November 11, 2009

Serbian design – The Sajkaca

My favorite Serbian design item is of course the Sajkaca (Шајкача) the icon of Serbdom all over the world. That was also the reason why I choose it as an icon for my blog about Serbian architecture and design, there is nothing more "Serbian" that the Sajkaca!

I usually don't wear Sajkacas
I love to pose with them

The Sajkaca is a Serbian national hat, used by ethnic Serbs since the 18th century. Orginally worn by the Serbian river fleet on the Dunav river in the time when they conducted raids agaist the turkish ocupators.

Also Boris Tadic (President of Serbia) sometimes wears a Sajkaca

The style of this caps spread quickly among the Serbian community and today it’s still wor in some national dresses of Central Serbia (e.g. Sumadija) or by peasants.

3-D source of a Sajkaca

The cap is of a simple but neat design. It’s recognisable by its top part that looks like the letter V or like the bottom of a boat (viewed from above).

The material is usually an elaborated wool and mostly it’s of a grey-olive color. But there are all kind of types, like dark blue or black ones and there are also some made of a heavy cotton.

The shape of the Sajkaca gives a typical silhouete to the wearer as the V-shape is recognizable at the first sight. That makes it a good logo either, with two or three strokes you can draw a cap and you immediatly know it’s a Sajkaca.

The Serbian version of Facebook "serbbook"
uses exactly this easily remembered shape
of the Sajkaca for its logo

The hat was used by the Serbian army in the first world war. From then on the cap kept also a symbol for military units. The Sajkaca exist also in a officer version decorated with emblems and stripes (like General Ratko Mladic and other military commanders wore in the Bosnian War in the 90’s).

Also it was the cap worn by Chetniks

before and during the World Wars.

Here a grafiti of Draza Mihailovic

on a wall in Belgrade

A good fonctionality and a high value of recognition make it a smart and distinctive piece of design. No wonder it’s used as a „brand“ for promoting Serbdom!

The Serbian skater brand "Cetniks Skejtbords"

uses national elements for its logo

and among them the Sajkaca


  1. What It’s Like to Chill with the Most Ruthless Men in the World
    Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic: Confessions of a Female War Crimes Investigator

    Retrospectively, it was all so simple, natural and matter of fact being on a boat restaurant in Belgrade, sitting with, laughing, drinking a two hundred bottle of wine and chatting about war and peace while Ratko Mladic held my hand. Mladic, a man considered the world’s most ruthless war criminal since Adolf Hitler, still at large and currently having a five million dollar bounty on his head for genocide by the international community. Yet there I was with my two best friends at the time, a former Serbian diplomat, his wife, and Ratko Mladic just chilling. There was no security, nothing you’d ordinarily expect in such circumstances. Referring to himself merely as, Sharko; this is the story of it all came about.

    (Secret Scanned Photo Documentary Evidence I Obtained From the CLOSED UN ICC Preparatory Meetings (2001) )

  2. AnonymousJune 08, 2015

    Sajkaca was given to servs by austro-hungarians when they conquered it was given because austro-hungarians held(still do to this day) a tremendeous ammount of historical documents,and they told the servs about the true origins.servs came as a tribe from iran,afghanistan and turkish tribes.take a look for yourself,google iran traditional cap and youll see.

    1. Thanks for the additional information, indeed there is a kind of iranian cap that look similar....