Husein Gradashevich kapetan.jpg AlijaIzetbegovic1.jpg Džemal Bijedić.jpg Safvet beg Bašagić.jpg
Skender Kulenović.JPG Dino Merlin (2011).jpg Edin Džeko.jpg Vahid Halilhodzic, Hotel Golf, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, 30.05.'08 (8538).jpg
Total population
c. 3 million
Regions with significant populations
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2,218,638 [1]
 United States 350,000 [2]
 Germany 158,158 [3]
 Serbia 136,087 [4]
 Austria 128,047 [5]
 Turkey 101,000 [6]
 Sweden 55,464 [7]
 Montenegro 53,605 [8]
 Switzerland 46,773 [9]
 Kosovo 45,600 [10]
 Slovenia 21,542 [11]
 Canada 21,040 [12]
 Denmark 21,000 [13]
 Croatia 20,755 [14]
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia 17,018 [15]
 Australia 17,993 [16]
 Norway 15,649 [17]
 Italy 3,600 [18]
 Belgium 2,182 [19]
 European Union total 400,000 [20]



predominantly Sunni Islam

Related ethnic groups

Other Slavs, especially other South Slavs
Croats, Serbs, Montenegrins and Slovenes are the most related[21]

The Bosniaks or Bosniacs (Bosnian: Bošnjak, pl: Bošnjaci, pronounced [bɔːˈʃɲaːtsi])[22] are a South Slavic ethnic group, living mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a smaller minority also present in other lands of the Balkan Peninsula especially in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia. Bosniaks are typically characterized by their tie to the Bosnian historical region, traditional adherence to Islam since the 15th and 16th centuries, and common culture and language. In the English-speaking world, Bosniaks are also referred to as Bosnian Muslims or simply Bosnians. Bosniak has replaced Muslim as an official ethnic term in part to avoid confusion with the religious term Muslim - an adherent of Islam.[23] The term Bosnian is used to denote all inhabitants of Bosnia regardless of ethnic origin.



Bosniaks are a South Slavic people. Nonetheless, it has been proposed, based on genetic signatures, that their roots also go back to pre-Slavic inhabitants of the Dinaric region.[24][25][26] There are around three million Bosniaks living in the Balkans today.[citation needed] Several instances of ethnic cleansing and genocide have had a tremendous effect on the territorial distribution of the population. Partially due to this,[citation needed] a notable Bosniak diaspora exists in a number of countries, including Austria, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Turkey, Canada and the United States. Both within the region and throughout the world, Bosniaks are often noted for their unique culture, which has been influenced by both eastern and western civilizations and schools of thought over the course of their history.

Etymology and definition

According to the bosniac entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known use of bosniak in English was in "1836 Penny Cyclopaedia V. 231/1 The inhabitants of Bosnia are composed of Bosniaks, and it arrived in English either via the French "Bosniaque", or the German "Bosniake", or the Russian "Bosnyak".

The earliest Bosnian "name" was the historical term "Bošnjanin" (Latin: Bosniensis), which signified the inhabitants of the medieval Bosnian kingdom. By the early days of Ottoman rule, the word had been replaced by "Bosniak" (Bošnjak). The Bosniaks derive their ethnic name from Bosnia and the Bosna river, which has been proposed to have an Illyrian origin - Bosona.[27][28]

For the duration of Ottoman rule, the word Bosniak came to refer to all inhabitants of Bosnia; Turkish terms such as "Boşnak milleti", "Boşnak kavmi", and "Boşnak taifesi" (all meaning, roughly, "the Bosnian people"), were used in the Empire to describe Bosnians in an ethnic or "tribal" sense. However, the concept of nationhood was foreign to the Ottomans at that time - not to mention the idea that Muslims and Christians of some military province could foster any common sur-confessional sense of identity. The inhabitants of Bosnia called themselves various names: from Bosniak, in the full spectrum of the word's meaning with a foundation as a territorial designation, through a series of regional and confessional names, all the way to modern-day national ones.


