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~ costume traditionale romanesti, port popular romanesc ~

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Romanian peasant woman painted by Nicolae Vermont (XIX century)

Romanian peasant woman painted by Nicolae Vermont (XIX century)

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Coming from self-sufficient communities, Romanians made their own clothing: the clothing pieces were handmade and sewn by women, and leather clothing/ footwear were made by local craftsmen (meșteri). Costumes could take between 1-2 years to make. 

Traditional sewing differed from today’s western-style sewing which is concentrated on quick practical sewing. The fabrics were produced at home, not bought. The main fabrics used were homemade cotton, wool, leather, borangic (traditional Romanian silk), hemp, linen. Lace or velvet were also used. The materials kept cool during summer and warm during winter. The clothes were colored using vegetable dye made from plants.

Traditional Romanian clothing differs slightly from region to region but the basic pieces are the same:

 

For women

  • white shirt called ie
  • waistcoat (pieptar, vestă)
  • a white skirt called poala which is knee-length or ankle-length
  • over the skirt the women put a catrincă or fotă – a piece resembling an apron but used for aesthetic reason with various colors and designs sewn on it. The fotă had either one piece worn in the front; two pieces worn in front and back; or all wrap-around skirt.
Varieties of women's dress in Oltenia (Southern Romania)

Varieties of women’s dress in Oltenia (Southern Romania)

romanians traditional costume romanesti romanian people girls Romania .

Two-piece fotă, where two identical pieces are worn in front and back.

Wrap-around fotă. The skirts could be knee-long or ankle-long.

Wrap-around fotă. The skirts could be knee-long or ankle-long.

Women’s head-wear differed from region to region. They wore a scarf or a white veil made of borangic (natural romanian silk), both of whom had decorative floral motifs. Like most cultures around the world, young unmarried girls left their hair uncovered, unless it was a holiday/ special celebration or they visited church.

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For men – white long pants called iţari or cioareci, made from cotton or wool (depending on the season), white shirt, waistcoat (pieptar, vestă).

The shoes differed from area to area but the most common were boots – ciubote; shoes called opinci (opanak in slavic), worn since ancient times in the Balkans (see Dacian/Thracian wear); and other types of shoes made of leather.

Pieptar/ vestă din piele - men's leather vest. Vests were made of various materials.

Pieptar/ vestă din piele – men’s leather vest. Vests were made of various materials.

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Pieptar/ vestă femeieasca – women’s vest. Vests were made of various materials.

 

Both men and women wore a waist band called brâu, whose size and design varies. For women it also had an aesthetic purpose meant to underline the small feminine waist. In autumn, men and women wear a thick coat called suman, and during winter they wear a thicker coat called cojoc.

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Brâu sau chimir de piele – leather waist belt made for men. Men’s leather belts were usually very wide and solid.

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Brâu femeiesc – women’s waist belt. They differed in colors and pattern.

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Brâu popular – traditional waist belt.

Cojoc - thick winter coat.

Cojoc – thick winter coat.

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“Cojoaca”, regional name for winter Cojoc

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Woman in cojoc

Romanian women wearing "Suman", traditional Romanian coat (behind them are Calusari dancers)

Romanian women wearing “Suman”, traditional Romanian coat (behind them are Calusari dancers)

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Suman for men

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Except for the white dress (poala) and the white pants (iţari) on men, the other clothing pieces almost always had intricate pattern (motifs) sewn on them.

Clothing was crucial to identify a person’s roots and show where they came from. In women’s case, the dressing also showed their marital status (especially the headwear).

The art and craft of making traditional clothing and footwear is slowly fading, with the elderly having less and less young people to pass it on. Instead, a kitsch trend is developing, with fashion designers using the “traditional trend” for inspiration in poor imitations of folk clothing – while the genuine craft is dying away.

Depending on the region, women's head-coverings included a white long veil of various lengths, or a colorful scarf.

Depending on the region, women’s head-coverings included a white long veil of various lengths made from borangic (romanian natural silk), or a colorful scarf with flowery motifs.

Romania women people traditional costumes costume romanesti Romanians

Depending on the region, women’s head-coverings included a white long veil of various lengths made from borangic (romanian natural silk), or a colorful scarf with flowery motifs.

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Romanian dancers “Calusari”

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romania children traditions winter

romanian children traditions winter

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Romanian women traditional costumes costume romanesti Romanians

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southern romanian woman romanians people rumänien traditions 

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Luncoiu de jos Romania

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Winter holidays romanians in traditional costumes national clothing Bucovina Romania***

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