America

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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folklórico avaMexican traditional folk dance is called “folklórico dance”. And every region of Mexico has its own typical dance moves and folk dress used by the dancers. It is said that there are three important things about folklórico dancing: the music, the dance, and the costume. In this article, we’re going to talk about the folklórico costumes and their making. The women’s folklórico outfit always is adorned with ribbons, lace, or/and embroidery. And this Mexican folk clothing is really bright and awesome.

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Jalisco avaMexican folk dances are something special: passionate, spectacular, and cheerful. And the folk dancers’ costumes add to that feeling. You see lots of bright colors, the fabric seems to be alive in the skillful hands of the dancers. We offer you to get to know better the traditional Jalisco folk dance outfit of a Mexican lady. Let’s see what clothing articles this costume includes and what they look like.

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Zapotec weaving avaIf you want to find out how the craft of weaving looked like in ancient Mexico, you should visit Teotitlán del Valle, a small Mexican village near the Oaxaca. People here continue the work of their ancestors – they practice the Zapotec weaving, using only traditional techniques, tools, dyes, and patterns. You can observe the whole process of making Zapotec woven folk clothing and traditional rugs in this community. We hope that the article below will stir your interest toward this ancient culture.

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Traditional-Mexican-costume avaMexican national clothing is very bright and beautiful. Actually, there are many different designs of traditional costume. Some of them are used for celebrations and holidays, some – for ceremonies, some – for festivals. The main characteristics of Mexican national attire are: sun protection (that's why sombrero has such a wide brims and the clothing itself is made of natural materials), brightness (the fabric for garments is mostly colorful and heavily embroidered; a lot of colorful ribbons are used), and moderate modesty (the clothing is elegant, not shameless or vulgar at all; skirts are long, blouses are delicate; flowers are often used to beautify the costume, hairdo and headdress).

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Trade era avaWe’ve already published an article about Cherokee folk clothes from the early historical period (until 1650). This is the next material of a series and it will tell you about the traditional Cherokee dress during the so-called Trade Era (1650-1800). How did local garments change and why? What outfits remained the same? And was Cherokee-European partnership good for the Native American Indians at this stage? Also, let’s see the traditional Cherokee hairstyles, jewels, tattoos, and other body adornments.

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Cherokee avaDifferent neighboring Native American tribes had, for the most part, similar traditional costumes until the mid-17th century. That’s because local people dressed to the climate – it wasn't a fashion statement at all. But, of course, various ethnic groups had their individual peculiarities in clothing. Let’s learn a bit about the aboriginal dress of Cherokee tribe before 1650. We don’t have that much information from this period because lots of Native American Indians were exterminated, along with their traditions, beliefs, handicrafts, etc. But still, their ancestors study what they can about their national outfits.

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Navajo avaHere is the traditional outfit of a Navajo woman. It includes several significant pieces that have a deep sacred meaning. Local Navajo girls will tell us a little bit about their folk costume and what each element of the attire represents. This Native American culture is really interesting and unique. The Navajo people have their beliefs, myths, gods, and spiritual knowledge – all of that is shown in their traditional dress and jewelry. So, let’s find out more.

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Old photo avaThe world knows not enough about the Native American Indians, their culture, clothing traditions, and lifestyle. Of course, there are museums and exhibitions that preserve some of the knowledge but only the real-life situations can show any culture in its fullest. So, we’ve prepared for you a collection of old photos that can give us a glimpse of what the Native Americans were like in the late 19th – the beginning of the 20th century. Unfortunately, we can’t have photos of these tribes from before the European colonization, simply because photography wasn’t invented yet. But it’s at least something.

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American Indian Art avaThe exhibition “Discovering American Indian Art” at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture shows us the way of life, customs and traditions, and folk handicrafts of the Native Americans. Elegant beading patterns, masks for the cannibal dances, outstanding headdresses and other accessories that can surprise you in many ways, items that represent a mixture of centuries-old beliefs of American Indians and casual lifestyle of White settlers, and many other pieces that belonged to Native American tribal people.

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fingerweaving avaOne of the authentic folk crafts of the Native American Indians is a fingerweaving. They wove narrow strips of fabric – belts, bag straps, sashes, and other items. This handicraft is very convenient because doesn’t require any special tools – like looms are used for ordinary weaving. For fingerweaving, you need only wooden sticks and yarn. Surely, modern weavers use some auxiliary tools (dowel rods, binder clips, rubber bands, etc.), but their ancestors could do without such things. Let us show you how to fingerweave + we offer you 5 various traditional Indian patterns to start with.

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War bonnet avaThe Native American beadwork is a very important craft for the American continents. The most common question people ask about beading in Native American culture is how did the Indians make beads? Jeri Ah-be-hill (born Geraldine Fuller), the representative of Native American Indians and Kiowa-Comanche fashion expert answers this question.

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war bonnet avaThe traditional warbonnet of Native American Indians is a sacred headdress. There is a deep philosophical meaning behind each small element of it that can be surprising or even odd for a European observer. We’d like to try to reveal at least some of the secrets and rituals connected to the Native American headdress.

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Native-American-costumes avaNative American Indian tribes lived in the territory of US and Canada long before the conquistadors. They lived in harmony with nature. That's why their culture is closely related with the laws of nature. Native Americans made their garments from animal skins and fur, bark of trees and other materials which they gained hunting and gathering. They used sinew as threads, made jewelry from wood, shells and stones, embellished clothes with beads and patterns on fabric. Native American Indian tribes survived in Alaska and in desert areas, in thick forests and in mountainous regions. They could understand the nature, respect it and use its gifts.