Šumadija (pronounced [ʃumǎdija], Serbian Cyrillic:
Шумадија) is a geographical region in the central part of
Serbia. The area used to be heavily covered with forests, hence the
name (from šuma 'forest'). The city of
Kragujevac is the center of
the region, and the administrative center of the
Šumadija District in
Šumadija and Western
Serbia statistical region.
The region is very fertile, and it is known for its extensive fruit
production (apples, grapes, plums, etc.).
3.2 Middle Ages
3.3 Early modern history
3.4 Contemporary period
4 Cities and towns
6.1 Studies by J. Cvijić
7 In popular culture
8 See also
11 External links
Šumadija received its name from the dense and impassable forests
which covered the region, particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries.
These forests were preserved until the early 19th century; they are
mentioned in literature and tradition. Bertrandon de la Broquière
(1400–1459) passed through Serbia, on the road from Palanka to
Belgrade he "passed through very large forests". During the reign of
Prince Miloš (1817–1839),
Serbia was covered with dense forests,
through which "no one could walk through, let alone with horse". When
Alphonse de Lamartine
Alphonse de Lamartine took a trip to
Serbia (1833), he described the
forests as "like he was in the middle of the North American forests".
In the Jasenica villages a tradition was maintained "that everywhere
there were empty forests, and settlers called relatives to come and
occupy the land how much they want ... the forests were in need of
cutting down trees and burning for years ... it was so impassable,
that one could walk for days through it, without seeing the sun".
The inhabitants of the region received the demonym, Šumadinci, which
is used for the inhabitants between Morava in the east,
the west, and the mountains of Crni Vrh, Kotlenik and Rudnik in the
southeast, south and southwest. The inhabitants outside these border
call this population Šumadinci.
Gledić Mountains in southern Šumadija.
Šumadija is located between rivers
Danube in the north,
Great Morava in the east, river
West Morava in the south, and
Ljig and Dičina in the west. According to some
interpretations (for example, physiologist
J. Cvijić and ethnologist
J. Erdeljanović), the northern border of
Šumadija lay between Avala
Kosmaj mountain. According to that view, the capital of Serbia,
Belgrade does not belong to this region.
Šumadija is well known for its rich horticulture, with major
products being plums, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, nuts,
cherries, strawberries, and raspberries.
The geological region of
Šumadija includes formations of enhanced
uranium, such as the Brajkovac granitic massif, and volcanites of
Medvednjak, Rudnik and Borač (sr), with high average instance of
uranium and thorium.
Archaeological sites of the
Starčevo culture and Vinča
culture (5500–4500 BC) are widespread in Šumadija. Settlements
of the late Starčevo phase are present in the entire territory of
Risovača Cave is one of the most important
archaeological sites of palaeolithic in Europe. Notable Neolithic
sites include Grivac and
Kusovac in the west,
Divostin in the middle,
Dobrovodica and Rajac in the east.
Slavs settled the Balkans in the 6th and 7th century.
located directly northeast of Raška, the centre of the Serbian
Principality. It is unclear where the exact border with the Bulgarian
Khanate went in the 10th century. Prince Zaharija is known to have
united several Slavic tribes along the common border to rebel against
Bulgaria in the 920s.
Časlav (r. 927–960), and Constantine Bodin
(r. 1081–1101), may have held parts of Šumadija. The southern half
Šumadija later came under the rule of Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja
Nemanjić dynasty (1166–1371).
Central Šumadija's three parts – Gruža, Jasenica and Lepenica,
most likely existed as administrative divisions or župe (counties)
during the Byzantine era. Of these, Gruža was mentioned in the
beginning of the 11th century as a peripheral province. The province
of Lepenica, with the status of župa, officially entered the realm of
Stefan Nemanja in 1183, and later Nemanja granted it as
property (metochion) to his endowment, the
Hilandar monastery, which
he confirmed in the 1198 chrysobull. The province of Dendra, which
was held by Serbian ruler Desa (fl. 1150–66), has been interpreted
Šumadija by some scholars, and as Toplica but it has been
concluded that it was in the vicinity of Niš; Leskovac
(historically Glubočica and Dubočica).
