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.

Bolivia avaCholita traditional outfit in Bolivia has come a long way from a dress worn by the poorest indigenous women to a respectable and costly status attire. The modern young girls turn to cholita costume more and more often and spend hundreds of dollars on authentic garments produced by the local artisans from local materials. And that’s a great example of the folk dress becoming fashionable and trendy clothing. Well done, Bolivia!

Cholitas avaThe latest fashion trends in Bolivia show that the folk outfits are gaining popularity in this country. For years, the traditional costumes of the indigenous Aymara people were something that marked them out as second-class citizens. But today, Bolivians wear these folk dresses (and modern outfits stylized under Aymara clothes) with style and pride. By the way, this is a worldwide tendency – old folk clothing traditions are back in fashion.

Pano da costa avaBrazilian women of African origin traditionally wore a distinctive garment that showed their status and heritage. It was a shawl-like piece called “pano da costa”. We can find it in many illustrations and old photos. Most often, such a garment was used by Afro-Brazilian matrons, older women. In the photos, they’re sitting with pride and dignity in their posture, wrapped in a decorative shawl and with an intricately draped traditional head tie. Let’s find out more about the pano da costa. What did it look like? What for did women use it? What embellishments did it have?

Brazilian avaA lot of people are familiar with sparkly and bright Brazilian carnival outfits, but these are far not the only garments traditionally worn in this country. There are many different folk clothing pieces used by the locals on a daily basis. These garments may be less eye-catching and scandalous-looking, but they are being used in Brazil for centuries and still are among the comfiest articles of clothes today. The local people adapted the clothing styles brought by the colonizers from Europe to Brazilian climate perfectly.

Inuit2 avaCanadian aboriginal peoples lived in a very beautiful but also rather harsh environment. They needed all their skill and imagination to survive even in the northernmost areas of the continent. Warm houses and warm clothes were among the most important things for Canadian indigenous tribes, and they used every single available material – when hunters or fishers brought prey, everything was in use: meat, fur, skin, bones, sinew, intestines, claws and teeth, feathers, etc. You would be surprised as to what materials can be used to make clothing!

Parka avaA parka is one of the few truly and originally Canadian traditional garments. It was invented by the Inuit Native American tribes and was used by the local people on the territory of Canada throughout several centuries. Even today, parka is extremely popular among Canadians and thousands of people around our planet. And the changes that occurred to the cut, design, materials, and decorations of a parka are tremendous. Let’s see how a parka looked like in the 1800s and in the 21st century. Let’s compare these pieces of clothing.

buffalo plaid lumberjack avaThere is a whole discussion in comments to our article “Traditional dress of Canada. History and examples” about the existence of Canadian national costume. So, we decided to investigate this topic a little deeper. One of the garments considered traditionally Canadian is the buffalo plaid lumberjack. But can we really consider it a part of Canadian national costume? Where did it come from? And what it actually is, this mysterious lumberjack?

MissCanadaNationaldressttlHockey! Who could forget that bit of Canadian national pride? There's miss Canada Chanel Beckenlehner in the Canadian national costume at the Miss Universe show. All people love relationships with symbols and stereotypes in Canada. Maybe that's why this is the national dress that had everyone in Canada talking.

canada avaCanadian national clothing was formed under the influence of Native Indians (who lived on these lands for centuries) and colonizers from Europe (who came to Canada in 17-18th century). Also traditional garments in Canada correspond with the weather conditions and climate in this part of the world. That's why traditional Canadian pieces of clothing are: parkas, tuques, ojibwa shirts, mittens, ear muffs and so on.

chupalla avaMen in Chile traditionally use a charming wide-brimmed straw hat called “chupalla”. It is a lot smaller, lighter, and comfier than, for example, a sombrero, a hat worn in several South American countries. The chupalla looks good, is very functional, and adds a specific Chilean charm to the local males. Today, it is usually seen on folk performers during different folk festivals and national celebrations, but some cowboys and men from rural areas still wear a chupalla in day-to-day life.

chamanto avaIn Chile, both men and women wear a charming and very South American garment called “chamanto”. This outerwear has a significant role in Chilean traditional culture. We’re not talking only about the cut and design of this poncho-like garment but also about the ornamentation on it. The patterns woven into the fabric depict the unique local flora and fauna. Despite chamanto being a not very feminine and sophisticated garment, it performs the main function of Chilean clothing pieces perfectly – keeps the body warm in the cool and windy mountainous climate of this country.

chileans avaTraditional clothing of Chile is very festive and convenient at the same time. It is usually made of natural materials. Women's attire is rather feminine and men's costume is very masculine. Chilean national clothing is bright and, embellished with embroidery and colorful ribbons. The origin of the traditional costume of Chile historically is very old, but Spanish and Portuguese national clothing (which belongs to a much later time) had a great influence on the formation of Chilean traditional costume. So, today Chilean national clothing is a great mix of old natural handmade fabrics and modern style and cut.

colombian-couple avaThe traditional clothing of Colombia is very diverse, bright, and eccentric. It is also considered to be iconic for the whole Latin America. Besides, locals keep their clothing traditions and wear folk dresses in day-to-day life. And it shouldn't surprise you – Colombian traditional costumes are made from the natural materials; they are colorful, light, beautiful, and comfy.