The generally accepted definition (and the one used in this article) holds that Bosniaks are the Slavic Muslims on the territory of the former Yugoslavia who identify themselves with Bosnia and Herzegovina as their ethnic state and are part of such a common nation. However, individuals may hold their own personal interpretations as well. Some people, such as Montenegrin Abdul Kurpejović, recognize an Islamic component in the Bosniak identity but see it as referring exclusively to Slavic Muslims in Bosnia.[29] Still others consider all Slavic Muslims in the former Yugoslavia (i.e. including the Gorani) to be Bosniaks.[30]

     Regions where Bosniaks form a majority as of 2010. Note: Due to the ethnic cleansing of the 1990s, Bosniaks have been expelled from large areas (notably eastern Bosnia and north western Bosnia) in which they formerly constituted the majority.[1][4][31][10]

In Yugoslavia, unlike the preceding Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bosniaks were not allowed[citation needed] to declare themselves as Bosniaks. As a compromise, the Constitution of Yugoslavia was amended in 1968 to list Muslims by nationality recognizing a nation, but not the Bosniak name. The Yugoslav "Muslim by nationality" policy was considered by Bosniaks to be neglecting and opposing their Bosnian identity because the term tried to describe Bosniaks as a religious group, not an ethnic one. When Bosnia declared independence from Yugoslavia, most people who used to declare themselves as Muslims by nationality began to declare themselves as Bosniaks. In September 1993, the Second Bosniak Congress (Bosnian: Drugi bošnjački sabor) officially re-introduced the historical ethnic name Bosniaks instead of the previously used Muslim in former Yugoslavia.[28] Today, the election law of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, recognizes the results from 1991 population census as results referring to Bosniaks.

In other countries with significant Bosniak populations that constituted former Yugoslavia it is not the case. The effects of this phenomenon can best be seen in the censuses. For instance, the 2003 Montenegrin census recorded 48,184 people who registered as Bosniaks and 28,714 who registered as Muslim by nationality. Although Montenegro's Slavic Muslims form one ethnic community with a shared culture and history, this community is divided on whether to register as Bosniaks (i.e. adopt Bosniak national identity) or as Muslims by nationality.[29] Similarly, the 2002 Slovenian census recorded 8,062 people who registered as Bosnians, presumably highlighting (in large part) the decision of many secular Bosniaks to primarily identify themselves in that way (a situation somewhat comparable to the Yugoslav option during the socialist period). However, such people represent a minority (even in countries such as Montenegro where it is a significant issue) and that the great majority of Slavic Muslims in the former Yugoslavia have adopted the Bosniak national name.

Republic 1948 1953 1961 1971 1981 1991
Bosnia and Herzegovina 788,403 (30.7 %) 891,800 (31.3 %) 842,248 (25.7 %) 1,482,430 (39.6 %) 1,630,033 (39.5 %) 1,905,829 (43.7 %)
Montenegro 387 (0.0%) 8,396 (2%) 30,655 (6.5%) 70,236 (13.3%) 78,080 (13.4%) 89,614 (14.6%)
Croatia 1,077 (0.1%) 16,185 (0.4%) 3,113 (0.1%) 18,457 (0.4%) 23,740 (0.5%) 43,469 (0.9%)
Macedonia 1,560 (0.1%) 1,591 (0.1%) 3,002 (0.3%) 1,248 (0.1%) 39,512 (2.1%) 35,256 (1.7%)
Slovenia 179 (0.0%) 1,617 (0.1%) 465 (0.0%) 3,197 (0.2%) 13,425 (0.7%) 26,867 (1.4%)
Serbia 17,315 (0.3%) 79,109 (1.1%) 93,457 (1.2%) 154,364 (1.8%) 215,166 (2.3%) 246,411 (2.5%)
Yugoslavia 808,921 (5.1%) 998,698 (5.9%) 972,940 (5.2%) 1,729,932 (8.4%) 1,999,957 (8.9%) 2,347,446 (10.0%)


The 14th century Bosnian king Tvrtko Kotromanić, is seen as an important aspect of the heritage of Bosniak people and Bosnians in general.

The first auspices of a Bosnian identity begun in the thirteenth century, when a Bosnian kingdom centred on the river Bosna emerged. However, it was not until the Ottoman occupation of Europe that Bosniaks became distinct from surrounding Slavs, as Islam's self-identifying role for the Bosniaks was similar to that played by Catholicism for the Croats and Orthodoxy for the Serbs.[32]

Many features of Bosniaks' biological, cultural and linguistic origins can be traced back to the Migration Period of the Early Middle Ages. It was then that the Slavs, a people from northeastern Europe, colonized the Eastern Roman Empire with their Avar allies and settled in the regions which now comprise modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here, they assimilated scattered remnants of the tribes generically referred to as Illyrians, who were the earliest attestable inhabitants of the region.[33][page needed]

