Traditional Bosnian Tattoos

by Boris Lalić, Mladen Topić & Zoran Stojanović (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Upon Balkan Trafik’s request, three passionate artists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Boris Lalić, Mladen Topić and Zoran Stojanović, who love photography and writing unveil an old tradition of Bosnia and Herzegovina through a series of pictures.

“Sicanje”, “bocanje” or “križićanje” are local words used to describe traditional Bosnian tattooing.  Supposedly, this was old Slavic tradition which, later on, in the time of the Ottomans empire in Bosnia it acquired catholic symbolic features as a way of protecting the Catholic heritage.

The pictures were taken in the municipality of Prozor-Rama, where a large number of traditionally tattooed old women still live. They were all photographed in traditional costumes and with traditional tools from their region.

© photos: Mladen Topić  & Zoran Stojanović – text: Boris Lalić

About the artists

Boris Lalić
Boris Lalić (1988) is a writer and journalist from Sarajevo. He published five books of prose and also wrote the comedy “Mirna Bosna”, which plays for the fourth season in Kamerni teatar 55 from Sarajevo. He received several awards for his works.

Mladen Topić
Mladen Topić (1989) is a journalist. His master thesis was on the topic of “Hate speech in contemporary media.” He’s an editor on “Ramski Vjesnik” and a passionate photographer. He presented his work at various exhibitions in Sarajevo, Mostar, Stolac, Split, Vukovar, etc. He’s also a poet and an author of the book “Ptice će preletjeti grad”. He is preparing another collection of poems,  called “Pod opsadom srca”.

Zoran Stojanović
Zoran Stojanović (1970) is a professor of philosophy and religious sciences in the secondary school of Prozor. An editor, journalist and writer of the portal Among his main interests next to journalism, there’s folklore and Rama’s tradition. He’s a lover of photography. He spent years collecting numerous information and photographs regarding the traditional tattoos of women, but also men from the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina.