Status of monument -> National monument
Published in the Official Gazette of BiH, no. 17/12.
Pursuant to Article V para. 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 39 para. 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, at a session held from 6 to 9 September 2011 the Commission adopted a
D E C I S I O N
The sepulchral ensemble of the Tzintzars (Cincarsko) cemetery in Bijela – Kalajdžije in Brčko is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 1115 (new survey), title deed no. 661, corresponding to c.p. 782 (old survey), Land Register entry no. 125, cadastral municipality Bijela, Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The provisions relating to protection measures set forth by the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina no. 2/02 and 19/07).
The Government of Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Government of Brčko District) shall be responsible for providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the protection, conservation and presentation of the National Monument.
The Government of Brčko District shall be responsible for providing the funds to draft and implement the necessary technical documentation for the protection, conservation, restoration and presentation of the National Monument.
The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up notice boards with basic details of the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.
To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated, which shall apply to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision:
- all works on the monuments or parts thereof constituting the sepulchral ensemble are prohibited other than archaeological investigations and conservation-restoration works, subject to the prior approval of the department responsible for spatial planning of Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority;
- a project for the restoration and repair of the tombstones shall be developed, to cover all works on the National Monument, including landscaping and presentation;
- the removal or relocation of the old tombstones is prohibited, as are new burials less than 5 m from the old tombstones;
- the dumping of waste is prohibited.
The following measures are hereby prescribed for the urgent protection of the National Monument:
- the tombstones that have sunk into the ground shall be dug out, catalogued, cleaned and conserved;
- remedial structural work shall be carried out on the damaged tombstones.
All executive and area development planning acts are hereby revoked to the extent that they are not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision.
Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.
The Government of Brčko District, the authority responsible for regional planning in Brčko District and, the heritage protection authority shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II to VI of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.
The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.kons.gov.ba).
Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.
This Decision shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the Official Gazette of BiH.
This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Martin Cherry, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović and Ljiljana Ševo.
7 September 2011
Chair of the Commission
E l u c i d a t i o n
I – INTRODUCTION
Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a “National Monument” is an item of public property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to be a National Monument pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02) until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.
Pursuant to a petition/proposal to designate, received on 26 September 2009 from Somborović Veselin, representing the people of Kalajdžije, and in conformity with the provisions of the law, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the Property as a National Monument, pursuant to Article V para. 4 of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.
Statement of Significance
The village of Bijela, which is located around the River Tinja not far from Brčko, is in three parts, now regarded as separate villages: Christian Bijela (Bijela hrišćanska), where the residents are Serbs, Latin Bijela (Bijela Latinska), where the residents are Croats, and Bijela Varoš or Kalajdžije, which is Tzintzar Bijela (Cincarska Bijela). This last was founded by Aromanian (Tzintzar) settlers, and is known hereabouts as Kalajdžije. The ensemble occupies a prominent position in the village, and is of particular historical and landscape value. The Tzintzar cemetery attests to the existence of a distinct ethnic and social minority that has no state of its own – a minority that is dying out – and is now part of the identity of the Tzintzars and one of the symbols of their tradition.
II – PRELIMINARY PROCEDURE
In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:
- documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (transcript of title deed, Brčko Municipality, with copy of cadastral plan)
- details of the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.
- historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision
- the petition to designate the property as a national monument, drawn up by a representative of the people of Bijela, giving a brief description of the property
- letter ref. 07.1-35.2-23/09-233 of 15 December 2009 seeking the views of the owner(1)
- Recommendation 1333 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for the Aromanian culture and language
- letter ref. Ž-BR-03-45/09 of 11 March 2010, views of the Ombudsman for Human Rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the property are as follows:
1. Details of the property
The cemetery is located in Bijela in Kalajdžije near Brčko, on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 1115 (new survey), title deed no. 661, cadastral municipality Brčko 1, Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: Brčko District), Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bosanska Posavina, the Bosnian Sava valley, is a region in north-east Bosnia and Herzegovina, bounded to the north by the River Sava, to the north-west by Mt. Motajica, to the south by Mts Ozren and Trebava, and to the south-east by Mt. Majevica.
