In villages near Subotica inhabited by Bunjevac people, creation in straw technique has been developing traditionally. Today different decorative items, religious symbols, pictures and reliefs are made of straw, through which the authors talk about the life of Bunjevac-Croats, their homeland, human relationships, daily life, customs and worldview. One part of this creative work is the series of paintings and liturgical symbols made of straw in the parish of St. Joseph the Worker in Đurđin. This collection presents, first and foremost, the cultural value of this area, being a symbol of deeply rooted religiosity in the life of Bunjevac population. In the first group of objects, there are fourteen stations of the Way of the Cross made of straw, which have been jointly made by straw-weavers Kata Rogić and Mara Ivković Ivandekić from Đurđin since 1990, and which were finished by Mara Ivković Ivandekić in 1997, after Kata’s death, being placed in the church of St. Joseph the Worker in Đurđin the same year. This cycle proves the need of local people to express their lively devotion to the Way of Cross, in a very particular way, using a material that is a logical choice in an environment that can be called the source of this technique. The second group of objects comprises of liturgical symbols made of straw, which are the offerings on the altar during harvest ceremonies of Dužijanca, as a thanksgiving to God for the harvested yield. This collection contains all forms of so-called crowns: from the oldest shape that really evocates a crown, a liturgical symbol that occurs after the Second World War, and which is actually an embodied religious message, to the latest manifestation – pictures made of straw, which occur more frequently in recent times.
Ljubica Vuković Dulić