The decision to never marry and mourn his Mujo in songs all his life, and the renunciation of the so-called “normal” life, at the same time, caused admiration and pity in the environment. She was not enrolled in the Sarajevo sidjils. She called herself Sevda – because of sevdah
Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina still suffer the consequences of centuries-old stereotypes about their place in society and the jobs they can do, because prejudices and patriarchal mentality still prevail in our region. And imagine what it was like 150 years ago? At that time, when women were almost completely marginalized in society and in the family, those who did not behave according to certain rules did not officially exist, because they were not registered in sijils (official registers). In order to be enrolled in sidjil, a woman had to meet one of the mandatory conditions:
- To get married in court;
- If she died, that she left a will or that her estate was the subject of hereditary proceedings;
- That the woman became a waqif;
- If a woman died as a martyr.
The first Bosnian poetess, the Bosniak Umihana Cuvidina, a Sarajka who did not want to marry another due to her great love and grief for her dead fiancé, was not enrolled in the Sarajevo sidjils, so it is assumed that she was born in 1794 in Hrid, . According to historiographers Sejfudin Kemura and Vladimir Ćorovic, her fiance Sarajlija Mujo Camdzi, a bayraktar, died in 1813 near Loznica, in the army of Ali-pasha Derendelija, during the First Serbian Uprising in the Balkans.
In addition to being known as the first Bosniak poet, Umihana is the first woman to belong to the writers of alhamijado literature. It is a literature in the Bosnian language written in Arabic. It can be said with certainty that she wrote only three songs, but it is assumed that she wrote many more, because, given that her songs spread among the people, they somehow turned into folk songs.
In his poems, Cuvidina describes the reality of that time: “It has been seven years today, as the Bosnian fukara whines: There is neither a pasha nor a vizier. Until Pasha Ali-pasha arrives. And as soon as Pasha Ali-pasha came, he listed all butum Krajina, all Krajina, and Herzegovina, the most wanted young Sarajevans “, as he says in the verses of the song” Sarajevans go to the army against Serbia “, the only one that is completely preserved in its original form. It was an epic of 79 verses, and she sang it before her fiancé was killed.
There are two versions of this song. The first, which has been preserved in Mostar, was recorded by Mehmed Dželaluddin in his classical collection. The second version was recorded by Kamilo Blagajic and it has been preserved in Travnik. The poem is written in pure vernacular, only in places where janissary clothing is described Turkisms are used. According to stylistic qualities, the song represents an interesting attempt at poetic creation based on the folk epic-lyric songs.
Songs are driven by pain
She sang other songs after Muja’s death, which she learned about in October or November 1813. That was the moment when she decided to spend the rest of her life as the fiancée of the hero Muja Camdzija, preserving the memory of him in songs in which she found solace for the pain of lost love, and it was this great love and pain that ignited her literary gift.
The tragic fate that befell her made Umihana never recover emotionally. How much her soul loved and suffered, how much her heart ached, how many nights she cried, only she knew, and she gave a little hint in her verses: she didn’t braid her hair. When she was four years old, she cut her blond hair with her hand… “
She sang about her feelings and about her painful experience, not hiding behind the screen of collective experience, which was a characteristic of almost all writers of her time. Not only fate, but also the way she wrote the songs set her apart from the environment in which she lived.
He loves Sevda
Umihana’s decision to never marry and mourn her Muja all her life in songs, and the renunciation of the so-called “normal” life, at the same time, caused admiration and pity in the environment. Much has been said about her love and specific way of mourning, by singing songs, during her lifetime. At the time, her decision not to marry was considered insane, and many wondered why a beautiful girl from a poor but frequent family refused to marry because of pain and sorrow. Could that love have been so great that the girl had voluntarily given up the more comfortable life she could get by marriage? Her mother didn’t understand her either, she even accused her. From Umihana’s verses: “An elderly mother says to her: ‘Why do you feel sorry for a foreign hero, your mother didn’t give birth to him?'”, We can sense her mother’s criticism, but also her care and advice to get married, not to remain a spinster,
Her songs were so popular in old Sarajevo, that they were orally transmitted in the neighborhoods and considered folk. Umihana called herself Sevda – because of the sevdah (longing) that was woven into her being and transformed into her songs. According to some authors, in the time before the Second World War, there was a famous saying: “He loves like Sevda.”
Historians believe that she wrote many poems, especially those praising the beauty and heroism of Muja bajraktar, given that he was not a historical figure.
She died, according to many, in 1870 (some historians cite 1850) in Sarajevo, and was buried “under Gaj” on Hrid, most likely without an inscription on the nišan, because at that time the poorer women, who were unmarried, the nišan tombstones were not marked. Today, the primary school in the Sarajevo neighborhood of Boljakov Potok, a street in Ilidza, and a kindergarten in Breza is named after Umihana Cuvidina.
Boats Mujo and beautiful Uma
In the song “Camdzi Mujo i lijepa Uma” Umihana, inspired by a lyrical folk song, sang her own tragedy:
The people of Sarajevo
drink wine, they drink wine, they beat Zasavica, the
wounded young people shout.
Everyone says, ‘Jallah, my mother.’
Chamji Mujo: ‘Jallah, my Ummah!’
Chamji Mujo says to the family:
‘Ah, family, my dear brothers!
When the doomed tribute comes to me
doomed tribute and the dead clock, catch my swallow’s horse,
and the green dolama on the horse!
In the valley, in the right pocket,
there is a ring and an apple
in it, a dark mirror in the pocket,
give it to my Umihana,
let her look around, and she doesn’t look at me,
let her get married, and she’s not waiting for me!
And I will marry a hero, with
black earth and green grass.
If it be the family of the Lord,
it will mourn me for three years;
If he is of the family of Hoyrat,
he will not regret even three white days! ‘
He uttered it, then let out his sweetheart,
and his sad mother died!
He caught a horse swallow,
and a green dolama on the horse.
When they came to Sarajevo,
they took the ring and the apple,
they gave it to Dilber Umihani.
It happened to the lord’s family,
kindred of the lord happened she mourned him for three years: For a year she did not wash her face,
and for another, she did not laugh,
and for a third, she did not braid.
When she was four years old, she
cut her blond hair by hand,
so she sent it to the gate.
They give her hair has gone gold,
dajinica pearl decorated,
but it casts a city in the gate:
‘This piece in Devlet grown
in huge grief cut off:
Il’ mother dug son,
il ‘sister brother the one?
Or his convict’s girlfriend? Neither
the mother buried the son,
nor the sister of the only brother,
but the wife of her judge,
who will not acquire him forever! ‘
An elderly mother says to her:
‘Why do you pity a foreign hero,
Didn’t your mother give birth to him? ‘
‘You are mad, my dear mother!
If you had given birth to him three times,
I wouldn’t have felt
so sorry for him, as I feel sorry for a foreign hero,
I won’t have him forever! ‘