The medieval Serbian state saw its end with the Serbian Despotate's
Šumadija in the 15th century.
Early modern history
Until the fall of the Serbian Despotate, the region was advanced, rich
and well-populated. This stands out from the travellers that passed
Šumadija in that period. Many topographic names that have
survived until today confirm old settlements, churches and monasteries
(selište, crkvine, manastirine, kućerine, podrumine, varoševo,
etc.), as does old graveyards and other traces. After the fall of the
Despotate, opportunities changed. The Ottoman invasion and the events
that took place in
Šumadija up until the early 19th century were the
primary cause for the population motion. Removing themselves ahead of
the Ottomans, they left their homes, concealed themselves up in the
mountains and ravines, or left in different directions. Settlements
disappeared, the churches and monasteries were destroyed, and the
population numbers constantly decreased. One traveller, Gerlach,
described the path from
Batočina to Palanka: "I couldn't find no
trace of settlements or culture, everywhere there is wasteland, not a
single piece of land has been cultivated, there is not a single
First Serbian Uprising
First Serbian Uprising began in
Šumadija (Orašac Assembly
Pavle Bakić, who had estates on the Venčac, left between 1515 and
1522 "with a large group of people into Hungary". Schweiger, who
Serbia in 1577, among other things, said that he
travelled from Kolar "[through] a deserted region, scarcely settled
and badly processed, in three days not having seen more than five poor
villages". In groups, or individually, families left their homeland
and went in different directions, over (preko) the rivers, to Syrmia,
Bačka and Slavonia, to Bosnia, and other regions. This flight
lasted until the end of the 18th century, then again, after 1813.
During the Austro-Turkish War (1787–91), in 1788, the population of
Šumadija villages Koraćice, Nemenikuća and
Rogače fled preko.
Among them were Milovan Vidaković, who described their way: "we are
watching the villages through which and along which we passed, all are
already covered in grass, not a living soul in them, all has gone;
vineyards, gardens, flats, it's all empty and lying in weeds". More
flights ensued after 1813. For example, the parents of activist Ilija
Milosavljević-Kolarac fled preko with the rest of the peasants in
1813, to take shelter in front of the Ottoman army. In Orašac they
Danube and settled in Crepaja, from where they later
returned to their homes.
In addition to population emigration, there was also immigration, more
or less, depending on the circumstance which prevailed in Šumadija.
However, after the Austro-Turkish War, after the establishment of
Koča's frontier, when
Šumadija had a more bearable situation, it saw
an increasing influx of settlers with its height after the outbreak of
First Serbian Uprising
First Serbian Uprising (1804). In the first decades of the 19th
Šumadija received most of its population. A liberated region,
fruitful, and until then sparsely populated, it attracted
During the 18th century, the forests and hills of
Šumadija were the
refuge for the hajduk bands (brigands, rebels, guerilla fighters) that
fought against Ottoman occupation. Parts of the Sanjak of Smederevo,
all of Šumadija, were liberated by the Austrian army in 1718,
resulting in the establishment of the Kingdom of
After the Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735–39), the sanjak was
re-established. In 1788, the Habsburg-organized Serbian Free Corps
liberated Šumadija, which, after subsequent Austrian military
involvement, came together with the rest of the sanjak under Habsburg
occupation (1788–92). The First Serbian Uprising, which broke out in
1804, saw the region liberated under self-organized Serbian rebels led
by Šumadijan-born Karađorđe, the national hero of Serbia. The
Second Serbian Uprising
Second Serbian Uprising in 1815 was led by
Miloš Obrenović who
successfully repelled Ottoman forces and, by 1830, gained full
autonomy for Serbia, leading to the independence of central Serbia
after several centuries under Ottoman rule.
