Oral Tradition, ni Slavic Review; let's write one for ourselves!)

Snimke iz Parryjeve zbirke muzički je transkribirao nitko drugi do li Bela Bartok; piše o tome 1942 (dok je Barac, recimo, bio u KZSTG).



Kod pripreme tekstova za ovaj dio stranice konsultovao sam mnoge izvore koji govore o radu Milmana Parry-ja i saradnika na skupljanju narodnih umotvorina, ali i tekstove koji govore o gatačkoj epskoj i lirskoj pjesmi.Veliki dio nadjenih napisa nisam uključio u tekst, jer su oni manje interesantni za čitaoca koji se ne bavi ovom problematikom.




Krajem marta l935. godine Parry je u jednom svom izvještaju opisao sam postupak razgovora i postavljanja pitanja pjevačima: “Moje sve veće iskustvo i poznavanje ljudi, guslara i pjesama, naučili su me metodima rada pomoću kojih, u to sam uvjeren, mogu da ostvarim sabiranje najboljeg materijala koji je pristupačan u oblasti južnoslavenskih pjesama. Naročito mi je koristilo moje iskustvo u sastavljanju niza pitanja koja postavljam guslarima pred mikrofonom o njihovoj vještini, njihovom životu, o njihovoj društvenoj sredini, i ja vjerujem da ću donijeti natrag u Ameriku zbirku rukopisa i ploča koja je jedinstvena u svijetu za pročavanje funkcionisanja i života cijele jedne usmene narativne poezije. Snimljeni ko-mentar Avde Međedovića o pjesmi Ženidba Smailagić Mehe, koju je on ispjevao u l2.000 stihova, svakako je jedinstven u zbirkama narodnih epskih pjesama. Rezultati mojih zapažanja na terenu kao i primjena tih rezultata na ispitivanje ostalih epskih poezija iznose se u posebnoj knjizi The Singer of Tales, koja će uskoro biti objavljena u izdanju Harvard University Press-a u seriji “Harvard Studies on Comparative Literature”. 

U uvodu knjige objavljene 1953. citirane su riječi M. Parryja pa se kaže: “ ... Ova zbirka tekstova sačuvanih usmenih predanjem nije sakupljena sa namjerom da dobijemo jednu novu knjigu uz već postojeće obimne zbirke ove poezije, već radi dobijanja podataka na osnovu kojih bi se mogli izvući opći zaključci koji se mogu primijeniti na cjelokupno usmeno pjesništvo ...  

... Ne samo što možemo pratiti kako pjevač sastavlja riječi i rečenice i stihove, već također i čitave pasuse i teme, možemo vidjeti kako jedna cijela pjesma živi i prelazi od jednog čovjeka do drugog, s jedne generacije na drugu, prelazi preko polja i planina, pa i preko granica jednog jezika i, još više od toga,kako cijela usmena poezija živi i umire” 

 Nakon što je l933. godine dobio potporu od strane Američkog savjeta učenih društava, kome se prethodno obratio za podršku svome poduhvatu, Parry je otputovao u bivšu Jugoslaviju gdje je putem snimanja i zapisivanja skupljao usmenu građu u Novom Pazaru, Bijelom Polju, Kolašinu, Gacku, Stocu, Trebinju, Bihaću, Cazinu, Kulen Vakufu i nekim mjestima Dalmacije, Crne Gore i Makedonije. Tokom prvog putovanja u naše krajeve Parry je obišao oblasti koje je želio da obuhvati u svom radu da bi se tokom drugog putovanja, u kojem je uzeo učešća tada još student slavistike Albert Lord, posvetio sakupljanju usmene pjesničke građe. Poslije tragične Parryjeve smrti, neposredno po povratku iz tadašnje Jugoslavije (u decembru 1935. godine) njegov rad je nastavio Lord. Tako je 1937. godine ponovo došao da bi se izvršila transkripcija od oko 500 tekstova koje je Parry snimio na gramofonskim pločama. Tokom maja i juna 1950. godine i avgusta 1951. Lord je posjetio mjesta u kojima je Parry boravio prije rata i ovom prilikom sakupio otprilike 500 tekstova dodavši ih zbirci koja se danas čuva u posebnoj “Parryjevoj kolekciji” smještenoj u biblioteci Wiedner na Harvardskom univerzitetu. U poslu oko prikupljanja građe dvojici istraživača dragocjenu pomoć su pružili zapisivači i pomoćnici, prije rata Nikola Vujinović Parryju i poslije rata Miloš Velimirović Lordu.

 Dr Enes Kujundžić

Bošnjačka epika i homersko pitanje

Dokumentarna osnova





O epskoj tradiciji Nikšića i drugih crnogorskih gradova koji su bili pod osmanskom vlašću svjedoči  izuzetna, ali na žalost nezavršena epska pjesma koja je u narodu  poznata pod imenom “Krnovka”.  Nju je pjevao narodni pjesnik-pjevač Mujo Džubur iz Gacka.  “Krnovku” je od pomenutog Džubura i Muja  Selimotića iz Dobropolja u Hercegovini, zabilježio Stevan Delić, a pomenuti  pjevači su je čuli od nekog Sukića, koji je bio jedan od nikšićkih  muhadžira nakon 1878. godine.  Interesantno je dodati da se dvije obrade  “Krnovke” nalaze u zaostavštini Koste Hörmanna, i da su rado bile pjevane  ne samo među nikšićkim muslimanskim stanovništvom, već i na znatno širem području.



