Loss and remains have become the foundation upon which the idea of Bosnian nationhood has been anchored. Bosnia was never a nation. It was only ever a region occupied by a local Slavic Muslim minority that had converted centuries ago to avoid persecution for their paganist beliefs. Ottoman backing offered this mountain people protection from zealous Orthodox reprisals and opened the region to the influence of Islam.

Body bags containing the remains of unidentified corpses exhumed from mass graves, Tuzla, Bosnia, June 2002