Between 1922 and 1929, one of the administrative units in the Kingdom
of Yugoslavia was the Šumadijska Oblast. It roughly included
territory of present-day
Šumadija District with its administrative
seat in Kragujevac, which is the seat of the modern district as well.
Cities and towns
This section includes towns with a population larger than 15,000.
Gornji Milanovac (24,216)
Smederevska Palanka (23,601)
Velika Plana (16,078)
The most common folk costume of
Serbia is that of Šumadija. It
includes the national hat, the Šajkača, and the traditional
leather footwear, opanci. Older villagers still wear their
The fertile region of
Šumadija is particularly known for its plums
and Slivovitz (Šljivovica), plum brandy, the national drink of
Serbia. Plum and its products are of great importance to Serbs and
part of numerous customs.
Serbia is the largest exporter of Slivovitz
in the world, and second largest plum producer in the world.
Studies by J. Cvijić
Šumadija regions – Kačer, Gruža, Lepenica, Kragujevačka
Podunavlje and Jasenica,
Kosmaj and in the
villages around Belgrade, 8,894 kin families with 52,475 households
were included in the study of J. Cvijić. Of these, only 464 families
with 3,603 houses were "old" (starinci, also called "natives"), which
is close to the number of families of unknown descent (470 families
with 2,464 houses), with the rest of the population being settlers
(7,960 families, 46,408 houses).
Šumadija was settled from almost all
of the regions of the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia, though most of which
came from the Dinaric areas, that is, Montenegro, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, from Raška and Sandžak, Dalmatia, Lika, and the rest of
the Dinaric areas. In lesser numbers they hailed from Kosovo, from
Metohija, and the rest of the Yugoslav regions.
According to the studies by J. Cvijić, almost 90% of the families of
Šumadija descended from settler families of various Serb ethnographic
groups. The Dinaric group was predominant, while other South Slavic
regions are included in lesser percentages. This diverse population
blended, mutually permeated and leveled, thus creating an ethnographic
group (the Šumadinci), with characteristical psychical traits.
Cvijić noted the particular striking character of the Šumadinci as
"something very strong, bold, with great activeness, and healthy
nerves", that many of them are capable, "it seems, they manage to
succeed in any enterprise", and that "there is increasingly appearing
personalities with great will", "Foreign observers would have the
impression that everyone thrives with intractible persistence and
tenacity", "Rigid traditionalism has almost completely disappeared.
All adapt to new ways of life. There is less talk, less epic poems and
epic preferences than in pure Dinaric people". Among other traits, the
Šumadinac has "common sense, measures and sense of reality. They know
how to assess things and events fairly and without anger, when they
are fully aware of these. The peasants are often characterized by
sensing measures, which is rarely held by their schooled
compatriots." They were shown to be a very honest and humorous
In popular culture
Braća Bajić, Šumadijo, šumovita, folk song (?)
interpreted by Bora Spužić Kvaka (1981), Predrag Gojković Cune,
Radiša Urošević (1990s), among others
Miroslav Ilić, Šumadijo, folk song (1982)
Rade Petrović, Šumadijo ko bi tebe ostavio, folk song (1981)
interpreted by Era Ojdanić, Šumadijo, Šumadijo
Snežana Đurišić, Odakle si, sele, folk song (1981)
Gordana Stojićević, Dobro jutro Šumadijo, folk song (1979)
Olivera Katarina, Šu, Šu, Šumadijo, pop song (1969)
Vasilija Radojčić, Šumadijo, rodni kraju, folk song (?)
interpreted by Pavle Stefanović (1977)
Geographical regions in Serbia
Šumadija and Western Serbia
^ a b Drobnjaković 1998, intro
^ Miodrag Milošević, Geografija za 8. razred osnovne škole,
^ Ivić, Beleske o biogračićkom govoru, Srpski dijalektoloski
zbornik, 24/1978, 125
^ Alan McPherron; Dragoslav Srejović (1988).
