In this series I will study the folk costume from the Romanian folkloric areas. The popular port is one of the ethnographic phenomena that has developed along with the forms of social life and manifests itself as one of the basic elements of the material culture. His knowledge means understanding the characters of the people and contributing to the definition of ethnicity.
The popular port, as well as other phenomena and processes, architecture, fabrics, ceramics, epic and musical folklore, customs, etc., reflect the traditional way of life of the people.
The diversity of the Romanian folk costume
The use of ancient techniques and traditional methods of sewing, weaving and patterns, the consistency of ornamental compounds on the sheets that make up the women's and men's costume, and the use of a main motif of motifs common in all Romanian space have assimilated the costume style unit of the costume . But this unity does not exclude all the wealth and diversity of structure and decoration solutions.
Over time, different types of costumes, corresponding to the different regions, corresponding to the living conditions specific to the administrative unit that comprised in the Middle Ages the so-called countries: the Land of Lovişte, the Land of Zarand, the Land of Haţeg, the Land of Făgăraş, the Land of Maramureş, the Land of Oaş , Vrancea Country, etc.
These territorial units, configured in the economic conditions and realities specific to the feudal age, constituted ethnographic areas with a distinct feature, cohesion, stability and ethnocultural continuity, the preservation of the traditional features of the Romanian people.
The ethnographic areas conspicuously constituted the creative unity, wearing and conceiving the spirituality of customs and customs, some of which had local specificity, while others were common to all Romanian lands.
In the general picture of the Romanian folk costume, each land is individualized as a distinct unit, with specific characteristic features. Using a common language of signs, design that have lost magical and religious significance, there are nowadays only plastic and indisputable ornamental compositions, each area has given the signs and motives in its own language, creating from a specific pattern, many types of costumes.
These types have developed rhetorical variants, which are nothing but a change in the general scheme of morphology and absolute unique composition, a remodeling, a new combination of indisputable decorative elements that were already in the repertoire of traditional ornamentation, supported by rules, principles of arrangement and conservation, through a well-preserved tradition.
Types of shirts. The Women`s Shirt.
We start with the most important piece of the folkloric costume, the feminine shirt.
It is a certain and conclusive fact that the most characteristic and important woman clothing in the structure of the Romanian folk costume is the shirt. Synthesizing, the existing arguments in this respect bring the following clarifications:
- is the basic part of the popular costume
- preserves at least until a certain age, the most traditional elements.
- presents a great unit of structure and style in large ethnographic areas.
- focuses most on artistic elements of ornamentation of folkloric creators.
- Significantly marks differences in age, occasions, social status.
- determines the composition of the costume, the rest of the pieces always assorting with the shirt, which must imperiously be given as age, ornament and color. By it`s shape, the shirt encompasses and completes the overall line of the woman's body in its upper, most complex part of female aesthetics. With its ornamentation and chromaticity, the shirt is the point of resistance of clothing adorning.
The shirt is the dominant port piece, best understood and balanced as cut, line and arrangement of the ornaments, according to those shapes and parts of the body, which, according to the specific ethnic taste, are called out. An artistic analysis of the shirt, even the simplest, leads to the strong impression of elaboration and ornamental compositions, with the constant attention to the body - in its aesthetic aspect - and to the stylistic ensemble of the costume.
The folkloric women's shirts in our country have, besides elements and ornamental and chromatic compositions, some distinctive, specific aspects of the shape. Thus, they are always tightly closed to the neck except for the Maramures shirt, with the wider patchwork.
Characteristically, for the Romanian folk port, there is no (as in other European countries) variants of sleeveless shirts, even in working shirts. There are different ways of closing the shirt sleeve at the punches.
The clarity of the crown lines for joining different parts of the shirt is themselves a particularly valuable ornament. The artistic sense of the folk creators, sensing the artistic sense of these lines, emphasized them with "stitches", stitches in color, which denotes a refined aesthetic conception. Perhaps even more than the ornaments that accentuate some shapes, this marking of the crown sometimes suggests and sometimes reveals with great variety and ingenuity essential lines of the harmony of the shape of the body, convincing once again and thereby, the ornamentation role of ornamentation , the popular costume.
But here comes the addition, in the big white field, the ornaments, the colors, well thought out, and composed in the whole shirt. Almost every shirt version has the specific layout of the ornamental plains.
Over the long foot of the shirt, women wear a piece of port that varies from region to region. There are the following 4 important types:
- Opregul, a narrow strip of fabric with long fringes in Banat and Hateg,
- Catrinta, rectangular fabrics, worn in front and back, in Oltenia, Muntenia, south-eastern Moldavia and most of Transylvania areas and in Banat only in front.
- The large rectangular fabric, is wrapped around the body. It is mainly played in Moldova, in northern and eastern Muntenia.
- Valnicul, the skirt created, wide, worn in Oltenia.