The area has been occupied since prehistoric times, as evidenced by a variety of archaeological finds both immovable and movable, such as coins and other articles. The remains of Roman tombs and glass-paste artefacts have been found in Brčko, indicating human habitation in Antiquity.
Some historians believe that the Bosnian Sava valley came under Ottoman rule much later than the rest of the mediaeval Bosnian state: some give the date as 1526. Šabanović claims that it came about with the fall of the Srebrenica banate, when the mediaeval fort at Dobor fell to the Ottomans. On 27 August 1536 the titular Serbian despot in Hungary Pavle Bakić reported to Vienna that Dobor had been taken by Husrev bey. The town was merged with the Bosnian sanjak and the Brod kadiluk (area under the jurisdiction of a cadi).
Little is known of the Brčko region in the past, particularly as regards population movements. “It is a known fact that almost none of the population living here before the seventeenth century is now present in the Posavina as a whole(2).” The main reason for this lack of information is the constant warfare at a time when the River Sava was the frontier in the struggle between the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires for supremacy.
Brčko was occupied by Austria-Hungary on 1 September 1878(3). The abolition of the border on the Sava provided a boost to trade after the occupation, and Brčko began to develop into a more modern town.
“It is difficult to determine when trade began to develop in the Brčko region, but it is usually ascribed to the arrival of the Tzintzars in 1769 or, in the view of some authorities, even before that, in 1738, after the uprising against the Ottoman authorities in the villages of Bijela and Zovik-Kalajdžije near Brčko.”(4)
Brčko’s rapid development prompted the Austrian government to move its vice-consulate from Tuzla to Brčko in 1865. In the latter half of the 19th century, Brčko’s mercantile success attracted people from various places, “thus Alijaga Kučukalić came from Čačak, becoming – along with the Paranosi and Krsmanovići – one of the wealthiest merchants of Brčko.”(5)
The Krsmanovići and Paranosi were the first Brčko merchants to take up residence in the village of Zovik-Kalajdžije, not far from Brčko, where the first trading activity was the purchase of plums and prunes. This trade gained momentum in particular when the first Tzintzar families moved to Zovik in 1768.
At first, much of their trading was in wild animal skins, used to make fur coats, and in plums, which grow in abundance in these parts. “The Krsmanovići, who were not of Tzintzar origin, but came from Herzegovina, joined forces with the Tzintzar merchants, who were known throughout the Balkans for their aptitude for trade and crafts. Those who took care to learn their business secrets quickly grew rich.... they were hard-working merchants trading in plums, prunes and other produce.”(6)
The village of Bijela, which is located around the River Tinja not far from Brčko, is in three parts, now regarded as separate villages: Christian Bijela (Bijela hrišćanska), where the residents are Serbs, Latin Bijela (Bijela Latinska), where the residents are Croats, and Bijela Varoš or Kalajdžije, which is Tzintzar Bijela (Cincarska Bijela). This last was founded by Aromanian (Tzintzar) incomers(7).
During the Ottoman period, Bijela was on the busy trade route that ran through the Tinja valley(8). Even so, Bijela is not an old trading centre; it was the Tzintzars from Bitolje who came here as merchants and artisans, and who chose Bijela as a suitable place to develop into a town, who turned it into a čaršija. Some members of their group went to Zovik, Porebrice and Tramošnica. Following the occupation of Bosnia, roads were built through the Bosnian Sava valley, and Bijela was sidelined, trade collapsed, and it was finished as a trading centre. Things were even worse in Zovik-Kalajdžije and Porebrice-Kalajdžije, however; Bijela does still have some families of Tzintzar origin living an urban lifestyle, and there are a few businesses still, though no longer run by the descendants of Tzintzars. The construction of the Brčko to Banovići railway line, which runs through Bijela, was to revive the place.
Most Tzintzars lived in the village of Zovik-Kalajdžije, where they had probably been even before 1769, and there was a Tzintzar commune there.
There is no detailed information on when and how Tzintzar settlements came into being in Bosnia, but there is a widespread tradition among the Tzintzars that their forebears were immigrants(9). Most of them came to Bijela as tailors and merchants, introducing an urban lifestyle(10). Initially, the Tzintzars were not involved in agriculture or farming, but only in crafts and trade, most of them tailors, but as time passed they bought land and are now also involved to some extent in agriculture(11).
