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Culture » Commune Cultural Centre » History
Istebna folk dress

Regional costume has been always very important factor creating people's identity, a sense of being a part of "fathers land". It has had many functions: practical, aesthetic and even magic. It was a sign which enabled people wearing it to recognize their age, social position and profession. This costume gave an information what kind of event it was, too.  Its beautiful archaic forms have been an object of admiration and have proved tight connection with the land it was worn on the work days and during holidays. This dress used to be inseparable element of mountaineer's life. Our duty is to preserve it in respect to our HOME, our HISTORY and our HOMELAND - POLAND.

The costume of a man.

The very basic part of men's wearing was a shirt. Men shirts have very rich, cross - embroidery decorations which are traditionally red, brown or black and are placed symmetrically on both sides of the opening and on the cuffs of the sleeves. On the legs men used to wear trousers called "nogawice". They were sewn from the woven woollen cloth. Such trousers were given to a boy when he was sixteen. They were very durable. They normally lasted for about twenty years being perfect protection from cold and wind.

The other sort of trousers commonly worn in the mountains during the summer were "płótnioki" made from thick linen fabric. In ancient times shepherds used to wear wide leather belt on them. On a shirt highlander wore a kind of vest called "bruclik". In the XIXth century people sewed it from black, dark blue and then from red cloth.

A kind of outer man's garment which played decorative role rather than practical was thick, dark brown coat called "gunia". In winter men wore fur coats made from skin of sheep, lamb or a goat skin. They could be brown, red - brown or yellow. Feet were protected with socks knitted from white wool and decorated with brown, green or black thread ornamentation on the top. The principle kind of men's footwear were leather flat shoes similar to moccasins called "kyrpce". They were fastened to foot with long shoe laces tied around the leg (nodkoncia). The mountaineers always put on hats and in the winter the had fur caps called "baranica".

The costume of a woman

The very first part of women's clothing in the past was very simple, archaic, sack - shaped, linen shirt with only one shoulder strap (ciasnocha) which was later replaced with white slip decorated with a lace at the bottom. On this underwear mountaineer women dressed sort of white blouse sewn from thin linen or batiste called here "tiul". Its name was "kabotek". It had elbow - length sleeves with embroidered narrow cuffs tied with red ribbons. "Kabotek" had a short, stand - up collar embroidered with red thread.  

Women's underwear was usually covered with two pieces of cloths called "zapaska". The back side cloth, black and pleated (fortuch) and blue dyed front one with white floral design (fortuszek). However the colour of these aprons changed later as different fabrics were becoming more accessible.  

The legs of mountaineer women were dressed with 1.5 metres long red  stockings (nogawiczki) and short woollen socks with red top called "kopytka z wyrszczkym".

Women used to have the same as men footwear: leather,  moccasins - like shoes tied with ribbons. Young girls had always long hair plaited in tress. Married women had to wear white crocheted cap half of which was covered the net in the same colour as front apron. On chilly, autumn days women wore brown, navy blue or black coats with large sleeves and round collar (jakla). It was kind of a cape buttoned or fastened by means of snap-fasteners.  

Vital element of womens clothing was white table cloth put on shoulders and yellow or brown-red sheepskin coat. In the XIX century mountaineer women from Istebna, Koniaków and Jaworzynka started wearing Cieszyn costume: dress with rich decorated top worn on it, white cloth slip with two shoulder straps, calf-length shirt creased on hips, white batiste blouse and silk apron. The costume had also very decorative long ribbon tied into a bow.
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Added by: jk Added: 2007-08-20, godz. 14:43