The success and quality of LegendFest is also attested by the collaboration with our renowned ethnologists who are well versed in Croatian folk beliefs and folklore. All topics on Croatian intangible heritage that we present at LegendFest are supported with the research and scientific work of experts such as Luka Šešo, Tomislav Pletenac, Zoran Čiča, Evelina Rudan, Vitomir Belaj, Miroslav Bertoša and many others.

In addition, each year LegendFest visitors can listen to interesting lectures presented by one of the aforementioned ethnologists and learn how much the beliefs in fairies, vampires, Krsniks, witches, giants and other mythical creatures were deeply rooted in the daily lives of the people.

The result of this collaboration are three printed books on myths, legends and stories of Istria in Croatian and English, as well as TV series on the theme of LegendFest, broadcasted on TV Istria throughout 2012/2013.

Tomislav Pletenac


Tomislav PletenacPh.D. was born in 1967. He studied at the Technical faculty in Maribor where he earned the title of an informatics engineer. After that he studied and got a degree in ethnology and museologyat the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb. Since 1995 he’s been working as a research assistant in the same facility and after he received a master’s degree and the title of a doctor of ethnology he became an assistant lecturer at the Department of Ethnology and Anthropology at the Faculty of Philosophy.

His areas of interest are: theory, history of ethnology, postcolonialism and political anthropology. He is a member of Croatian Ethnological Society and Croatian Association of Artists.

Together with Boris Perić he signed a book “Fantasy creatures of Istria and Kvarner”.

Luka Šešo


Luka ŠešoM.Sc. was born in 1977 in Zagreb where he graduated from Classical gymnasium and in 1996 enrolled in history and ethnology studies at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb. He got a degree in 2001 at the Department of Ethnology and got his master’s degree in 2003 at the Department of History. Since 2002 he is employed at the Department of Ethnology at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb dealing with matters of mythology, folk beliefs and religious anthropology. In 2006 he gained the title of Master of historical sciences, and in 2010 received his doctorate from the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Zagreb.

In the past two years he focuses on the research of modern concepts of identity, in particular on the globalization and religious values. In his work, Luka Šešo uses methods of ethnology, cultural anthropology, anthropology of religion, folklore, historiography and sociology. He is the author of numerous papers and lectures and the book “Living with supernatural beings: werewolves, fairies and witches of Croatian traditional beliefs (2016). He is currently working on getting a doctorate on beliefs in supernatural beings of the Dalmatian hinterland.

Vitomir Belaj


Vitomir BelajPh.D. was born in 1937 in Maribor, Slovenia. In 1961 he graduated in ethnology and Germanics, got his master’s degree in 1966 and received a doctorate in 1979 from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, where he worked as an assistant, assistant professor and professor (1970-2008). He also taught at other faculties in Zagreb and Ljubljana. He is a co-founder and a chief editor of Studia Ethnologica Croatica magazine.

His scientific interests are mainly in the area of folk customs and beliefs and their interpretation in the ancient Slavic religion as well as in the history of ethnology in Croatia. He received several awards; Croatian State Award in Science (1988) and Milovan Gavazzi Award for lifetime achievements, Croatian Ethnographic Society (2006).

He is the author of numerous papers, lectures and co-author of three books. In 1998 he published two books: Die Kunde vom kroatischen Volk. Eine Kulturgeschichte der kroatischen Volkskunde and Walk through the year. Mythical background of Croatian folk customs and beliefs.

Miroslav Bertoša


Professor emeritus Miroslav BertošaPh.D. was born in 1938 in Belgrade, Serbia and shortly after moved with his family to Pula in Croatia where he graduated in history and literature from the Pedagogical Academy in 1963. He also graduated in history from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb in 1966 where he also received his doctorate in 1981.

He is a university professor emeritus and a member- associate of Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, a renowned historiographer and author of numerous books and articles, especially on Istria, and has received several awards during his career.

