Post-symposium excursion July 18
The post-symposium excursion goes to Dubrovnik’s northwest area to Mrčevo, one of the “upper villages”. Five years ago (2009), an association in the “upper villages” was being formed by persons with some memory and knowledge of village wedding customs. Due to the destructive 1990s war in this area, followed by a lengthy reconstruction period, a whole generation (1990s and 2000s) of youth had not been exposed to earlier traditions. The Udruga Dubrovački Primorski Svatovi [Association of Dubrovnik's Upper Village Weddings] became a catalyst for Elsie Ivancich Dunin to retrieve her manuscript and photographs of this area’s wedding customs documented in 1977 and 1979. Her account of weddings was accepted for publication and became a tangible source for this area’s wedding customs, feasting, costumes, songs, recitations, and lindjo dancing during the five-day wedding cycle. Published in 2013, PAST INTO THE PRESENT is a description of four weddings over two generations in one family from an upper village.
The excursion to Mrčevo village will see full wedding costumes (also displayed in Dubrovnik’s Ethnographic Museum), will see part of the groom’s procession led by the flagpole carrier (barjaktar), 19th century ram-rodded pistols worn as part of the wedding outfits, will hear women’s choral songs directing the wedding proceedings, bartering between the groom’s and bridal families for the bride with her feathered wreath, baskets of the bride’s dowry and gifts to the groom’s household, wedding feasting foods, and lindjo dancing.
The Udruga Dubrovački Primorski Svatovi has a web-page recording their demonstrations and performances in “upper village” costumes and traditions, since 2011. The website is in the Croatian language (no English), <http://dubrovacki-primorski-svatovi.hr/> but the book is in both Croatian and English: