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Ethnology Department

The Ethnology Department collects, maintains, exhibits, and studies all items of material, spiritual, and social culture of the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has a rich collection of material which is stored or arranged into thematic exhibitions. It has two permanent exhibition and organises several thematic shows every year. 

The gathering of ethnological material started when the National Museum was founded in 1888, with the purchase of valuable ethnological items (for instance, national costumes). Just after the founding, the department was integrated into the Archaeology Department, but broke off again four years later. As of 1913, the department has been housed in the museum's Ethnology Pavilion, whose interior imitates that of a traditional Bosnian urban house.

Odjeljenje za etnologiju, narodna nošnja, kapa s tepelukom

Woman’s cap with tepeluk plate

This woman’s headpiece is made up of several parts. Each part was made by a different artisan, and they were finally put together by a milliner specialising in fezzes and women’s headwear.

Odjeljenje za etnologiju, pokućstvo, vrata

Engraved armoire door

This built-in armoire door is made in woodcut technique. Armoires of this type had several similarly decorated doors mounted side by side, and were a common part of the interior of wealthy urban households.

Odjeljenje za etnologiju, pokućstvo, tronožac

Chair with three legs and ornamented back

This item is a common piece of country furniture, built using rudimentary tools. These chairs were not built by craftsmen, but by talented semiskilled villagers, in their spare time between tilling the fields and taking care of their livestock.

Odjeljenje za etnologiju, narodna nošnja, zmijanjski vez

Shirt sleeves (Zmijanje embroidery)

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).

Odjeljenje za etnologiju, narodna nošnja, pregača


This is an article of Croat woman’s clothing characteristic of the whole region of Bosanska Posavina.