Divostin and the
Neolithic of central Serbia. Dept. of Anthropology, University of
Pittsburgh. ISBN 978-0-945428-00-8. Central Sumadija is well
known as a fruit producing region, the major products being plums,
apples, pears, apricots, peaches, nuts, cherries, strawberries, and
raspberries. Domesticated animals are the same as those raised in
other regions of Europe. A variety of wild mammals occur in the region
and include boar, deer, wolf, fox, weasel, hare, badger, polecat,
hedgehog, squirrel, mole, and a variety of smaller rodents. Birds are
also numerous and various. Wildlife was obviously more abundant in the
past, with bear, roe deer, and sparrow hawk as well as migratory
^ Miomir Komatina (31 March 2004). Medical Geology: Effects of
Geological Environments on Human Health. Elsevier. pp. 210–.
^ A. W. R. Whittle (23 May 1996). Europe in the Neolithic: The
Creation of New Worlds. Cambridge University Press. pp. 83, 101,
103, 105. ISBN 978-0-521-44920-5.
^ Alan McPherron; Dragoslav Srejović (1988).
Divostin and the
Neolithic of central Serbia. Dept. of Anthropology, University of
Pittsburgh. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-945428-00-8.
^ Andrejić, Živojin (2005). "Средњовековна жупа
Лепеница до XVI века". Митолошки
зборник. Центар за митолошки студије
Србије. 13: 21–.
^ Vizantijski izvori za istoriju naroda Jugoslavije. Vizantološki
institut. 1971. Неки научници су у Ден- дри
^ Dragoljub M. Trajković (1961). Nemanjina Dubočica.
^ Recueil de travaux de l'Institut des études byzantines. Naučno
^ Đorđević 1932, p. 133.
^ a b Drobnjaković 1998, Do pada Despotovine
Šumadija je bila
razvijen i bogat kraj
^ a b Drobnjaković 1998, Vrhunac doseljavanja u Karađorđevo vreme
^ a b Dragoljub Zamurović; Ilja Slani; Madge Phillips-Tomašević
(2002). Serbia: life and customs. ULUPUDS. p. 194.
^ Deliso, Christopher (2009). Culture and Customs of
Montenegro. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group.
p. 97. ISBN 978-0-313-34436-7.
^ Resić, Sanimir; Plewa, Barbara Törnquist (2002). The Balkans in
Focus: Cultural Boundaries in Europe. Lund, Sweden: Nordic Academic
Press. p. 48. ISBN 978-91-89116-38-2.
^ Mirjana Prošić-Dvornić (1989). Narodna nošnja Šumadije.
Kulturno-Prosvjetni Sabor Hrvatske. p. 62.
^ a b Drobnjaković 1998, Karakter Šumadinaca, po Jovanu Cvijiću
^ Drobnjaković 1998, Društvenost i sklonost ka šalama i ismejavanju
Borisav Čeliković (2011). Шумадија, Шумадијска
Колубара: насеља, порекло
становништва, обичаји. Службени
гласник. ISBN 978-86-519-1015-2.
Dragoslav P. Đorđević (1932).
Šumadija u prošlosti i
sadašnjosti. Izdanje Jugoslovenskog dnevnika.
Недељковић, Миодраг (2001). Ко су
Шумадинци (PDF). Glas javnosti.
Petrović, Petar Ž. Vladimir Živančević, ed. "Šumadija".
Гласник Етнографског музеја у
Београду. Etnografski muzej u Beogradu (26): 141–.
"Шумадија и Шумадинци" (in Serbian). Belgrade.
Archived from the original on 22 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April
"Шумадија и Шумадинци". Književni sever. 3.
Pavlović, Živko (1937-09-01). "Шумадија и
Шумадинци". Београдске општинске
Drobnjaković, Borivoje (October 1998). "Šumadinci, nekoliko podataka
o njihovom poreklu". SRPSKO NASLEĐE - Istorijske sveske.
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Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Šumadija.
Geographical regions of Serbia
Užička Crna Gora
(*) indicates loca