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BraidIn many cultures around the world, hair is considered sacred and an important part of human appearance and even of the local culture. The hairstyle and hair accessories often showed the status in society, age, marital status, gender, and other info about a person. For example, in Slavic countries, it was traditional for unmarried girls to braid their hair and for married women to wear it covered under coifs, bonnets, kerchiefs, etc. Practically every area in Eastern Europe has its own hairstyle traditions, customs, and superstitions. Let’s look at the ones typical for unmarried females in Hungary.

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Regency period avaAt the beginning of the 1800s in Europe, the Regency and Empire fashion styles thrived. We’ve already written a lot about stylish outfits of these periods, but this topic demands more attention. So, we dedicated this article to graceful men’s costumes of the Regency era. Delicate male gloves, which were an absolutely obligatory item for a ball, extravagant neckpieces, and breeches replaced by full-length trousers – these are only a few spoilers for you.

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pollera avaPeruvian women love these adorable and eye-catching skirts. They’re so bright! Though such full skirts aren’t very flattering to most female figures, somehow they suit the local women just fine. Moreover, Peruvian ladies even wear up to 10 polleras one on top of another to make the silhouette look ampler. Believe it or not, plenty of polleras used in Peru today are handmade, with a hand-woven border to embellish them. Despite industrially-produced clothes being so available these days, Peruvians continue to honor their old clothing traditions.

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Carpathian loom avaOur ancestors, no matter in what part of the world they lived, used different weaving looms to produce the fabric and make clothes from it. There is a big variety of looms that existed throughout human history – backstrap looms, vertical warp-weighted looms, drawlooms, horizontal four-post looms, pegged looms, pit looms, etc. Various constructions of looms were popular in different regions, time periods, cultures, etc. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the horizontal floor loom, one of the most widespread devices used in the 17th – early 20th century.

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Haromszek avaThe Háromszék area in Transylvania has old and rich clothing traditions. Though this region was already industrially and technically developed in the mid-19th century, the local people kept their authentic clothing styles until late in the 20th century. And one of those archaic and favored by most women garments was the traditional bodice, a cute form-fitting piece that had a whole list of advantages. Today, women still happily wear these folk bodices as a part of traditional attire during festivals, folk celebrations, and other special occasions.

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Tibet avaThe folk dress of Tibet looks charming. Especially their charming outerwear called “chuba” that can tell so much about the wearer. In the past, there was a tradition for Tibetan men to wear a sheepskin chuba over the naked upper body, with the right arm left bare. It was the ultimate show of masculinity and machismo to go out like this during harsh Tibetan winters. Even today, in the 21st century, chuba still remains a significant part of Tibetan culture and lifestyle – the locals wear it in winter because no modern outer garment can be as warm and comfy.

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Chernihiv avaNorthern regions of Ukraine are a swampy woodland area. The lifestyle of local people differed a lot from those in other regions. For example, they traditionally used materials and food the forest gave them, while Ukrainians from other territories mostly survived from farming. Also, the local climate is a bit colder and more humid, with hordes of midge everywhere, so people often preferred to wear woven clothes and thicker fabrics. Their traditional footwear was bast shoes because birch, willow, or other tree bark was available in large quantities.

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Puttees avaA lot of vintage costumes, especially of European warriors from different periods (the Vikings, Roman and Saxon soldiers, World War I and II troops, etc) were complemented with puttees or leg wrappings. This item of clothes was a must-have for a lot of people. It protected the leg from small injuries, from cold, and from damaging the skin by coarse shoes. Although the winingas need some skill and practice to wear them correctly, this piece was in active use until the mid-20th century or even later. Why were puttees so widespread for many centuries?

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Peru poncho avaSeveral countries in South America traditionally use this outer garment practically all year round. Poncho is not only warm and cozy, it’s very comfortable to wear, doesn’t need buttons or clasps, and is the perfect attire for horseback riding. That’s why both modern South American people and their Native American ancestors were fond of a poncho and used it for any occasion – ceremonial or day-to-day. In the past, this outerwear was a necessity to keep the body warm, but today, designer ponchos can be a fashion statement and can differ a lot from the original piece.

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Spinning avaThese traditional clothing crafts are very old and widespread throughout the whole planet. Our ancestors – no matter in what country or region they lived – knew how to make clothes using the weaving, felting, and knitting techniques. Various museums in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and other corners of the world exhibit authentic garments produced with the help of mentioned folk crafts. But what interesting facts can we find about these clothing techniques? Let’s see.

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Congolese headdress avaQueen Ramonda’s headdress in Black Panther movie was inspired by African tribal hats and hairdos. We often see similar elongated shapes of hairstyles, headpieces, and even the skull itself in African old photos. People artificially changed the shape of their heads, bandaging the babies’ heads. It was dictated by the local standards of beauty, old traditions, and cultural identity. This tradition has disappeared in the mid-20th century. But a specific woven hairstyle of Mangbetu women in the same shape as Ramonda’s hat is still used today and allows to maintain this peculiar African tradition.

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Woven towel avaIt’s typical for many Slavic countries to use ceremonial towels (wedding towels, towels framing religious icons, etc). Most often, they are hand-embroidered, but in some regions, people preferred woven towels with rich and bright patterns. Here is a collection of woven ceremonial towels from northern Ukraine, the late 19th – early 20th century. They were woven on vintage weaving looms by skilled artisans and sold out to ordinary Ukrainians. Now, they’re exhibited in a museum.

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elechek avaKyrgyz folk headpieces are remarkable accessories. There are 3 main types of female headgear: a tebetei (fur hat), a topu (skull-cap), and an elechek or kalyak (long piece of cloth wound around the head like a turban). Let’s look in detail at these traditional Kyrgyz headwear items worn by women. Particularly, we’ll learn a lot about the elechek – this folk female headdress is perhaps the most charming and useful article of clothing in Kyrgyzstan and it reflects the local cultural peculiarities perfectly.

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Kayan avaThe women of Kayan tribes have an odd and even dangerous tradition to lengthen their necks with special brass neck rings. They’ve been doing it for centuries. That’s how these women identify themselves – by their attire, jewelry, and this eye-catching physiological peculiarity. The outsiders have different attitudes to this unusual tradition, but one thing truly is a fact – Kayan women’s necks attract attention and are unique on this planet.