Populations, Movements, Refugees

It’s been slower lately — I’ve been reading Slovene materials, more or less getting a grip on that language, taking notes on some good articles, but not as intently as a couple of weeks ago.

Still, an article by Natasa Stefanec (of Triplex Confinium project) led me to articles by Ivan Jurkovic, who appears to be a young scholar in Croatia.* His work is on the early modern period, with a focus on the fate of the “starosedioci” who moved out as the Ottomans moved in, or through.

These articles (including Stefanec’s) throw some light on that topic, which is important for me in general (and also quite interesting to me, regardless my research).

But, it also brings to mind once again the possibility of treating Zumberak and its population as part of a process of refugee resettlement, old-time style.

Think, for instance, of a comparison between the Greco-Turkish situation in the early 1920s and the Zumberak/Bela Krajina situation in the early 1500s. Territories abandoned by previous populations, new ones move in by design or not; with govt. invitation and privileges…; the difficulties of integration and resettlement. The comparisons are nice, provocative.

*Oops, not young, not really. On the history faculty at Pula, born in 1961.

Updated and Ordered Get-List

Angelovski, Igor et al. Prazniki in praznovanja pri Uskokih v Beli krajini (Srednja sola, Crnomelj) Raziskovalna naloga. 2000.

Nikola Badovinac, Žumberak i Marindol (Zagreb, 1896)

Ljubo Boban, Hrvatske granice 1918-1993

Andreja Brancelj Bednaršek  Zdravo! Sto let belokranjskega sokolstva (Metlika: Belokranjski muzej, 2007) (on sale at Belokranjski muzej)

Rade Bulat, Žumberak i pokuplje u narodnooslobodilačkoj borbi (Kultura, 1951)

Dražumerič and Terseglav, “Prispevek k preučevanju Srbov v Beli krajini” in V: Traditiones (Ljubljana 1987) 205-45.

Fournier, “Der Sichelburger District” in Neue freie presse, 15571, 1907

Gjetvaj, Nada. Žumberak život i kultura (1985 muzej catalog)

Damir Josipovič, Učinki priseljevanja v Slovenijo po drugi svetovni vojni  (Založba ZRC, Ljubljana, 2006)

Karl Kaser Slobodan seljak I vojnik (Zagreb) 2 v.

Kaser Kaser Popis Lika (I have this)

Koblar, “Čegav je žumberak” in Izvestja muzejskega društva za Kranjsko VIII

Dušan Kos Urbarij za belo krajino in žumberk 15-18 stoljetje (SAZU 1991)

Klemenčić, M. (1989). Historijsko-geografska osnova regionalnog poimanja i demografskih promjena Žumberka (Master’s Thesis, Zagreb)

Andjelko Mijatović, Senjski Uskoci u narodnoj pjesmi i povijesti (Matica hrvatska 1983)

Aleksandra Muraj,  Živim znači stanujem

Milutin Cihlar Nehajev, Bijeg

Milutin Cihlar Nehajev, Vuci

Divna Ognjanović, “Pogled kroz prošlost I vidjenje budućnosti Srba u Beloj krajini” in Petrović, ed., Srbi u Sloveniji, Zbornik radova sa konferencije održane 8 I 9 june 1996, 127-31. (Svetska srpska zajednica, Beograd).

Pavičić on Lika (I have this)

Bare Poparić, Povijest senjskih uskoka

August Senoa, Čuvaj se Senjske ruke

August Senoa, Seljačka buna

Petar Skok, “Novi prilozi proučavanju govora žumberačkih čakavaca” 1956

Šuklje, “Izseljavanje in doseljavanje v žumberk,” in Geografski vestnik, Ljubljana, 1936-37

William Zartman “Identity, Movement, and Response” in Zartman, Understanding Life in the Borderlands (Athens, 2010)

Zbornik Žumberak-Gorjanci (1941-1945)

Žumberak – baština i izazovi budućnosti. Stari grad Žumberak: Odbor za proslavu 700-te obljetnice imena Žumberak (1996, Stari Grad Zumberak) from Djakovic article

Niko Županić, reports in Srpski geografski glasnik from beforeFirst World War

Žumberački krijes

Žumberačke novine

Knežević-Hočevar has archival materials listed in her article on marriage from dve Domovini.

