Today i wish to introduce a costume from a new country, Hungary.
The Hungarians arrived in their present homeland in 895 AD. They split from their closest known relatives, the Khanty and the Mansi somewhere around the Urals. They themselves have a legend about following a mystic White Stag to the land which they now occupy in fulfillment of a promise made by their gods. They call themselves Magyar, but are referred to as Hungarians in other languages because they were considered by the Europeans to be related to the Huns. There is, a story, in fact, of the ancient tribe splitting into two parts, each part following one of the two sons of the old chief, Hun and Magyar, the hotheaded warlike members following Hun, and the rational, calmer, peaceful members following Magyar. Both made it to the 'promised land', but although the warlike part of the tribe arrived earlier, they were assimilated and are found no more as a people, and while the peaceful half arrived later, they are well established and still exist as a nation. [This legend does not seem to be borne out by historical analysis, the Huns were not actually related to the Magyars, but it is a good story.]
The Kalocsa [pronounced Kalocha] region is not very large, but it has developed a beautiful and renowned form of very colorful embroidery which is often considered, along with the Matyo, to be representative of Hungary. It is found in south central Hungary, in Bács-Kiskun County, just east of the Danube. It forms part of the cultural area known as the Great Hungarian Plain. It is also a center of cultivation of the famous Hungarian Paprika.
Here is a closeup map of the Kalocsa region.
The basic garment of the woman's costume is a blouse. As currently worn, the cut is quite modern, with short set in sleeves and an opening in the back. There is a small amount of embroidery on the front under the neck opening, and also on the sleeves. the sleeve ends are generally scalloped, with openwork, usually either Broderie Anglaise or Richelieu.
An alternate way of making the blouse is to cut it out of one piece, including the sleeves.. In this example, the blouse is embroidered in white on white in the old style. Also note that the fastening is on top of one shoulder, along the seam.
Over the chemise, a white bodice is worn, of linen or cotton, with a front opening. This is covered with the typical Kalocsa embroidery, and extends only to the waist. Sometimes it is quite opaque.
Sometimes the embroidery is combined with openwork.
And sometimes it is embellished with so much Richelieu work that very little remains of the original cloth.
A narrow underskirt is worn, the former bottom half of the chemise, over which a number of full petticoats are worn, although relatively fewer than in other parts of the Hungarian Plain, where it was not uncommon for women to wear well over a dozen.
The skirt is always pleated, in the early 20th century it hung to about mid-calf, but today usually to somewhat below the knee. Most commonly it is sewn from a solid mid-tone color, red, rose, blue, violet, green, etc. There are one or two bands of lace or ribbon sewn on midway, and sometimes along the hem as well. The pleats add a special kind of movement to the skirts when dancing.
Remember, never sit on your pleats!!
Occasionally, you will see a skirt made of flowered print material.
This apron is embroidered in a more pure Richelieu style, white on white. It also shows a feature more common in the past, a row of cutwork with ribbon threaded through it.
This apron shows more clearly the embroidered flounces, and also shows the threaded ribbon and heavily embroidered ties on the ends of the waistband. You will also see an exceptional amount of embroidery in the next image down.
This photo also shows the traditional knitted stockings which go with this costume. Unfortunately, these are commonly omitted or replaced with white tights today.
The footwear for the women traditionally consisted of mules, small backless clogs with a short heel. It is quite amazing to see them dance the Ugros in these, hopping and bouncing all over the place.
Another feature shown by the photo behind glass above, is the girl's headgear, consisting of a ribbon folded multiple times to form a bow. You can also see these in several of the images above.
Here are a couple of links to videos of Kalocsa dances. This first one has bad camera work, but good dancers, and it shows the costume even though we don't get to see much of the dance. They do Ugros, Csardas, and then back to Ugros.
Here is an amateur group doing a reasonable job of the dances. They don't have all of their embroidery finished yet. Notice they have the mens vests color coordinated with the women's skirts.