Saturday, October 3, 2009

Exhibition "Zubun"

By Jelica Tapuskovic

Belgrade, Sept. 28, 2009 (Serbia Today) - Exhibition „Zubun” has been opened in the Etnographic Museum in Belgrade, on September 21st. With this exhibition the museum celebrates 108 years of its foundation. Exhibition consists of about 600 objects from museum’s collection, which are folk costumes from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. The Author of exhibition, who is also the adviser of museum, Mirjana Menkovic, told Serbia Today that the aim of this exhibition is to present a collection which is extraordinary by number of surviving samples, as well as by formal, functional and style characteristics. She said it is the biggest and most preserved dress collection from XIX century made in South Slavic Balkan region. Its presentation can give to public new knowledge about cultural history and dressing culture of Serbians.

In the traditional culture Zubun was a top garment vest, usually sleeveless, made of cloth, mostly in white color. People wore it during the whole year, and it was really a necessary piece of clothes of cattle-breeders. Zubun was widely spread on Balkan Peninsula, and it was worn in combination with shirt, bodice and doublet. From region to region it has different length.

„On west Balkan – central Serbia and Croatia, west Macedonia and middle Albania, zubun was short. Long zubuns were characteristic in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dalmatia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Metohia, east Serbia. In the middle of XVIII and in XIX, thanks to migration, it spread to Slovenia, Peloponnese in Greece, Eubia and Epir, south and south -west Bulgaria, and to north Albania”, said Mirjana Menkovic.

Both genders-male and female wore zubun, but it was more characteristic for female, what proofs number of zubuns shown on exhibition – there are only 13 male zubuns.
Zubun is one of the oldest clothes on South Slav Balkan region, and it also has esthetic effect – it is known as most representative piece of clothes of Serbian traditional costume.
In tradition, zubun was used to mark marriage, age and class status of a person who wore it. Unmarried women wore zubun different than married, with a collar and adornment. Their zubun was made in white color, and zubun of older women was dark or black.

„Dressing depends of marriage status – it was more colorful when you are a girl or bride, and almost baldness when you are older or widowed. In some regions reach girls wore red dresses, and in some parts of Balkan green. Also class status was distinguished by material quality, adornment, by name or cut of zubun”, said Mirjana Menkovic.

She underlined that selection of zubuns for exhibition was made by richness of zubun, by number of copies from one region and by their beauty, and preservation.

„In that way we got important number of copies, used for catalogue. They are made in XIX and on the beginning of XX century”, said Menkovic.
She also said that with this exhibition Etnographic museum wants to promote different ways of working, in the museum and with a public. By that she means a different usage of gallery space, and multimedia presentation which are supposed to attract different types of public. The visitors can see the method of making the zubuns using the touch screen monitors posed on the exhibition.

Visitors of this exhibition have a chance to see also the drawings and aquarelles of artist Olga Benson, who made them in 1945, inspired by zubuns.

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