Pag’s tanac Island of Pag > Pag
Pag's dance, as we know today, was created in the second half of the 19th century. In that time, a group of reformers, with the help of the town government, restored several, somewhat forgotten, traditions of the town. Pag's dance has always been performed followed by the music from "mišnjice" (a kind of an instrument). The ethnologists have not determined the origin of the basic step and rhythm of the dance, but they suppose it developed as a mixture of different stiles resulting from migrations of the 15th and 16th century. The inhabitants of the area of Lika, Ravni Kotari and hinterland of Zadar moved to Pag escaping from the Turkish invasion. Even though some elements could have been added to Pag's dance, it has been performed in more or less the same manner through centuries. The dance of Pag is a metaphorical story about the meeting of a group of young boys and girls who at first try to draw attention of one another by dancing, clapping and turns and at the end they dance together. Nowadays, this dance begins with entering of the couples on the scene. There are records that boys and girls used to enter separately. The dance is performed in the original folk costume, usually in winter and summer carnival days, and in other special occasions. The characteristic of this dance is in the side turn which is not common in folk tradition of dancing on the Adriatic coast. Namely, boys and girls swing their hips to the right and to the left dancing. The leader of the dance gives signs for the change of the rhythm, moves and the beginning of a new round. According to the older documents the dance used to be followed by the song, but this is not longer customary.