Each year, the nativity scene in Pučišća’s parish church is being hand made by local craftsmen and stonemasons, representing hours and hours of dedication, hard work and love carved into the final product.
“If Jesus had been born on Brač, it wouldn’t have taken them long to seek refuge“, says Marko Eterović Hoje, this year’s leader of the building process. And this couldn’t be more true! The art of dry stone walling, knowledge and techniques are already inscribed into UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and Brač is a perfect example of why that is – with so many drywalls (suhozid), shepherd’s habitats (bunje) and stacks (gomile) around the island, testifying of centuries of hard work, knowledge transfer and patience for this scarce land.
Answering the invitation of nun Danijela Mihić, Marko gathered friends and fellow craftsmen and got down to work, on this year’s edition of nativity scene which represents a bit of all that Pučišća are, honoring the art of stone and this tradition which is beginning to fade, once again. In his idea of nativity scene, Jesus would be born in a traditional stone shelter, used by shepherds throughout the long history of island Brač. These structures were always made in perfect harmony with the environment and the technique exemplifies a harmonious relationship between human beings and nature*.
Enjoy these images and feel a bit of the Christmas magic in Pučišća! Photos were taken by Milan Kalilić Trife, who also helped built it.