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Ethnology Department

The Ethnology Department collects, maintains, exhibits, and studies all items of material, spiritual, and social culture of the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has a rich collection of material which is stored or arranged into thematic exhibitions. It has two permanent exhibition and organises several thematic shows every year. 

The gathering of ethnological material started when the National Museum was founded in 1888, with the purchase of valuable ethnological items (for instance, national costumes). Just after the founding, the department was integrated into the Archaeology Department, but broke off again four years later. As of 1913, the department has been housed in the museum's Ethnology Pavilion, whose interior imitates that of a traditional Bosnian urban house.

Department of Ethnology, Material Culture,Mowing kit, whetstone holder

Whetstone Holder

A whetstone holder is a grooved piece of wood which mowers filled with water and carried on their waist-belts. It was made of walnut with the use of different carving techniques: cutting, grooving, incrusting and pricking.

Department for ethnology, Material Culture, Collection of house textiles, Mat


The mat is made of home-made wool on vertical or horizontal weaving loom, using techniques of finger interlacing andpre-weaving. These techniques were used by Bosnian and Herzegovinian women in handiwork,home or in workshop activity.

Ethnology, Intangible heitage,Manuscript collection

Wedding poem

The manuscript collection of Smajil O. Bradarić, Narodne umotvorine (iz Dervente i okolice većinom) – Folk wisdom (from Derventa and its surroundings for most part), in five note-books in which there stands out a wedding song  which was bought from its owner in 1957.

Department for Ethnology, Material culture, Traditional crafts, The scales

The scales

In the rich collection of urban and rural craftsmanship in the Department of Ethnology the objects of kujundžijski (metal-handling) craft are kept. Part of the collection are the scales used for weighing precious metals and gems.

Deparment for Ethnology, Material Culture, Collection of house textiles,Embroidered kerchief – jagluk

Embroidered kerchief – jagluk

The kerchief is made of a thinner „bez sadeluk”, white cotton fabric, with sumptuous motifs on its edges. Three vegetal motifs, leaves or flowers, are embroidered on each end with cyclamen red and pale green silk, bound with brown thread.