Bajo Pivljanin

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Bajo Nikolić Pivljanin
Бајо Пивљанин
Bajo Pivljanin ubija Turčina.jpg
"Bajo Pivljanin kills a Turk" – by Aksentije Marodić (1878)
Born Piva, Republic of Venice
Died May 1685
Vrtijeljka, near Cetinje, Old Montenegro
Allegiance  Republic of Venice
Years of service 1669–1685
Rank harambaša (Serbian)
leader of the brigands[1] (English translation)

Bajo Nikolić Pivljanin (Serbian Cyrillic: Бајо Николић Пивљанин;[a] fl. 1669 – died May 1685) was a noted hajduk commander against the Ottoman Empire, fighter for freedom of Serbs. He participated in the Cretan War and numerous operations in the Bay of Kotor and other Slavic-inhabited Venetian territories, mostly in Montenegro, of which he is enumerated in Serb epic poetry.


Bajo hailed from Piva clan of Herzegovina, today Old Herzegovina, part of Montenegro. His name is first mentioned in Venetian sources dating to 1669. He participated in the Cretan War (1645–1669), and was a hajduk commander (counter-Ottoman guerilla fighting, hajdučija, unsanctioned by the Venetians) in the Bay of Kotor, defending the region from the Ottoman Empire, which earned him praise from the Republic of Venice who awarded him with a title.

In the middle of 1671, he and 600 hajduks were transported from Risan to Pula, in Istria (modern Croatia). He is mentioned in the summer of 1675 as one of the leaders of the uskoks in Zadar. He returns to Kotor in 1684, and again begins the hajdučija. In 1685, the Pivans and Banjani came to be organized thanks to, and under the leadership of, Bajo. In Dražin Vrt, Kotor, exists a tower in which he and his bands allegedly stayed.

As an aid to the Montenegrins, the Kotoran provveditore Antonio Zeno sends a band of hajduks and Bokelji under the command of Bajo. Bajo clashed with Shendjer Pasha in Vrtijeljka, near Cetinje, in early May 1685, the Ottomans were victorious and Bajo fell at the battlefield. According to some legends Bajo Pivljanin and his wife are buried under one of two stećci in front of Vlah Church in Cetinje.[2]

In folk tradition[edit]

Three sirdars brave and two voivodes bold,
with three hundred falcon-heroes of theirs –
falcon Bajo with his thirty dragons –
they all will live as long as time endures.
They lay in wait for Sendjer the Vizier
on the top of Mount Vrtijeljka
and fought till noon on a hot summer day.
No Serb wanted to betray another,
so that people would not blame him later
and point at his descendants as they do
at the traitor house of Brankovics.
So they all fell, one beside the other,
while still singing and striking at the Turks.
Only three Serbs came forth from there alive,
from under the piles of dead Turks' bodies –
the Turks had run horses o'er the wounded.
Beautiful death, glory to their mothers!
Unto these brave men God will amply grant
fame to their souls and incense on their graves.
Three thousand youths, one brave as the other,
struck suddenly at Sendjer the Vizier
before daybreak on the Field of Krstac.
God gives power to those who always strive!
They broke the might of Sendjer the Vizier!
Lucky the man who happened to be there!
The Kosovo wounds pain him no longer,
he blames the Turks for nothing any more.
Serbian heroes of Mount Vrtijeljka!
A shining light will always be seen there
burning atop your consecrated tombs!
— From the Mountain Wreath by Petar II Petrović-Njegoš.[3]

Other epic poems include: SA ŠTA PIVLjANIN BAJO ODE U USKOKE, etc.


There is an elementary school "Bajo Pivljanin", an agricultural company "Bajo Pivljanin-Poljoprivreda AD Pluzine (BAPO)", a futsal cup team "Bajo Pivljanin Pluzine", and numerous placenames in Montenegro.


  1. ^ Name: His full name has been cited as Bajo Nikolić Pivljanin. His nickname was Bajo, which is also a common nickname in the Piva region, derived from the folk belief that a name protects the child from evil; the nickname has a connection with the word baja meaning "a snake".[4] His father was Nikola, hence the surname Nikolić. He hailed from Piva, hence his epithet Pivljanin (En. Pivan, i.e. "person from Piva"). Other names include falcon Bajo (sr. Soko Bajo),[1] and Dragojlo.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Zlatar (2007), p. 617[citation not found]
  2. ^ Draško Šćekić (1987). Putujući Crnom Gorom. NIO "UR". p. 102. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Petar II Petrovic Njegos, "The Mountain Wreath" (1847), Unabridged Internet Edition, Translated into English by Vasa D. Mihailovich, Professor of Slavic Languages, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA);
  4. ^ Radović-Tešić, M. 2006, "On the nickname or name Bajo", Srpski jezik – studije srpske i slovenske, vol. 11, no. 1-2, pp. 167–172.


  • Banašević, N. (1954) O Baju Pivljaninu – beleške i objašnjenja uz V. S. Karadžić. in: Srpske narodne pjesme, Beograd, III (Serbian)
  • Blečić, M.R., Mladenović, B., ur. (2001) Bajo Pivljanin u istoriji i legendi. Beograd (Serbian)
  • Blečić, M.R., Mladenović, B. (2000) "Bajo Pivljanin u narodnoj pesmi : antologijski izbor", OCLC 47209346
  • Vukašin Baćović, Tomo Papić, "Bajo Pivljanin u narodnim pjesmama" (2000), Biblioteka Baština, Oktoih, 217 pages