Miroslav Bertoša has presented an interesting story at the 10th jubilee LegendFest – an Istrian case which occurred in the late 18th century. It is an archival story experienced and retold with words and vocabulary of a historian. It has been rewritten from the yellow pages of a codex of the State Archives in Venice and the main focus are the events from the 90s of the 18th century which had caused harsh disputes between the farmers (kòmuna) of Tar and their parson Martin Velović.

Zoran Čiča


Zoran ČičaM.Sc. graduated in ethnology and history from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, where he also received his master’s degree in 1995.

He worked at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore, and currently works as a conservator of ethnological heritage at the Conservation Department of Ministry of Culture, Zagreb. He was the president of the Croatian Ethnological Society from 2011-2015.


The ‘vilenica’ and ‘vilenjak’: The destiny of a pre-Christian cult in the period of witch persecution. Zagreb: Institute of Ethnology and Folklore

Scientific Papers
1991 Spiritual healing in the religious community ‘Radosna vijest’. Studia ethnologica vol. 3: 117-135.
1993 Ethnology, anthropology. Etnološka tribina 16: 47-55.
2001 Volkskunde, Anthropologie. In Kroatische Volkskunde / Ethnologie and den Neunzigern. HGS. Jasna Capo Žmegač, Reinhardt Johler, Sanja Kalapoš, Herbert Nikitsch. Wien: Veroffetlichungen des Instituts für Europäische Ethnologie, Band: 22nd, p. 131-142.

2002 Vilenica and vilenjak: Bearers of an extinct fairy cult. Narodna umjetnost 39/1: 31-63.

Evelina Rudan


Evelina RudanPh.D. was born in 1971 in Pula. She graduated in Croatian Studies and South Slavic Philology from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, where she also received her PhD in oral literature, and currently teaches at Croatian Studies Department.

She has published several poetry collections, some of which have been translated into several languages. She was awarded Drago Gervais Prize in 2007 for the manuscript collection of poems Breki and Ćuki.

Koraljka Kuzman Šlogar


Koraljka Kuzman Šlogar, Ph.D. graduated in history, ethnology and museology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, then acquired the title of Master of Science and finally her doctorate in the field of humanities, field of ethnology and cultural anthropology.

She works at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore as head of the Department of documentation, where she is working on the implementation of various projects related to the digitization of materials, publication of archival material, creating virtual and museum exhibitions, collaborating in production of documentary ethnographic films and so on. At the same time she is collaborating on several national and European research projects in the field of cultural anthropology and digital humanities, she is the author of several scientific and professional papers and participates in national and international conferences. She is the national coordinator and representative of the European Consortium for the Arts and Humanities DARIAH-ERIC.

Lidija Bajuk


Lidija Bajuk was born in Čakovec and lives in Zagreb. She is a teacher, a librarian, an ethnologist and anthropologist and currently doing PhD in Croatian culture at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. In her role as an editor of the musical culture in 2006/2007, she edited three multimedia textbooks and three manuals. Since 2012 she has been working as an assistant at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore on the national project of Croatian intangible cultural heritage, social identities and values (09-59) of Croatian Science Foundation (2012 – 2014) and the Institute’s internal projects such as Intangible Culture and Digital Humanities and Animal Culture: animals and man – interdisciplinary analysis and multiple cultural practices (2015).

She is a member of the Croatian Writers, Croatian Composers’ Society, the Croatian Ethnological Society, Matica of Croatia and International Society for Narrative Research. From 2015 she is head of the Department of Ethnology and Archaeology of Matica Croatia. She has published seven collections of poems, four books of prose, a professional book, and twenty professional and scientific papers. She has published six ethno audio-albums, and one singer-songwriter album.

She occasionally conducts her own ethno educational workshops for children and adults as well as composing and singing for the film industry.

She collaborates with other musicians, environmental and humanitarian associations, cultural and educational institutions. She supported and co-organized several musical ethno projects, ethnographic field research, several professional, scientific meetings on intangible heritage of ‘kajkavština’ and numerous exhibitions. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the Center of intangible culture of the Međimurje region.