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Reconstruction of bandit - military men's clothing.

The men's clothing, which today we consider typical for bandits and army, cannot be positioned in any specific Ethnographic area. The wide geographical boundaries they inhabited, the lack of specifics and a narrowly defined socio-cultural framework, allow this clothing to be worn in different areas. The ways and possibilities for its acquisition release its owners from compliance with specific strict norms and give the clothing a special representation, which in many cases does not correspond to the real social status of its owner. Here we present an authentic reconstruction of such clothing, and our aim was to get as close as possible to the authentic image, as it exists in reliable sources and photos. The splendor of the clothing and the availability of all the necessary accessories, including those for the maintenance of the weapon, give us reason to believe that the owner of this clothing was an armed guard, well placed in social terms.

Currently, the suit with the full set of accessories is owned by a family from Razlog.

Reconstruction of bandit - military men's clothing from the second half of XX-th century.
Reconstruction of bandit - military men's clothing from the second half of XX-th century.

Men's clothing shows that there is no geographical or chronological boundary between the “belodreshni” and “chernodreshni” costumes in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, because they appear as two successive stages of the originally uniform men's clothing. With the development of trade, the braiding and painting industry gradually darkened the costume in the direction from west to east. In some areas, the influence of Turkish clothing is felt: deep full-bottomed breeches, tight on the legs in the lower legs, with “nogavitsi”, wrapped in braids and shod in wide caps.

The local name for pants with tight “nogavitsi” is “cheshiri”. The full-bottomed breeches are in dark blue color, made of cotton quadruple fabric and have a braided decoration on the edges and seams, worn on holidays and in cold weather. They have a wide upper part, gathered by a “vurkozun” (string) in the hem and a strong narrowing of the legs from the knees to the bottom. Decorated with black braids on the pockets and legs. The common variant is on bilaterally full-bottomed breeches uniformly cut with a pleated bottom. They are the most durable part of the men's suit, used until the middle of the twentieth century, and by the elderly population and shortly thereafter, until gradually the pants managed to displace it. In the lower part of the legs they put on “kaltsi” made of white fabric and decorated with black strings or braids, and at the end they wear moccasins - light and comfortable for walking and working.

Реконструкция на хайдушко (арамийско) мъжко облекло от втората половина на ХІХ век

The thickness of the used braids and the density of the applied decoration show the property status of the man. They were ordered and made by tailors and cost a lot of money. The wide bottom of the full-bottomed breeches and the beautiful braided decoration on the costume give indications of what kind the person is, how wealthy he is and what is his influence in society.

Реконструкция на хайдушко (арамийско) мъжко облекло от втората половина на ХІХ век

The men's shirt (called “koshulya”) has a tunic-like cut and wide sleeves, finally with a cuff and a small straight collar and about 30 cm bosom cut. The shirt from Razlog is white, without embroidery or simply on the collar, long and wide, because it is an outer garment in summer clothing and shortened in winter clothing, where it is an undergarment and is inserted into the pots. A few meters long belt in red, purple or black is encircled on top. They put different outerwear on the shirt, according to the season, whether it is for a holiday or a weekday, or according to the status and occupation of the man wearing it. The outer garments are short to the waist with overlapping fronts, with a rounded neckline, with long slit sleeves and a very rich braided decoration on them, the fronts and the back. They are worn alone or with a vest, which is most representative of its decorations and is worn over other outerwear. In summer it is put on the shirt. The outerwear in the area preserves the look and patterns of the “kusacheta”,”dolaktanki”, but now in a darker version. They put a fez on their head, sometimes twisted with a black scarf. In the festive attire of young men, as well as traveling merchants or shepherds, a leather “silyah” is put on the belt - a belt with several compartments in which weapons (pairs of pistols, a knife and a yataghan) and various accessories - a “”pungiya”, a pipe and the obligatory harbia.

Реконструкция на хайдушко (арамийско) мъжко облекло от втората половина на ХІХ век

There are few ornaments that adorn men's breasts. One of them is the silver “kiustek” - long chains at one end with a plastic decoration with a hook for hanging, and the other end is inserted into the belt. In urban clothing, a watch chain becomes a substitute for this jewelry. They also carry various silver boxes - “muski” with protective formulas or herbs. Such accessories are also available to Muslims, but they sometimes contain phrases from the Qur'an, which are intended to protect them from all evil.

Реконструкция на хайдушко (арамийско) мъжко облекло от втората половина на ХІХ век

Replacing old clothes with new ones is faster in the east than in the west. The “aba” and the “mente”, which are long below the waist, often sleeveless and open at the front, with dark blue or black braids, continue to be used. The long-sleeved outer garment, known as the aba or anther, is also richly decorated at the edges, the neckline, the sleeves and the front, where the pins and braided buttons are applied. At the beginning of the 20th century, the vest for the costumes of young people and even older men was made of colorful striped fabric. It is also worn with the long shirt from the summer suit and under the outer garment of the winter one.

Реконструкция на хайдушко (арамийско) мъжко облекло от втората половина на ХІХ век

Mario Bonkov from Razlog put on the costume.

The costume is owned by family from Razlog.

The project "Study of the specifics and richness of national costumes from the Razlog region in the light of cultural diversity" is realized with the financial support of the National Culture Fund under the program "Cultural Heritage".

In fulfillment of the goals of the project we present some of the most beautiful traditional costumes, typical for the Razlog valley in the last 2 centuries.

We offer our sincere thanks to our hosts from the Historical Museum - Razlog, and to all local people who helped with the realization.

Special thanks to all participants and team members who took their time and with useful information, knowledge and valuable advice made possible the work on the project.

A reverence to the girls and boys from the town of Razlog, who stood in front of our camera and with their enthusiasm, youth and beauty revived for a new life the most beautiful costumes from old Mehomiya.


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