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Traditional Folk Costumes Album Project partners countries: Turkey, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria and Czech Republic

My Folks of Folks File Multilateral Comenius Project

Romanian Folk costumes Romanian port is the exteriorization of beauty of the soul and comes to emphasize holiday and joy of meeting with others. It is full of grace and variety, but at the same time, spirituality. Romanian folk costume gives the body a spiritual beauty. It is distinct from other peoples, through his untold wealth and the subtle harmony. On the Romanian people, the popular clothes are like they are written. Popular costume is a combination of local traditions, the geographical location, climate and economic opportunities. It is a badge of recognition, a trademark of ethnic identity, a document with certain historical and artistic value. From birth to death, man in costume accompanied the events of his life, being a bearer of symbols. Like all phenomena of material culture, folk costume is subject to continuous development. Its close connection with social life makes it appear as a phenomenon changing, always adapting to the changed conditions of life. Generally suit, starting with the most simple forms, has been improved and complicated the aesthetic attributes. From generation to generation, holiday clothes and wanted more beautiful, the traditionally are considered obsolete. The evolution of the popular and have been many developments, both in terms of decoration and tailoring line. Old forms, with tradition, have been preserved with newer elements that have not made, however, notable changes. Over time, traditional costume has undergone continuous developments, Shutter complex cases, general or local. Romanian port that has the same general features likeness throughout the country, of course with differences of detail, the changes in shape, cut, or just the use of haircut and ornaments. It is essential trait unity in variety, various costumes are characteristic of regions and geographical areas.

Costumes from Almaj - Transylvania

Folk dances are specific ethnographic areas of Romania and is a good opportunity to show the beauty of folk costumes.

Turkish Traditional Costumes The traditional Turkish costume has kept on changing with the passage of time as each successive civilization brought with it its own dress sense. Amongst the earliest records that hint at the clothing and attire of the ancient Turks are wall paintings and miniatures. The Turks made use of a wide variety of materials to create their costumes. They were very particular about their clothing and were fond of using exquisite materials. Cotton and woolen fabric would be specially woven on handlooms and they would import fine quality silk from China. The trademark attire of the Turkish people is both fashionable and functional. This had to be so because the daily mode of transport was the horse, hence they needed to be wearing a costume that would enable them to ride horses with comfort and ease. This is why there is a striking resemblance between the clothes that were worn by women and those worn by men. The use of leather and other felt materials was quite common amongst the Turks. This was primarily because of their close association with nature. They would also make their clothing and various accessories using sheepskin, fur and other woolen materials. Leather boots were also part of the costume of the Turks. They would sport them along with a mintan shirt and a special short caftan that would be hooked along with a belt. This would serve as riding trousers for them. They would be loose at the top and would narrow down as they extended towards the shoes. Leather boots and Caftan were considered to be the fashion accessories of the elite. A special kind of head covering was also worn by the Turks. Made out of sheepskin or fur the head covering known as Bashlyks was meant to offer protection against cold. They were also considered to be symbols of high status amongst the locals.

As different cultures from Asia migrated to Anatolia, new clothing customs were developed. The use of integrated motifs and symbols along with a combination of styles developed which became a clothing tradition in its own rights with the passage of time. Amongst the tribes that made their way to Turkey were the Tartar, Azerbaijan, Uygur, Kurkhiz and Ozbek people and all of them had an effect on each other. Since the natural landscape of Turkey is extremely diverse you can find traditional costumes for every season. Often the Turks would add on fur linings to their summer wear in order to make them suitable for the winters. With the expansion of the Ottoman Empire even more cultures and customs made their way into Turkey. In fact Turkey established a massive textile industry in many of its states such as Busra, Istanbul, Konya and Denizli and in many ways became the fashion capital of the time.

Latvian Folk Costumes Latvian Folk Costumes derive from the "Sunday best" clothing that Latvians wore at festivals, weddings, and other major celebrations. Since this clothing was worn rarely, and was usually expensive to make (in time, and sometimes also in materials), the "fashion" of these clothes changed slowly — especially if such clothing was handed down from generation to generation, as often seems to have been the case. Thus, it is not surprising that Latvian folk costumes often reflect the fashions of the 19th, and even the 18th, century. There is no single national costume for Latvia; instead, the clothing is distinctive from province to province, and sometimes even from parish to parish. Here is a brief overview of some of the folk costumes associated with different areas of Latvia: 

Kurzeme (western Latvia)

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Latgale (south-eastern Latvia)


Vidzeme (north-eastern Latvia)


Zemgale (central Latvia)