Like all modern European nations, a large degree of 'biological continuity' exists between modern Bosniaks with ancient predecessors. Genetic studies show that the earliest (genetic) roots of the Bosniak people (as well as those of other ethnic groups in Bosnia) can be traced back to the ancient populations that expanded from the Balkans following the Last Glacial Maximum 21 thousand years ago.[25] These studies have indicated that the dominant Y-chromosome haplogroup I, and specifically its sub-haplogroup I-P37 found in Bosniaks, are associated with the paleolithic settlers.[25] The name Bosnia - derived from the Bosna river - is itself probably of Illyrian origin: Bosona (Bosnian: Bosna) and a testament to the Illyrian heritage of the region.[28]

The period from the 6th to 10th centuries saw both external migrations and raids by Slavs and Avars, and internal political and cultural re-organization of the formerly Roman province of Dalmatia. It is only from the ninth century that Frankish and Byzantine sources begin to mention early Slavic polities in western Illyricum. The first reference to Bosnia itself only comes in the tenth century De Administrando Imperio. The Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus described Bosnia as a territory of Serbia.[34]

After frequent change of rule over the area between medieval Serb, Croatian, Bulgarian and Byzantine rule, a semi-independent banovina arose in the 12th century, although still nominally ruled by foreign powers. These foreign rulers tried to gain the loyalty and cooperation of the local people by attempting to establish religious jurisdiction over Bosnia. After the Hungarian conquest of Croatia, Bosnia became nominally a Hungarian vassal, under the ecclesiastic jurisdiction of the Catholic diocese of Split. In reality, however, Bosnia was characterized by religious plurality and tolerance, even when later leaders undertook oaths to quell heretical movements. In addition to the influences of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, a Bosnian Church was established, that existed as a small organization in parts of the area.[35]

Map of the Bosnian Kingdom in XIV century

Eventually, an independent Kingdom of Bosnia flourished in present central Bosnia between the 14th and the 15th- centuries, and even expanded into neighbouring Serb and Croat territory. However, even with the emergence of a kingdom, no concrete Bosnian identity emerged, even in a medieval sense. Religious plurality, independent-minded nobility, and a rugged, mountainous terrain precluded cultural and political unity. As Noel Malcolm stated: "All that one can sensibly say about the ethnic identity of the Bosnians is this: they were the Slavs who lived in Bosnia."[36]

18th century Bosniaks on a day trip to Mount Vranduk at the Bosna river.

The Ottoman occupation of the Balkans further modified the 'ethnic' picture. Throughout the entire Balkans, people converted in small numbers to Islam in order to escape the burden of taxation and resulting social discrimination. However, in Bosnia, large-scale conversions to Islam were prevalent. This left the landscape as a checkerboard of Muslim, Catholic, and Orthodox villages existing side by side. By 1870 the Bosnian Muslims were the largest population in Bosnia (694,00), slightly less than 50 percent of the total.[37] After the rebellion that began in 1875 the population of the Muslims and Serbs in Bosnia decreased. The Serbian population (534,000 in 1870) decreased by 7 percent but the Muslims decreased far worse a loss of more than one third.[37] Many Muslims migrated to the Ottoman Empire after the Austrian occupation and many died in the 1875 revolt. The Austrian census in 1879 recorded 449,000 Muslims and 496,485 Serbians in Bosnia. The losses were 245,000 Muslims and 37,500 Serbians.[37]

With the decay of the Ottoman Empire, Serbia became independent from Ottoman control in 1870, whilst Bosnia was occupied by Austria-Hungary in 1878. It was the time of a concomitant "re-awakening" of Serbian and Croatian nationalism. Both Serbs and Croats claimed 'historical rights' to Bosnia. However, members of the 19th century Illyrian movement, most notably Ivan Frano Jukić, emphasized Bosniaks alongside Serbs and Croats as one of the "tribes" that constitute the "Illyrian nation".[38] A huge number of Bosniaks left Bosnia and Herzegovina after Austrian occupation. Official Austro-Hungarian records show that 56,000 people, mostly Bosniaks, emigrated between 1883 and 1920, but the number of Bosniak emigrants is probably much larger, as the official record does not reflect emigration before 1883, nor include those who left without permits. Those who stayed were concentrated in towns. They were particularly proud of their urban culture, especially in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, which soon became one of the most ethnically mixed cities in the former Yugoslavia. Ideas proposing a pan-South-Slavic state had already been present prior to World War I, although several models were proposed as to the exact composition for a future South Slav state. In order to confront constant influence from Serbia and Croatia on Orthodox and Catholic population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the administration of Benjamin Kallay, the Austria-Hungarian governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, promoted the idea of one united Bosniak nation that would include Christians, not just Muslims.[39] The idea was fiercely opposed by Croatian and Serbian nationalists.