Pregledajući mnoštvo varijanata poznate pjesme Boj na Krnovu, kako  muslimanskih tako i crnogorskih, koje su u narodu poznate kao Krnovke,  dok je kod Vuka Karadžića slična pjesma objavljena pod naslovom Junaštvo  i smrt Lopušine Vuka, smatramo da je najbolja ona koju je zabilježio Stevan Delić, koju je jedne ramazanske noći pjevao Mujo Džubur,  rodom iz Gacka. Delić nije stigao da je zapiše cijelu, a pošto je Džubur  neposredno iza toga umro, pjesma je ostala nezavršena. Ipak, ona i takva  ima najrazuđeniju i najosmišljeniju kompoziciju (zabilježen je 771 stih), sa vrlo interesantnim početkom, dok Delić kaže da je ostala još jedna trećina  nezavršena. Pjesma je znatno duža od varijante koju je zabilježio Vuk (507  stihova), sa vrlo interesantnim početkom, koji u razvijenoj i uspjeloj gradaciji, poređenjem podgoričkih, kolašinskih i nikšićkih junaka muslimana -  prilikom brđanskog odlučivanja koga će napasti - motiviše dramski zaplet  u pjesmi, a prosočenje (potkazivanje) na crnogorskoj strani (od Liješa  Nešo - što sadrže gotovo sve varijante), doprinosi uvjerljivosti pjesme, odnosno  njenoj epskoj snazi koja podrazumijeva vrhunskog narodnog tvorca -pjevača.


O Krnovki, njen zapisivač, Stevan Delić, ostavio je zapis: "Dugo sam  gledao i tražio pjevača da kako pjesmu nadopunim, ili je cijelu zabilježim.  Kazaše mi Muja Selimotića iz Dobropolja, tim više, jer su njih oba učili tu pjesmu od nekog Sukića iz Nikšića, što se po padu Nikšića naselio u Propolju, kod Džubura. Osim toga oba su Muja zajedno drugovali, zajedno hodili, spavali, jeli, pili i pjevali. U tome sam stalno držao, e ću pjesmu  ipak u cjelini imati i zasebno štampati, kao što na molbu prijatelja, obećah im, dobavim ga i zabilježim je. No šta mislite: je li se slagala s Džuburovom?...  Iako su oba Muja od jednog pjevača, Sukića, istu pjesmu primili i zapamtili, zajedno hodili i pjevali, opet sam tu pjesmu od Selimotića zabilježio kao varijantu Džuburove; nijesu se slagale! Ona je kraća, a i lošija - tako je prosuđuju. Jer dok je Džubur pjevao kako je djevojka trčala   Nišić, našla građane (Nišićane) u džamiji da klanjaju, javila im za udarac brđanski, kako je koji dopadao i u boj ulazio, u Selimotića ni traga o tome.  Ipak ne kažem da je Selimotić loš pjevač - to mu je zanat i lijepu mu  korist donosi, osobito uz ramazan; no svaki je pjevao po svome načinu - ćejifu i ukusu. I sada su mi jasne one silne varijante kod naših guslara; a  radi uporede iznijeću i Selimotićevu - ona se više primiče Vukovoj ("Junaštvo i smrt Lopušine Vuka", IV, 54).13


Tamo je među guslarima osobito bio cijenjen Murat Džubur iz Gacka, kao i ujo Selimotić. (Opširnije o bosanskoj narodnoj epici vidjeti: Prof. dr Matthias Murko, Bericht über eine Reise (Studium der Volksepik in Bosnien und Hercegovina im Jahre 1913), Wien, 1915., 14-33.


Čuveni guslari na Pešteri

Rešo Hadžić ili Alihadžić(1865- ), iz Gujića, po pričanju Ibra (Hontića)   ajrovića (1922) iz Melaja „bio je viđen i ugledan čo’ek srednjeg  rasta, širok i kako ga ja znam sijed, sa brkovima. Bio je i musljihun. Gudeo  je u hanu u selu Melaje koji je drž’o Redžep Dukađinac. Prekrstio bi noge  na palače i pev’o do dockan, do u neki vakat.“46 – sjetno priča o njemu naš  sagovornik. Prema pisanju Vehbije Muratovića, Rešo Ali Hadžić iz sela  ujiće je bio daleko najbolji guslar na Donjoj Pešteri. Živio je u imućnoj  bitelji i sa svojih deset godina imao priliku u svojoj kući učiti pjesme. Otac i daidže Rešovi, hercegovački muhadžiri iz Gacka su takođe bili guslari.


Hörmann (1850-1921), tokom 1888. i 1889. godine sakupljao narodne jesme po Bosni i Hercegovini i u okolini Gacka zabilježio dvije pjesme,“Hamza Mijatović i Pivljanin Bajo” i “Ropstvo kadune Cerić Ali-bega”,u okolini Nevesinja jednu pod naslovom “Hrnjica Mujo u Janoku zarobljen”. ovom kontekstu značajno je spomenuti da su sa područja Golije,kraškog bila koje pripada Nikšićkom kraju, i dva znamenita epičara čije je umijeće zauvijek sačuvano zahvaljujući Vuku Stefanoviću Karadžiću, a to su Tešan Gavrilov Podrugović, rodom iz golijskog sela Kazanci, i znameniti slijepi guslar Filip Višnjić.  Vuk ni od jednog drugog pjevača nije zabilježio toliki broj pjesama kao od Tešana iz čijeg su repertoara i pjesme: “Hajka Atlagića i Jovan Bećar” i “Rišnjanin hadžija i Limun trgovac”.  Podrugoviću i Višnjiću svakako treba pridružiti i Starca Miliju iz Rovaca iz razloga što i to područje, u širem smislu riječi, djelimično pripada i Nikšićkom kraju. Karakteristično je, u smislu prebroji 327 stihova. Pogledati: Zlatan Čolaković, Milman, Nikola, Ilija i Avdo Međedović

Čuveni guslari iz Gacka bili su Fejzaga Zvizdić i Sadik Šehović. Za Šehovića je ezana priča da je pjevao i knjazu Nikoli Petroviću i „sedmorici konzula“ i da je za to od knjaza bio nagrađen sa 25 napoleona. Njihov najbolji učenik bio je Avdija Agović koji je odselio u Sjenicu na Pešterskoj visoravni i tamo smatran jednim od boljih guslara. Po njegovoj ličnoj izjavi, mogao je pjevati neprekidno i po deset časova

(Vojin Vuković, Iz narodne epske poezije sjeničkih muslimana, Zbornik radova, knj. XIV, Etnografski institut, knj. 2, SAN, Beograd 1951, 245).