Being merchants, the first Tzintzar newcomers were involved in trade, as peddlers loading their horses with a range of goods and travelling through the villages(12). An important item in their range, which the traders from Bijela and other towns in the Bosnian Sava valley procured from Pirot(13), was the cloth known as bugarija. In addition to the usual range of goods, the traders of Bijela brought books for their church from the trade fairs they attended, and maintained links with Russian consulates(14).
Despite the name Kalajdžije (tinsmiths), none of them are known to have been tinsmiths, whether in Bijela, Modriča or Porebrice. As far as is known, tinsmiths always came to Bijela from Čipuljići near Bugojno, working by the fountain in Bijela-Varoš. True, Marko Lukić’s notes for 1853 refer to one Tešo kalaisar, but without saying where he was from. One of the leading families in Bijela was the Tanasković family, previously the Karakostići(15). Scholars have yet to clarify the origins and meaning of the epithet Tzintzar(16). Until recently the earliest known reference to Tzintzars is in Slavonia in 1777, but there are even earlier reference to the name, the oldest dating from 1718(17).
The earliest reliable records of Tzintzars are from Sarajevo, where they were present around 1750. Baron Simeon (or Simon) (George) Sina(18), founder of one of the world’s largest banking and merchant houses, based in Vienna, was born in Sarajevo in 1753.
It is only in the high Pindus mountains that a sizeable group of Vlachs has survived to this day, in constant contact with the Slavs, Greeks and Albanians that surround them and at risk of being assimilated by them, and steadily diminishing in numbers as a result. Following a period of calm, they were affected by political turmoil in Epiros and southern Albania, particularly during the time of the famous Ali Pasha Janjinski (1741-1822), leading to a new movement among the Balkan Vlachs or Tzintzars, and during the 18th and 19th centuries a large group of Vlach herders, artisans and traders from the Pindus set off for the north, but did not get far and were unable to hold out for long. Many of them put down roots in the Debar or Mijaca ethnic areas in particular. There are some Vlach groups to this day in Macedonia and Serbia, but all of recent origin and are dying out(19).
As time passed, Serbs from the countryside also began to settle in Bijela-Varoš. The leading merchant in Bijela in 1938 was Aleksa Ristić, a native of the village of Obudovci. The family of a merchant by the name of Lazar Nikolić (Nikoljdan) is descended from an Orthodox priest, Spasoje, who was from Bijeli Potok in Serbian Bijela(20).
At first, the Tzintzars would not let the Serbs join them. It is said that the leading figures in Bijela would not even allow Orthodox priest Marko Lukić, who had succeeded priest Stevan in 1852, to build a house in Varoš. It was only after Nur-hanuma Gradaščević intervened that they let him build a house in their quarter(21). The Tzintzars would not even allow the Orthodox who worked on the Gradaščević estate to be buried in their cemetery, so they were buried separately.
As well as preserving something of their old ethnic culture and customs, in some places the Tzintzars have also left their mark, reflected in a particular refinement and composure, a great love and aptitude for comfort, and the knack of doing well in life.
The Tzintzar or kalajdžije language
Not only do none of the descendants of the Tzintzars in Bosnia speak Tzintzar or, as they called it in Serbian, the kalajdžije language, there are only the merest vestiges of the language to be found. The Serbianization of the Tzintzars and the loss of their language was very rapid even where there were several families and, as a result, a greater chance of preserving their language.
Nothing written in Tzintzar by Bosnia’s Tzintzars has survived, and nor are their any written records of them in Greek, though they probably initially used Greek as their language of written communication. They began to use the Serbian language and script at quite an early date – records by Tzintzars in Serbian have been found dating from 1811 and 1817(22).
Permanent settlement by Tzintzars in a given place or area was usually preceded by a period during which they lived there alone as migrant workers. Many of Bosnia’s Tzintzars, therefore, must have been living in Bosnia or elsewhere among Serbs before settling in Bosnia with their family, and have learned Serbian. In addition, these Tzintzars had lived in mixed communities in their homeland, and could have learned some Macedonian or Serbian there, if indeed the first Tzintzar settlers in Bosnia were not already from bilingual homes, as are all of today’s Tzintzars in Bitolje, Magarevo, Kruševo and elsewhere. As a result, they could already have begun to lose their own language before putting down roots in Bosnia and, once living among Serbs, the process would only have accelerated.