Zumberak and Bela Krajina, Elephants and Living Rooms

While I tire of the identity question and would like to move on from it, there is something obvious that needs to be kept in mind when considering the identity of the Zumberak “Uskoks” today. It is this:

Serbs (or Vlahs, or Orthodox Christians, or Prebjezi, or…) came to both Zumberak and Bela Krajina in the same time period, as part of the same waves, and in I believe on occasion as parts of the same small group of migrants. They were then settled across the region in rather disorganized fashion, but they began in the same place. They were the same people.

Today, they are not. They are Serbs in Bela Krajina, and they are Croats in Zumberak. And, as we know, the Croats of Zumberak are rather defensive about that fact, they insist till their collective faces turn blue that they are Croats; they go to great lengths to demonstrate their patriotism. They, as noted in an earlier post (regarding Josipovic’s article) simultaneously maintain a connection to their “difference” (Greek Catholicism, the “Uskok” name). Serbs of Marindol, Bojanci, etc. do not.

This is not terribly important for the study of the Serbs of Bela Krajina; they do not need to be explained. But it is pretty damned fertile territory for a student of Zumberak.

  • When did this divergence begin?
  • Did the shift in national affiliation occur simultaneously with the change in religious affiliation?
  • Josipovic would indicate not — there were Serbs in Zumberak according to 20th century censuses, I think as late as 1950 (see his article).
  • What was the final catalyst to the shift to strongly-asserted Croatianness?

Creative Writing Project

To write the history of Zumberak in multiple voices, to capture its various meanings:

1. Uskok.

2. “Indigenous Croat”

3. Stanko Vraz

4. August Senoa

5. Nick Damjanovic

6. An Ustasha from Zumberak

7. Smiciklas

8. Stepinac

9. Nick Damjanovic again

10. A starac in a napusteno selo today

11. Mr. Eko-village Zumberak


Damir Josipovic talks the essence of Zumberakiness

In an article titled “Zumberak: The Border, Ethnicity, Religion, Fecundity, and Migration of the Population — Demographic Analysis” in dve Domovini, a Slovene journal whose 2007 issue was devoted to Zumberak. Some highlights, with implications (for me). The article is in Slovene, so translations are sketchy at best (but the sense is clear to me):

1. “An important factor in the local identity of the population of Zumberak is also religion, that is the chosen affiliation. Greek Catholicism as a locally isolated phenomenon remains, so to speak, the main distinctive element in opposition to the outside world. Despite the formal unity of the two faiths, local Greek Catholics, are so lively in spite of depopulation; to the aging population this shows the indestructible power of self-preservation” (46).

2. “In the broad and narrow sense, Zumberak is a true linguistic treasure trove. In a territory that barely hits 240 km sq., we find along with the predominant stokavstina, also kajkavian and cakavian elements in their ijekavski, ikavski, an dekavski variants” (51). And the paragraph goes on in familiar fashion.

3. “This linguistic diversity of the Zumberak population is one of the indicators that we cannot simply rest on some sort of homogeneous ethnic affiliation of the Zumbercani. Thus also the preferred use of the regional code ‘Zumbercanin’, which neither evokes nor provokes, at the same time does not take away from the essence which it indicates, which is the population of Zumberak” (51).

One interesting takeaway: From the body of page 51, which is where two of the quotes came from. Josipovic notes that the Zumbercani insist on their Croatian identity; this is supported by the various social media cites today and data from the 1990s forward. They almost jealously assert their Croatianness. Yet, as Josipovic notes and as the same social media data supports, they also rather jealously assert their Uskokiness, their difference; their Greek Catholicism seems here to be a landing spot for people who assert these not-quite-opposites, these two identities that are hard to make coexist. Also helps either explain, or is a result of, the separation of Zumberak historically. It’s isolation, administration and geographic, is matched by the development of these dual identities. There just aren’t any other cloistered Greek Catholic communities in Croatia. This one’s unique.