Bosnia and Herzegovina is full of very interesting, mysterious tombstone monuments called stechak (the older names are bilig = sign, mramor = marble, priklopnik or priklopnica = folding). The most famous collection is in Radimlja in Herzegovina:
Here are a few stechak monuments in the vicinity of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia:
In the middle stechak one can see a lily, which is a very old symbol of Bosnia. In Croatia there are also numerous stechak monuments. Some of them are even near the towns of Knin, Karlovac (Generalski stol), and in Slavonia, near the towns of Pozega and Pakrac.
Even today Croatian women in some parts of Bosnia tattoo their hands with Christian symbols and stechak ornaments. This very old custom, used exclusively among Catholic Christians, had a special meaning in the period of the Ottoman occupation. In this way, by wearing indelible signs of their Christian religion, the forced conversion to Islam has been prevented. However, the custom itself is much older. For example, a Greek historian Strabo (1st century BC) mentions tattooing among inhabitants of this area. For more information see an article by Ciro Truhelka: Die Tätowirung bei den Katholiken Bosniens und der Hercegovina (published in Wissenschaftliche Mittheilungen Aus Bosnien und der Hercegovina, herausgegeben vom Bosnisch-Hercegovinischen Landesmuseum in Sarajevo, redigiert von Dr. Moriz Hoernes, Vierter Band, Wien 1896).
Bosnian Catholic Croats tattoo their hands and other visible parts of body with Christian symbols (usually with a small cross), like brow, cheeks, wrist, or below neck. This can be seen even today, not only in middle Bosnia, but also among exiled Bosnian women living in Zagreb.