The Village of Prebilovci

"Be it bad or unpleasant, the truth is healing"

 
Dragan Lakićević, writer 
 

The village of Prebilovci (more rarely referred to as Pribilovci) is situated on the left bank of the Bregava River, in the immediate vicinity of its confluence with the Neretva. The name of the settlement has come down from Middle Ages. The literature on the Middle Ages mentions the Duke of the Hume Lands, Pribilović, whom the ban of Dalmatia approached in 1378 to military support his campaign in the region of Ston. Based on the datum that Prebilovci is located in the hinterland of Ston, from where the military support could reach it relatively quickly, experts in medieval history are inclined to claim that the duke was the one who held court in the region of today’s Prebilovci, the village in the Hume part of Herzegovina (Hume Lands), and that the name of the settlement can be associated with the Duke Pribilović.

Reduced population

The folklore about the origin of Pribilovci also mentions the duke, but some other versions as well. To this part of the Hum Land, in the Middle Ages, when there was a lot of snow in Serbia, nomad-cattle breeders would come from the surroundings of Lazarevac to drive their herds to pasture and spend the winter there. This is where their residence (prebivalište) was during the winter. From there came the first inhabitants of Prebilovac. Since in the vicinity of Lazarevac there are Dragi ć evićs, as there are in Prebilovci, whose Patron Saint’s Day is St. Nicolas, the version of nomad-cattle breeders and their residence here is probable and nearer to the truth. As the village nestles up to two hills, Grabak and Bijela Vlaka, the folklore has took that fact as the basis of the origin of the village’s name, Pribilovci, which is rarely used. In any way, in the southern part of the local Orthodox cemetery there is also a medieval cemetery. On one of the tombstones there is a fine coat of arms carved into a shield with a sword. On the shield there are four rosettes with engraved tiny crosses. Carved into another tombstone is a heart-shaped shield with a sword. Prebilovci has been a Serbian settlement since time immemorial. The Orthodox Dragićevićs were found here by the Turks during their conquering of Herzegovina. The name of Prebilovci is impressed deeply in the mind of every nationally conscious Serb. This Herzegovina village is a token of suffering and martyrdom. The fate Prebilovci experienced in the WWII is shared only with the Bohemian village of Ladice. During that war 52 families and 36 homes in Prebilovci were completely destroyed. Out of around one thousand inhabitants only 172 members of the households have survived the war horrors. In the civil war raging through Bosnia and Herzegovina during the ‘20s of the last century, the people of Previlovci did not suffer, but the village was robbed, the church destroyed and leveled to the ground. The main settlement and two hamlets, Kuline and Grlić, were burnt down and their 163 inhabitants expelled. The largest number of the inhabitants of Prebilovci are even today refugees. Until today from various donations, mainly American’s, only twenty houses have been restored whereas three houses have been restored from private resources. Electricity has been reinstalled in the village and it has got a possibility to raise from the ashes. The community of Čapljina, where Prebilovci is located, has financially supported the repairment of the asphalt road from the local cemetery to Prebilovci, and thanks to the humanitarian organization of UMKOR the village has again got drinking water from a hole in the center of the settlement. Today Prebilovci has but 58 inhabitants and all possibilities to bring the village back to life.

This presentation, opened on St. Sava’s Day in 2006, aims at growing into a chronicle of the village, at gathering the material about Prebilovci and making it publicly known. In that respect, we invite our visitors to send their contributions: newspaper articles (stating the name and volume of the newspaper) and photographs from their private collections in any way associated with Prebilovci (stating the basic facts: when they were taken, who is on them) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There’s no less or more important data about Prebilovci. Every information is welcome to help us build Prebilovci, the web-based village. In the building of the virtual village, all those who were born or are in any way connected with Prebilovci are welcome. We hope to get support especially from those living in the wide word, from experts in contemporary Serbian, and particularly Prebilovci, history.

Our intention is to add the Latin version to the current Cyrillic edition, as well as to print the English version of a certain number of articles that have been published earlier.


Headings:

  • Prebilovci
    • in literature
    • in archives and journals
    • in Serbian poetry
    • in tales and legends
  • Short history of the settlement
  • Press releases about Prebilovci
  • Current news related to Prebilovci
  • (In) direct
  • Photo gallery
    • Photographs taken before the WWII
    • Photographs taken between 1945 and 1992
    • Photographs taken after1992

Any comments and suggestions are very welcome.

May we not forget that for all of us who are in any way connected with Prebilovci it is a greater duty than honor, thought the honor it is, to give our share in the building of the web page of the village, the token of suffering but also of indestructible Serbian tribe.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
___________ 
On St. Sava’s Day, 2006
Maps taken over from www.fallingrain.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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