Being a newly independent sovereign state, Serbia acted as a center of stimulus for South Slavic nationalism, a policy that would lead to conflict with Austria-Hungary. Bosnia and Herzegovina had always been a multi-ethnic region, but under the influence of Serbia and Croatia, Orthodox and Catholic inhabitants living in Bosnia wished for unification with their respective kin. With the dawn of Illyrian movement, Muslim intelligentsia gathered around magazine Bosnia in the 1860s promoted the idea of a Bosniak nation. A member of this group was father of Safvet-beg Bašagić, a poet. This Bosniak group would remain active for several decades, with the continuity of ideas and the use of the archaic Bosniak name. From 1891 until 1910, they published a magazine titled Bosniak. The Austrian policy further clouded the Bosnian ethnic issue and made the Bosniak group seem as pro-regime. After Kallays death in 1903, the official policy slowly drifted towards accepting the three-ethnic reality of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At the outbreak of World War I, Bosniaks were drafted into the K.u.k. (the Slavic contingent of the Austro-Hungarian army in World War I), some chose to desert rather than fight against fellow Slavs, whilst some Bosniaks attacked Bosnian Serbs in apparent anger after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. "One can only guess what kind of feeling was dominant in Bosnia at the time. Both animosity and tolerance existed at the same time".[40]

After World War I, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) was formed. In it, Bosniaks along with Macedonians and Montenegrins were not acknowledged as a distinct ethnic groups.[41] However; the first provisional cabinet included a Muslim.[42] Politically, Bosnia and Herzegovina was split into four banovinas with Muslims being the minority in each.[43] After the Cvetković-Maček Agreement 13 counties of Bosnia and Herzegovina were incorporated into the Banovina of Croatia and 38 counties into the projected Serbian portion of Yugoslavia.[43] In calculating the division the Muslims were discounted altogether.[43] After this Bosniaks created the Movement for the Autonomy of Bosnia-Herzegovina.[44] Land reform was proclaimed in February 1919 and affected 66.9% of land in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Given that the old landowning was predominantly Bosniaks owned, they resisted land reforms. Violence against Muslims and the seizure of their land shortly ensued. Bosniaks were offered compensation but it was never fully materialized. The regime sought to pay 255,000,000 dinars in compensation per a period of 40 years with an interest rate of 6%. Payments began in 1936 and were expected to be completed in 1975; however in 1941 World War Two erupted and only 10% of the projected remittances were made.[42]

During World War II, Bosniak elite and notables issued resolutions or memorandums in various cities that publicly denounced Croat-Nazi collaborationist measures, laws and violence against Serbs: Prijedor (23 September), Sarajevo (12 October), Mostar (21 October), Banja Luka (12 November), Bijeljina (2 December) and Tuzla (11 December). The resolutions condemned the Ustaše in Bosnia and Herzegovina, both for their mistreatment of Muslims and for their attempts at turning Muslims and Serbs against one another.[45] One memorandum declared that since the beginning of the Ustaše regime, that Muslims dreaded the lawless activities that some Ustaše, some Croatian government authorities, and various illegal groups perpetrated against the Serbs.[46] At this time several massacres against Bosniaks were carried out by Serb and Montenegrin Chetniks.[47][48][49] In total the Muslims lost 86,000 people or 6.8 percent of their population in the war.[50] A number of Muslims joined the Yugoslav Partisan forces, "making it a truly multi-ethnic force".[40] In the entirety of the war the Yugoslav Partisans of Bosnia and Herzegovina were 23 percent Muslim.[51] In February 1943 the Germans approved the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian) and began recruitment. Muslims composed approximately 12 percent of the civil service and armed forces of the Independent State of Croatia.[52]

