Friday, October 28, 2011

Men's costume of Dubrovnik County, Dalmatia, Croatia

Hello all,

Today i will return to the Dubrovnik area, to describe the men's costume. the woman's costume of south and north Dubrovnik county are quite different, but the mens' is essentially the same. It is a typical representative of the Dinaric type costume, even though it is found on the coast. The southern costume is somewhat simplified these days, in that the men tend to wear only one vest. They also wear red slipper shoes instead of the opanci worn in the north.

Dubrovnik county is found on the Dalmatian coast, just north of the border with Montenegro. The city of Dubrovnik is found between the regions of Konavlje, to the south, and Primorje to the north.

Please refer to my posting on Konavlje costumes for more images.

 The base of the costume is  of course, the shirt, koshulja. It is of white linen without embroidery, and it looks like this.

The pants are of wool, either black or dark blue. They reach to the knees, are closed on a drawstring, and are edged with red around the leg opening. They also have red braiding below the small opening in front, and around the pockets on each side.

 Long  white knitted stockings are worn. Over this, in Konavlje, they wear red slipper shoes, and in Primorje, opanci with very small toe points or none at all, and have the tops braided with white cord instead of strips of leather.
Formerly, red gaiters with gold braid applique and brass buckles were worn.
These are seldom seen today.

A short red cap is worn, formerly with a black tassel, but today usually without.

A wide sash is worn, sometimes in wool of a solid color, but often of silk woven in a plaid material. This is wound around the waist several times.

Originally, the costume was finished with a double-breasted vest, over which was placed an open jacket, over which was worn another vest, see the images above, especially the young man at the top of the article. Today one often sees only one vest being worn.
The double breasted vest, which is very common in the Dinaric Region, is usually called Djamadan, but in this area is called Presomatiča. It is most commonly worn closed with two rows of hooks. It is usually red, with gold galloon and gold braid applique on the front only.

Today in Konavlje, it is sometimes worn as the only vest, most commonly in black with black braid applique and decorative spherical black or silver buttons.

A short jacket with long sleeves may be worn over this, called koret. It sometimes has a slit in front of the sleeves so that they may be left hanging down the back. It is usually of wool, and may be red, maroon or black, with a great deal of braid applique on the sleeves, which is generally the only part that shows. Previously they were often made of silk, in which case they were either red, or with narrow red and white stripes, so that they appeared pink at a distance.

This garment is rarely worn today in Konavlje, but they remember it.

If you look at the print which is the second image in this article, you can see that the man on the right is clearly wearing the first vest, the jacket and the second vest. But a close examination of the guslar in the first image, as well as this following one, seems to indicate that they are 'cheating', in that the sleeves of the koret seem to have been attached to the
presomatiča, thus forming one garment. This seems to be what Kirin is showing in his prints, as well. Note that when the presomatiča is worn closed, the sash is worn over it.

The third, topmost vest in this region is called fermen.
It is highly decorated, as it is the most visible, on both the front and the back. It is of wool, and may be red or black, with gold, red or black cord applique. It may also have silver or gilded silver plates on the front, known as toke, as in other parts of the Dinaric region.

Today in Konavlje, it is usually worn by itself, without the jacket or presomatiča, most commonly in black with black cord applique.

Thank you for reading, i hope that you have found this interesting.
Here is a video of dancers from the Primorje region, north of Dubrovnik doing the local dance Lindjo. [I love this dance] The video starts with the women singing. The men enter about  a third of the way through. The musician is wearing hard shoes because they provide the only percussion.

Here is another version of Lindjo with the women wearing another costume from Primorje. Notice that the men are dressed essentially the same.

Here are a couple of videos of dances from the Konavlje region, south of Dubrovnik. This one shows Potkolo.

They do Lindjo there as well.

Feel free to contact me with requests for research. I hope to eventually cover all of Europe and the Former Russian Empire/Soviet Union. I also gratefully accept tips on source materials which i may not have. I also accept commissions to research/design, sew, and/or embroider costumes or other items for groups or individuals. I also choreograph and teach folk dance.
Roman K.


Source Material:
Katica Benc-Boškovic, 'Narodna Nošnja Konavala', Zagreb, 1986
Ivankovic & Sumenic, 'Croatian National Costumes', Zagreb, 2001
Vladimir Kirin, 'Narodne Nošnje Jugoslavije - Hrvatska', Zagreb, 1986
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

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Charro Costume of Salamanca Province, Spain

Hello all.

Today I am going to go further afield than I have before. Spain has some incredibly beautiful and complex costumes, but there seems to be limited literature on the subject. [If anyone can acquaint me with more sources, i would be very glad of the information]. Salamanca is a city and surrounding province in the northwest of Spain, historically part of Leon. Here is a schematic map showing the location of the province.

There are a handful of different costumes worn in this province. Here is a map localizing them.

Today i will be talking about the costume in the center of the province, which is shown in light blue on the map above. This costume, and the people who wear it, are called Charro.
This is not to be confused with the Mexican costume called Charro, which is worn by Mariachi bands. The only thing they have in common is being highly decorated.I have leaned heavily on the internet for my research on this costume, i have to thank all those who are proud of this costume and have posted images of it online. There are a few variants of this costume, i will limit myself to just one of them in this posting.