 Separate u potpunosti možete naći na :


Hasnija Hrustanović

Text 10080; notebook Gacko 102; written down by Delva Hrustanović


Alibegovica was so lovely,

no one was her equal in the whole of Bosnia,

in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In vain her slenderness and beauty,

since she had no child of her own,                                                   5

and Alibeg scolded her,

scolded her every day and night.

Alibegovica said to him:

“Listen to me, Alibeg!

Marry me to your treasurer,                                                               10

you take a lovely maiden for yourself,

and you will see who has no offspring.”

The bey could scarcely wait to do so,

he married his wife to his treasurer,

and he took a lovely maiden for himself.                                          15

Scarcely a year passed,

and the treasurer’s wife gave birth to a son,

but not a sign of anything in the bey’s family.

There scarcely passed the second year,

the treasurer’s wife gave birth to a second son,                             20

and there scarcely passed the third year,

the treasurer’s wife gave birth to a third son,

but not a sign of anything in the bey’s family.

Alibeg sent word,

sent word to the treasurer’s wife:                                                      25

“Please send me your three sons[1]                  

so I can see them while I still live.”

When the treasurer’s wife heard this,

she readied her three sons                                

and dressed them in nicest attire.                                                      30

She advised the tavern-keeper Mara thus

on how to escort them to the bey,

how to show the children to him:

“Place the oldest one by the bey’s shoulders,

the middle one by his knee,                                                                35

and sit the youngest on his lap.”

When the bey had a look at the children,

he gave them the best gifts he had:

to the oldest untamed thoroughbreds,

to the middle brocade and velvet,                                                     40

to the youngest countless treasures.                                                              

When the bey bestowed this on the children,

he said this and parted with his soul.[2]                            

The young Alibegovica remained alone,

remained alone, woe to her mother.                                                  45





Hasnija Hrustanović

Text 2771; notebook Gacko 20; written down by Ibrahim Hrustanović


When Alibeg came from Novi,

as soon as he came, he was overcome by lust.

He was causing misery for his wife:

“My faithful wife, I will remarry.”

“Get married, agha, if you wish.                                                         5

I will help you beat the wheat,

I will send my son with your wedding guests,

my own son, Rizvanbeg.”

Alibeg gathered the wedding guests,

gathered the wedding guests, went for the maiden.                      10

Just as the bey arrived in Novi,

Rizvanbeg joined the wedding guests.

Rizvanbeg’s mother had given this advice to him:

“O my son, Rizvanbeg!

When you are on the plain of Novi,                                                 15

lower your bay’s tassels to its hooves,

and cover it with golden lynx skin.

Do not look up at the sky and clouds,

but look at the green grass.

The young and the old will look at you,                                          20

including the maiden in the white tower.

When you come to the marble courtyard,

scatter some golden Magyar ducats around.

When you enter the maiden’s room,

sprinkle some small pearls on her.                                                     25

The lovely maiden will ask you:

‘By God, Rizvanbeg!

For whom has your father asked my hand?’

You will say this to her, son:

‘By God, lovely maiden, for himself!’                                               30

And you will say to her, son:

‘When you come to our white manor,

my old father will come out

to help you off the sorrel mount.

Do not allow him to help you off,                                                      35

but ask him for whom you have been brought.’“

When they were on the plain of Novi,

Rizvanbeg was riding his horse,

he let his bay’s rein loose,

and its tassels down to its hooves.                                                  40

The bey looked at the green grass,

the young and the old looked at him,

the maiden looked at him from her window,

she looked at him and she said:

“My mother, dear parent!                                                                   45

Look at that handsome brave man,

marvelous brave man on the bay mount.

Lucky woman who marries him!”

Right then the festive wedding guests

dismounted from their horses in front of the courtyard,               50

and they entered into the courtyard.

If you could only see Rizvanbeg!

When he entered the marble courtyard,

he scattered some golden Magyar ducats around.

They went to the upper floors,                                                          55

the bey asked for the lovely maiden.

They brought the lovely maiden,

the bey sprinkled some pearls on her.

They spent three bright days there.

When the fourth morning dawned,                                                   60

the guest-in-chief cried out, the band sounded,

pipes and trumpets began playing:

“Ready are the wedding guests, ready is the maiden!”

Right then Rizvanbeg entered,

right then he entered the maiden’s room.                                        65

The lovely maiden asked him:

“By God, Rizvanbeg!

Who are you taking me to marry today?”

“By God, lovely maiden!

I am taking you to my old father.”                                                     70

The maiden hissed like a poisonous serpent:

“By God, Rizvanbeg!

If it is to your father, I will not make a step,

I will marry you, Rizvanbeg.”

The bey began advising the maiden                                                 75

just as his mother advised him.

Then the wedding guests set out,

they took away the lovely maiden.

When they were in front of the white tower,

Alibeg came out                                                                                   80

to help the maiden off the horse.

The lovely maiden said:

“By God, I will not get off, Alibeg,

until I see for whom I have been brought.”

“By God, for me, lovely maiden!”                                                      85

“I do not want you, old grandpa!

I have not grown to be kissed by an old man.”

Alibeg was embarrassed,

and he brought out Enverbeg,

Enverbeg, his youngest son,                                                             90

he brought him out to help the maiden off.

The maiden did not want to get off her sorrel,

and she said to Enverbeg:

“I have not come to kiss a weakling.”

The grandpa was embarrassed again,                                              95

he took out brocade and velvet:

“Get off the horse, may fortune never find you!”

“By God, I will not, I swear by my life!

My heart desires no brocade or velvet.”

And she turned her horse out of the courtyard,                             100

and then Alibeg shouted:

“O my son, Rizvanbeg!

Help the lovely maiden off the horse,

take her to the white tower,

and take her to be your faithful wife.”                                              105

Rizvanbeg obeyed him,

and he sprang to the sorrel mount,

helped the maiden off, took her to the tower,

and he took her to be his faithful wife.


[1] For an explanation of the adjective “posobca”, used in the original but omitted here, see footnote 43.

[2] What Alibeg said before he died is unfortunately omitted.



Interview with the collectors Hamdija Šaković and Ibrahim Hrustanović


Interview conducted by Nikola Ivanov Vujnović in Gacko, 1935.

