The style of traditional outfits in Bosnia and Herzegovina vary between ethnic group and region throughout Bosnia. Many Bosnian Americans in Bowling Green, Kentucky have received traditional outfits as gifts or purchased them in Bosnia to bring home, as can be seen by the outfits on display in this exhibit. Whether purchased or homemade, traditional clothing remains an important part of Bosnian American identity and many in Bowling Green treasure their traditional Bosnian outfits.
Traditional Boy’s Attire
Traditional Bosnian attire, complete with fez, purchased by Nermin Peimanović for his son. Though typically not made in the U.S., Bosnian Americans will special order outfits and fez such as these and bring them back to America from Bosnia. Such traditional clothing is still worn by Bosnian Americans for musical performances and special events within the community. It is important to Nermin that his children grow up owning and wearing traditional clothing so that learn about their Bosnian heritage and culture at a young age.
Traditional Girl’s Attire
Traditional Bosnian attire, complete with fez, purchased by Nermin Peimanović for his daughter. Though typically not made in the U.S., Bosnian Americans special order outfits and fez such as these and bring them back to America from Bosnia. Fez for women and girls are similar to those worn by men, however they are often partially covered by a scarf. It is important to Nermin that his children grow up owning and wearing traditional clothing so that they learn about their Bosnian heritage and culture at a young age.
Woman’s Dance Costume
This costume, provided by Izeta Dželil, was worn by a dancer in Bowling Green’s Bosnian dance group, Kulturno umjetničko društvo Zumbuli (KUD Zumbuli). KUD dance groups, popular throughout the Balkans and the wider diaspora, are often referred to as “folklore” groups. KUD groups dance to traditional music and their performers wear costumes representing traditional Bosnian attire. This particular costume, featuring a vest and women’s fez, was handmade in Bowling Green for KUD Zumbuli.
Anterija, velvet overdress
The dress was purchased in Sarajevo as a gift for Sakiba Dželil by her mother. A richly ornamented velvet overdress, traditionally worn by women in wealthy households, this garment is intricately designed with gold braiding and piping. It typically takes artisans several months to finish such a garment. As a teenager, Sakiba Dzelil was attracted to anterija and imagined wearing one as a wedding dress someday. When it came time for her wedding, Sakiba wore a white gown for the larger wedding ceremony, but chose to wear this anterija at a more intimate wedding ceremony held with her family and husband’s family.
“I wore the dress on my wedding day – the day that we officially said our ‘I do’s’, because I wanted to include in our wedding something that very clearly represented where I came from and who I was – Bosniak. Aside from being, objectively, a beautiful garment – the dress is also beautiful because it ties me back to where I came from. I suppose it was my personal ‘nod’ to my heritage in a moment when it mattered the most, my wedding day.”
Bowling Green’s Bosnian dance troupe, KUD Zumbuli, prepares for a performance at the 17th Convention of Bosniaks in North American, hosted by the Bowling Green Bosnian community in 2012. Photo by Dijana Muminović.