Intangible cultural treasures
Don't be surprised if you find something completely culturally authentic around every corner! Montenegro is a genuine treasure trove of cultural heritage, and you can study its rich culture on-site, through a variety of customs, traditions, song and dance, legends of the past, delectable traditional food, and expert craftsmanship brought to you by talented locals!
Intangible cultural treasures
Number of legally protected intangible cultural assets: 19
Necessary conditions fulfilled by intangible cultural property:
- authenticity and integrity
- good degree of preservation
- uniqueness and rarity within its species
- historical, artistic, scientific, archeological, architectural, anthropological, technical or other social significance.
Carpet weaving - is it a craft or an art?
Do you know that the Bihor rug, crafted in Montenegro, is studied at art academies all over the world because of its unique art structure?
As a unique cultural asset, the intertwining of spirit and matter
Dobrota, a small coastal town with a closely guarded secret, welcomes you. What makes her so unique? It's her lace, unlike any other found in the world! Along with intricate threads, the love, hopes and fears of women waiting for their fiancé, husband, or father to return from an always uncertain sail is woven into the stunning lace. Maritime isn't as big a part of life as it once was, but the art of making Dobrotska lace is as alive today as it was eight centuries ago!
Did you know that 1 to 6 cm of lace making takes 5 to 6 hours to complete, with a minimum of 2 hours for the mesh part? How long did it take to make a scarf, towel, hat, or other accessory from such a laborious process?
Come check it out and see yourself how unique and intricate this lace is! Put the treasury of the Church of St. Eustahije in Dobrota on your wish list because it keeps as many as 130 samples of authentic Middle Ages folk art pieces!
Song and dance takes you to the past
Did the road you chose take you to the north of Montenegro, to Kolašin? Then meet the guardians of the kolo dancing tradition: the cultural and artistic society "Mijat Mašković."
Picture whirling circles of vibrantly clothed dancers, accompanied only by the thud of footsteps and the single voice of a young girl and boy singing a ululating melody. Imagine customs associated with weddings or seasonal changes which are brought to life before your eyes through song and dance. In fact, stop imagining. Come and enjoy!
What cultural good keeps history from fading away?
Have you ever heard of an instrument that only has one string? Montenegro sports a one-string instrument known as the gusle. While it’s sound is rather simple, most often gusle performances are complimented by another instrument capable of producing the most beautiful melodies - the human voice.
If you’re looking for a sad love ballad, don’t wait around for the gusle to play one. This instrument is reserved for epic songs, which tell tales of battle and triumph. Before books and written material became widely available, historical events and heroic deeds were sung about accompanied by gusle. In this way, Montenegro’s rich history was passed down from generation to generation. In the past, many Montenegrins were even afraid of the gusle, and the songs that it would one day sing of them or their enemies.
You may have the opportunity to hear the strained song of the gusle somewhere in the countryside, while sipping a glass of brandy and remembering the good old days, along with friends and comrades lost over the years.
The art of building a boat "by feel"
This is something you will undoubtedly encounter on Skadar Lake! Allow yourself to be amazed by the traditional fishing boat, which is long and shallow (only half a meter), and is traditionally steered by two oars. They are capable of withstanding currents and winds, and they are also used to transport heavy cargo and livestock.
The skill and tradition of making boats has been passed down through some families for five generations, and according to experienced masters, the boat is made "by feel," and if just one board is placed incorrectly, the boat will float properly.
Take advantage of the opportunity to become lost in the lakes' rivers and shrubbery, to enter the shallows with a boat and to discover the hidden corners of the picturesque and fairytale Skadar Lake!
What keeps the oldest sailor brotherhood together?
Montenegro has one of the oldest brotherhoods of sailors in the world, even compared to large countries with a developed maritime economy!
When you visit the Maritime Museum in Kotor, you will be able to enter a completely different world! The door of the sailors who guarded the entryways to Kotor, the estates and lives of the people of the Bay of Kotor (Boka), who cared about the reputation and well-being of the people of the Bay of Kotor (Boka).
Beginning in the 9th century, they were first a religious, then a military, and today a memorial organization, which preserves the traditions of this fraternity and occasionally performs its original dance to excited spectators.
Bihor rug - a colorful piece of Montenegrin heritage
Reverently enter the Petnjica mosque to see Montenegro's largest collection of rugs in one location. Allow the locals to tell you how the carpet used to be a status symbol, how they gave it away on various occasions, and how the patterns lovingly woven into it protected the family from evil spells.
Even today, skilled weavers sit on low chairs behind the loom, spinning wool and patiently creating difficult geometric patterns. It's incredible that they spend ten days of their lives on a single square of carpet.
If you want to have the most beautiful authentic souvenir from Montenegro's north, you can find it here!
Accept the challenge and discover more!
It doesn't end here! Accept the challenge and discover:
- Why is the Montenegrin folk dress considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world, and what is required for its delicate production?
- Why is Kolašin cheese made in the form of leaves?
- How did the kalimera fish in Ulcinj?
- What distinguishes the Montenegrin oro from other folk dances?
- What do the holidays of Boka Night and Fašinada celebrate?
- According to the legend, who are the Romeo and Juliet of Kotor?
- Who are Pava and Ahmet?
- Who are Vladimir and Kosara?
Looking for ideas for your trip?
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