The rapid Serbianization of the Tzintzars in Bosnia was facilitated by other factors, too. The Tzintzars came to Bosnia as traders and artisans, and had to be able to speak the language of their customers, which was not hard for them, as Tzintzars generally learn another languages without difficulty. Then again, being of the Orthodox faith, they immediately joined forces with the Bosnian Serbs, also of the Orthodox faith. True, they tried to retain at least some of the Greek liturgy in their churches, but that did not last long. It was not long before Bosnian Serbs and Tzintzars were intermarrying, which had the greatest impact on the Serbianization of the Tzintzars. The first Tzintzar settlers in Bijela married Serb peasant women, and the Tzintzar language was soon displaced by Serbian. There was no Orthodox urban population there before the arrival of the Tzintzars, who were therefore compelled to marry peasant women – there was no other option open to them. Furthermore, there were very few Tzintzars, and most of them were single men. Most Tzintzars were closely related, and were therefore reluctant to marry others of their kind in Bijela Kalajdžije, but usually preferred to marry Serb women.
A further factor that led to the disappearance of the Tzintzars as a distinct ethnic and social group was the decline of their particular Balkan crafts – tinsmithing and tailoring – which had distinguished them from the rest of the population, and the fact that the places where they lived ceased to be trading centres. As time passed, Serb peasants came to Varoš and turned to crafts and trade, to the extent that the conditions were still conducive to this, taking over the place once held by the Tzintzars. Not one of the descendants of the Tzintzars in Zovik, Bijela, Porebrice and Modriča now speaks Tzintzar; the last to do so were Kosta Karakostić, nicknamed Poćo, who died in 1895, and old Lica Janković, who died in 1908. She was born in Bijela and died there at an advanced age – over 100, it is said. The older generations of Tzintzars in Bijela did speak Tzintzar at home and among themselves, but they wrote in Serbian(23).
Most of the Tzintzars in Bosnia who still spoke a little Tzintzar died in the early 20th century, and there is now no one left who speaks it.
2. Description of the property
The cemetery, which is surrounded by a metal fence, covers an area of about 550 m2. The entrance to the cemetery is on the south side of the complex, from the local road between Brčko and Bijela. The cemetery, which is still in use, contains 25 old stone gravestones(24); the rest are of recent date.
The oldest gravestones, probably dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, are in very poor condition. They are uneven in shape and relatively large in size, and come in two basic shapes: stele or obelisk, with the top shaped in a variety of ways, and cruciform.
The Orthodox population first began to be buried here in 1963(25), and most of their gravestones are modern in style and materials.
Gravestone no. 1
The gravestone, which is located close to the entrance to the cemetery, measures 87 x 41 x 16 cm, and is rectangular in shape, with no decoration on the front. It has suffered from the ravages of time and is affected by biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 2
The gravestone, which stands next to gravestone no. 1, is also rectangular and has no visible decoration. It measures 77 x 40 x 16 cm.
Gravestone no. 3
The gravestone, which is well preserved, is located a few metres to the north of tombstone no. 2. It is cruciform, with arms widening trapezoidally at the ends; it is 60 cm high with arms 36 cm wide, and 11 cm thick. The year 1850 and an epitaph which is too badly damaged to decipher are carved on the front.
Gravestone no. 4
The gravestone is half buried and covered with soil.
Gravestone no. 5
The gravestone is rectangular in shape, with a triangular top, and measures 70 x 36 x 12 cm. It has no decoration on the front, and has suffered from the ravages of time and biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 6
The gravestone is half buried and covered with soil.
Gravestone no. 7
The gravestone is broken in half. The visible remains measure 30 x 18 x 17 cm, and have an undecipherable epitaph on the front.
Gravestone no. 8
The gravestone is rectangular in shape, measuring 63 x 33 x 12 cm. The front bears an illegible epitaph, while on the back is a simple carved decoration consisting of vertical bands that are badly eroded and barely recognizable.
