Konavle County House was founded in 1974, thanks to the enormous efforts and enthusiasm of prominent educative and tourist employees in Čilipi. A building that used to be the village treasury, located in the central square of the village, now treasures the ethnological heritage of Konavle, displayed in the ambience of a typical Konavle house. In 1991 the House was burned in the Homeland war and a significant part of the inventory was irreparably lost. Today the ethnological collection of the Museum holds about 500 items such as male and female folk costumes of the highest quality, traditional embroidery and other textile handcrafts, jewellery, arms, musical instruments as well as items used in the everyday life exhibited as applied art. The permanent display includes a selection of the traditional needlework made by the Cavtat folk association "Jelka Miš".
The folklore society "Čilipi" represents the folk customs of Konavle through traditional songs and dances at the central square of Čilipi. This folklore event is held every Sunday from Palm Sunday to November, starting at 11,15 a.m. after a Sunday Mass. From 9,00 a.m. you can visit and buy handicrafts exhibited on the square, visit the County Museum with rich ethnographic collection and taste the local homemade prosecco and herb grappa while the folk group "Čilipi" sings traditional Dalmatian songs. Potkolo, the oldest dance of the region is the first dance to be performed by the folklore society "Čilipi". It follows Poskočica dance and Čičak dance where young men abduct girls to dance in a humorous way. As a central part of the programme they display the bridal custom of Konavle. The newlyweds arrive accompanied by a woman, the bride throws candies around and the host says verses of the regional toast and pledges to the newlyweds and the guests. After the toasts you have the opportunity to watch the dance called Namiguša which is interesting for mutual winking of the partners. Then two Dalmation songs follow by the same singers and Linđo, the dance of the Dubrovnik littoral, the western surroundings of Dubrovnik. The dance is accompanied by the unique sound of ljerica, an ancient traditional instrument of the area and it is the most attractive part of the programme. At the very end of the show waltz is danced together with visitors.
The specificity of folklore in Pridvorje is the tradition of playing ljerica. One of the most significant ljerice player recorded in the ethnography is Nikolaš Skvičalo from Pridvorje. He was born in Pridvorje where he lived, played his instrument and died. In 2011 officially recorded was 115th anniversary of his birth. In the last fifteen years since the folklore in Pridvorje has been organized in the folklore society "Stjepan Radić", many young man and women performed folk dances around Croatia and abroad. Particularly memorable is their performance in Vatican.
The programme includes performances of traditional dances of Konavle like poskočica, denći, potkolo and others accompanied by playing on the instruments like ljerica, mijeh and svrdonica. The toast of Konavle is especially attractive as a part of the show of traditional wedding ceremony in Konavle. Some other interesting programmes have been prepared, too. For the last eleven years the folklore society "Stjepan Radić" has been the host of 'the ljerica players' Festival in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.
Miho Šiša Konavljanin was born in 1946 in the village of Mihanići where he still lives and works and welcomes you in his home and gallery. He is very successfully living the life of a farmer and an artist for 40 years.
His artistic work is completely bound to the hard work of the farmers in the village, but also to the wealth and beauty of its fruits, showing the harmony between the landscape and a substance of the social and intimate life of Konavle. He is trying with his brush and chisel, to save the images of his surroundings and the common people's life from oblivion, and leave them for the future generations.
In his gallery in Mihanići the visitors may see his artistic works. Miho Šiša Konavljanin remains one of the most accurate chroniclers and custodians of the ethnologic wealth of the people and the land of Konavle.
The identity of the people and places throughout history has been expressed through the folk costumes of Konavle, especially the woman's costume, because of its beauty, elegance and aesthetics which in a special way embodies centuries-old culture of living of these people and to this day is perhaps the finest representative of the Croatian folklore treasure.
The woman's traditional costume, impressive and harmonious, made of natural fabrics and decorated with colourful ornaments in a specific embroidery and valuable golden jewellery, give the special beauty to these elegant women throughout their entire life, from girlhood to the old age. Although equal in the basic elements (breast and sleeve ornaments, an accentuated waist, the ankle-deep length, the caps), with its details these costumes were also created to show wealth and especially the social status of a woman (girl, wife, widow).
The embroidery of Konavle is the decorative basic element of the woman's costume, which was embroidered onto breast and sleeves. Originally, it was stitched with silk, obtained from the cocoons of the silkworm, carefully and attentively grown in each house in Konavle and dyed with natural colours. The strictly symmetrical and geometrical motives in countless forms were mostly worked out in red, black, and dark-green colours with a golden-yellow border.
The beauty and the exceptional adaptability of this embroidery make it applicable to various utility objects today (table-cloths, purses, decorative elements for evening gowns, table mats, pillowslips, spectacle cases, framed pictures of the Konavle embroidery and other). This way, the tradition of the handcraft is kept up, and thus the region of Konavle is world-wide promoted in the best possible way.