TRANSLATION: Named for Sarajevo, the capitol of Bosnia-Hercegovina. Sarajevka, Zaječarka, Niševljanka, and Bitoljka were composed in celebration of the liberation of Bitola from the Turks.
SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned Sarajevka, or Sarajevka kolo, from Dick Crum who introduced it in the early 1950s. John Filcich published the dance in his 1953 booklet Igra Kolo. In 1967, Dennis Boxell taught a nearly identical dance, and one of the many variants was taught by Elsie Ivancich Dunin at the 1968 Santa Barbara Folk Dance Conference.
BACKGROUND: Sarajevka belongs to the Devojačko family of dances. This "dance named for the town of Sarajevo" originated with Serbs living in Bosnia in the early 20th century. It is one of the pre-World War I koklos, and a standard in the American repertory. It was regularly done in the 1950s and was usually played at least once in an average afternoon or evening of dancing.

Sarajevo is an extremely interesting town, nestled in a beautiful verdant valley and bisected by the clear, cold Miljačka River. Sarajevo is world famous for its medieval market-place, the Basčaršija, that grew up around its many craft centers. The streets in the čaršija are named for the particular crafts which dominate them: Kovači (blacksmiths), Kazanžiluk (coppersmiths), Kunduržiluk (cobblers), Čizmedžiluk (boot makers), Kujundžiluk (goldsmiths), Ćurčiluk (furriers), Sarači (rope makers), Halači (cotton manufacturers), etc. On June 28, 1914, at a bend of the road by the Princip Bridge, two shots were fired, one of which fatally injured Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. It was this incident that caused Austria-Hungary to declare war against Serbia one month later, and that ultimately led to the first World War. In 1984, for 18 days, Sarajevo was the host of the XIV Winter Olympics. Civil war in Bosnia caused major destruction of the city, including the čaršija, in August of 1998. It has since been revitalized.
MUSIC: Alcon (LP) C-2L1S
Balkan (45rpm) 538-B
Folk Dancer (45rpm) MH-1002
Folkraft (45rpm) FK-1496
The Ethnic Connection: An Eclectic Collection (CD)
FORMATION:Open cir of mixed M and W with hands joined and held at sides in "V" pos. End dancers free hands are held clenched behind the back.
STEPS/STYLE: PAS DE BASQUE R: Small leap R swd (ct 1); close L to R, or step L in front of R, taking wt (ct &); step R in place (ct 2); pause (ct &).

PAS DE BASQUE L: Same action as in Pas de Basque R except to the L with opp ftwk.


1-16INTRODUCTION - Wait 16 meas or start with the action as described for Fig II.
1Facing diag R and moving in LOD, walk R (ct 1); bend knees as L is brought alongside R without wt (ct 2);
2Continuing to face diag R and still moving in LOD, walk L (ct 1); bend knees as R is brought alongside L without wt (ct 2);
3Turning to face ctr, step R swd (ct 1); step L behind R (ct 2);
4Step R swd leading with R heel (ct 1); close L to R without wt (ct 2).
5Repeat action of meas 4 with opp ftwk.
6Repeat action of meas 4;
7Turning to face diag L, and moving in RLOD, walk L (ct 1); walk R (ct 2);
8Repeat action of meas 5.
9-16Repeat action of meas 1-8.
1Facing diag R and moving in LOD, step R (ct 1); hop R (ct 2);
2Continuing in same dir, step L (ct 1); hop L (ct 2);
3Turning to face ctr, step R swd (ct 1); step L behind R (ct 2).
4Dance 1 Pas de Basque R;
5Dance 1 Pas de Basque L;
6Dance 1 Pas de Basque R;
7-8Repeat action of meas 7-8, Fig I.
9-16Repeat action of meas 1-8.
 Repeat entire dance from beg.


Igra vito kolo, u kolo lepi Jovo
Propeva slatko, veselo.
Cupni lagana, curo dragana,
Biće dva, tri poljubica.
Četir, pet, biće i deset.
Lljubi mene, lepi Jovo za navek.
Llubiću te, mazo, Sarajevko devojko,
Neka se čuje daleko.
  The kolo line spins; in the kolo,
Handsome Jovo sings sweetly, joyfully.
Hop lightly, dear girl,
There will be two, three kisses.
Four, five, and maybe ten!
Kiss me, handsome Jovo, forever.
I'll kiss you, lovable girl from Sarajevo,
Let it be heard afar.

Copyright © 2017 by Dick Oakes