Gravestone no. 9
The gravestone is half buried and covered with soil.
Gravestone no. 10
The gravestone, which is a simple rectangle in shape, is broken in half. It measures 30 x 30 x 13 cm, and has no visible decoration on either front or back. It is covered with biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 11
This too is a simple rectangle in shape, measuring 65 x 62 x 23 cm. Both sides bear illegible epitaphs. It has suffered from the ravages of time and is covered with biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 12
The gravestone has been moved from its original position and is leaning up against gravestone no. 13. It is cruciform, with arms widening trapezoidally at the ends, and is 36 cm high with arms 22 cm wide, and 10 cm thick. It has suffered from the ravages of time and is covered with biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 13
The gravestone, in the form of a simple rectangle, measures 60 x 50 x 20 cm. It has an illegible epitaph on the front and a decoration on the back in the form of a rectangle with two diagonals outlined by a decorative frame 5 cm thick. The gravestone is in very good condition.
Gravestone no. 14
The gravestone, in the form of a simple rectangle, measures 59 x 54 x 22 cm. The front bears an illegible epitaph, while on the back is a decoration that has suffered from the ravages of time and is barely visible. It is covered with biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 15
The gravestone, in the form of a simple rectangle slanting at the top, which is therefore narrower, measures 80 x 40 18 cm (narrowing at the top to 8 cm). A modern gravestone is leaning up against it. The front bears an epitaph. It has suffered from the ravages of time and is covered with biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 16
The gravestone is cruciform, with arms widening trapezoidally at the ends, with a height of 46 cm and arms 43 cm wide, and a depth of 18 cm. No decoration can be seen on the front. The gravestone is half buried and covered with biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 17
The gravestone is half buried and covered with soil.
Gravestone no. 18
The gravestone, in the form of a simple rectangle, measures 40 x 36 x 16 cm. The front bears a carved decoration of a cross and an illegible epitaph. It has suffered from the ravages of time and is covered with biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 19
The gravestone, in the form of a simple rectangle, semicircular at the top, measures 50 x 26 10 cm. The front bears a carved decoration of a cross and an illegible epitaph. It has suffered from the ravages of time and is covered with biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 20
The gravestone, in the form of a simple rectangle, measures 52 x 31 x 13 cm. The front bears an undecipherable epitaph, and the back bears a decoration that has suffered from the ravages of time and is barely visible. It is covered with biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 21
The gravestone, in the form of a simple rectangle, measures 90 x 44 x 15 cm, is next to the cemetery fence on the west side. The front bears the year, which is badly eroded and cannot be read in full, and a carved decoration in the form of a cross. It is covered with biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 22
The gravestone, in the form of a simple rectangle, semicircular at the top, measures 45 x 37 13 cm. The front bears a carved decoration of a cross and an illegible epitaph. Leaning up against it is a gravestone of recent date. It has suffered from the ravages of time and is covered with biological deposits.
Gravestone no. 23
The gravestone is half buried and covered with soil.
Gravestone no. 24
The gravestone is half buried and covered with soil.
Gravestone no. 25
Standing right by the entrance to the cemetery, it is a simple rectangle in form, measuring 53 x 40 x 16 cm. The front bears the traces of an epitaph that has suffered from the ravages of time and is illegible. The gravestone is covered with lichen.
3. Legal status to date
The Tzintzar cemetery in Bijela has not been protected or listed.
4. Istraživački i konzervatorsko-restauratorski radovi
No conservation-restoration works have been carried out on the cemetery.
5. Current condition
The findings of an on-site inspection are that the gravestones are badly damaged as a result of exposure to the elements, deterioration of the material and neglect.
6. Specific risks
- new burials,
- dumping of waste.
III – CONCLUSION
Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH nos. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.
