Conveying Ćeif: Three Croatian Folklore and Folklife Writings on Bosniak Coffee Culture
This article presents three short passages describing coffee and coffeehouse culture among Bosnian and Herzegovinian Muslims in the late nineteenth century. These texts are drawn from manuscripts collected by lay, Croatian folklore and folklife collectors who submitted them to two early collecting projects in Zagreb. The pieces are translated here for the first time into English and placed into historical and cultural context regarding the history of coffee culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider Ottoman Empire as well as the politics of folklore collection at the time. By using the Pan-Ottoman concept of ćeif as a theoretical lens, I argue that these early folklorists produced impressive folklife accounts of Bosniak foodways, but that these depictions inevitably enfolded both genuine interest and negative by-products of the wider politics of their era.
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