Korčula cherishes many old customs, some of them are:
Knight dances are performed on the patron’s day of a particular place. Today they are performed more often so numerous tourists can enjoy them.
Kumpanija is performed in Blato, Vela Luka, Smokvica, Čara and pupnat. In Žrnovo Moštra is performed, and Moreška in Korčula. These dances show the battles between the conquerors and national army and present a real spectacle.
Klapa is a group of six to nine singers. Klapas used to sing in accapela style in the evening in the centre of the place, in a tavern or by the shore for their own pleasure. Often they used to sing serenades under their loved one’s window in night hours. These
way men courted to women. Today, this kind of courtship is a rarity, but klapa singing stayed preserved. In summer you
can listen to klapa in taverns, restaurants or on a concert. If you wish to experience real soul of Dalmatia, do not miss a chance to listen to live klapa singing.
Carnival time begins the day of The Three Kings and lasts until the beginning of the Lent. It is a period of joy and fun. Each place organizes a costumed dance.
Vrtujci and toretas
‘Vrtujci’ are dry-wall structures built in a specific way – by round piling of stone panels. They are coved with conic truss. In history they served as a shelter from rain. Also, people used to eat, rest or keep their farm tools there. There are around 15 of them in Vela Luka region. The biggest ‘vrtujak’ in the Vela Luka region is situated in Gornja Njivica and is 4.23 meters tall. In the Vineyards of Smokvica similar structures can be found which are known as ‘toretas’. There are five ‘toretas’ in Smokvica.
Meje testify of intense agricultural activity, farming and winegrape cultivation. ‘Meje’ are stone terraces – dry-walls. These stone terraces have historically prevented the rain or water to take away the land from hilly terrain. The stone for the construction of ‘meje’ was extracted from the parts where it was required, i.e. extracted from the ground where it was necessary to be taken out. Otherwise, it would have slowed down the growth of plants. In some places ‘meje’ served as the boundary walls separating the land among the owners. They are incorporated with the surroundning in such a degree that they look like a part of the landscape. Almost every hill on the island is covered with ‘mejas’, mostly on the south side of the island. It is calculated that with the total lenght of these stone fences, solely from the Blato area,
the equator could be belted one and a half times. One cannot look at ‘meje’ without a strong sense of admiration for patience and hard word of the people who used to build them. Today, except for useful purposes, ‘meje’ also present the natural beauty that will surprise many visitors.
If you decide to explore the hills surrounding any of the places on the island, you will find many stone houses built also in a dry- wall techinque. Those houses were used to facilitate working in the fields. For example, during the period of fig harvesting whole family would move to the house on the hill so the work could be done faster and easier. Upon the completion of this work, they would go back to their homes. In some shops you can find miniatures of these houses and ‘vrtujaks’ and buy them as a souvenir.