‘Bosniac Girl of the Possávina’

‘Bosniac Girl of the Possávina’
Accession number: 
Balfour Library, Eur 8vo (6)
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

Page featuring an engraving by ‘W. J. M.’ (made after a drawing by Arthur Evans), captioned ‘Bosniac Girl of the Possávina’, published in Arthur J. Evans, Through Bosnia and the Herzegóvina on Foot during the Insurrection, August and September 1875 (London, 1876), p.96.

Artist: ‘W. J. M.’ (initials of engraver), after an original drawing [1941.8.176] by Arthur John Evans
Date of publication: 1876
Continent: Europe
Geographical area: Southern Europe
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Region/Place: near Derventa
Cultural group: European Bosnian
Format: Woodcut engraving
Page size: 234 x 141 mm
Acquisition: Henry Balfour. Bequeathed February 1939


Research notes: It has been identified by Philip Grover that this woodcut engraving by ‘W. J. M.’ (initials of unidentified engraver) was based on an original drawing [1941.8.176] by Arthur John Evans, being the portrait of a (Christian) Bosniak girl seen near Derventa. It was published in Evans’ account of his journey, Through Bosnia and the Herzegóvina on Foot during the Insurrection, August and September 1875 (London, 1876), p.96, printed with the caption ‘Bosniac Girl of the Possávina’. Evans recorded in the volume: ‘About sunset we stopped at a small shed on the banks of the Ukrina, where, seated among a group of Christian peasants, we regaled ourselves with black coffee which was being dispensed at the rate of about a farthing a small cup. [...] As to the women, they were dressed in light tunics and aprons, much as Croats and Sclavonians, but their hair was often plaited like the men’s into a single pig-tail. On their head was a white kerchief arranged in a fashion peculiar to themselves, with a flower-like tassel at one side; and they usually wore in front of the two necessary aprons a superfluous black one with long fringe. Here is a Greek Christian girl that we saw at a well, and who graciously allowed us to slake our thirst from the bucket she had just drawn up’: Through Bosnia and the Herzegóvina on Foot, pp.94, 95–96. The same engraving was earlier published in the British illustrated newspaper The Graphic, 9 October 1875, p.348, captioned at bottom of the page ‘4. Roman Catholic Peasant near Derbend, Bosnia.’