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Toke

Toke are decorative metal buttons sewn to the front of the formal folk costume.

They were an integral part of the clothing of the Senj Uskoks, an organised group of warriors comprised primarily of Catholics who had escaped from the areas under Ottoman rule, and who fought in the Croatian territories against the Ottomans, and also against the Venetians. Despite the fact that they considered their weapons to be their most important decoration, their vests were ornamented with forged decorations, such as silver or silver-plated toke or other buttons.

Toke were also found on the clothing of the Žumberak Uskoks in the north, whose captain was the Croatian Ban Petar Zrinski, who himself wore clothing ornamented with several kinds of toke and silver buttons. Portraits from that age testify to just how widely spread these ornaments were amongst the courts and the noblemen's homes. Such silver buttons were part of the noble and military uniforms, which later evolved into what we consider the traditional, folk costume.

Though the toke were often formed with a full forged surface, metal buttons were also created using other techniques, with records of this in the written sources, including records of filigree buttons, called the botun, and best known as the Šibenik botun. These filigree versions are still today highly attractive pieces of contemporary jewellery.

Toke can be purchased at the souvenir shops of Krka National Park at Skradinski Buk and Roški Slap, at Laškovica, in Šibenik (on Trg Ivana Pavla II.) and in Drniš (on Ulica kardinala A. Stepinca 17).