Hard cover notebook 11, phonograph records 2989, 2991, 3004-3009


Nikola: I would like you to tell me about this, for example, where did you collect the songs, how did you collect them, what troubles did you have? (...)

Ibrahim: (...) We endured the worst hardships, the worst difficulties, snow, cold weather, while walking around and collecting these songs. We encountered difficulties collecting from old Muslim women who still cling to old conservative customs and do not want to have any contact with young men. (...)

Nikola: Where did you collect them?

Hamdija: The Gacko area, that is, the Gacko district, which has a number of villages that have preserved folk poetry better than the town itself. Having visited these villages and collected songs, I can say that I have not visited all of them because there are many, but I did my best to visit as many as I could. (...)

Nikola: Was it difficult to find women who were willing to tell songs?

Hamdija: Very difficult, because even those who knew songs did not want to tell them. I do not know why, perhaps they were ashamed in front of us, young men, to tell or sing a song. Or some demanded a reward to be given to them, since these are mostly poor people willing to take advantage of every opportunity. This was one of the greatest difficulties.

Nikola: What do you think, were these difficulties caused more by shame or by a desire to be materially rewarded?

Hamdija: More because of shame.

Nikola: But I do not understand, how come these old women, for example, are still full of shame? You yourselves are Muslims, aren’t you, and you are known here and such. And why wouldn’t they? (...)

Hamdija: In town, they were much better than in villages, because we are not known there. We look to them like some strangers. (...) They would call us infidels.

Nikola: Do you think, these women who told you songs, did they know a lot of old songs?

Ibrahim: Sure they did. (...) We would find a woman and estimate her ability. Perhaps she is not capable to put two words together by herself, and it is clear that she learned these old songs.[1] We encountered this a number of times: she begins a song and then knows only half of it. Half she knows, further she does not. We would tell her: “Try to remember!” and this and that. And we would see that she could not remember that song. Had she composed the song herself, she would have been able to add something, but since she cannot we see that she heard that song from older women.

Nikola: Did [these women] know well the customs of old Muslim women?

Ibrahim: They knew the customs well. Some of the songs that we have collected are sung “u ravan.”[2] Some are sung by the crib, rocking a child. Some are so called “kunjavice.” Three or four girls hold one another under the arm on one side, [the girls] from the other side walk towards them, and they sing and respond to one another. These songs that we have collected are sung in several ways. Some are sung in the kolo as dances, some are sung like this, sitting down, some with the baking pan. I do not know whether you have seen it, you probably have, with the baking pan? The pan is being revolved like this by hand and then she sings with the pan, the voice is echoed. Because the pan is revolved, it moves the air and the voice itself, it vibrates. And the song sounds much better.

Nikola: How did they tell songs? Did they usually narrate them or would they, for example, sometimes sing?

Ibrahim: Both ways. Some would narrate them, some would say: “I do not know which way.” Then we would say to sing. And then she would sing. While she would sing, we would write those songs. (...) The song would last and last. She would sing different melodies, while she is saying “aaa” we can write the whole word or sentence.

Nikola: Was it sometimes difficult to write the songs down?

Hamdija: With some women it was difficult.

Nikola: In which way was it difficult?

Hamdija: Some sing fast, some slowly. While she is singing, I cannot write it out, but I have to skip to the next line, and I have to stop her. “Stop,” I say, “I cannot follow you.”

Ibrahim: But there is other stuff. In some songs there are many Turkish words that we ourselves do not understand. (...) Then I cannot understand it correctly and write it down. And she sings with deepest emotions, and I say: “Stop, tell me what this is. I do not know Turkish,” and such.

Nikola: Would she get angry when you would stop her like that, and would not, for example, continue?

Ibrahim: Some would, some would not. Some who know us would stop and explain, some would say: “By God, go away. Why are you stopping me, I do not know now, I have forgotten everything.” (...)

Nikola: Would they tell you bad verses, what do you think?

Hamdija: By God, there are bad ones. There are.

Nikola: What would you do then? For example, did you fix them?

Ibrahim: No.

Hamdija: We never fixed them. We wrote as we heard the woman sing. Exactly as she would say it, we would put it down on paper. (...)

Ibrahim: In numerous songs I would find that [the singer] put together some town, for example Mostar, and some mountain, which may be near Livno or Duvno. She says, somebody crossed such and such mountain and arrived to such and such town. Being familiar with geography, I know that these two places are not close to one another. But she says: “This is how it is sung.” Fine, if it is sung like that, I will write it down even though it is incorrect.

Nikola: When you were writing, have you encountered, for example, instances when the singer would repeat a section, that she would forget and sing the second time in a different way from the first time?

Ibrahim: One encounters it, but rarely (...) There are songs similar in their melody to one another. And then she is telling one song, but she remembers something and adds a word or two from the other song, and it is already in clash with the first one. We would follow what she said the first time. Later on we would ask which way it is.

Nikola: Yes, you said yesterday that you have found many times that the songs that share the same melody would get mixed. That is likely.

Hamdija: It can happen very easily. As my colleague said, songs of the same melody. The same style, similarity. They conflate two or three songs in one. Two or three short songs in one. So they differ very little. You need to know folk poetry really well in order to separate them.

Ibrahim: Yes, it happens.

Nikola: And is there any difference between older and younger women, how well they sing songs? For example, who sings better, older or younger women?

Ibrahim: That depends on the song. The way some old songs are sung, young women absolutely cannot sing the melody the way older women do. (...) Young women, naturally, know the newer songs better. (...) But sometimes one encounters a young woman who sings old songs well.

Nikola: Say, for example, what kinds of songs do old women know? (...) How are their songs? Are they a bit like women’s heroic songs or are they about love? (...)

Hamdija: They are similar to heroic songs, in terms of verse, the length of verse, but in terms of content it is mostly about love. But they are similar to heroic songs. There are women’s songs in which a woman fights, goes to rescue her friend, saves him, or she writes to her friend to rescue her. Or she kills someone and conquers all obstacles to come to her beloved. And she is shown like a true hero, no man would be able to do as well as she did.

Nikola: So mainly, these are heroic and love songs at the same time.