The Decision was based on the following criteria:
A. Time frame
B. Historical value
C. Artistic and aesthetic value
E. Symbolic value
E.iii. traditional value
E.v. significance for the identity of a group of people
F. Townscape/ Landscape value
F.i. relation to other elements of the site
F.ii. meaning in the townscape
F.iii. the building or group of buildings is part of a group or site
G.i. form and design
G.v. location and setting
H. Rarity and representativity
H.i. unique or rare example of a certain type or style
I.i. physical coherence
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
- copy of cadastral plan,
- Land Register entry(26),
During the procedure to designate the sepulchral ensemble of the Tzintzar cemetery in Bijela – Kalajdžije in Brčko as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:
1950. Filipović, S. Milenko. “Cincari u Bosni” (Tzintzars in Bosnia), Collected papers of the Ethnographic Institute. Belgrade: Serbian Academy of Sciences, 1950
1982. Šabanović, Hazim. Bosanski pašaluk (The Bosnian pashaluk). Sarajevo: 1982
1995. Mujačić, Mehmedalija. Brčko srce bosanske Posavine (Brčko heart of the Sava valley). Wuppertal, Federal Republic of Germany: Verlag BOSANSKA RIJEČ – DAS BOSNISCHE WORT, 1995
2003. Ristić, Dušan. Brčko – Stari srpski trgovci u Brčkom (Brčko – old Serb merchants in Brčko). Brčko: December 2003
2007. Amendments to the town plan for the town of Brčko (II)
(1) The owner’s views were received by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments by means of letter ref. 436 of 30 December 2009, in which the Serbian Orthodox of Brčko, owner of the property, states that it does not see any need to designate the cemetery as a national monument for fear that it would give rise to tensions among the people of different confessions in Bijela.
(2) Mujačić, Mehmedalija, Brčko srce bosanske Posavine, Wuppertal: 1995, 30
(3) Mujačić, Mehmedalija, op.cit., 36
(4) Ristić, Dušan, Brčko – Stari srpski trgovci u Brčkom, Brčko: 2003, 59
(5) Ristić, Dušan, op.cit., 16
(6) Ristić, Dušan, Brčko – ibid, Brčko: 2003, 66
(7) This Bijela is also known as Kalajdžije; it was here that an urban lifestyle developed, as suggested by an Orthodox priest by the name of Marko Lukić, who referred in 1852 to ''the varoš [town] of kaledžie bjela.”
(8) At that time the roads to Tuzla, Brčko, Gračanica (Bosnian) and Gradačac intersected in Bijela, which had a greater volume of trade than Brčko. It is said that villagers from 70 villages passed through Bijela to take their plums to Brčko. Further evidence of Bijela as a busy trade centre is the fact that it had an aščinica (eating-house), as recorded by the Orthodox priest of Bijela, Marko Lukić, in his records kept from 1852 to 1859, when he refers to one Simo aščija.
(9) According to Dr. Risto Jeremić, they came “from Mađedonija” around 1773, as already noted, moving to the villages of Bijela and Zovik near Brčko, Porebrice near Gradačac and the town of Modriča. Academician Milenko S. Filipović thinks it unlikely that they came “firmanly” (on the Sultan’s orders), but rather than they were fleeing the iron rule of Ali Pasha Janjinski. However, the Tzintzars of Majevica and Trebava enjoyed considerable support from Husein-bey Gradašćević, who took in a group of Tzintzar refugees and gave them land and privileges to enable them to expand their trade into crafts.
(10) It is not known how many they were when they first arrived. During the tenure of the Orthodox priest of Bijela Marko Lukić (from 1852), i.e. during the 1850s, there were 45 of them in Bijela.
(11) It is said that when first settling here, they would be granted a lease of land “pod mukatu,” but later both the Tzintzars and the local villagers had to pay a third of the yield from their land, i.e. to be čivčije. The land on which they settled was just a small part of the immense Gradaščević estate. In the 1810s and 1860s no one could speak too highly of Mahmed-bey Gradaščević, a great friend and patron of the traders of Bijela.
(12) They came to certain villages on a predetermined day, and always stayed at the same place. Traders from Bijela were required to hold an annual fair in a field below the neighbouring village of Dubrave. Part of the field is still known as Kasapnice (Tur. butcher’s shop).
(13) Orthodox peasants were the main users of this kind of cloth. Catholic peasants used a much stronger cloth known as “krpa” to make women’s homespun coats, with the tufted side inwards.
