I have written a few articles about Pokuttia, all talking about the costume and embroidery in the eastern part. Today I will try to talk about the costume of the region around the town of Kolomyja, in western Pokuttia, Ukraine. It is often thought that Kolomyja is Hutsul, but this is not the case. The Hutsul region lies to the south, in the highlands. Kolomyja lies on the Prut River lowlands. The culture of west Pokuttia does have much in common with Hutsul culture, however. The town gave its name to the famous dance and song style, kolomyjka, which is very popular not only with Hutsuls, but also Boikos, and even Lemkos and the Rusyns in Slovakia.
The image above is a very famous one, which is often seen. It is of a bridal couple from the village of Kornych, which lies just southeast of Kolomyja. It underscores one of the great costume traditions of the region, which is that of extremely elaborate bridal headdresses.
This costume appears in a famous woodcut by Sviatoslaw Hordynsky, along with the Posvicha costume.
I have reconstructed the costume based mostly on these old photographs. Luckily, there are a lot of them.
The base of the costume is the sorochka, or chemise, in ustawka cut. Some of the images I have found seem to show the ustawka set in vertically, as is done in dress shirts of west Podillia, Bukovyna and some parts of Hutsulshchyna. The main ornament is a single band of embroidery on the bottom edge of the ustawka, usually from 1 to 3 inches wide. The hem is not embroidered, the collar is not visible in any of my photographs, and the sleeves either have a wristband into which the sleeve is gathered, or the sleeve ends are left open, with minimal ornament. There is no embroidery on the sleeve itself. The embroidery is dense, usually with the entire ground covered, and the edges are either straight or gently scalloped. Sometimes the embroidery is nyzynka. Here is a modern photograph of the costume of Kornych village.
And another example from Voskresyntsi village, also drawn by Ivan Honchar.
Other styles of embroidery were also used, some of them incorporating unusual stitches, like this example from Kornych village, from Maria Kalyniak's book. Here we see counted satin stitch, as is also seen in some Horodenka embroideries.
Geometrical or floral cross stitch designs with a white background are not unkown. Here is an example from Pechenizhyn village. She exceptionally has some embroidered motifs low on the sleeve, and no cuffband.
I suspect that many of the photos of embroidery designs which have no information of origin attached may be assigned to this region. Here are a couple of examples.
The garment was wrapped around the waist with soft folds, and held in place by a sash. The obhortka was usually arranged with the front edge hanging in the middle. This photo is from
This one I do not know which village it is from. Note that in this photo, narrow vertical lines are visible on the obhortka.
In some photos, the obhortka is wrapped in such a way that it does not overlap, and an apron is worn over the gap, resembling the way a plakhta is worn. You can see that some of the aprons are pleated, and all have a woven sash tied around the waist over them. All the aprons are made of colored store bought cloth. In the first photo, she is wearing a length of Czech ribbon instead of a sash, and in the last photo, the aprons are made of colorful floral material.
Some of the aprons were made of floral printed or brocade material, and were wide, and often pleated, like the aprons. Here are a couple examples from the village of Pechenizhyn.
And a couple of exhibits at the Kolomyja Museum.
They are highly ornamented with leather applique and other techniques. The most common form features strong, downturned tooth designs and 'rachky' [crawdads], here visible on the front sides of the man's vest. Let's take a look at the cover photo again.
These strong hooklike ornaments are diagnostic for the Kolomyja region. In other details, each was different, as each kyptar was made individually for a particular person by the local lymar.
Married women wore kerchiefs. I am sure that a chepets of some sort was original to the costume, but I have been unable to document any.
The Krovets collection has many good photos of individual garments from this area. They do not allow others to post them. Go and look at them if you are interested.