top of page

The women's festive costume from the Razlog region. The second half of the XIXth century.

The  women's festive costume from the Razlog region. The second half of the XIXth century.

The costume is from the fund of the Historical Museum - Razlog. The costume is shown in March in the calendar "Girl, mary, beautiful" 2022, showing masterpieces from the Bulgarian cultural and historical heritage - traditional folk costumes worn by the Bulgarian woman in the late XIX early XX century.

👉 You can view the calendar here.

👉 The costume was worn by the enchantress from the Razlog village of Eleshnitsa - Irena Pandeva

👉 The women's festive costume from the second half of the 19th century was rich and heavy. The woman from Razlog wore a long white shirt. Locals call the shirt a “koshulya” that is completely decorated with colored stripes visible through the side slits of the outer garment and with rich embroidery that covers the seemingly vulnerable parts of the body so that "evil does not enter from there." The sleeves of the shirt are wide and long to the wrist, embroidered at the bottom with large and beautiful „zapeski” with tulips and framed with hand-knitted lace.

🔸 On the shirt is a “zabun” of cotton striped fabric with side slits and underneath with black braid. The garment is with cotton, crucible.

🔸 In winter, the women from Razlog preferred a woolen „zabun”. Usually the outer garments - „zabun“, “anteriya” and „klashnik” are long, sleeveless and almost completely cover the shirt, which thus becomes an undergarment and reduces its decoration in some parts.

🔸 In cold weather to the sleeveless garment, women wear sleeves, which are joined behind the back by two parallel neckbands. In the lower part of the sleeves, both the „zabun” and the „anteriya” were turned upwards and fastened with a button to the elbow (the so-called lids) in order to see the colorful lining and the „zapeski” of the shirt. The various outer garments were sewn from tailor's hand.

🔸 The festive aba, which is placed on the upper garment, is sleeveless, sewn from a nice navy blue shayak, that is why it is called “sinyavitsa. From the waist down, on all sides it is decorated with feathered wedges with the processes below. Its ends are long to turn back to the "opretulkya" to see the „zabun” or „anteriya”. Around the shoulders and all the way around the abbot was wrapped with two rows of braids. The armpits on two sides were decorated with green stripes - „archove”.

The  women's festive costume from the Razlog region. The second half of the XIXth century.

🔸 On it she wore a red belt, the role of which was to fasten the waist, but also to turn the trees to the skirts of the “anteriya”. On the belt there is an apron dotted with horizontal stripes with geometric color decoration in them. Above, the bride from Razlog wore a velvet beaded belt fastened with silver wrought, round buckles.

🔸 Veiled with a dark red „kavrak”, the ends of which pass under the chin and return to the back of the neck. This head covering further emphasizes her status as a married woman who cannot go out with her head uncovered.

🔸 She wore white socks with rich decoration on her ankles, heels and toes. The costume finish with nice slippers on chairs (heels) with a red tassel.

❤️ The team of The Live Roots of Bulgaria Foundation sincerely thanks Hristina Manova - Director of the Historical Museum - Razlog

The  women's festive costume from the Razlog region. The second half of the XIXth century.

❤️ Behind Irena's beautiful face stands a young woman, strongly connected with Bulgarian folklore. See what she has to say about herself:

" I am named after my grandmother - Raina. I grew up in the Razlog, village of Eleshnitsa. A few months ago I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Bulgarian Folk Choreography. I started working as a secretary of the Community center in Eleshnitsa. I like to deal with the activities of the Community cente for more development and a better future. I dance folk dances.

For me, as well as for my family, the Bulgarian traditions must be preserved and we must not allow ourselves to lose them, because this is our wealth and heritage. I have many memories related to traditions. Bulgarian folklore for me is like a source of knowledge. With each passing day you learn something new and more interesting and fascinating. It educates us and makes us look for more and more information about the past.

The feeling of wearing a costume for over 100 years is indescribable. The difference between the new costumes and the antique ones is that wearing a new costume is like wearing civilian clothes, and when you wear an old costume you have the feeling that you are wearing gold clothes, because these costumes are no longer easy to find and are disappearing. I would wear a costume for any occasion.

Why do I love Bulgaria? Bulgaria - my dear homeland, my mother! "

Photographer: Petar Petrov

❤️ Тhe Live Roots of Bulgaria Foundation would like to thank Olcom Ltd. as well as the digital agency Bogara Ltd. for the support in publishing this calendar!


bottom of page