The Story of Remzija Balagic, the only Broom Producer in BiH

August 28, 2017 12:15 PM

Ago Balagic, a war-orphan and fifteenth child in the Balagic family from Glamoc in Sarajevo started studying the broom craft (handmade production of brooms) with the master Jahijel Finci in 1956, where he continued working after finishing the craft.

Ago was the only producer of brooms in Sarajevo for 40 years, and he changed his location three times. He moved from Bezistan to Titova Street, then to a store in Cizmedjiluk, where his son Remzija is producing brooms today.

Remzija learned the craft from his father for eight years. His father Ago worked until retirement when Remzija took over the craft, and his father was helping him until his death.

“I am still learning to make some brooms because I do not know to make all of them even today. The production of some of them has stopped a long time ago, and since there is no demand, I no longer remember how they are made. There are also some brooms that I see for the first time, so I try to make them. We used to have 300 brooms in our store, and today we are producing about seventy of them,” said Remzija.

His daughter usually comes to the store to help her father, but she is not planning to continue his work.

“I grew up with this craft and I’ve been watching my father doing it all my life, and just recently, I came to the idea to try to make something. I have three more sisters, and neither of us is planning to continue this work. We think that it is a craft for boys, but I want to learn to know it because of my father,” said Amila Balagic, a 17-year-old student of the Secondary Medical School.

Her father, as she says, is not a strict teacher.

“I learned to make some brooms by myself, but it is better when he is there to show me and help a bit. Strangers are just thrilled when they see that it is handmade. They are asking if it is the exhibition and whether they can buy it. When they get into the store and see that the father is making a broom, they want to see how it looks like,” said Amila.

“My father is losing his passion a bit, but I am trying to support him in spite of everything,” concluded Amila.




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