Prepared by Aleksandar
Rakovic, translated in English by Danica Ninic
[ Note: For the Serbs
and other South Slavs nationality is the synonym of ethnicity ]
During the first half of
the XIX century, Montenegrin passports showed name and surname of its owners,
place of birth, destination, reason for the trip, and its duration. At
the beginning of the second half of the XIX century, new entries were made
such as religion and physical features of the passport holders. With the exception
of Bishop Vasilije's rule, mid-XVIII century,
there was neither a column for nationality in the Montenegrin passports
nor the word "nationality" was ever written by hand. As we can see from
the passport facsimiles below, certain claims that Montenegrin
passports showed "nationality Montenegrin” were absolutely not true. During
the existence of independent Montenegrin state, Montenegrins were always
claiming to be Serbs as per their nationality, emphasizing their leading
role in the Serb nationhood.
At mid-XVIII century, during
Prince-bishop Vasilije Petrovic Njegos, passports issued in Montenegro had the
following entries: citizenship - Montenegrin, nationality - Serb, religion
- Eastern Orthodox (in Serbian: drzavljanstvo - crnogorsko,
nacionalnost - srpska, vjera - istocno pravoslavna).
Prince-bishop Petar I Petrovic
Njegos issued travel documents labelled Paseport. For instance such
a travel document was issued on 20th of September 1798 to Ivan Savic, for
the purpose of travelling to Zadar and reason for the trip.
During the rule of Prince-bishop
Petar II Petrovic Njegos, concerning travelling abroad, Montenegrins were
using a Travel Pass Letter which featured the holders’ birthplace.
In such a Travel Pass Letter by a priest named Stefan Ivanovic who was
travelling to Kotor, it was stated - by birth from Njegusi, Montenegrin
(in Serbian: rodom iz Njegusa, Crnogorac). [picture]
Later, also during Petar
II Petrovic's reign, travel documents had their name changed to Montenegrin
Passport. In the one held by Marko Vrbica, who also travelled to Kotor,
it was also said - by birth from Njegusi, Montenegrin (in Serbian:
rodom iz Njegusa, Crnogorac). [picture]
Priest Stefan Ivanovic was
travelling to Kotor with a passport issued during the rule of Prince Danilo
Petrovic Njegos. It showed that the owner was from Zalaz, by birth Montenegrin,
of Orthodox faith, followed by the information about the owner's physical
features (in Serbian: iz Zalaza, rodom Crnogorac, vjeroispovijesti
The travel document for Greece,
held by Jakov Kovacevic from Ljesanska Nahija and issued during the rule
of Prince Nikola Petrovic Njegos, among other particularities about personal
description, stated that the owner was of Orthodox faith (in
Serbian: vjeroispovijesti pravoslavne). [picture]
The Montenegrin government in
exile was issuing passports of unchanged conception. Therefore, the passport
of Ilija Lopicic, from april 1919, among other facts showed that the owner
had Orthodox confession of faith. (in Serbian: vjeroispovijesti
 Oslobodjenje, nezavisnost i ujedinjenje Srbije i Crne Gore; Milic F. Petrovic, Pavle Stojkovic, Zajednicki istorijski koreni kao faktori ujedinjenja Srbije i Crne Gore, Beograd 1999, str. 93.
 Vlado Gojnic, Crnogorci u americkim rudokopima, Cetinje, 1999, str 39.
 Aleksandar Stamatovic, Istorijske osnove nacionalnog identiteta Crnogoraca 1918-1953, Beograd 2000, str. 116.