During the Yugoslav period, the Muslims continued to be treated as a religious group instead of an ethnic group.[43] In the 1948 census Bosnia and Herzegovina's Muslims had three options in the census: "Serb-Muslim", "Croat-Muslim", and "ethnically undeclared Muslim".[43] In the 1953 census the category "Yugoslav, ethnically undeclared" was introduced and the overwhelming majority of those who declared themselves as such were Muslims.[43] The Bosniaks were recognized as a ethnic group in 1961 but not as a nationality and in 1964 the Fourth Congress of the Bosnian Party assured the Bosniaks the right to self-determination.[43] In 1971 the Muslims were fully recognized as a nationality and in the census the option "Muslims by nationality" was added.[43]

During the Bosnian war, the Muslims officially appropriated the name Bosniaks. During the war, the Bosniaks were subject to genocide carried out by both Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs, especially the latter. The war caused tens of thousands of Bosniaks to flee the nation. The war also caused many demographic changes in Bosnia. Bosniaks were prevalent throughout almost all of Bosnia in 1991, a year before the war began. Now, as a result of the war, Bosniaks are concentrated mostly in areas that were held by the Bosnian government (most of northwestern Bosnia around Bihać, as well as central Bosnia).



A medieval tombstone called a Stećak found primarily in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosniak folklore has a long tradition dating back to the 15th century. Like many other elements of Bosniak culture, their folklore is derived from European and Ottoman influences, typically taking place prior to the 19th century. Generally, folklore also varies from region to region and city to city. Cities like Sarajevo and Mostar have a rich tradition all by themselves. Many man-made structures such as bridges and fountains, as well as natural sites, also play a significant role. At the very roots of the Bosniak folk soul are the national music genres called Sevdalinke and Ilahije. Slavic traditions such as fairies, Vila, are also present. Pre-Slavic influences are far less common but nonetheless present. Certain elements of Illyrian, and Celtic belief have been found.

National heroes are typically historical figures, whose life and skill in battle are emphasised. These include figures such as Gazi Husrev-beg, the second Ottoman governor of Bosnia who conquered many territories in Dalmatia, Northern Bosnia, and Croatia, Gerz Eljaz Đerzelez Alija, an almost mythical character who even the Ottoman Sultan was said to have called "A Hero", and Husein Gradaščević, who led an uprising against the Turks in the 18th century. Old Slavic influences can also be seen, such as Ban Kulin who has acquired legendary status. The historian William Miller wrote in 1921 that "even today, the people regard him as a favorite of the fairies, and his reign as a golden age."[53]


Bosniaks speak the Bosnian language. This language differs only slightly from the Serbian or Croatian language in writing and grammar, but its speakers are, on the level of colloquial idiom, more linguistically homogeneous than either Serbs or Croats. The Bosnian language has a number of orientalisms as well as Germanisms not often used in the neighboring languages. The language forms in many ways a middle ground between the Serbian and Croatian languages, not least because Bosnia itself is geographically situated in the middle of the region where the "Serbo-Croatian"-dialects are spoken.

Bosniaks have also had two of their own unique scripts. The first was the Begovica (also called Bosančica), a descendant of local Cyrillic script that remained in use among the region's nobility. The second was the Arebica, a version of the Arabic alphabet modified for Bosnian that was in use among nearly all literate Bosniaks until the 20th century (compare with Morisco Aljamiado). Both alphabets have practically died out, as the number of people literate in them today is undoubtedly minuscule.


Bosnian Muslims praying, ca. 1906

Most Bosniaks are Sunni Muslim, though historically Sufism has also played a significant role in the country. Bosniaks in Sandžak are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim, though there is also a small community of Slavicized Bektashis with Azeri roots identifying their language as Bosnian.[citation needed] In a 1998 public opinion poll, 78.3% of Bosniaks in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared themselves to be religious.[54]

Surnames and names

Bosniak surnames, as is typical among the South Slavs, often end with "ić" or "ović". This is a patronymic which basically translates to "son of" in English and plays the same role as "son" in English surnames such as Johnson or Wilson. What comes prior to this can often tell a lot about the history of a certain family.

Most Bosniak surnames follow a familiar pattern dating from the period of time that surnames in Bosnia and Herzegovina were standardized. Some Bosniak Muslim names have the name of the founder of the family first, followed by an Islamic profession or title, and ending with ić. Examples of this include Izetbegović (Son of Izet bey), and Hadžiosmanović ("son of Osman Hajji"). Other variations of this pattern can include surnames that only mention the name, such as Osmanović ("son of Osman"), and surnames that only mention profession, such as Imamović ("son of the Imam"). Some even mention religion as well such as "Muslimović" ("meaning son of a Muslim").