Bulgarian Traditional costume The traditional Bulgarian costume is one of the most typical elements of the Bulgarian folk culture. It is the traditional clothing which has a specific meaning in both everyday and festival activities of the Bulgarians. Each region of Bulgaria has its own costume with unique, typical motifs.A specific code is weaved into the ornamentation of the Bulgarian costumes - in the past the Bulgarians used to rely on it for information about the family of those, who wore them, and the areas of the country, where they lived. Each costume had its message. The Bulgarian costume contains many elements and motifs from the pagan beliefs and legends. No one wore clothes with fully symmetrical decorations, because Bulgarians believed that full symmetry was a diabolical creation. Therefore, elements were often added and removed, so that no symmetry should exist. Those were intentional mistakes in order to prevent the evil eye. Bulgarian women make their costumes all by themselves. As early as the age of five, little girls were starting learning to spin wheels, sew, weave, prepare the trousseau for their weddings, and from their twelfth year to the wedding, they were learned to embroider - this was the highest skill of all domestic crafts. Embroidery used to have great symbolic value. It was believed to protect the human body from evil spells and spirits. People believed that cutting a part of the embroidery of one’s garment would blaze a trail for the evil spirits and make the person vulnerable. Bulgarian women were allowed to embroider only until their wedding day - after that they were having the right to do it again only when their own daughters become 12 years and they need to learn how to do it.

A rich collection of costumes, typical for the Middle Rhodope region, can be seen in the Regional History Museum in Smolyan. More information on costumes in various regions and the symbolic meaning of the elements and the decorations on them can be obtained in the Bulgarian museums. Almost each urban museum in the country has an ethnographic collection, which represents the typical costumes of the region. Extremely rich collections from all over the country are stored in the National Ethnographic Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Science and the National History Museum.

Czech Republic folk costumes The folk costume comprises clothing that is characteristic of a certain region. In the areas of the Czech Republic connected with the historical division of the state, the costumes of the plebeian social classes have experienced a rather complex evolution. Folk clothing can only be classified in a clear historical manner with some difficulty. At present, folk costumes in the Czech Republic are no longer commonly worn, but people still wear them during traditional popular celebrations and entertainment events such as banquets and carnivals. This tradition is strongest in the eastern part of the country and in Moravia. The Blata folk costume is worn in the region between České Budějovice, Tábor, Jindřichův Hradec and Vodňany. Previously it extended as far as Moravia and into Czech villages in Austria. It occupies a large area. Consequently, although it is uniform in character, differences have evolved in various regions, primarily in embroidery patterns. The Blata costume, especially the women’s costume, is very lavishly decorated with embroidery. Embroidery usingbeads and sequins used to be typical. The Blata plena (which is something like a large scarf) was the most opulent part of the attire. The plenawas tied through a soft, three-part bonnet, with an embellished embroidered bandprotruding in front of its laced collar. Chemises were richly embroidered in the first half of the 19th century and beads were also embroidered in the second half of the 19th century. There was a collar or "výkladek" around the neck above an embroidered shirtfront. Just like other areas in Bohemia and Moravia, Haná also had its typical folk costume. This dress fully corresponds to the character of the region – it was dignified and attractive. The male attire can sometimes give the impression of being too opulent and boastful, but it is very beautiful. In the vicinity of Hačky, the costume was not so expensive in view of the submontane character of the landscape and the greater penury of the people. It merely imitated the Haná costume. The further one went from Haná, the simpler the embroidered decorations

were, without any opulence, and common plain clothes soon supplanted the costume. The male costumes had the most varied accessories. The most interesting of these comprised leather Haná beltsmade in the vicinity of Litovel, which were adorned with fine metal strips hammered into them and often combined with embroidery of very narrow straps of multicolored leather. The Haná costume is distinguished according to individual localities, particularly through the color of the trousers – gate – and the tunic or the shape of the hat. For example, a Haná native in Kroměříž, Holešov and Prostějov would have red leather trousers (Moravian Slovaks call them "bane") tied under the knees with tassels. The Valašsko folk costume (which has disappeared with few exceptions) can now only be seen in museums, at folklorist celebrations, and on some folk dancers and musical ensembles. The traditional Valašsko folk costume consists of a fur coat, white shirt, tight trousers, peasant shoes and a hat.With women, the costume consisted of a white, roughly pleated skirt, a black apron at the front, a bodice with traditional sleeves, and a white embroidered scarf on the head.

What we have learned? In the two years of project we learned a lot about traditional costume of his native country, and about the partner countries. At first we have seen in museums, then we drew, getting them made in technology education classes or workshops outside school hours.

Students Drawings costumes

We have learned a lot of things about our traditional costumes and we discovered some similarities between the costumes of the five countries.

Folk Costumes for dolls made by students

This album was created jointly by Comenius Multilateral Project team. The material is taken from various pages available online photos during activities with students in the 5 partner schools. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. <0} This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission is not responsible for any use of information it contain.

Tradititional folk costume