A discovery of the Muslim epic in 19th century
A great number of Southern Slavic Moslem epic songs have been recorded in the first few decades in 18th century. However, one can say that the Moslem epic songs, as well as the other Southern Slavic epic songs, have been discovered for the wider academic and scholarly community only in 19th century. All the person that gathered the oral poetry in this period had had a defined relation towards it. They always saw it as the overall and rich Southern Slavic poetry having observed its specific features in relation to the epic poetry of other Southern Slavic nations with whom they shared a common life. There are numerous records about the antiquity and widespread territory of the Moslem epics in the Ottoman Bosnia, as well as in the wider region on the larger area of European Turkey. The Bosnian warriors played a prominent role in creating and spreading of this epic. The first known documents about the Southern Slavic Moslem epic can be traced to the end of 15th century.
The rich Moslem historical accounts towards the end of 15th century testify about their foundations in the abundant and similar tradition of the Middle Ages. Many other precious pieces of news about the Bosnian Moslem epic tradition from the beginning of 16th and until the first collections of Moslem epic in 19th century affirm a continuity and vitality of this tradition. The songs about events they related to were sung immediately after these events had taken place and in different environ- ments (military, aristocratic, rural, etc.). These songs also spoke about the topics and heroes of this epic. We know that the songs about certain heroes from different places were quite numerous. The most important determining factors can be made complete by adding the data on the influences by various confessional and ethnic environments in the process of cherishing and transmitting the Moslem epic tradition from the period of its early beginnings to the appearance of the first collections. One can recognize them immediately in the collections that had been presented in Pjevanija/Songs/ by Simo Milutinović Sarajlija, then in the poetry of great collections such as those published by Hörmann and Marjanović, and until the recordings on tape in our time.