Hamdija: All is conflated there. (...)

Nikola: Have you found that old women sing the same song differently?

Hamdija: Well, there are differences in these songs since women are not from the same place. Some are perhaps from Korjenić, from another district, some from Nevesinje, and as the song is transmitted from one place to another it becomes different. Some folk singers added something better, some reduced it, so they differ somewhat, but the subject, the idea, is still the same.


[1] Ibrahim clearly means here “learned by heart.”

[2] “Straight.”



Hasnija Hrustanović’s biography and family background as told by her son Ibrahim Hrustanović


Interview conducted by Nikola Ivanov Vujnović in Gacko, 1935.


Hard cover notebook no. 11

Text 6314, phonograph records 2999-3002


Nikola: You wrote down songs by Hasnija Hrustanović?

Ibrahim: Yes, she is my mother. (...)

Nikola: How old is she?

Ibrahim: Well, she is about seventy. She is an old woman who, as perhaps no other woman from these regions, has

traveled through half of Europe and to Asia, from Constantinople to Trabzon. She is probably the only woman who has traveled through all of these lands alone, with no escort, dressed in a cloak and a veil.

Nikola: Why did she travel there?

Ibrahim: She went there because she has relatives there, her brother and others. She herself is from Kula Fazlagića,

here across the field. She is from the renowned family of Tanović. Her father was a famous khodja ,[1] Rašidaga Tanović. She also had a famous uncle, Mulaga Tanović, who visited the sultan several times.

And then her brother—I have to tell you this story—he used to live in Kula. And there he had a dispute with some of his neighbors, and he was very honorable. And he was attacked and insulted in front of some committee—a judge, a land surveyor, and some other people. He was insulted right there, and attacked. And he was a hunter, and then he sent his little son, who was seven or eight, and he told him to bring a gun from home to kill two pigeons. (...) And he came here, the kid brought him the gun, and he killed both [his neighbors]. He had four sons. Three were grown up, from eight to fifteen years of age, and one was three. It was Austro-Hungary here, and he took three sons of his and ran away across the border to Montenegro. A party was sent after him, and troops to seize him, but in vain. He luckily escaped earlier. He stayed with the Duke Nikola at Cetinje. The Duke received him very well, because [the fugitive’s] father, this Rašidaga Tanović, he was a khodja but also a merchant. He sold cattle all over Montenegro. When on one occasion he came to the renovated monastery of Piva, he entered and gave a gift of five hundred crowns. (...)

Hamdija: Such tolerance of other religions this khodja Rašidaga had! The khodja, a representative of Islam, said his

                prayers in a monastery! (...)

Ibrahim: And once, Duke Nikola visited that monastery and heard priests say a prayer for the good health of those who gave donations to the monastery. Then [they told] the Duke Nikola that one Muslim had given a large amount of five hundred crowns. And he did not forget it. When, by chance, this uncle of mine came to Cetinje, the Duke invited him when he heard about him. All kinds of orders and warrants of arrest were being issued by the Austro-Hungarian government in Sarajevo for him to be extradited as a murderer to the Austrian government. Duke Nikola invited him to his place. He asked him whose son he was and such. When he learned that he was a son of Rašidaga Tanović (...), he did not want to extradite him. And at the last moment, when Austro-Hungary was pressing to extradite him, he gave him passports and he escaped to Turkey. (...) He stayed and lived there. His father was wealthy and sent him a lot of money. He got hold of some military barracks there (...) near Smyrna. (...) Later his father and the rest of the family came and they all remained there. And then, my mother, in order to see her only brother, (...) she went to such trouble and took such a long journey despite her age. She was about sixty-seven or -eight then. (...)

She is, as I said, about seventy now. One cannot determine precisely how old these old women are. Before there was no priest, nor did the government or state keep evidence of when someone was born and such, but just approximately. Neither Turkey nor Austria initially. When they are telling their age, they say, “I remember such and such a battle, when such and such were killed.” And we can judge by that. Some say, “We remember when Smajilaga Čengić was killed,” some other when Osman pasha attacked Montenegro, or when Duke Nikola devastated Herzegovina and Gacko. And we know by that, by these historic years, when the event was, and we can approximately tell how old they are. (...)

[My mother] told me songs very well. This time she told me about three hundred songs. And earlier she had told me some. I have wondered where she learned all these songs. She said to me: “When I was a girl,” she said, “my father was wealthy, perhaps the wealthiest in this area. I,” she said,” never had to do anything, but I would invite other girls, neighbors, and they would come for a meal or drink with me. And what would we do? We would embroider, sing and be merry, entertain and court.” She said: “I did not think about misfortunes or how to earn money and such, as when one is in difficult circumstances. I was,” she said, “content. When I would hear,” she said, “a song from some old woman and such,” she said, “I wanted to sing it myself and to learn it. I myself, am surprised,” she said, “how I memorized all of that and remember it after so many years.”



[1] Muslim priest



Emina Šaković’s biography and family background as told by her son Hamdija Šaković

Interview conducted by Nikola Ivanov Vujnović in Gacko, 1935.


Hard cover notebook no. 11

Text 6314, phonograph records 2993-2994


Nikola: (...) You collected songs by one Emina Šaković. Who is Emina Šaković?

Hamdija: That is my mother. (...)

Nikola: How old is she?

Hamdija: Fifty-four. (...)

Nikola: You probably did not encounter any difficulties [with her]?

Hamdija: I did not encounter difficulties since I had plenty of time.

Nikola: But I think that even she said many times “Son, why do you need all of this, I don’t want to tell you any

more,” and such.

Hamdija: Well, that would happen occasionally. She would say: “I am ashamed that so many songs will be by me.”

But what is the most important, she maintained lucidity from her youth, and she could remember those songs she knew in her youth, she did not forget them. She was brought up very well, she comes from a renowned family of Pašić. The girls from this family would just stay inside, sit, embroider and sing folk songs. Folk song was promoted there.

Nikola: Yes, yes.

Hamdija: And she might have known several hundred songs. In addition to these that she has told me, she has

forgotten many. She knows only perhaps the beginning of one, the end of the other, the middle of yet another; she has lost a lot.

