I recently made a costume for my friend Laura B. who dances with us, and who is very involved with the fight against Epilepsy. This is Laura posing for us in her costume.
The costume which I chose to make is from Castrovillari in Calabria.
The town is in the province of Cosenza, in the north of Calabria, close to the Basilicata border.
For more information about this town, see this article.
They have a very active cultural organization which performs songs and dances from their region, which is one reason I was able to get enough information to make the costume.
They call themselves I Castruviddari, in the local dialect.
The woman's costume comes in two variations, the plain costume which is seen on thewomen in the first row, and the Gala costume, which the women in the second row are wearing.
The more common version is called 'A Pacchjana'.
The foundation garment is the chemise, camicia or 'a cammisa'. this is of white linen. It has a large opening for the head with a point in front, which results in decolletage. Laura wanted hers to be relatively modest. There is no fastening, the neckhole is large enough for the head to pass through.
Wide white lace is gathered and attached around the neck, the ribbon used to gather the lace is tied in a small bow in front. The edge is finished with seam binding. This lace was acquired by Laura in Italy.
The sleeves are very full, and are smocked at the top of the shoulder into the yoke
Calderini's drawing .clearly shows the seam falling on the upper arm, as is typical for traditional garments.
A gusset is of course placed under each sleeve, and the sleeve itself is smocked into a small cuff.
I made the top part of the chemise of white linen which I acquired in Italy some years ago, and the bottom part, which does not show, from a cotton sheet. I also added a narrower strip of lace to the bottom edge, see above.
The main garment is called 'A Cammisotta'. This consists of a short bodice with straps over the shoulder with a very full skirt attached. This is traditionally of red wool. A wide green panel of velvet or satin is attached at the hem. This is faced with white or ecru, and the edge is finished with red seam binding.
This girl on the left is wearing a costume from southern Sardinia.
"U Cuzzu" consists of:
"U Cavuzu cullu Funniddu", black wool knickers;
"I Vose", gaiters which also cover the shoes, and are buttoned to the knickers at the sides;
"A Cammisa", white embroidered linen shirt;
"U Gileccu", vest made of robust homespun cloth;
"A Sciarpa", colored wool sash;
"U Maccaturo", bandana which is also useful when working;
"A Giacchetta", a short heavy wool jacket;
"A Ggiobba", a sack which when full, makes a man look hunchbacked;
"U Caravisiddu" o "Cappa", A cape of black wool which may have a fur collar.
Thank you for reading, I hope that you have found this interesting and useful. I will close with a few more images of this costume.
Ciao a la Laura ed ai tutti quanti!
Here are a couple of videos showing songs and dances from this town:
Emma Calderini, 'Il Costume Popolare in Italia', Milan, 1953