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Author(s): Branimir Vukosav

Journal: Geoadria
ISSN 1331-2294

Volume: 16;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 261;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Zagora | Dalmatinska zagora | perceptual region | cognitive map | media | identity

ABSTRACT
In the Croatian language, the word "zagora" or "zagorje" refers to an area "on the other side of a mountain or a hill". Throughout history, this term has been widely used to describe places physically detached from some other, economically or politically more prominent areas; and has thus been adopted as a geographic name (toponym) for places which were "in contrast" to such areas and separated from them by an element of terrain. The term zagora is therefore a geographic name which denotes an area observed from an outside point of view, and which is later on accepted by the domicile population, becoming an endonym. In the context of the Croatian national territory, the most prominent usage of this toponym has been present in specific traditional regions in northern and southern Croatia; namely, Hrvatsko zagorje in northern Croatia, and a rather undefined area in the Dalmatian hinterland in southern Croatia. The extent and the degree of identification of the areas in southern Croatia bearing that particular geographic name have not been precisely defined, although there are many obvious indications of the existence of such a region in many contemporary sources. The aim of this paper is to research the perceptual character of an area in the Dalmatian hinterland in relation to geographic names Zagora and Dalmatinska zagora by means of content analysis. The final conclusions are drawn on the basis of informal geographic data retrieval from a chosen contemporary medium source (Slobodna Dalmacija newspaper). The observed extent of perception provides provisional maps which serve as approximations of collective cognitive maps and represents a starting point for a more extensive research on vernacular aspects of the Dalmatian hinterland.

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