Quite a few Bosniak names have nothing Islamic about them, but end in ić. These names have probably stayed the same since medieval times, and typically come from old Bosnian nobility, or come from the last wave of converts to Islam. Examples of such names include Tvrtković and Kulenović.

There are also other surnames that do not end in ić at all. These surnames are typically derived from place of origin, occupations, or various others such factors in the family's history. Examples of such surnames include Zlatar ("goldsmith") Kovač ("blacksmith") or Kolar ("wheelwright")

There are some Bosniak names of foreign origin, indicating that the founder of the family came from a place outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many such Bosniak surnames have Hungarian, Vlach or Turkish origins. Examples of such surnames include Vlasić and Arapović.

Many Bosniak surnames are also common as Croatian and Serbian surnames: Puškar, Jašić, Sučić, Subašić, Begić, Hadžić.

First names among Bosniaks have mostly Arabic, Turkish, or Persian roots such as Osman, Mehmed, Ismet, Kemal, Hasan, Ibrahim, Mustafa. South Slavic names such as "Zlatan" are also present primarily among non-religious Bosniaks. What is notable however is that due to the structure of the Bosnian language, many of the Muslim names have been altered to create uniquely Bosniak names. Some of the Oriental names have been shortened. For example: Huso short for Husein, Ahmo short for Ahmed, Meho short for Mehmed. One example of this is that of the Bosniak humorous characters Mujo and Suljo, whose names are actually Bosniak short forms of Mustafa and Sulejman. More present still is the transformation of names that in Arabic or Turkish are confined to one gender to apply to the other sex. In Bosnian, simply taking away the letter "a" changes the traditionally feminine "Jasmina" into the popular male name "Jasmin". Similarly, adding an "a" to the typically male "Mahir" results in the feminine "Mahira".[55]


The coat of arms with the Fleur-de-lis, a common symbol of Bosniaks.
National Symbol of the Bosniaks in Sandžak

The best known Bosniak national symbol is the Fleur-de-lis (Lilium Bosniacum) and crescent moon. The most popular Bosniak symbols are derived from medieval times, from the old flag of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and from the flag of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were used by King Tvrtko Kotromanić and the intention was that they represent Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole, but the flag was not commonly accepted by the Serb and Croat leadership, which led to the flag being associated with Bosniaks, although some Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs still venerate the flag.[citation needed]

The earliest Bosniak flags date from the Ottoman era, and are typically a white crescent moon and star on a green background. The flag was also the symbol of the short lived independent Bosnia in the 19th century and of the resistance against the Turks led by Husein Gradaščević.

Traditions and customs

The nation takes pride in the melancholic folk songs sevdalinka, the precious medieval filigree manufactured by old Sarajevo craftsmen, and a wide array of traditional wisdom transmitted to newer generations by word of mouth, but in recent years written down in numerous books. Another prevalent tradition is "Muštuluk", whereby a gift is owed to any bringer of good news.


Today, a national consciousness is found in the vast majority of Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the country, Bosniaks make up a large majority in the Bosna river valley and western Bosnian Krajina, with significant populations found in Herzegovina. Currently, they are estimated to make up 48% of the total population.[56]

National consciousness has also spread to most Bosniaks in the neighboring countries. The largest number of Bosniaks outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina are found in Serbia and Montenegro (specifically in the Sandžak region). The city of Novi Pazar is home to the largest Bosniak population outside of Bosnia. Another 40,000 Bosniaks are found in Croatia and 38,000 in Slovenia. However, some of them still identify themselves as "Muslims" or "Bosnians", according to latest estimates. In Macedonia there are estimated to be about 17,000 Bosniaks.

Due to warfare and ethnic cleansing during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a large part of the world's 3.4 million (est.) Bosniaks are found in countries outside of the Balkans. The highest Bosniak populations outside of the ex-Yugoslavian states are found in the United States, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, and Turkey. Prior generations of Bosniak immigrants to some of these countries have by now been mostly integrated.

Regarding the Western countries most of the Bosniaks are war refugees that only arrived in these countries during the past 15 years or so. They still speak Bosnian, and maintain a cultural and religious community and visit their mother country regularly.

