Today I will talk about the southernmost costume of Croatia. This is worn on the Dalmatian coast in Dubrovnik-Neretva county, from the city of Dubrovnik south to the Montenegrin border, especially in the municipality of Konavlje [Konavle], and the village of Čilipi. This costume is still worn for holidays and if you go there, you will be able to see the local folk dance group perform. I tried to go when i was in Dubrovnik, but the travel agent failed to give me a receipt, so i was unable to get on the bus the next day. Dubrovnik is a very beautiful city, by the way, so go see it if you get a chance.
For more information on this region and its history, see this article.
The costume is a variant of the Dinaric costume type, adapted to life on the coast with the loss of the sadak/zubun. I have found no trace of such a garment worn by the women of this area.
The costume consists of an embroidered chemise, with a shift and petticoat worn underneath, which is most unusual and shows Adriatic influence, an apron, two sashes, a highly decorated vest, a wool dress in the winter, and either a small red cap or a large linen winged headdress for the women. The man's costume is the typical Dinaric/Balkan one, wide pants, vest over jacket over vest, red fez type hat and gaiters over long socks. The man's costume as currently worn is much simplified. Here are some images from various sources, depicting various eras.
The first garment put on is a type of shift, which is quite unusual, and represents a doubling of the chemise, perhaps as a result of western influence, as the cut of this undergarment seems to be that of western Europe. This garment is called privlačak, it is made of white linen and here is the cut.
Over this is put the petticoat, which is also made of white linen and is called skutici. Here is that cut.
Over this, finally is put the chemise, the košulja. This is made fuller on the bottom, being gathered in the back. This is also made of white linen, as normal.
Nowadays sometimes the traditional apron is replaced by one in cotton with a small blue print, as in the woman above standing in front of the chair or as in this postcard.
A wide, very stiff sash is wrapped around the waist over the apron and chemise. This is so stiff that it cannot be tied or tucked in. A narrow silk ribbon is therefore tied over the sash to hold it in place. This is also done in the Horodenka region of Ukraine. This gives the costume a distinctive silhouette.
A short vest is worn over this, the jačerma. Previously it was decorated with applique of gold or yellow cording. Today the cording or trim is more likely to be black.
The costume is completed for both men and women with long white knitted stockings and red slipper-shoes.
I will continue with the men's costume and more examples of the embroidery in future postings.
Here is a link to a website from Čilipi with many photos of this costume.
Here is a video of one of the dances of this region, Potkolo.
Here is a video put out by the local tourist bureau, which shows the costume and some close ups of the embroidery. The song is not what the dance is being done to.
Here are some more videos of dances done in this area. The quality of these videos is not as good.
Ribaric/Szenczi, 'Vezak Vezla - Croatian Folk Embroidery', Zagreb, 1973
Jelka Ribaric et al, 'The Folk Costumes of Croatia', Zagreb, 1975
Walter Kolar, 'Croatians - Costumes they Wear', Pittsburgh, 1975
Nikola Pantelic, 'Traditional Arts and Crafts in Yugoslavia', Belgrade, 1984
Vladimir Salopek, 'Folk Costumes and Dances of Yugoslavia, Zagreb, 1987
Mariana Gusic, 'Traditional Femole [sic] Headgear in Croatian Folk Costume', Zagreb
Postcards in personal collection