Nikola: And how do you think these women could know these songs? Did they compose them themselves, or were

they transmitted from one generation to another?

Hamdija: They were transmitted from one generation to another perhaps for several hundred years. My mother said:

“I have learned this from my mother.” Her mother says she comes from the renowned family of Tanović. There the girls lived contentedly, they were from a bey’s family which was well known in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Then I asked my mother: “Where is your grandmother from?” She said: “From the renowned family of Ljubović from Odžak, Nevesinje.” She said: “Ljubuša[1] told [these songs] to her daughter, who lived to be ninety.” She told them to my grandmother, she to my mother, and my mother to me. I wrote it down and I think they are here now for eternity, they will not be forgotten.


[1] From the context it is not clear whether Ljubuša would be Hamdija’s great-grandmother or his mother’s great-grandmother.



Conversation with Đula Dizdarević


Interview conducted by Nikola Ivanov Vujnović in Gacko, 1935.

Hard cover notebooks nos. 6, 7, 8

Texts 6520 and 6523, phonograph records 3743-3757, 3828


Part I


Nikola: Tell me where you are from?

Đula: I am from Mulji, from the Pašić family, a daughter of the late Alaga Pašić.

Nikola: Whom did you marry?

Đula: I married Murataga Dizdarević’s son from Korita. (...)

Nikola: How old are you, Đula?

Đula: I am seventy-five.

Nikola: Were the Dizdarevićs beys or aghas?

Đula: By God, they were. My father-in-law, in front of his house you can see even now the foundations of the

sultan’s market place. And there was a treasury, and he was a treasurer, and sent loads of treasure to the sultan. (...) He was in charge of the military, my father-in-law. He supplied them with money, he would distribute the dues to the regulars. (...) If you want I can tell you about when the town burned. Do you want me to?

Nikola: I want to, just tell me for how long did you live there?

Đula: For thirty-five years I lived in Korita, and since we came here[1] it has been twenty-two. (...)

Nikola: Do you have any children, Đula?

Đula: I had twelve sons and only one daughter among twelve sons. Seven died, and five are living, God bless them.

Nikola: Are they all here?

Đula: Three are here with me, one is in America, and one is a driver somewhere in Dubrovnik, in Split.

Nikola: Yes, yes. You lived well in Korita?

Đula: Lived well? My father-in-law had a hundred serfs. Everybody knows that. (...) From Planik to Ravno my

father-in-law had land and property. And he never worked on the land, nor did his sons. (...) In nobody’s house could one find so much silver, ducats, and gold as in his in Korita. The whole village knows. See, what an outstanding man he was.

Nikola: And how was your life there?

Đula: I lived there later; after the Duke attacked and burned Korita they had to run without taking anything, and all

was lost. (...) No, I had not come to the town yet, but [my father-in-law] told me all about it, all that happened with his home. And how it was when the Duke attacked Korita, and pillaged and slaughtered my brother-in-law Džafer in Kameno Brdo.[2] My father-in-law’s son, you could not find such a man in the whole of Herzegovina.

Nikola: So they burned Korita before you got married?

Đula: Before, before, of course before. And then, when the Duke and Montenegro wanted to attack Korita, some serf

of my father-in-law’s came, one Vasilj Svorcan, he got on well with my father-in-law. A serf, he treated my father-in-law as his own father. Then he came and said to Murataga: “Murataga,” he said, “the Duke and Montenegro will attack in the evening. Run away. Tell Džafer to run away,” to that son who got killed, whom they slaughtered. “Tell him to run away in the evening and to take the serfs to Gacko.” But one woman heard this serf telling this to my father-in-law. And then that woman went to Potrobac by Kobilja Glava to one Serb’s house. That Serb asked her: “By God, why have you come?” “By God I have come to seek a horse from you.” “Why do you need a horse?” “I swear by God, Murataga’s Džafer wants to flee to Gacko tonight and to take serfs. Montenegro and the Duke will attack Korita.” Then this Serb gave this woman a horse, and he spread word across the border and told the Montenegrins. And the Serbs waited for [Džafer] by Kobilja Glava on the road he was to take. (...) Džafer went in front of the women, the women followed him and each was wearing a veil. (...) The Montenegrins ambushed him. A gun fired, by God, hit him right away, wounded him in his leg. He was wounded and the women saw it and they began lamenting and crying, women and children. Wounded, but he kept shooting. His leg was smashed, but he shot and killed three men. (...) Then a gun fired and wounded him, smashed his arm and he could no longer shoot. The Montenegrins attacked him to slaughter him (...) and he could not [fight] any more. (...) In the evening they came to the town, to the house and found my in-laws.

Nikola: And then?

Đula: And they said: “Murataginica, give us the money!” She said: “I have no money.” “Give the money or we’ll

slaughter you.” She said: “By God, I don’t have any money, it’s not here. Whatever money there was, my son took with him, and you killed my son. I don’t have any money, you can slaughter me.” And they wanted to slaughter my father-in-law right there. But one Vasilj Svorcan would not let them do it.[3] He begged them and did not allow it. And they let my father-in-law go. No serfs were left, all of them had gone to Gacko the day before. And then my father-in-law came to Cernica and buried his son, and from Cernica he went to Nevesinje. In Nevesinje they stayed for a while. They stayed there until the Germans ordered everyone to go home. And then the sultan helped my father-in-law and built Korita again. By God, he gave him a house and everything, and he had serfs and lived well later on. (...) When Korita was burned down and pillaged, our land ended up in serfs’ hands. And it remained theirs. (...)

Nikola: Do you remember when [the Duke] crossed over here?

Đula: I remember, as if it happened this morning. When the Duke crossed over, how could I not remember? (...) And

we, we escaped from Mulji.[4] And we lived in Drina for three years. My family. And yes, by God, they burned down the houses, slaughtered and imprisoned whoever they wanted.

Nikola: Since [your father-in-law] had the soldiers, did he ever cross over to Montenegro?

Đula: Yes, by God, he would go to visit Duke Petrović and this one would meet him as if he were a vizier* or a sultan.

