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Shirt sleeves (Zmijanje embroidery)

  • Odjeljenje za etnologiju, narodna nošnja, zmijanjski vez


These sleeves feature an example of Zmijanje embroidery, a technique used by women in the village of Zmijanje, near Banja Luka, to decorate women’s garments and household items (wedding gowns, shawls, dresses, bedding). In 2014, as one of the most distinct styles of embroidery in the region, it was entered in UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the first item from Bosnia and Herzegovina to be included on the list.

These sleeves were part of a richly ornamented woman’s shirt, which was a part of the traditional Serb woman’s costume, no longer worn today. The sleeves are made of heavy woven fabric, a cotton-linen blend, and are embroidered with deep-blue wool. The shoulder part of each sleeve is also ornamented with two red cloth ribbons (mavez), and thick dark-blue woollen fringe. The middle section features a motif of two parallel trees branching out. Along the seam are two narrow strips of red ribbon. The lower part of the sleeve is decorated in a pattern resembling a line of fir trees, while the upper part of the sleeve features a zig-zag stripe with stylised human half-figures.

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This item is kept in storage in the Ethnology Department, where it may be accessed by prior arrangement with department staff.
  • Odjeljenje za etnologiju, narodna nošnja, zmijanjski vez