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Pag’s Slave

Pag’s Slave

“Pag Summer of Culture” in the town of Pag is held in July and August. As part of this popular event, theatrical performances, exhibitions, concerts, creative workshops, evenings of Pag folklore and ancient folk drama “Pag’s Slave” are taking place. The drama is based on the popular and pastoral plays that have existed for centuries in Pag, and the book „Slave Girl“ by Hanibal Lucic, Croatian Renaissance poet.

The text is mixed with various Croatian dialects as a result of word of mouth. “Pag Slave” talks about the consequences of Krbavska battle that took place in 1493, not far away from town Udbina. Croatian king Mirko Derecin gathered Croatian princes who were fighting with each other and joined them in the fight against the Turks, led by Jakub Pasha Hadum. The Turks were the winners and King Mark Derecin was captured.

“Pag’s Slave” was already performed early in Renaissance era. In the carnival days, locals have played it on the city streets and in front of houses of prominent and wealthy locals, and nobility. Locals were rewarded by eating, drinking or even money. Scene setup is very simple. In two parallel rows are actors. On the one hand, local people are dressed in traditional costume, and on the other side, Turks are dressed in the Turkish war uniforms. All of them are holding the stylized wooden hatchets.

Between them, stands Slave girl dressed in old costumes, which highlights the misery. Two boys beside slave girl occasionally wipe their tears with a tissue. Turks and people of Pag begin to bargain, threat each other, and finally reach a deal. The story takes place with alternately singing by native merchant, Turkish merchant Suliman and Slave Girl. Servant Derecin occasionally participates in this acting triangle.

Pag is the only Croatian city that has its own folk drama as an indivisible part of folklore and folk heritage. In the folk drama, all characters were men. It is a testament that Pag Slave event is taking place for centuries in Pag, and the legacy of time when women did not participate in the popular dramas. Today Pag’s slave is performed by three groups of male and female members of society “Fellowship”.

Pag slave” in recent decades is not only played by one social class. In different social conditions their actors are fans of cultural traditions, different individuals age, level of education, profession, social origin and status. Particularly interesting are the performances of the youngest people from Pag.

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