Easter is upon us once again, time to look at more of Croatia’s intangible heritage which ties in with this festive period.
There are a lot of Easter decoration techniques which vary from area to area. We already wrote about tradition which is intangible heritage characteristic for Podravina and Prigorje.
In this article, we will introduce you to yet another technique which is another piece of Croatia’s intangible heritage, and is particularly common in Eastern Croatia.
This tradition is called ”oplet” and the eggs are decorated by braiding the silky, cotton or wool thread. This technique is used in the Đakovo and the Bogdanovci areas.
To properly decorate these eggs, first you need to remove the yolk and the egg whites without breaking the egg, and then wash it with water and a bit of vinegar. Then, the egg is divided with one thread vertically and then horizontally. By doing this, you’ll end up with a ”net” of six connection spots as the base for braiding. The process is then undetaken by braiding, and at the same time, by combing the colours of the threads.
The NGO ”Družina” from the capital, Zagreb, was responsible for getting this priceless piece of Croatia’s heritage onto the list of protected heritages back in 2013, whereas the tradition itself dates all the way back to 1923, when the oldest braided egg was found.
Today, this piece of the country’s heritage is being preserved by workshops for locals and children, who continue to keep the tradition of these special eggs alive and kicking in the modern day.
SOURCE (text and photos): Djos.hr, Etno Škrinjica, Press032