Folk dances and traditional costumes from Transylvania

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

Not long ago, in the last century, you could positively identify the geographic area of origin of a Romanian by looking at his clothes. The costumes were entirely home-made and it was a matter of great pride to preserve the exact decorations with vegetal, zoomorphic and anthropomorphic motifs. Even today there are several regions of the country in which you can meet people dressed in folk costumes to greet tourists, or at holidays. Some even chose to get married in their beloved costumes instead of the typical wedding dress and groom costume.
The dances played here at the Village Museum in Bucharest are from Transylvania or Ardeal, as it is also called. Costumes like these, with tight white pence for men, black leather boots and black decorated vest over a white large shirt called “ie”, are representative for areas like Alba Iulia, Somes, or Valea Ariesului in the Apuseni Mountains. Women wear also white garments, with long skirts and large shirts, on top of which they wear black vests with colorful decorations and sort of an apron over the skirt, black with similar decorations. The belt of textile or leather is of the same importance in men and women costumes. In the past, the villagers used to wear some home-made sandals made of pig skin, tied with laces, but they were replaced with modern black shoes and boots, which can withstand the moves of the vivid traditional dances, and can also be used to be clapped with the palm or to make tromping sounds to accompany the music rhythm.

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