Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Traditional costume of Belarus

Though Belarus is not such a big country there are 22 variants of the national costume. Regional differences are mainly in the small details of the costume and in motives and subjects of ornament.
Garments for the women include a chemise (kashulya) made of homespun linen; a heavy pleated checked or striped woven wool or linen skirt (spadnitsa or andarak); a linen homespun apron, and a waistcoat. Sleeves, shoulder insets, collar and bosom have embroidered patterns in red and black yarn, the composition of ornamenting depending on the region where the set belongs. The apron has colouring and ornamenting similar to those of the gown. The waistcoat being a festive attire was made of industrially manufactured textiles such as silk and velvet. The obligatory part of every costume is multi-color belt with pompons, tassels or fringes.
On their head young girls would wear coronets and narrow head-towels (skindochka), while married women wore bonnets and hoods. Still more women prefered namitkas head-towels which could be skilfully draped in many ways. Strings of beads complete the costume.
Men's costume include a linen shirt worn over the trousers, a waist-band and a pair of narrow trousers. The shirt has a bosom cut and a turn down collar. In certain regions a waist coat (kamiselka) is worn over it. A leather hand-bag called calita is a part of the garment too. The head-dress is a simple straw hat.
Symbolism of the costume's embroidery is ancient. White, the colour of homespun linen, is the colour of heaven; red is the colour of the sun and earth and is protective of life; black is the colour of the underworld and spiritual life.
The costume's different parts represent three spheres: neck, shoulders and sleeves represent the higher world; the waist - the earth; and the hem - the underworld. Different shapes of ornament are supposed to ward off evil. For example, the hands of working women were protected from spells and bad spirits by decoration of their sleeves with the bright red rhombic ornaments that is believed to have magical powers. 









2 comments:

  1. Hello, I came across your blog searching online. I have a small business based in the US and am looking for a supplier of homespun fabric in Belarus. I purchased some awhile back from a supplier in Belarus and it was the best fabric ever! i loved it, but the supplier is no longer selling. I use the fabric to make pillows, etc. Any chance you could direct me where I could search for this? Or know someone to help? Thanks so much! My email is: heathercastro@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello, I came across your blog searching online. I have a small business based in the US and am looking for a supplier of homespun fabric in Belarus. I purchased some awhile back from a supplier in Belarus and it was the best fabric ever! i loved it, but the supplier is no longer selling. I use the fabric to make pillows, etc. Any chance you could direct me where I could search for this? Or know someone to help? Thanks so much! My email is: heathercastro@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete