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Wednesday, 13 Dec 2017

Souvenirs

Crafts and antique trades

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In Mostar, there are thirty different crafts associations, some of which have existed ever since 1762,such as, for example, those of the bakers (ekmekdžije), the tailors (terzije), the shoemakers (baškmadžije), the leather makers (čurćije), the weavers (ćebedžije), the goldsmiths (kujundžije), the locksmiths (timurdžije), the tanners (tabadžije), the barbers (beberi), and the builders (dundžeri). Most of the traditional crafts activities of the city are carried out inside the Old Bazaar and make up a source of attraction for foreigners and locals who come here to buy splendid and characteristic objects (leatherwear and leather goods, copper, precious metals, fabrics etc.), all completely handmade.The development of these antique traditions began in Mostar after the arrival of the Turks in the 15th century, when the city was urbanized from a medieval settlement into a city. The Ottoman influence, due to its exceptional technical and working knowledge – with craftsmen already divided into guilds – was an essential factor in the growth and evolution of the local crafts production, whose fame spread throughout the entire Empire.

The watermarks made by goldsmiths and silversmiths were particularly appreciated, as were the works of the copper beaters, the leather workers and the tanners, whose goods were almost entirely exported, thus aiding to the development of flourishing businesses. Every group of craftsmen had their workshops in dedicated streets within the čaršija (the equivalent of the Arabian “suq”, an open air market without any covering), who took their name from the work that went on there; many roads, even nowadays, are known by their ancient names, like the Kujundžiluk and the Tabhana. h anks to the high quality of the artistic products of Mostar, whose work is so deeply rooted in city life, this artistic output is considered to be an integral part of Mostar traditions. Each and every tourist who visits the town can only be enchaned by the workmanship of these craftsmen and by the refined quality of their work.

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