Enter the world of UNESCO protected ancient crafts of Banja Luka with a charming, cheerful and open-minded group of women from “Duga” Humanitarian Association, and have a life-time journey that will enrich your life both, mentally and experientally.
You will be welcomed to the entire whirlpool of emotions, entitled to listen to all the local stories, legends and personal experiences while, most importantly, learning the arts of old UNESCO protected crafts and contributing the noble cause of empowering women who suffered war trauma.
Moreover, the short course of Zmijanje embroidery which is included in the UNESCO list of world intangibles OR Frame Loom Weaving will enable you to bring home an everlasting memory of new friends shaped into a valuable, hand-made art, not just a tourist souvenir.
Departure Times Standard departure time is 9 AM. If needed tour can be adjusted to guests schedule.
Pickup Locations We shall pick you up at your desired location in Banja Luka. Please inform us if you are interested to in taking this tour from some other location.
Activity Note: Don’t let the name “workshop” mislead you. If you have been familiar with the work of our team so far, you will know that this is never just an ordinary workshop.
Our local guide will meet you at your address and accompany you to the stunning chambers of association “Duga”. Welcomed by the beaming smiles of the amazing group of ladies who founded the organisation back in 1992, you will simply know you choose the right place to be. As it always goes in this part of the world, you will be offered a coffee or tea as a welcome gesture followed by pleasant “old friends” talks.
Besides being known as guardians of old zmijanje embroidery which is included in the UNESCO list of world intangibles, Duga (Eng. Rainbow) Association is a safe haven for women and children suffering from the war trauma. Being the first non governmental organisation in Banja Luka, Duga was created with a tendency of psychosocial assistance, recovery and empowering the population, primarily the unemployed women.
>Association “Duga” is striving to preserve tradition, culture and crafts by producing authentic handicrafts using only traditional techniques which they are trying to pass on to newer generations.
Good company, interesting stories, sharing laughs, tears and dreams, easily make one forget about the time. Once we are fully introduced to the amazing story of these heroic women whose only goal is to preserve and share their knowledge while helping others without separating people by their name, race or nationality, we will take a walk through their etno gallery.
Accompanied by incredible knowledge we will have a close look into the works that took months of patience, and will hear some amazing stories about each of the works and effort that was put in.
>“Duga” Etno Gallery will help you witness the timelessness of art in its purest, fundamental form.
Once we are fully introduced to the amazing story of the association, we will be accompanied to the chambers where all the magic happens. Depending on your choice, your mentor and artisan will instruct you to create your very own art piece which you will be proud off.
OPTION 1: Zmijanje Embroidery
Zmijanje embroidery is a special technique of embroidery that was practiced by women from the place called Zmijanje in vicinity of Banja Luka. It is important to know that, in 2014, the zmijanje embroidery was included on the UNESCO list of world intangible cultural heritage as the first intangible asset from BiH.
During the following two hours you will be thought about the special techniques and blue threads on the white canvas which are the basis of this embroidery that retained its authentic specifics from its beginnings. You will be provided with all the necessary materials for the work (canvas, thread, needle, pattern) and learn the skill of the most common regular and symmetrical geometric base ornaments.
> To show they were ready to get married, girls from Zmijanje decorated their dresses with as rich an embroidery as possible.
OPTION 2: Frame Loom Weaving
One of the oldest crafts of our cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina is certainly weaving on loom which is used to make clothing, bags, souvenirs and home decoration items. However, for practical reasons, today it is increasingly woven on a wooden frame which takes up less space and you don’t spend a large amount of money to buy it.
You will be provided with a frame loom and all of the essential tools you’ll need and will be good to go into the world of serenity and creativity. Most importantly, you will get your own artisan instructor who will make sure you make your perfect weaving art piece in two hours.
> Craft weaving has been known to humans since 3500 BC and this unique workshop will enable you to learn the basics and create your very own piece of art in just two hours.
With positive thoughts and great knowledge comes a great craft. While proudly holding your very own piece of art we will be ready to say goodbye to our hosts and head for our next place to be – cosy setting of local restaurant nested in the heart of powerful Vrbas river.
You have to share your impressions with us and, in a return, we will share some more tips on how to get a behind-the-scenes look into local kitchens while discovering traditional and off the tourist trails places of Banja Luka.
> For the perfect closure we will level up the art of craft by the art of local cuisine and enjoy the best of the local meals while admiring the sounds and views over the powerful Vrbas river.
What Do I Need to Bring?