Albanian traditional costumes

FolkA�traditionalA�garments are obviously one of the most expressive manifestations of traditional culture. They inherit and convey many elements that come down from ancient times and Middle ages , but at the same time they are an expression of cultural relations with other peoples over centuries. Byron the famous poet has taken with him many Albanian folk costumes to express to the world the identity of the Albanians.

The principal types of Albanian popular costumes for men include the kilt costume, the costume with long shirt and a dolman, the costume with pantaloons and the costume with breeches or something like knickers. So in Albanian villages menA�used to wear garments both in shape of trousers, the first type being outmoded earlier than the rest. The most adorned parts were the waistcoats and vests as part of the festive costumes.

Albanian men have also been wearing various silver ornaments, such as breast pads, decorated buttons on vests, rings, pipes and cigarette boxes, but above all their side arms andA�firearmsA�wereA� elaborately ornamented. For women, principal types of dresses included the costume made up of sleeveless smock, the costume made up of a long gown, above which a kersey jerkin was worn, the costume made up of two aprons placed on a long shirt, one worn on the front part of the body and the other behind it, and the costume made up of a loose garment ( an open skirt, tucked up at the waist forming crumples or pleats). The color of the clothing depended on the age of the wearers.

The Albanian girls that had reached the marriage age was dressed simply and without special ornaments. Her hair was covered with a head-kerchief. The marriage suit was the richest variant among garments of a particular region both for brides and bridegrooms. Metallic ornaments were used for bride’s garments. After marriage their costumes would become lightened with ornaments.A� According to the customs they dressed the dead with the best clothes.

According to the studiesA� the traditional garments have Byzantine and Oriental influences. There are elements connected with the Illyrian culture. Owing to such elements inherited from the Illyrian culture and that of the Arbers of Middle Ages during their historic development, folk clothes have come to gain a series of original traits that assume values of the ethnic indicator, which distinguishes Albanian clothing from that of other peoples.

/Klara Ruci/

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