Photo of the Day: Dancing with the Swords

Total Croatia News

The island of Korčula features several chivalrous traditions, the most notable being the Moreška in Korčula town and Kumpanija (companions) in the inland town of Blato.

The game is one of the most interesting traditions in Blato and regularly takes place on the 28th of April, on St. Vicenza’s Day (patroness of the town), whose bones were relocated to Blato two centuries ago by consent of the Pope Pio VI.

Kumpanija is a chivalrous fight between two armies showing their readiness to defend their home, as a memory of distant centuries when the defence of the island was in the hands of the island defence unit called kumpanija.

Upon consent of the local head, the leader of soldiers, so-called kapitan starts with the sword dance in several dance figures. An especially interesting part is the role of “alfir” (standard-bearer), dancing with a large flag. After the end of this chivalrous game, the soldiers may dance with girls (dance called “tanac”).

Kumpanija is accompanied by bellows and a big war drum. The thousand-year-old custom of sacrificing an ox was abandoned several decades ago. The game takes place in front of the church of All Saints, on the so-called “plokata”, in a suggestive ambience, where also other feasts and events are held.


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