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2014Croatian Ethnographic Heritage - Set

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Technical details
  • 20.10.2014
  • Orsat Franković, designer, Zagreb
  • -
  • AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
  • Multicolor Offset Printing
  • 4 Colours
  • 29,82 x 35,50 mm
  • 0.41, 0.76, 0.99, 1.44
About Croatian Ethnographic Heritage

Do they wear short skirts on Dugi otok (Long Island)? No, but on the island of Susak. Do golden flowers grow on Zlatni rat (Golden Cape) beach? No, but in Đakovo region. Are blue surkas (short coats) worn in Plavić (a toponym meaning “blue“)? No, but in Slavonia region. We could continue with a long sequence of such jokes. But even this is sufficient to remind us that the small Croatia is endless, that it has so many varieties on its surface which is a boundary and the bridge between the Middle Europe and the Mediterranean, between the Pannonia Plane and Dinaric mountains, between the basins of Sava and Danube rivers and the Adriatic coast. Even the smallest geographical units were once marked with their own, specific dialect, which differed from other dialects by the nature of its vocabulary, accents, by the role of gradual intermediation between more powerful milieus. That what counts for the verbal, expressive world, counts also for the world of visual arts. Each geographic area has “designed” human appearance in a different way, using different materials in accordance with what it demanded from the land and what the land gave in return. Somewhere in the foundations there is flax, somewhere sheep; somewhere silk fibre, skein of wool, pieces of glass, somewhere coral. When the industrial civilisation entered the world of manufacture, as the most precious decoration, just in the Vrlika region, there started a practice of sawing machine-produced buttons on garments. There are great differences also in the representation of human figure. Tall and upright young girls from Zagora region, like the caryatids, fluttering butterflies in broad, short skirts from the above mentioned island of Susak, gilded queens of the north-eastern Croatia, flower-covered women from Posavina region… Stylisation of human figure originated, however, from memorising style and thus the national costumes are a kind of herbarium of fashion of passed times. But, as the universal media even up the differences, as the machine extrudes hand and the unique becomes multipliable and moreover that multipliable presents itself as a virtue investing only in the creativity of template, the geographical nuances of dialects –those verbal equally as visual - fade away; the same happens with the traditional concepts of presentation of human figure and matter which are no more demanded from the land or returned by it. Thus, national costumes become exhibits; they are transferred from primary to secondary life, into museum showcases, into tourist attractions. Their strong, remained function is still the function of inspiration. And, as they managed to preserve the memory, now they become themselves its treasure. The treasure with which we still dispose to a high degree and by which we identify the talents of our past. Sending this treasure to the world for insight, Croatian Post has issued a series of stamps in several sets. In the last one details from garments from Slavonia, Vrlika, Gorski kotar and Lovas are presented. Marvellous, up-to-date framed details, however, do not have only artistic and differential value, but also some symbolic suggestions. Slavonic surka (short coat) is characterised by the warmth of tissue, proportioned with the chilliness of the north; autumn twigs – suggest year season when the purpose of Slavonic land is fulfilled; a considerable amount of blue colour – there is nowhere so much blue colour as there where the sky is immense above the plane; the three colours – red, white and blue – suggest a thought of flag - always and even in moments when that flag does not seen to imply a thought of you. On the piece of tissue from Vrlika visible is the speeded-up, uniform, abstract rhythm, resembling to the song and folk round dance of equal features; tiny and patient weave, sharing shapes with far away regions of eastern world. Black-and-white Gorski kotar, something like snow and woods, the imprint of oblivion and memory: this, so much neglected region, that it must keep its memory itself. And, in the end, Lovas where one gets goose bumps from associations: white flower on the bloody background sprinkled with gold flakes of honour. These are, however, our knowledges

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