Pristina Ethnographic Museum
During my brief stay in Pristina I visited the Ethnographic Museum. It’s small – just a couple old houses, but tries to give a glimpse into the local culture and family unit prior to global influences arrived. It’s hidden in the back streets but not far from other major sights and worth a brief visit. Donation requested, otherwise no cost.
Unfortunately the main Museum of Kosovo is closed right for maintanence right now and with few other museums in the city I walked a couple more blocks past the Ottoman Hammam (bath), church and mosque to find the ethnographic museum. It’s down a small suburban street but online maps have it accurately placed. The entrance is and building are traditional.
The museum consists of two original houses, the oldest from the 19th century and the larger one over 100 years old. You can first visit the old house with consists of a handful of rooms. They’ve attempted to represent it as it would have been. Immediately reminiscent of what I saw recently at the national museum in Sarajevo however this felt far more genuine being in an actual original house.
The larger house however is far more interesting with two large sitting rooms, on the ground and upper floor. The house contains a collection of furnishings, clothing, weapons, jewellery and other artefacts. It discusses the importance of family hierarchy and ceremonies on birth, marriage and death.
Personal connections were important and although much has changed in modern society, this is clearly still evident on the street. You will constantly observe people running into one another and greeting each other. I imagine these connections remain important, one’s individual prosperity can be strongly affected to their connectedness similar to the pan-Arab world. But more importantly this connectedness represents the fabric of society and in small countries like this, may even hold the intrinsic values of the national identity.