As you can see, the costume is rather complex. A foundation layer is established by a one chemise, camisa, the only part of which shows is a bit of linen and lace at the neckline. Textured knit stockings are worn, then there are bloomers, the bloomers were not part of the original peasant costume, but are now worn under the influence of city costume.

Over the bloomers a full petticoat is worn.

Over the petticoat an underskirt is worn, called the saya. This is generally made of red wool. If you look at the image above, it appears to be lined. The saya is scalloped around the hem, and may be embroidered. On less formal occasions the saya is worn as the top skirt.

The saya, from this image, seems to wrap around and overlap in back. The main skirt has this cut as well. It is called Manteo, which literally means mantle. It is cut in a half circle, with a cut out  for the waist, and is wrapped around from the front, overlaps in back, and has ties which fasten around the waist. This type of skirt is typical of northwest Spain. Here is one from the neighboring district of Calendario. The ornamentation is different, but the cut is the same.

There is a broad band of brocade or velvet around the hem and the left edge which overlaps on top, as you can see from the images at the top of this posting. Here is a manteo which was made for a doll.

The two inner corners are embroidered with floral designs, generally from a stem which originates in each corner. This may be in black on black, for ceremonial costumes, gold and silver metal embroidery, beadwork, or colorful chain stitch. The middle, that is the front center, is left unornamented because it is covered by the apron. See the various images.

The outer edge, or hem of the manteo often has a gingerbread type cutout design with embroidery.
Over the back of the manteo is tied the cintas de manteo, a large bow with matching embroidery. The tails reach almost to the hem of the manteo, and the two short 'bow loops' generally have the initials of the maker/owner on them. These have their own ties which go around the waist. They usually have gold fringe around at least some of their edges.

 On the right side the faltriquera, a separate pocket is worn. The left and bottom edges are embroidered, and may have scallops or other more complicated cutout on those two edges. The right edge is not embroidered because it is covered by the apron. There is a vertical slit opening, and ties to hold it around the waist. A handkerchief and other necessities are carried in this. Here is a relatively simple one.

In front one wears the mandil, the apron. This is one narrow panel which hangs to about the knees. It is embroidered as elaborately as the manteo. It may also have elaborate cut out on the edges. Attached to the lower edge is a gathered flounce of brocade, damask, or some other decorative cloth.

On the torso, over the camisa is worn a bodice with sleeves, the jubona. It laces up the front, and is generally made of black damask. You can see in the various images that it usually has a texture. It has five tails which are worn under the saya, or perhaps under the petticoat.

There are separate cuffs, called panetas, which fasten about the lower arms. They are embroidered in the same manner as the rest of the costume. Often there is a frill of lace around the lower and side edges. the side edges often have decorative buttons as well.

A large shawl, called Panuelo de hombros, is wrapped around the shoulders. This is of white or near white linen, quite fine, and has very fine embroidery all around the edges in a wide band.

Over this is worn another shawl, which is called dengue, crucero or rebocillo. This one is cut in an elongated crescent shape, and wraps over the shoulders, crosses in front, and then ties around the waist. This is very typical of northwest Spain. In the charro costume it is made of the same material as the other major parts, generally has gold fringe on the lower edges, and is embroidered to match.

The hair is divided into three parts, each of which is braided. The two side braids are coiled above the ears and are held with gold pins. The back braid is fastened in a loop at the back of the crown and is held with longer pins. Today these three braids are often artificial, although made of real hair, and pinned on, as many women do not wear their hair that long any more.

A smaller bow, called cintas de pelo is pinned to the back braid loop. Over this is pinned a kerchief called the velo, of very fine linen or tulle. This is also embroidered. This first image shows two variants of the costume, the woman on the left wearing only the dengue, and the woman on the right wearing only an elaborate shawl.

the velo

The costume is completed with gold rings, pendant earrings, a multistranded gold choker, and a complicated longer necklace with crossing strands of gold beads, crosses, and religious medallions.

One less complex version of the costume has the saya worn as the top skirt, the bodice made without sleeves, and a linen blouse worn underneath with elaborate black embroidery on the sleeves. Only in this region would such a costume be considered 'less elaborate'. This is a more 'everyday' version of the costume, and is accompanied by a fancy straw hat.

I hope that you have found this interesting and perhaps will be inspired to use some of these embroidery designs on a project of your own.

Again i would like to thank all of the people who love this costume enough to put so much material on the web.

Here is a video showing all the pieces of the costume. I have to thank the women who made this available.

Here is a blog dedicated to all things Salamanca. You may browse this and other postings, and see much more.

Feel free to contact me with requests for research. I hope to eventually cover all of Europe and the Former Russian Empire/Soviet Union. I also gratefully accept tips on source materials which i may not have. I also accept commissions to research/design, sew, and/or embroider costumes or other items for groups or individuals. I also choreograph and teach folk dance.
Roman K.

Source material:
Jose Ortiz Echague, 'Espana, Tipos y Trajes', Bilbao, 1953
Manuel Comba, 'Trajes Regionales Espanoles', Madrid, 1977
Cesar Justel, 'Espana, Trajes Regionales', Madrid, 1997
Lilla Fox, 'Folk Costumes of Southern Europe', Boston, 1972
R. Turner Wilcox, 'Folk and Festival Costumes of the World', New York, 1965
Robert Lee Humphrey, Jr., 'Spain and Portugal', Broomal, PA, 2003
H. L. Hansen, 'European Folk Art', New York, 1967