Quechua avaA belt is an ancient item used by all the nations around the world. Most often, belts serve to support the clothes and as a decorative piece. But in the Andean region, the Quechua people wear their woven belts not only for that. Their belts are needed for health. Let’s ask the local expert Cesar Cotacachi from Ecuador about the real purpose of Quechua belts.

toquilla avaThe traditional straw hats of Ecuador called “toquilla” are produced for centuries by the hands of local people. This craft has become a really important part of Ecuadorian culture and economy. Historically, the weaving of the toquilla straw hats helped to make a complex network of social relations that joined the Southern Highlands with the Coast of Ecuador. This straw hat is an identifying element of Ecuador. In the case of Azuay and Cañar Provinces, it is a part of the typical outfit of the “Chola Cuencana”.

Refajo avaWomen of El Salvador usually wear wide flounce skirts in traditional blue and white colors as their national wear. But these are rather modern garments. If we think about older apparel worn by the local indigenous people, the traditional clothes are very different. They’re simpler, hand-woven, sewn from smaller amount of fabric, and less decorated. Still, those ancient Salvadorian garments look just as cute but are more practical. Take, for example, the traditional refajo skirt.

El Salvador avaThese days, many people around the world are getting involved in traditional clothing crafts, retrieving the almost lost knowledge. And hand-weaving is one of those crafts. While to learn weaving on the ordinary 4-post loom is a complicated task – because you have to get this machine and find a place for it in your home – weaving on a simple backstrap loom is much easier. All you need is a few different wooden sticks. That’s why the traditional backstrap weaving you can try at home, after watching a few videos and reading a few instructions. Like these ones.

Huipil weaving avaIn Guatemala, females still wear their folk clothing and thus, make it themselves. Many of them are descendants from Maya people, so they practice the traditional Maya backstrap weaving. The most intricate and beautiful among Guatemalan national garments is a female blouse called “huipil”. We’re offering you a story about how two skilled Guatemalan artisans – Manuela Canil Ren from Chichicastenango and Esperanza Pérez from San Antonio Aguas Calientes – worked on huipiles typical for their regions.

Huipil avaFor the past 3,500 years, Mayan women have created intricate huipiles on a backstrap loom. These traditional garments signify the origin and status of the woman. Even today, with all those modern clothes, easily produced and bought, most women in Guatemala prefer to wear the traditional huipiles on a daily basis. But a lot of females are beginning to lose the real value and importance of this garment for their culture. And the reason for this disastrous change in priorities that can cause a total disappearance of Guatemalan traditional weaving (which takes its roots in Maya culture) is the recycling of huipiles and underpricing them.

Jamaica avaJamaican male and female costumes are rather typical for the Caribbean region. The main purpose of these garments is to protect the body from the sun and not to restrict movement. So, Jamaican clothes are comfortable and modest but very expressive and eye-catching at the same time. Many of Jamaicans are descendants from African slaves that were brought to the American continent and nearby territories in the 17th – mid-19th century. Surely, some features of Jamaican traditional outfits are African-inspired. For instance, the headdresses.

Haiti avaThe design of folk costumes in the Caribbean is based on the culture and customs of African countries (the motherland for thousands of slaves that were brought to Caribbean islands) mixed with some features of European colonizers’ outfits. This clothing, especially the female dresses, has African charm and European modesty. Local women still wear these dresses in day-to-day life and for festive celebrations. Today, we’ll show you the beauty of Dominica’s, Jamaican, Puerto Rican, and Haitian female outfits.

Jamaican costume avaJamaican folk costumes are very bright, multicolored, organic, and breathy. Traditionally, they were made from locally produced handmade calico fabric. The pattern on the fabric was red&white plaid. An interesting piece of the Jamaican female folk dress is a headgear called “bandana”. It is connected to Asian traditions. Do you want to learn how and why? Read the article below.

Mexican museum avaMexican folk clothing culture is very interesting particularly because this country was populated by Mayan, Aztec, and Inca people once, and they have left a large cultural influence on Mexico. The local aboriginal groups had very specific and unique cultures that enchant us centuries after their disappearance. You can find old artifacts that belong to different Mexican indigenous peoples, samples of their clothes, jewelry, ceremonial objects, etc in Mexican folk museums. It’s a pity, there are too few such museums in Mexico.

Dolls SouthAmerica avaFolklorico dance or ballet folklórico are terms naming Mexican traditional dances. These folk dances require specific costumes that differ from region to region. In this post, we’ll tell you a little about the mentioned traditional outfits used by folklórico dancers in various corners of Mexico. The ballet folklórico is so colorful, cheerful, and eye-catching that it became popular far outside Mexico and is performed today not only by the locals but by foreigners as well. Gorgeous folk dance in gorgeous folk costumes!

Mexican avaMexican traditional attire is always eye-catching. Although, the folk costumes of different regions of Mexico differ from each other – some just a little, others dramatically. Let’s take two absolutely different folk dresses from the neighboring regions of Chiapas and Veracruz (both in South Mexico) and compare them. Sure, there are some common features, but these outfits look so unlike that it’s even hard to believe that they’re from the same country. Black and white, vibrant and delicate, colorful embroidery and snow-white lace.