Book presentation of ‘Customs and Folk Beliefs on Pelješac’ by Jasenka Maslek

The presentation of the book by Assistant Professor Jasenka Maslek ‘Customs and Fok Beliefs on Pelješac (Based on records of Zvonimir Bjelovučić)’ was held today in the amphitheatre of the central building of the University Campus. This book represents a partial publication of the manuscript by Nikola Zvonimir Bjelovučić, that has been stored in the HAZU’s archive for more than 60 years, and that has now been published as a critical edition for the first time.

The book was presented by Emeritus Professor Ljiljana Marks, Professor Marijana Tomelić Ćurlić, PhD and Zrinka Režić Tolj, PhD, and the event was moderated by Assistant Professor Irena Ipšić, PhD. The presenters highlighted the importance of this work in terms of contributing to the ethnologic and folklore research of the recorded and so far unpublished beliefs and stories from the Pelješac peninsula, which are interesting not only for researchers, but for the wider public too. The book is intended for students at all levels of study of humanities and social sciences, for ethnologists and folklore researchers to do their scientific research, for historians and for local employees in the culture sector.

Ljiljana Makrs, a renowned and respected scientist (Emeritus Professor) at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore in Zagreb, pointed out that this manuscript was ‘an extremely valuable contribution to ethnology, folklore research, history and cultural anthropology and culture in general’ and that it brought back to live ‘the voices of long-gone people’ and awakened the ‘memories within the generations of today.’ The author of the book Assistant Professor Jasenka Maslek, PhD thanked everybody for coming, and especially thanked to those who had helped her compile this book and bring it to readers.  

The book ‘Customs and Folk Beliefs in Pelješac (According to the Records of Nikola Zvonimir Bjelovučić)’ is compiled of six chapters and it contains a glossary of local and less known words and expressions as well as 24 photographs dedicated to the person and work of Nikola Zovnimr Bjelovučić. He was the author of the collection of manuscripts and a lawyer and attorney-at-law as well as a historian, publisher and ethnographer, born in Janjina on the Pelješac peninsula. His collection of manuscripts, presented in this book in a critical way, had been collected from 1935 to 1940s of the 20th century and it represents the corpus and the focus of Bjelovučić’s research interest. The topic of manuscript is extremely interesting today, when one re-discovers and re-evaluates the non-material cultural heritage as an important point on which to base our cultural identity.

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