Kumpanjija Performance Featured in
Blato is a town on a Croatian island of Korcula that is famous for its chivalrous performance called "kumpanjija". It takes place annually on the 28th of April, on St. Vicenza's Day (patroness of the town), whose bones were relocated to Blato two centuries ago by consent of the Pope Pio VI.
On special occasions, such as anniversaries, Kumpanjija takes place between two armies, to commemorate the island's defense unit called "kumpanjija" (Companions) that protected it from the invaders back in 1214. Usually, Kumpanjija is performed by one army consisting of a captain, soldiers, and flag bearer, accompanied by a bagpipe and a drum. The dance is actually a wordless game but the participants in the dance follow their captain who leads and commands them with the moves, while the music is provided by the drum and bagpipe. This dance embodies features of the ethnic groups that lived on the island—Ilyrian tribes left behind the flag holder, the Greeks left the folk costume, the Romans their military formation.
The dance is performed by the Chivalrous Society Kumpanjija, founded in 1927, that preserves and nurtures the traditions of brave ancestors.