Sword Dances

One of the island’s most colourful traditions, the Moreška sword dance has been performed in Korčula Town since the 15th century. Although it's probably of Spanish origin, the only place in the world that it's performed now is in Korčula. It tells the story of two kings – the White King (dressed in red) and the Black King – who fight for a princess abducted by the Black King. In the spoken introduction the princess declares her love for the White King, and the Black King refuses to relinquish her. The two armies draw swords and ‘fight’ in an intricate dance accompanied by a band. Although traditionally performed only on Korčula’s town day (29 July), the Moreška Cultural Club now stages it throughout the summer.

Kumpanija dances in the villages of Pupnat, Smokvica, Blato, Čara and the town of Vela Luka also make for a fun night out, but you’ll need your own transport to see them. These dances also involve a ‘fight’ between rival armies and culminate in the unfurling of a huge flag. They're accompanied by the mišnice (similar to a bagpipe) and drums. A variation is the moštra, performed in the village of Žrnovo only on the evening of the Feast of the Assumption (15 August).