(14) Some of them were so wealthy that they would carry a thousand ducats with them. They would go to church before leaving home on their travels and on their return; on their return, bringing gifts for their neighbours, they would be met by a welcoming party firing into the air, and would hold gatherings.
(15) Their forebear Kara Kosta, who was from Bitolja, left his third wife behind, or abandoned her somewhere en route, and once in Bijela married a widow of one of the Jankovići, who had come with him. Kara Kosta’s son Tanasko was born in Bijela and died there in 1852 aged over 70 – some say 72, others that he was over 81.
(16) They are known not only as Tzintzars, the epithet familiar in Bosnia since the 18th century, but also – both in Bosnia and elsewhere – by other names, some of which are even more familiar. With the exception of the Tzintzars in Sarajevo, for as long as they remained a distinct ethnic or social group, others in Bosnia were known as Kalajdžije, an epithet much more widely used in Čipuljići and northern Bosnia than Tzintzar. Members of the group themselves often used the name, which was the one usually used to describe them in the area they lived in.
(17) One record relates that Prince Eugene of Savoy conquered Belgrade in 1718 and, when a peace treaty was concluded between Austria and Turkey, appointed captains around occupied Serbia. The fourteenth of these was Kosta, a native Tzintzar from Paraćin. Among the Orthodox urban population Sarajevo in 1762 were 63 described as Tzintzars, whose occupation was that of silk-workers (ipekčije). The name Tzintzar features in Novi Sad in 1774: one Georgije Janković, a goldsmith from Grabovo, described as “natione Graeco-Valachus vulgo Czinczar,” swore fealty to the Austrians in 1774 in Serbian. (Filipović, S. Milenko, “Cincari u Bosni,” Zbornik radova Etnografskog instituta SAN, Beograd: 1950, 58)
(18) Filipović, S. Milenko, op.cit.
(19) As with the Vlachs in Serbia, Bosnia and elsewhere in the Middle Ages, so too the Vlachs or Tzintzars who left their homeland in the 18th and 19th century to settle elsewhere experienced the same fate, quickly assimilating into the people among whom they had settled; many of them adopted the Orthodox faith and became Slavicized, but quite a few also assimilated into other peoples. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, such contacts, and the introduction of Balkan Latins into the Slav population, occurred in occasional waves, initially immediately after their arrival, next at the end of the Middle Ages and the start of Ottoman rule, and a third time in the latter half of the 18th century, when a small group of these Vlachs, now known as Tzintzars, Kalajdžije or Greeks, came as traders or artisans. This was the smallest wave of Vlachs from the turbulent Pindus to wash up in Bosnia, only to a limited extent filling the gaps in the population of Bosnia caused by the great loss of life in the wars of the 17th and 18th centuries, frequent epidemics of the plague and famine. Few in number and far from home, those Tzintzars who came to Bosnia in the 18th century were doomed to the loss of their identity, and so it was. Even though this took place in the 19th and 20th century, when the country had an active press and scholarship, the process passed almost unnoticed. Those Tzintzars who came to Bosnia in the 18th century have no direct relationship with the Vlachs in mediaeval and early Ottoman Bosnia, and not all of them were even ethnic Vlachs, for they included many Serbs who were known as Vlachs because of their occupation as herders. Ristić, Dušan, Stari srpski trgovci u Brčkom, Brčko: 2003, 59
(20) The cemetery in Bijela contains the graves of Orthodox priest Spasoje and his son priest Stevo (1852).
(21) Ristić, Dušan, Stari srpski trgovci u Brčkom, Brčko: 2003, 50 - 54
(22) Filipović, S. Milenko, “Cincari u Bosni,” Zbornik radova Etnografskog instituta SAN, Beograd: 1950, 41.
(23) Filipović, S. Milenko, “Cincari u Bosni,” Zbornik radova Etnografskog instituta SAN, Beograd: 1950, 41 - 44.
(24) When the Tzintzar cemetery was surveyed on 18 August 2011 it was found to contain 25 old gravestones with original epitaphs.
(25) From a telephone conversation with Veselin Sobmorović on 26 August 2011
(26) From a letter from the Serbian Orthodox parish ref. 436 of 30 December 2009. The Commission has not received an official copy of the Land Register entry.