United States

The United States is home to about 300,000 (est.) Bosniaks, the cities with the highest Bosniak populations are St. Louis, Chicago, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. The following major American cities, ordered randomly, have notable Bosniak communities: Richmond, Virginia; Charlotte; Indianapolis; Houston; Jacksonville; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; San Jose; Salt Lake City; Tampa, Florida; and New York City.[citation needed]


In Canada, the largest Bosniak communities are in Toronto, Vancouver and Hamilton.[citation needed]


In Turkey, Bosniaks mostly live in the Marmara Region which is in other words the north-west Turkey. The biggest Bosniak community in Turkey is in Istanbul and also there are notable Bosniak communities in İzmir, Karamürsel, Yalova, Bursa and Edirne.[citation needed]

See also

Further reading

  • Fritz, Hans (1931). Bosniak. Verl. d. Druckerei Waidhofen a.d.Ybbs. 
  • Karčić, Fikret (1999). The Bosniaks and the Challenges of Modernity: Late Ottoman and Hapsburg Times. El-Kalem. ISBN 9958230216. 
  • Pinson, Mark (1994). The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0932885098. 
  • Zulfikarpašić, Adil (1998). The Bosniak. C. Hurst & Co. 


  1. ^ a b CIA Fact Book
  2. ^ [1] Bosnian American
  3. ^ Germans and foreigners with an immigrant background
  4. ^ a b Census 2002
  5. ^ Bosnian Austrians
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Census 2006 by birth
  8. ^ "Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in Montenegro 2011". July 12, 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  9. ^ 2005 Figures
  10. ^ a b World Bank Living Standards Measurement Study 2001 Estimate
  11. ^ Census 2002
  12. ^ By Ethnic origin
  13. ^ [3]
  14. ^ Cro Census 2001
  15. ^ Macedonian Census 2002
  16. ^ By ancestry
  17. ^ Figures 2008
  18. ^ [4]
  19. ^ Belgium figures
  20. ^ Census 2006
  21. ^ "Ethnologue - South Slavic languages". Retrieved 2011-02-08.  }}
  22. ^ Bosniac is the spelling used in the Oxford English Dictionary
  23. ^ "Bosnia and Herzegovina: People", The World Factbook, American Central Intelligence Agency, ISSN 1553-8133,, retrieved 15 May 2007 
  24. ^ Carleton S. Coon, The Origin of Races (New York: Knopf, 1962). Chapter XI, section 17
  25. ^ a b c Marjanović, Damir; et al. "The peopling of modern Bosnia-Herzegovina: Y-chromosome haplogroups in the three main ethnic groups." Institute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Sarajevo. November, 2005
  26. ^ John J. Wilkes, "The Illyrians" (Wiley; New Ed edition (November 30, 1995))
  27. ^ Enver Imamović, Korijeni Bosne i bosanstva, Sarajevo 1995
  28. ^ a b c Imamović, Mustafa (1996). Historija Bošnjaka. Sarajevo: BZK Preporod. ISBN 9958-815-00-1
  29. ^ a b Dimitrovova, Bohdana. "Bosniak or Muslim? Dilemma of one Nation with two Names." Southeast European Politics, Vol. II, No. 2. October, 2001.
  30. ^ Bajrami, Kerim. "Reagovanje na članak: Uz 90 godina od slavne Bitke za Čanakkale." Naš
  31. ^ Montenegrin census 2003
  32. ^ Coppieters, Bruno (2003). Contextualizing Secession: Normative Studies in Comparative Perspective. Oxford University Press. p. 119. ISBN 0199258716. 
  33. ^ Malcolm 1996
  34. ^ Malcolm 1996, p. 10.
  35. ^ Pinson, Mark (1994). The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia. Harvard University Press. p. 7. ISBN 0932885098. 
  36. ^ Malcolm 1996, p. 12.
  37. ^ a b c The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mark Pinson, page 81, 1996
  38. ^ Okey, Robin (2007). Taming Balkan Nationalism: The Habsburg 'Civilizing Mission' in Bosnia 1878-1914. Oxford University Press. p. 14. ISBN 0199213917. 
  39. ^ Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Routledge. 1999. p. 214. ISBN 1857430581. 
  40. ^ a b Andjelic, Neven (2003). Bosnia-Herzegovina: The End of a Legacy. Frank Cass. pp. 13, 14, 17. ISBN 071465485X. 
  41. ^ Klemenčič, Matjaž (2004). The Former Yugoslavia's Diverse Peoples: A Reference Sourcebook. ABC-CLIO. p. 113. ISBN 1576072940. 
  42. ^ a b Ramet 2006, p. 49.
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h Banac, Ivo (1988). The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics. Cornell University Press. p. 376. ISBN 0801494931. 
  44. ^ Djokić, Dejan (2003). Yugoslavism: Histories of a Failed Idea, 1918–1992. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 104. ISBN 1850656630. 
  45. ^ Hoare, Marko Attila (2007). The History of Bosnia: From the Middle Ages to the Present Day. SAQI. p. 227. ISBN 0863569536. 
  46. ^ Tomasevich 2001, p. 492.
  47. ^ Malcolm 1996, p. 188.
  48. ^ Lampe, John R. (2000). Yugoslavia as History. Cambridge University Press. pp. 206, 209, 210. ISBN 0521774012. 
  49. ^ Glenny, Misha (2001). The Balkans: Nationalism, War & the Great Powers, 1804-1999. Penguin Books. pp. 494–495. ISBN 0140233776. 
  50. ^ Pinson, Mark (1994). The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia. Harvard University Press. p. 143. ISBN 0932885098. 
  51. ^ Hoare, Marko Attila (2006). Genocide and Resistance in Hitler's Bosnia: The Partisans and the Chetniks. Oxford University Press. p. 10. ISBN 0197263801. 
  52. ^ Velikonja, Mitja (1992). Religious Separation and Political Intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Texas A&M University Press. p. 179. ISBN 1585442267. 
  53. ^ Miller, William (October 1898). "Bosnia before the Turkish Conquest". The English Historical Review (Oxford University Press) 13 (52): 643–666. 
  54. ^ Velikonja, Mitja (2003). Religious separation and political intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Texas A&M University Press. p. 261. ISBN 1585442267. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  55. ^ Muslimanska licna imena: sa etimologijom, etimoloskom grafijom i sematikom Trece izdanje. Autor: Senad Agic; El-Kalem; 7/1/1999 (Muslim personal names with etimology and semantics)
  56. ^


