Opanak – traditional peasant shoes from Serbia

Description

Opanak (traditional peasant shoes from Serbia) – it’s unknown who made the first opanak, but it is well know and documented as well that it was one of the first pair of shoes worn in these parts of Europe. Opanak is practical and comfortable and is still hand-made till this day in several workshops in Serbia. Even though, opanak that is made for a modern-day buyer do not have the traditional specific toe tip, elongated and curved, resembling a hook, for which the folk would have at least 15 different types of names for it: nose, beak, horn, pipe… Today, opanak with the “beak” is worn by traditional folk dancing ensemble. Many years ago when I was a student, I was a folk dancer myself. And I can’t help but think that the secret to the incredibly fast movement, the dexterity and the skill in the legs of those amazing folk dancers in Serbia – actually lies hidden in opanak.

Intention

Opanak is made out of one or two pieces of cow, calf, rarely horse, pig or sheep hide/leather. The quality of opanak is rated by the quality of the hide and production quality itself. The finest opanak made for a boy,  which sometimes made marriage-ready girls sigh on sight,  had up to one hundred small neatly threaded leather straps on the vamp of their shoe. Opanak is made even today, as a national Serbian symbol and souvenir, as a indispensable part of folk wear, and during the last couple of years, even as a modern shoe that is starting to get accepted and worn by the youth, also it is especially appreciated by the tourists who are more often than not leaving Serbia with their own pair of these special shoes.

Opis

Ne zna se ko je napravio prve opanke, ali se zna da su dugo bili jedina vrsta obuće koja se nosila u ovim krajevima. Opanci su praktična i udobna obuća koja se i danas izrađuje ručno u više radionica u Srbiji. Doduše, opanci koji se prave za današnjeg kupca više nemaju specifičan vrh, produžen i izvijen tako da podseća na kuku koja se u narodu zove na bar 15 načina: nos, kljun, rog, lula… Opanke sa „kljunovima“ danas nose igrači u srpskim folklornim ansamblima. U jednom sam i ja igrala kao studentkinja. I sve mislim da se spretnost, veština i „vez“ hitrih nogu igrača brzih narodnih igara Srbije – skrivaju u opancima.

Namera

Opanci se izrađuju od jednog ili dva komada goveđe ili teleće, ređe konjske, svinjske ili ovčije kože. Kvalitet opanaka se procenjuje prema kvalitetu obrade kože i izrade opanaka. Najfiniji momački opanci, koji su nekada izazivali uzdahe devojaka spremnih za udaju, imali su i po stotinu vešto prepletenih kožnih tračica na prednjem delu (ris). Opanci se i danas proizvode, kao nacionalni srpski simbol i suvenir i kao neizostavni deo folklornih nošnji, ali tokom poslednjih par godina i kao moderna obuća koju prihvataju mladi, a pogotovu stranci koji sve češće odlaze iz  Srbije sa parom opanaka.

Sponsors

This project has received funding from the Staatsministerium Baden-Württemberg and the City of Ulm. This website was funded by BMFSJ.

Design and implementation by Arivum. All rights reserved

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