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Seljačka Sloga and the Folk Costume (in the period from 1926 until 1929 and in the period from 1935 until 1940)
; Bernarda Vukasa 33, Zagreb, Croatia
Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (3 MB)
Kristić, K. (2003). Seljačka Sloga i narodna nošnja (u razdoblju od 1926. do 1929. i od 1935. do 1940. godine). Studia ethnologica Croatica, 14/15(1), 89-143. Preuzeto s http://hrcak.srce.hr/47759
Seljačka sloga was a cultural (educational) and charitable organization which was very active in the period from 1926 until 1929, and in the second period from 1935 until 1940. It was formed as an answer to the request for the raising of the consciousness of the peasants about their own position and heightening their awareness of the Croatian national values. In the beginning of the process, the members of the intelligentsia lead the way, but after they completed certain tasks, they would hand over the organization to the members of the rural population.
The subject of this article is the relationship between Seljačka sloga and the folk costume in everyday life and in the folk festivals Smotra folklora, organized by Seljačka sloga. Two periods were investigated. In the year 1929, Sloga ceased with its activities due to the dictatorial regime of Kraljevina Jugoslavija, but continued with its work after the introduction of the parliamentarian regime in 1935. After the World War II, Sloga was still active for a short period of time, but in quite different political surroundings.
Part of its activities in both mentioned periods was the introduction of literacy to rural population, formation of common courts, helping the poorer communities, renewal of the cultivation of textile plants (flax and hemp), the preservation of the folk costume, folk songs and dances, the preservation of the folk customs, encouraging the peasants to engage in literature, and organizing local and county folk festivals in the town of Zagreb. It also published periodicals Seljačka prosvjeta (1926-1929) and Seljačka sloga (1936-1940).
This article outlines the activities of Seljačka sloga connected to the renewal of the traditional cultivation of flax and hemp, their traditional manufacture and production of home-made cloth, and sawing of clothes inside a family. The organization tried to prevent the extinction of folk costume, which was an inevitable consequence of the fast-approaching capitalism. The development of technology, trade and traffic speeded up the way people lived. In the light of these new developmental trends, a slow traditional clothes manufacture had to be replaced with something that was much more practical. The process of textile plant sowing and their subsequent manufacture could not possibly find a place in the developed civil society. Seljačka sloga meant well, but acted rather naively, by putting itself against the society and economic development.
One of the tasks Seljačka sloga tried to complete was to establish the origin (beginning) of the specifically Croatian elements in folk costumes, since many of them were transformed and changed due to the internal (geographic) and external factors such as trade or several centuries long occupation of Croatian land. Although this task itself appeared impossible, Seljačka sloga was nevertheless very successful in the preservation of traditional folk costumes and in giving support to the rural population.
The most important results in the restoration of folk costumes were evident in local, and especially main folk festivals held in Zagreb in 1926,1927, 1929, and in the period from 1935 until 1940, which celebrated the birthday of Radi brothers on June 11. The application forms for the festivals reveal the results and comments on successful or unsuccessful restoration of folk costumes.
Seljačka sloga considered the folk costume, folk customs and folk music the most important distinctive features of Croatian nation. That was the way the Croats could present themselves to the world. Although many started wearing traditional folk costumes for folk festivals and, even, holidays, there were no confirmations of the use of folk costume in everyday life.
This article mainly dealt with the material found in the publications of Seljačka sloga. These contained the demands by the Head office, the reports done by experts and peasants on their attempts to renew the textile plants cultivation, the weaving and sawing of the clothes, then the reports from all Zagreb folk festivals and newspaper clippings covering the festivals, together with everything peasants themselves wrote on their life and region they came from.
The second period was characterized by the joint efforts of Seljačka sloga and of the ethnologists, who were experts on 'rural life'. They became crucial in attempting to establish the 'indigenous Croatian elements', which the continuously tried to discern.
Sloga tried to preserve the Croatian identity which was threatened by the mostly Serbian government in Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca which lately became Kraljevina Jugoslavija. One of the consequences of the oppressive regime was the enhanced influence of Seljačka sloga which became accepted among all of Croatian population. Croatian peasants' party and Seljačka sloga were the only institutions which supported the peasants and recognized them as part of Croatian political society.
Seljačka sloga tried to achieve international relations between rural and urban population. The world crisis in the 1930-ies and high taxes in Croatia, probably encouraged Seljačka sloga to promote autonomy of traditional economy in all of the segments, to increase their independence from the world market.
'Seljačka sloga'; folk costume; folk festival; preservation of heritage
Hrčak ID: 47759
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