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Who Would Even Want to Be a Living Karnavol? Tonči Kukoč Bager as the Carrier of the Local Carnivalesquesness

Nevena Škrbić Alempijević

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 604 Kb

str. 185-229

preuzimanja: 1.646



An insight into ethnographic and folklore material on Croatian carnival customs leads to the conclusion that attention was seldom paid to the criteria for choosing carriers of transgressive disguising and performance. The author attempts to illuminate this issue in a case study conducted in Bol on the island of Brač, where the leading character is Tonči Kukoč Bager, a man perceived by his fellow townsmen as a person with exceptional inclination for ludicrous performances. In so doing, she does not analyze the personality of Bager as someone owing great presentational skills; she discusses the figure of Bager, as it is determined by relationships within the community and by the group’s necessity for a figure which would occasionally question the border between social order and disorder using grotesque disguise. In the well known narratives about Bager’s “otherness” the author recognizes the means of his exotization within the local community. She analyses the moments which Bager chooses for his performances, and concludes that Bager’s carnivalesque transgressions are not carried out only in the frame of Carnival customs; the comic events in Bol gain their legitimacy by Bager’s performative presence, which sometimes also turns serious segments into parody. Furthermore, the author presents most common Bager’s roles and ways of transformation, with a special emphasis on the gender reversal roles. She shows the construction of Bager into a trademark of Bol, as it is presented in the media discourse. Finally, the author concludes that Bager is needed in the community as much as he needs its members to be his audience; for the people of Bol his performances are a welcome periodical break from the everyday life, a whit of disorder placed within the local “normality”.

Ključne riječi

Tonči Kukoč Bager; Carnival customs of the town of Bol; the presentation in everyday life

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