  • Malcolm, Noel (1996). Bosnia: A Short History. New York University Press. ISBN 0814755615. 
  • Ramet, Sabrina P. (2006). The Three Yugoslavias: State-Building and Legitimation, 1918-2004. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0271016299. 
  • Tomasevich, Jozo (2001). War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945: Occupation and Collaboration. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804708576. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bosniaks of Montenegro — Bosniaks are an ethnic group in Montenegro. According to the last census from 2003, the total number of Bosniaks in Montenegro was 48,184 and they comprised 7.77% of population. Bosniaks are the third largest ethnic group in the country, after… …   Wikipedia

  • Bosniaks of Serbia — Bosniaks are an ethnic group in Serbia. Locally called Sandžaklije.According to the last census from 2002, the total number of Bosniaks in Serbia was 136,087 and they comprised 1.82% of population. Bosniaks are the fourth largest ethnic group in… …   Wikipedia

  • Bosniaks of Serbia and Montenegro — can refer to:* Bosniaks of Serbia * Bosniaks of Montenegro …   Wikipedia

  • Congress of North American Bosniaks — Location Chicago, Illinois, United States Area served North America Website Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB) is a Chicago based non profit organization representing Bosniaks who live in the United States and… …   Wikipedia

  • Democratic League of Bosniaks — The Democratic League of Bosniaks (Bosnian: Demokratski Savez Bošnjaka, Macedonian: Демократска лига на Бошњаците, Demokratska Liga na Bošnjacite) is a political party in the Republic of Macedonia, representative of the ethnic Bosniaks living in… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Bosniaks — This is a list of famous Bosniaks.Writers*Safvet beg Bašagić *Enver Čolaković, writer *Musa Ćazim Ćatić, poet *Mak Dizdar, poet *Zija Dizdarević, writer *Zuko Džumhur, writer *Osman Đikić, writer *Hamid Šahinović Ekrem, dramatist *Abdulvehhab… …   Wikipedia

  • Bosnian War — Part of the Yugoslav Wars The executive council building burns after being hit by artill …   Wikipedia

  • Srebrenica massacre — Srebrenica genocide Part of Bosnian War The cemetery at the Srebrenica Potočari Memorial and C …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of Montenegro — This article is about the demographic features of the population of Montenegro, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.… …   Wikipedia

  • Sandžak — (Serbian: Санџак, Sandžak or Рашка, Raška ; Bosnian: Sandžak ; Albanian: Sanxhak or Sanxhaku ; Turkish: Sancak ) is a region lying along the border between Serbia and Montenegro. It derives its name from the Sanjak of Novi Pazar, a former Ottoman …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.