Kumpanija

Kumpanija

Old customs have been preserved in the village of Čara, among the best known being the sword battle "Kumpanija" as well as the ancient dances performed by young men and girls. Six villages across the island continue to perform a sword dance with a type of sword that is dated in style to the 16th-17th centuries. The men are organized into a village military unit with a captain and flag-bearer, and each soldier holds a single long sword. Dialogue precedes the performances, where the captain asks permission from the head of the village to perform their "ples od boja" (war dance). The captain leads his soldiers into synchronized and highly coordinated formations where each soldier holds the tip of his neighbour's sword to form a single linked group. When the linked figures are complete the soldiers are led into a fencing practice that also tests the soldier's ability to clash swords with a partner, while performing leaps and skipps. The linked and unlinked sword techniques of the dance are accompanied by the rhythm of a bagpipe and drum.