Brother and Sister discovered what Tourists mostly buy in Sarajevo


Tourists from the West mostly appreciate crafts and buy them because they haven’t seen such artefacts for a long time and they find them interesting, stated craftsmen from Sarajevo.

Handbag store “Zec” is located at Veliki Curciluk in the heart of Bascarsija from 1964. This is a family craft which keeps the tradition for more than 100 years. Today, this store is lead by Haris Zec with his sister, who inherited this job from his father and has been operating successfully for 30 years.

Zec says that the two of them are the last of his family who are in this business because young people are not interested in learning these skills, and learning the craft from which can be earned quite a decent living.

“Today things with this craft are a little different. Industrialization and then the modernization did what they did, and people rarely buy handicrafts. Tourists from the West are the ones who appreciate handicrafts the most and they are buying, because they haven’t seen such artefacts for a long time and they find them interesting,” said Zec.

There are different models of handbags in this shop that Zec made by hand, and tourists like leather bags, combined with the Bosnian carpet.

“We make beautiful bags by taking out pattern from the Bosnian carpet. We can make a lot of handbags from one carpet and not to repeat the pattern, because there is a lot of different patterns. Such bags mostly impress those people from the West who have never seen how Bosnian carpet looks like,” says Zec.

Materials, especially leather, were sometimes also handmade, but today, he says, materials from imports are mostly used.

Many traditional crafts in Sarajevo came with the arrival of the Ottomans, and the other during the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

“This handmade bag craft specifically started to spread with the arrival of Austro-Hungarians to this area where it remained to this day, but not to the same degree,” concluded this craftsman.

(Source: Dz. Jusufovic/

Leave a Comment