Saturday, October 12, 2013

Overview of Croatian Costume part 3; Mountain or Dinaric Zone

Hello all,

Today I will continue my discussion of the costumes of Croatia with the Dinaric or Mountain zone. This zone consists of the mountainous regions just inland from the coast. It also includes large areas of Bosnia, Hercegovina and Montenegro. Here is our map again. We are now venturing into the western arm of Croatia. Again, the traditional regions are listed.

In my last post I mentioned pockets of Croatians living in Serbia, so I should mention here that some part of the inhabitants of Mountainous Croatia are Serbs. Here is a very coarse map of the distribution of nationalities in the former Yugoslavia. Remember that this does not show a very fine detail of distribution, many small groups are left out. Also many areas have mixed population, which this map does not show.

I will cover the various regions from north to south.


 This is the mountainous region east of the Istrian peninsula and just south of the Slovene border. It consists of the inland portion of Gorski Kotar county and the western part of Karlovac county. The culture here is closer to that of Slovenia than to the balkans.



The following costumes are those used on stage by the Croatian national ensemble Lado. They seem to be from the Delnice area.

Dances from Gorski Kotar
 Local group from Delnice 
Dances from Jelenje


This is the relatively lowlying region which is mostly in Karlovac county, east of Gorski Kotar and west of the narrow waist of Croatia. The two major cities are Ogulin in the north, and Slunj in the south. In many ways this area is transitional between the Pannonian and Dinaric zones. Again, from north to south;

This is often considered to be a transitional area, but I will include it with Kordun.



 Lađevačko Selište
The red Dalmatian cap first makes its appearance here.


Songs and dances from Kordun


 Lika is the highland region highlighted on this map, which is transitional between the northern regions and the mountains of Dalmatia. The costume in the photo at the head of the article is from Lika.

Songs and dances of Lika

A concert of Croatian Dance, the Lika set starts at 8:55 
  local groups;


roughly from north to south.


Ravni Kotari

This is the inland part of the Zadar peninsula.

Dances and songs from Ravni Kotari. Some of the girls are wearing coastal costumes. 
Songs from Benkovac 




Songs and dances from Vrlika 


A glimpse of the Alka, the tournament held at Sinj 

Songs and dances from Sinj


Songs and dances from Imotski 


Songs and dances from Neretva valley 


There are very similar costumes found just over the border in Croatian communities in West Hercegovina

 Songs and dances from this area

The dinaric zone continues into Montenegro, 
Some consider the two costumes of the Dubrovnik area to be Dinaric, others hold them to be Adriatic. I shall cover them with the Adriatic costumes.

This is a fascinating region costumewise.
Thank you for reading.
I hope that you have found this interesting and informative.

This is a link to the facebook page 'Croatian Traditional Costumes', which is very informative and a great source of good quality photos. 

Feel free to contact me with requests for research. I hope to eventually cover all of Europe and the Former Russian Empire/Soviet Union. I also gratefully accept tips on source materials which i may not have. I also accept commissions to research/design, sew, and/or embroider costumes or other items for groups or individuals. I also choreograph and teach folk dance.
Roman K.

Feel free to contact me at this email address.


  1. Thank you so much for this blog! I discovered it today and LOVE it. Thank you!

  2. one question, where can you buy these traditional clothes? im really interested in this adn would love to buy a dress.

    1. Contact the region that you are interested in and ask to find out who makes them.