Hello all, today I am going to talk about the costume from the region where the Polish, Ukrainian and Belarusian borders come together. I have found references to this costume from books covering each of these three nationalities.
This region was part of the Volyn' Principality in the days of Kievan Rus', was later incorporated into the Lithuanian empire, and then became part of the Polish Empire.
The image above is of a contemporary Polish dance group.
his was taken in 1910 in the village of Chersk, the region along the east bank of the Buh [Bug] river [in Ukrainian and Belarusian pronounced Boo-h, the h must be pronounced, in Polish pronounced Boog, with a long oo] near the town of Damachow, south of the city of Brest.
Here is a print from the Polish book 'Stroj Podlaski (Nadbuzanski)' by Janusz Swiezy, published in 1958.
This costume was worn on the banks of the Bug [Buh] river, from the point where the Bug ceases to be the border, and flows west into the Wisla [Vistula] south almost to the town of Wlodawa [Volodova]. It was found further south on the eastern side. Here is a rough map of the area. The eastern portion is the approximate range of the Zabuzhia costume. The northernmost of the three western portions is the range of the Biala Podlaska Mazovian costume, the central one is the range of the Radzynsk costume, and the southern is the range of the Wlodawa [Volodava] costume.
This area is known in Polish as Polasie, and is the western end of the physical/cultural region known as Polissia in Ukrainian, which marks the southern edge of the thick forests. This region extends for almost all of the northern regions of Ukraine, the southern regions of Belarus, and extends just a little bit into Russia and Poland. [Although the Ukrainian encyclopedia claims that while the Polish name Podlasie comes from pod las, i.e. next to the forest, like Po lis, Polissia in Ukrainian, the Ukrainian term for the area, Pidlashia, comes from pid Lachy, i. e. next to the Polish]
And this is the Radzinsk costume, which is found around the town of Radzyn Podlaski. It differs in details of the skirt, apron, bodice and cap. Here we see the Nadbuzhansk costume on the left, and the Radzinsk costume on the right.
Here is the costume of the district around Biala Podlaska. The tulle bonnet, the plainer striped apron and skirt and the lack of ornamentation on the chemise all contribute to this resembling very closely a purely Polish Mazovian costume.
Here is an image of such a shirt.
The skirt is made of wool, usually woven in vertical stripes, with wide stripes interspersed with groups of narrow ones, the center stripe in each group having two or more colors alternating. The wide stripes are referred to as 'paths' and the narrow ones as 'posts', after being gathered into the waistband, the skirt was pleated on three sides, leaving the front flat, the narrow stripes showing on the top of the pleats, and the wide stripes inside. The colors of the wide stripes would then show when the woman moves. The bottom of the skirt was often edged with a piece of different cloth, effectively forming a horizontal stripe on the bottom. This was edged with ribbons also running horizontally.
The apron was made of woolen striped material, see the various images for the various arrangement of the stripes, but they were usually horizontal. Most common seems to be wide stripes of a solid color alternating with groups of narrow stripes. This was edged with factory made ribbon and/or lace.
Below is a color detail of the front of one from the Polish side. This is the same one as in the color photo above. Notice that in this case, there is a ribbon in the center of the design.
Here is a vest from a contemporary stage costume.
If you look at the various images, you will see the silk cap with ribbon edging, which is worn by married women. It has a characteristic point in the front, and often ribbons hanging behind.
The photos from Damachow in Belarus, however, show some of the caps being more of a pillbox shape, as in this photo, also, from the top photo, they seem to have been worn by quite young girls. Now that i take a second look at it, i suspect that the two in back are married, while the three in front with their hair showing are single girls. Note that the charactarisic notch design is still present on their caps.
Here is another photo of a girl from the Ukrainian side, wearing what I believe is a bridal headdress.
Again i hope this inspires you to create, to make things that you use in a beautiful manner, instead of being satisfied with what is mass produced.
A folk group from Zamosc doing dances from this region
it starts with dancers from Lublin area leaving the stage
Janusz Swiezy, 'Stroj Podlaski (Nadbuzanski), Wroclaw, 1958
Kazimierz Pietkiewicz, 'Haft i Zdobienie Stroju Ludowego', Warsaw, 1955
Stanislaw Gadomski, 'Stroj Ludowy w Polsce', Warsaw, after 1984
Ivanna Zel's'ka, 'Ukrajinska Vyshywka', Winnipeg-Toronto, 1981
K Matejko, "Ukrajinskyj Narodnyj Odiah', Kyjiw [Kiev], 1977