Nikola: And the Duke would not do anything to him when he would come?

Đula: Nothing, no! He would not, until the unrests began, until guns started shooting. By God, nothing.

Nikola: And then, when guns started shooting, everybody watched his own interest?

Đula: Yes, everybody watched his own interest. Then he[5] wanted to take over the sultan’s market-place, and to burn

and pillage. After three years the Germans ordered everyone to go home. (...) The Germans treated us well. Helped everyone. By God, they built houses, provided supplies. That’s what they did. Helped everyone. Built the whole town. Helped my father-in-law, built their houses, gave him land. And by God, they lived well till this last war.

Nikola: Were you in Korita when the war started in 1914?

Đula: This one recently, right?

Nikola: Yes.

Đula: By God, I was there, didn’t I tell you?

Nikola: Yes, yes.

Đula: (...) The Montenegrins attacked around the time of the afternoon prayer, salvoes were hitting near our houses,

                and we escaped. We did not even lock the house or close the door or take anything with us.[6]

Nikola: How come the Germans did not try to stop you from leaving?

Đula: They did not try to stop us. They said: “Run away!” What could they do? Montenegro attacked.

Part II


Nikola: You mentioned that you father was a guslar. (...) Do you know some songs that he sang?

Đula: I know one.

Nikola: Which one, Đula?

Đula: On Hasko Čelebić. (...) My father sang this song God knows how many years ago, and I have not forgotten one

                verse.[7] (...)

Nikola: Đula, tell me how you have learned your songs. (...)

Đula: By God, I would hear it from someone, then I would come home, sit down, and I wouldn’t do anything, no

                heavy work at all. The whole day I would just compose the song and sing, and therefore I remember them.

Nikola: Did you sing a lot when you were young?

Đula: By God, there was no kolo,[8] or a song heard, there was no wedding or circumcision to which I would not be

invited to sing. I was so praised. (...) I could sing well; now, by God, I am old and have no voice. I can’t sing as when I was young.

Nikola: And what did you do when you were young?

Đula: By God, I embroidered, wove, gathered a dowry, and I would always sing at the tambour and the loom. That is

                what I did.

Nikola: Did you make kilims*?

Đula: By God, no, not kilims. And my father, Alaga Pašić from Mulji, was wealthy and good to me. After the Pašićs

                I was with the Dizdarevićs, it was good for me here and there.

Nikola: (...) By God, you lived well.

Đula: It was God’s will. And now God ordered this, Nikola, war and unrests and you name it. (...)

Nikola: How many songs did you know Đula?

Đula: God only knows how many I’ve known. How many have I sung to be written in the notebooks?[9] And how

                many have I sung here?[10] It is not one ninth of what I’ve known. I go home and I remember more.

Nikola: So you know some more?

Đula: Yes, and while I am here I just somehow can’t sing, but you see, I know them.

Nikola: Listen, Đula. Tell me now about how girls lived before, in the old times, when you were a girl. For example,

how they behaved towards older people, did they obey their mother and father?

Đula: Did they obey? By God, better than today. Before, a girl who had a mother and a father would not step over to

her neighbor’s house if you gave her the whole world, without asking her father and her mother. She would not step out to see a neighbor, an aunt. That’s how girls were. I was like that as well. And if there was a gathering, or a wedding or a circumcision, a gathering, the girl would not go without her mother.

Nikola: Nowhere?

Đula: Nowhere without her mother and without the cover.

Nikola: What about the father?

Đula: One would not go with her father. Such was not the custom then for the father to go with women, now it is. (...)

Nikola: Tell me, Đula, from where are your songs? Are they mostly from Mulji or from Korita?

Đula: By God, they are mostly from Mulji.[11] (...)

Nikola: Did your father know a lot of songs? (...)

Đula: Yes, by God, Salihaga[12] here knows, he was a first rate guslar. First rate.

Nikola: Do you remember any other song of his?

Đula. By God, no. (...)

Nikola: You remember only one song?

Đula: Only that one, by God, nothing else. He sang it many times, and I learned it that way. (...)

Nikola: Why do you think it is nicer to sing with a baking pan?[13] Why is it better than without it?

Đula: I like it better, my voice sounds better with a baking pan and I prefer it over singing with somebody. (...)

Nikola: Is that an old custom?

Đula: It is an old custom to sing with the pan, it has always been that way. When I was a girl it was that way.

Nikola: What kind of a baking pan does one use for singing?

Đula: What baking pan for singing? What do you mean what kind? It is, naturally, a baking pan that one revolves

while singing.
Nikola: But is there some special kind of a baking pan for this purpose?

Đula: No, by God, any pan will do, whichever one you want. It is no different from any other pan. (...)

Nikola: Are the songs the same in Mulji as in Gacko?

Đula: By God, they are the same as here.

Nikola: What about Korita? (...)

Đula: By God, the same. [A woman] who came from the town knows those songs and sings them. Just as I came

from Havtovci, from Mulji to Korita.

Nikola: Say, what about Kula Fazlagića? (...)

Đula: By God, in Kula, they are like here and there are also peasant songs.

Nikola: Peasant songs?

Đula: They have their own songs and they have learned ours as well. How have they learned them? We have a

celebration on Aliđun day here in the field by Jasike in the summer.[14] All the girls from the villages usually come. The whole world is there. (...) They come from Stolac, from Mostar, your people from Stolac come, don’t you know? (...) People dance, sing, and at the end there is a race. (...) A horse race, and then men race. And there is an award, who comes first gets the award. (...)

Nikola: Is this a celebration for the Muslims?

Đula: This is a celebration for the Muslims, but the Orthodox people can come as well. They come just like us. (...)

Nikola: Have you ever composed a song by yourself?

Đula: Me?

Nikola: Yes. (...)

Đula: By God, I have. (...)

Nikola: Have you ever been in the company of some girls, for example five or six of them, and you said: “Let’s make

a song, let’s put it together and sing.”

Đula: By God, I have. Of course, I have.

Nikola: And who was the best at it?

Đula: By God, it seems to me it was me, but I do not know. (...)[15]

Nikola: And about what did you sing?

