The exhibition consists donated personal items – movable cultural heritage of both a tangible and intangible nature, covering a time period of more than 200 years. Тhe displayed items are classified in three categories – personal, household and metal – guiding us through the
memories of three generations of the Shaban family, whose long-term work and dedication were in Dojran, as well as in Skopje. Moreover, their fvvamily history spans through four different types of government albeit on the same territory, showing the contribution of the Shabans toward the professional, political, and social sphere.

All of the objects on display have multilayered characteristics, marking the transition from an intimate to a museal space. Besides the
professional aspect of the lives of the Shaban men, we can also witness the role of the women in the 19th and 20th century. Hence, the family narration stops being merely an everyday tradition, but rather transforms into a carefully cultivated cultural memory ready to be presented to the public.
The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Independence continually cherishes donor contacts, firmly believing that the trust built in communication with the audience is based upon successful
protection and promotion of our cultural heritage. Thus, it hopes that this exhibition would inspire future donations. This exhibition is a result of a donation on behalf of Ms. Cangul Shaban, the daughter of Dr. Halid Shaban, and for that, we are immeasurably grateful.

Од семејно до институционално културно наследство - семејството Шабан


The Shaban family traces its origins to the nomad (Yuruk) Turks, nomads from the Konje area in Turkey, settled in the territory of Macedonia at the end of the 14th century. Upon their arrival in the beautiful region with a Mediterranean climate, through the course of the Vardar Valley, under the Demir Kapija Gorge, with the ability to quickly adapt, typical of the Yuruk Turks, they fit into the environment where they settled. The oldest member for whom we have information is Shaban Bolukbash (1798 – 1878), a participant in the Ottoman-Russian war in the Crimea, where he was wounded in the Battle of Sevastopol, and later with an imperial order he was appointed as the guard of the Demir Kapija Gorge. A descendant of Shaban Bolukbash is Halil Shaban (1848 – 1923), both of whom introduce us to the museum narrative.


Mustafa Shaban (1883-1923), born in the village of Arazli (which does not exist today), landowner, merchant, with connections from Salonica to Zagreb, and for the last 16 years the president of the Dojranska kaza. He spent his working life in the Kingdom of SHS and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. He, like his son, was decorated by the state in which he operated. He was awarded the order “St. Sava” and “Yugoslav Crown”, from King Aleksandar Karadzordzevikj, for successfully managing the territory of Dojranska kaza, the area of Valandovo, Strumica and Gevgelija and the villages in that region. Part of this history can be seen from the donated objects, that is, the seals, the passport and the Koran, which determine his religious and social position.


Mustafa Shaban, a merchant and bureaucrat, worked in an office setting and called his assistant with a special bell. In addition to the professional engagement, we also see the daily life of the Shaban family through the tradition of drinking coffee and tea. The coffee is prepared on the grill, and served in a special set for guests, merchants, partners or fellow villagers. Most often, copper, tin vessels and rubber bands were used in which the water was heated. Cold water was drunk from special metal cups. Homeowners mostly used the lamp to illuminate the path in the yard, the approach to the summer kitchen, the basement or another room. Undoubtedly, we must also emphasize the role of the woman, mother and housewife, who carries out her family duties with care and dedication.


Dr. Halid Shaban was born in 1928, in the village of Udovo. He finished primary school in his hometown and secondary school in Strumica and  Gevgelija. He then graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Belgrade and the University of Skopje. Upon the completion of specialized study programmes in Belgrade, Ljubljana and Germany, he acquired the title of traumatology specialist, orthopedist. Young Halid -nurtured a great passion for medicine, which motivated him to selflessly look at helping people as a priority. Dedicated to his profession, as a specialist in trauma and orthopedic, he was recognized and respected by his colleagues and patients. He improved professionally by attending congresses, and was appointed head of the department of Trauma in the city general hospital “St. Naum of Ohrid” in Skopje, which he successfully managed for eight years. In December 1988, in Gnjilane, Serbia, he was the initiator of an orthopedics, surgery, and trauma department. He worked there until his retirement in 1993.


Solidarity and togetherness are guiding principles in Dr. Halid Shaban’s life. He participates in the construction of the Bratstvo-Edinstvo highway, as a physical worker and as a medical person in treating the injured. Selflessness and dedication as a doctor came forwаrd during the Skopje earthquake in 1963, when he stayed in the City Hospital for days and, together with other medical staff, helped the injured citizens. He was also part of the team for setting up Polish hospitals together with the teams from the Republic of Turkey. For his sacrifice, he was awarded the Order of Labor with a silver wreath, which is part of Decree no. 228 from the president of SFRY for decoration. The Macedonian Red Cross plaque was awarded to him in recognition and gratitude for many years of work and particular successes in spreading health culture among the population, developing humanism and solidarity between people and promoting the Red Cross. For many years, as a doctor, he accompanied the athletes of sport club “Sloga” from Skopje to all their competitions and was awarded the Plaque 1977 “50 years of SD Sloga”. He constantly pointed out that “the common past is a pledge for the future” and that “there are countless examples of self-immolation and courageous neighborly life by helping each other in difficult times.” In an interview, he will point out that he is carried away by the idea that we should not allow the centuries-old traditional connection between Turks and Macedonians in Macedonia to be misused for divisions. He believed that human consciousness and personality should be valued, enabling a life of solidarity as the basis of any state structure. With these thoughts and convictions in 1994. with 12,000 signatures collected, and supported by the Turkish Democratic Party, submits a candidacy for the election of the President of the Republic of Macedonia.

Author of the exhibition: Elizabeta Markovska, ethnologist curator

Realization: Aleksandar Aleksovski, Liljana Angeleska, Marika Stevanoska, Aleksandar Klincheski, Stefan Trpkovski, Vasilia Chali, Dragan Jovanovski, Muhamed Redzic, Aleksandar Todorovski and Gabriela Postolova.

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