The most important characteristics of the Macedonian people are the nature of each Macedonian area, the folk economy, the architecture, and the festive national dresses. On this page, I'll try to present the Macedonian national dresses which are all distinguished for their impresiveness, color harmony, and the richness of their ornamentation.
The Valley National Dress of the Prilep region is found in most of the settlements of the Prilep valley, i.e. in the north-east part of the Pelagonia plain. It is similar to the dress in the Bitola valley and forms a complete whole with it, except for certain minor differences in the nuances of color and the embroidery technique. In the Prilep valley dress flame red and blood yellow are the dominant colors, while in the Bitola valley dress the dominant colors are blood yellow and black. The costume of this area (Prilep valley area) is one of the most decorative and richly ornamented, especially abounding in metal and bead ornaments. A slight Byzantine influence makes itself felt via the old "boljar" costume, particularly in the manner of veiling and the decoration of the clothes. This costume is one of the most over elaborate in Macedonia, especially the bridal dress. The brides wear:
Smock "golema", almost entirely covered with
embroidery on the sleeves (the decorations used are "vrteshkki"
circles). The fronts and the "okolizhot" - the border round the skirt,
are embroidered with "shapkite" - formalised blossoms and "kopito poli" -
Cuffs knitted of multi-colored woolen thread and worn on the arms below the elbow.
Upper garment of broadcloth called "valanka" ornamented with embroidered facings with gold and yellow thread. The seams are trimmed with tufted fringe and braid.
Cuffs of white handwoven linen, entirely embroidered with a drawn pattern of whirls and trimmed with beads, gold thread, and silver coins.
Girdle plaited from black wool.
"Chulter", an apron which is a special part of the bridal dress, folkweave, patterned with "kolci" (rhomboids), "krshchinja" (crosses), and trimmed at the hemline with red tufted fringe, gold thread ribbon, and braid.
"Potkolchelniche", an ornament worn below the girdle at the back, i.e. under the "kocelj" , from with it received it's name (potkochelniche means under the kocelj). This is made of beads and trimmed with old silver coins.
Buckles with clips, metal ornaments for the belt. Silversmith's work.
"Kopec", a silver ornament to go under the belt, trimmed with old silver coins with seven rows of chains.
"Uskolec", a beadwork ornament worn at the sides of the belt.
Scarves trimmed with old silver coins and edged with gold thread ribbon, industrially manufactured.
Necklace in the form of a stomacher, trimmed with old silver coins, mounted with broadcloth.
Flame-colored socks, knitted and patterned with formalised blossoms.
Slippers, made of cowhide - homemade.
Fes, a head dress with rows of old silver coins - "tunturici", which hang down the sides of the face. The silver boss is ornamented with various colored stones and trimmed with pendants. Above the fes there is a garland of spruce.
White broadcloth towel decorated with embroidery and two rows of old coins.
"Kocelj", a hair decoration made from black twisted woolen fringe. It is worn hanging down the shoulders.
The Mariovo Men's Dress is made of white linen similar to the Valley Dress of the Prilep valley, and makes a unit with it. It is made of handwoven linen, white or black broadcloth, richly decorated with embroidery and various other decorations. Some elements of the old Slav costume have been preserved in it, for example the "aba", smock, leggins, valanka, etc. The costume is composed of:
"Aba", an undershirt made of handwoven
folkweave woolen material called "aba".
Smock of thick handwoven linen, embroidered on the front, sleeves, and skirt.
False cuffs, woolen knitted sleeves worn on the arms below the elbow. The wristbands are decorated with "sopci" i.e. half hexagons or octagons.
Breeces of white broadcloth which have a special cut.
"Kemer", a griddle of twilled flame - colored wool with strips and "eyelashes".
Black broadcloth waistcoat, ornamented with flame colored trimmings. The front is embroidered and decorated with multicolored buttons.
Socks, knitted from white wool, decorated with natural patterns, net, ribbing, pearl stitch, and amulet, a triangular shape with spots in it.
Garters, folkweave and stripped, decorated with "eyeslashes". These fasten the socks.
Slippers with straps, made of cowhide by a shoemaker.
Cap of black astrakhan and velvet, made by a tailor.
Knife, called "zhrenche", with a chain and a sheath of horn, made by cutler.
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