”Banja Luka’s embroidery (in Bosnian: keranje) has somehow just fallen into the domain of my interest since it provides a sense of identity and continuity. It promotes respect for cultural diversity and human creativity, ” mentioned Berina Filipovic-Kulenovic, a native of Banja Luka with a Sarajevo address, a graduate engineer by profession, who has nurtured a love for intangible cultural heritage all her life.
Given her commitment to intangible cultural heritage, which, like any hobby, is practiced wholeheartedly and sincerely, the reason for this conversation is the recent official establishment of a geographical indication for Banja Luka embroidery.
”Connoisseurs of Banja Luka embroidery, people from the profession, claim that Banja Luka embroidery is the only handicraft that combines the two most beautiful two handicraft techniques from two kingdoms into one perfect creation. Ottoman lace and Austro-Hungarian Biedermeier into Banja Luka embroidery. At the time of my childhood, Banja Luka was known for Banja Luka’s embroidery. The pieces were sold in souvenir shops in Dubrovnik, Opatija, and other tourist destinations. Today, Banja Luka embroidery has become part of modern interiors as decoration in many places in the home or framed and placed on the wall as a picture. They have become an ideal gift or souvenir,” told Berina.
When asked what else can be done to preserve Banja Luka embroidery, Berina Filipovic-Kulenovic noted that the least that can be done at the moment is that associations that deal with the creation, preservation, and promotion of Banja Luka embroideryanimate civic organizations, political groups, and individuals to give the necessary support to preserve this tradition.
Even though lace-like artifacts can be found in ancient Egyptian tombs, the beginning of lacemaking is traditionally set in the 15th century, in Flanders and Italy. Over time, many countries have developed their own traditions of creation and they hadspecific lace patterns, and today, numerous lace museums in England, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland have witnessed the splendor and importance of lace over the past five centuries.
The names of regions and cities in which a specific technique of making lace has been developed have always, as a rule, been incorporated into the name of the piece, building for centuries a brand that is nowadays identified with art as the highest quality handicraft. So there is Belgian lace, Venetian. When it comes to our region, the most famous creations are Pag lace in Croatia, kere (embroidery in Bosnia and Herzegovina), Oja in Macedonia, Idrija lace in Slovenia.