Today I am going to talk about the costumes of the Bulgarian region of Thrace, or Trakiya. Thrace was originally a Greek word which referred a rather vague region which was north of Thessaly and east of Macedonia. They called the 'barbarian' tribes who lived there Thracians. We do not know what they called themselves. It is generally accepted that the Thracians contributed to the ethnogenesis of the Bulgarian people, together with Slavs and Bolgars. Today Thrace is generally considered to consist of the southeastern Balkans, including the European part of Turkey, northeastern Greece, and southeastern Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian cultural region of Thrace consists of the lowlands between the Balkan mountains on the north, the Rhodope mountains on the south, and the Black Sea on the east.
For the most part, the women's costume of Thrace is that of the Sukman, a black wool outer garment which pulls over the head. You can see these in the image at the head of the article; this is a group from around Elkhovo. In the south there are some regions which wear the saya, which is open down the front. Khaskovo is one example. There are also a few towns which developed their own sort of Town costume. These came out of the Bulgarian National revival of the early 20th cent. and show influence from both European and Turkish fashion. I will start with these.
This town is in the north of Sliven oblast, not far from the borders of Shumen oblast, where they also have a couple of town costumes.
This town is in a peninsula-like eastern extension of Sofia oblast, but is part of the Thracian cultural region. It is best known for the pan Bulgarian folk festival which is held there every four years.
This town is in the north of Pazardzhik oblast, not very far from Koprivshtitsa.
This is the westernmost part of Bulgarian Thrace. The southern tip of this oblast is really part of the Rhodope region.
Summer work clothes from the village of Vasyl Levski near Karlovo.
Here is a dance performance called 'Thracian Motifs'. It is performed in this costume, from Vinitsa near Prvomai.
These three are from around Novo Zagorsko, in the southwest
This is the Lazarka costume from Kozichino or Erkech.
In this area they sometimes layer up to three sukmans at a time.
These are from Zornitsa, which today is just over the border in Burgas oblast.