Halubian Bell Bearers

One of Croatia’s lesser-known intangible cultural properties inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is the fabulous bell-ringer carnival in the northwest of the country; a festival centered around the small town of Halubje. In preserving cultural heritage and promoting tourism in this area, The House of the Halubje Bell Ringer is designed to cherish the fascinating traditions of the region and showcase them in an interactive manner.

The Challenge

By applying innovative museological practices and interacting with visitors in a unique and authentic way, a highly recognizable cultural and tourist product will be offered that is attractive and memorable not only at a national level but also across the globe.

The Solution

In the House of Halubje bell ringers we developed 5 distinct and interactive applications.

 

Grmljavina (Storm)
An interactive experience where users mimic bell ringers’ movements to drive away evil forces. Their actions transform the scenery from a scary forest into beautiful nature, reflecting the legends and purpose of bell ringers.

Paljenje pusta (Burning of Pust)

Visitors are asked to create their pust doll, give it a funny name and set it on fire. Additionally, they can admire the gallery of previously created pust dolls and even take their own cardboard version as a souvenir.

Maškaraj se (Go masquerade) 

An interactive app where visitors can try out 6 original bell ringer masks on a “virtual mirror” using a Kinect sensor for detection and control. They can also enjoy the gallery or take a picture of themselves wearing a mask and take it as a souvenir from the museum’s gift shop.

Tanac (traditional dance)

Visitors  learn how to dance the old Potresujka carnival dance and create a recording of it. During the dance the app takes screenshots at random and a  local jury provides funny commentary addressing the dance moves, making this interactive experience joyful and memorable.

Kretanje (Movement)

A 360 video application for Meta Quest 2 devices where visitors follow the path of the bell ringer on the typical carnival day, from dressing up, going to the procession through villages and ending with the ritual burning of the Pust doll. Since the visitors can freely look around this provides an immersive feeling and realistic feeling of being a bell ringer, which is often reserved just for select locals.

The Result

The efforts of our team and partners resulted in a space where tourists can come throughout the year, but more importantly a place where the local community can strengthen bonds with their local culture.

With this in mind, our 5 interactive applications bring to life local legends, customs and way of life, promoting  intangible cultural heritage and giving the bell ringers the recognition they
truly deserve.

Project Highlights

  • Created a custom 3D replica of the original and highly noted bell ringers masks 
  • Storm app: custom designed local legends and evil forces, displayed on 6 very large screens that trigger scene changes based on sensor tracking
  • Tanac: Recorded a very old and traditional dance and transferred it into a tutorial format in order to preserve it for new generations
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