Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Overview of Croatian Costume, part 4; Adriatic Croatia

Hello all,

This is the last of the four articles of my overview of Croatian Costume. Today I am covering the Adriatic zone, which consists of the islands and a narrow strip of the coast of the Adriatic Sea. This may possibly be the smallest zone in terms of land area, but is extremely rich in culture and costume.

I will again cover this region from north to south.

1. Istria

Istria is the peninsula in the extreme northeast of Croatia, with the northern edge shared by Slovenia and Italy. It is an ethnically mixed area, with Croatians, Slovenes, Italians, Vlachs, Morlaks and Istriots. Chakavian, Croatian, Italian, Venetian, Slovene, Vlach [Istro-Romanian] and Istriot are all still spoken on the peninsula.
Most of the costumes which I have seen are linked with localities rather than ethnicities. I am sure that there is a great deal of information which I have only seen bits and pieces of. Here are some images of the costume of Medulin, the most commonly seen costume of Istria.


 Istria and some of the islands have retained some very ancient modal forms of music.

2. Hrvatsko Primorje, 

The Croatian littoral, this is the coast from the Istrian peninsula to the Zadar peninsula, around Kvarner bay.

These costumes are from the northern part of the coast, called Liburnijski Kras, near the town of Opatija.

Dances from this region


This image is labelled Kvarner, so it must be from somewhere on this coast. 

 In form and construction, if not in color, it is very similar to the famous costume from the area around Novi Vinodolski.


3. The northern islands. Otok is the Croatian word for island.

Otok Krk

This is not an abbreviation, r is treated as a vowel in the Croatian language.
 I have already done a pair of in-depth articles on this costume.

Dances and songs from Baška, Otok Krk

 Otok Rab

Dance from Otok Rab

Otok Cres

The following costumes are from Orlec on the island of Cres.

Singers in the Liburnijski Kras costume, Dancers in Cres costume enter at 1:50 mark

Otok Susak

Dances from Susak

Otok Silba

  Dances from Silba

Otok Olib

A series of home movies from Olib, showing the costume in some scenes.

Otok Pag

Dances from Pag


4. Zadar Peninsula and northern Dalmatian coast. Some communities have kept their unique local costumes. In this area, Dinaric elements can be mixed with the littoral zone elements.



This costume looks to me like the young person's costume has been lost and all are now wearing what used to be the older women's outfit. The dances and songs from this area are often performed, however.

Dances from Ražanac







country costume

Zadar city costume

Otok Ugljan

Otok Iž

Otok  Pašman

This seems to be a song concert on Pašman, but they seem to be wearing jackets over the costume.

 Sveti Filip i Jakov


Otok Murter

Songs and dances from Murter


  Otok Zlarin


Country costume

City Costume



5. Southern Dalmatian coast and Islands. This includes the area around Split and south.


The city costume of Split is very famous, and I have already written an in depth article about it.

Dances from Split



Otok Brač

Dances from Brač


Otok Hvar

Dances from Hvar




This is a town on the Pelješac peninsula.

 Otok Korčula

This island also is the home of a ritual men's sword dance, the Kumpanjija, which is done in older costumes.

Dances from Korčula



A glimpse of the Kumpanjija.


Otok Lastovo

 The men are dressed in the carnival costume called pokladar, which is used for another ritual sword dance.

The Poklad of Lastovo on stage.


Otok Mljet

čko Primorje

This is the coastal region north of the city of Dubrovnik, the home of the famous dance Lindjo. The image at the head of this article is from this region.

The Lindjo

a very pretty video
a video showing normal people

Dubrovnik Konavle Čilipi

This is the costume of the coast south of Dubrovnik. I have also done an in depth article on this costume. The men's costume is essentially the same as the previous one.

 Dances from this region


Boka Kotorska

The bay of Kotor is in Montenegro just beyond the southern tip of the Croatian border. There is a Croatian presence in this bay, and the costume is of the Adriatic zone.

 Songs and dances from Boka Kotorska

Good costumes, but the video is a bit murky.

Good dancing, but the women did not close their bodices, and are not wearing petticoats. Sloppy.

Good video. The men come on doing the local Mariner's Guild line dance. This is a port, and the men are traditionally sailors.

Well, I admit that this ended up being longer than I had expected. 
Thank you for reading.
I hope that you still found it interesting and informative.
You likely noticed that many islands and coastal areas were omitted. 
This is because I have little or no information as to those areas. 
I would love to learn more if anyone knows any good sources.

 This is the facebook page 'Croatian Traditional Costumes', which is a fantastic resource on the subject and a source of very good quality photographs

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.
Roman K.

email:  Rkozakand@aol.com 

1 comment:

  1. hey, do you have any research on Croatian traditional wedding costume? I'm so curious about it !