Đula: About all kinds of things, but we sang mostly about young men. (...)

Nikola: Why did older people like so much singing with a pan?

Đula: I would not know why. Wherever I would go, to a gathering, and a kolo, and to sing, old men and women

                would always say: “Bring the pan! Here is who knows best how to sing with a pan.”

Almasa Zvizdić:[16] Here is why they liked it: why did older people like the gusle? They liked the gusle when they

got together at a gathering, not like now when they go to the market place, to bars and coffee places to sit

around there. [Before] people used to visit one another, neighbors would come for a gathering. Tonight at my place, tomorrow at yours, they would have a gathering and be merry. For that reason they created the pan just as they did the gusle, because that is a kind of beauty and entertainment.


[1] i. e., to Gacko.

[2] Đula is referring here to the 1876 attack by Montenegro and Serbia on the Ottoman Empire.

[3] It is safe to conclude from his name that the serf Vasilj Svorcan, who tried to save Đula’s in-laws, was Serbian or Montenegrin. For that reason his pleading did have some effect with the Montenegrin attackers.

[4] Clearly, Đula still lived with her own family in her native Mulja at the time of the unrests.

[5] I.e. the Duke.

[6] Apparently, after this event Đula came to her last residence in Gacko where she lived at the time of the interview.

[7] In the original, Đula literally says that she “has not forgotten one word.” Đula, as well as most of the other singers interviewed by Parry and Lord, uses “word” to mean “verse.”

[8] A traditional dance in the formation of a circle.

[9] Đula is referring to the notebooks in which Parry’s and Lord’s assistants wrote down the songs.

[10] I.e. during the recording sessions with Parry and Lord in muezzin Salihaga Zvizdić’s home.

[11] Nikola did not express himself clearly here. He obviously thought that the songs from Mulji and Korita differ and wanted to know where Đula learned the songs she knew. Đula, on the other hand, thought he was asking her at which point in time she had learned the songs she knew. This confusion is straightened out later in the conversation.

[12] The muezzin in whose house the recording sessions took place.

[13] A way of singing with the accompaniment of a round flat metal pan which is spun on its edge. The singers interviewed by Parry and Lord referred to this as “pjevanje uz tevsiju.” According to Lord and Bartók (Serbo-Croatian Folk Songs, p. 252), this custom was brought to the South Slavic area by the Turks.

[14] Aliđun is a Muslim name for Ilindan (St. Elias Day).

[15] A little later, during this same conversation (phonograph record number 3757), Đula claimed she did not know how to make new songs on her own, but rather that she sang only what she had heard from others. It is not clear whether this change from her initial statement was caused by embarrassment, confusion, or misunderstanding. As during the interview she sang several brief songs that she claimed she had composed herself, it is her first statement that is taken as valid here. Speaking of other singers, she did add that it was a rarity to find a singer who knew how to compose a song on her own, and that songs are mostly learned by hearing them from other singers.

[16] One of the singers interviewed by Parry and Lord; the wife of the muezzin in whose house the recording sessions took place.





Autorica knjige, Dr.Aida Vidan, rodjena je u Splitu. Završila je Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu,a doktorsku disertaciju odbranila na Harvardu.

Prilikom svoje posjete Harvard Univerzitetu,Dr. Vidan se je 1990. godine prvi put susrela i upoznala sa Albertom Lordom , čovjekom koji je bio jedan od dvojice istrazivaca koji su 1934/1935 prikupili ove materijale.

Medjutim, njihov glavni interes su bile duže epske pjesme (najduža ima preko dvanaest hiljada stihova!) koje su uglavnom snimali po Sandžaku, narocito u Bijelom Polju, ali i u Gacku i ostalim mjestima Hercegovine. Neki od njihovih najboljih kazivača tamo su bili Avdo Međedovic i Salih Ugljanin. Kraće ženske pjesme su zapisali  usput i tek su im poslije posvetili pažnju, iako  ne toliku koliku epskim pjesmama.

Naime,objavljena je samo jedna studija ženskih pjesama iz Gacka, koju su napravili Albert Lord i Bela Bartok* 1951,u kojoj se uglavnom analizira glazbeni aspekt.

Nedugo nakon smrti Alberta Lorda,1991 primljena je na doktorat na Harvardu i asistirala je pri sortiranju materijala u Parry kolekciji. Bila je oduševljena kvalitetom i ljepotom balada i lirskih pjesama, a takodjer i iznenađena da im je posvećeno tako malo pažnje, te ih je počela  prepisivati i proučavati. Tako je nastala knjiga koju vam predstavljamo.

      Autorica radi na novom projektu koji uključuje sve tekstove koje su prikupili Ibrahim Hrustanović i Hamdija Saković i koji ce biti objavljen samo u originalu, u nadi da će se na taj način  Bosni vratiti bar jedan dio onoga što je od nje, tih tridesetih godina prošlog stoljeća, posuđeno - zapisano i zvučno zabilježeno.Ta nova zbirka će, moguće,sadržavati i neke od tonskih zapisa.     

    Naredni,autoričin projekat koji je pri kraju,je velika tematska baza podataka balada i lirskih pjesama iz Parry kolekcije (većinom iz Gacka i okolice),dakle preko jednaest hiljada unosa. Ova baza podataka će sadržavati imena nekoliko stotina kazivačica s informacijama o rodbinskim vezama, i svemu što se moglo saznati na osnovu intervjua i onoga što su sakupljači zabilježili, kao i informacije o tipu pjesme i sl.

* Čuveni mađarski kompozitor


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Naglašavamo da su originalni arhivski snimci i prepisi na ovoj stranici, iz Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature, Harvard University”. Želimo da zahvalimo svima u “ Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature” koji su nam dali dozvolu i omogućili da kostimo ove informacije na stranici “”. Posebno se zahvaljujemio  Davidu  Elmeru,  pomoćniku kuratora, u pomenutoj kolekciji.

We want to point out that the original archival recordings and transcripts are contained in the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature, Harvard University.We would like to thank everyone at the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature who have enabled and given us permission to use this information on our website.
Special thanks to David Elmer, assistant curator with the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature.



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