FOLK COSTUMES 2011-11-30
What the wore, when no one heard about jeans?

Folk weaving untill recent times was the most common discipline of local handicraft connected with clothes, ornaments and house design. It underwent many changes and fashions but main rules of creating the fabrics and workshop have remained the same. In the 19th century weaving was very popular in region, the village famous for this craft was Puchaczów. In this craft centre before 1914 there were about 80 weavers and before 1939 about 50 masters, that still made linen canvas for local customers. In the catalogue of the Agriculture and Industry Exibition in Lublin from 1901 one can find information about Karol Szlązak – weaver form Puchaczów, who presented his works at this exhibition: tablecloths, towels, bed covers – fabrics with high artistic value. The traditions of Puchaczów weavers were continued by their disciples. Thus we can find many analogies to their works among the surviving examples of folk weaving in Lubelszczyzna. Perhaps some inhabitans of Łęczna villages still keep woven canvas, as a memento after their ancestorsr. In traditional folk culture there was a special treatment for clothes, that should be worn only on Sundays. They showed not only high income of the owner, their marital status, social position, but mainly membership of a broader cultural group and regional separateness. In Lubelszczyzna folk costumes were used for quite a long time and were still worn in the interwar period. Towns in the east, northeast and south of Poland resited other influences the longest (Podlasie, Włodawa, Biłgoraj costumes), to urban centres (Krzczonów costumes). There are various versions of folk costume. A great variety may arise from the fact that Lubelszczyzna belong  to three ethnic areas: Małopolska, Mazovia, and mixed Polish – Ruthenian culture. The description of the costume in this area one can find in Oskar Kolberg’s records. Let us listen to this colourful story: In the vicinity of Puchaczów, Ostrów (Drałów, Cyców, and so on) women wear russet coats called bekiesza. This festive garment has a fur collar of grey lamb, the cover in sapphire, in front it is decorated with sapphire and white tapes together with six amaranth ribbons. Men wear russet coats in brownish grey, black, grey and so on with amaranth lapels, sapphire vests and lamb caps. Now let us see what was worn in the vicinity of Zawieprzyce: In the vicinity of Lubartów (in Zawieprzyce, Czerniejów, and so on) men wear russet coats in dark brown or dark grey, they sometimes have collars, cuffs and pocket lapels in red or amaranth with white tape. In summer people wear straw hats (with a peacock feather), in winter – lamb caps or caps with four angles (konfederatki) made of navy blue baize, trimmed with black lamb. Married women have russet coats in different colours with cloaks or without them. Percale skirts. Headwear – wound cloth or  headscarf. Girls wear bodies, usually in bright colours, they put a headscarf, usually white; underneath one can see a tail. On week days they usually walk barefoot, putting on their shoes on festivals or in winter. Janusz Świeży established the border of the Podlasie costume. Włodawa type for the line Cyców – Sawin, mentioning villages such as: Garbatówka, Kopina and Świerszczów. It is worth mentioning here that the Song and Dance Band  Halka of the  Agriculture Schools in Kijany got an honourable mention at the National Final in Kołobrzeg in 2000 for the presentation of a little know authentic costume form Podlasie –Nadbuże.
The Regional Museum in Łęczna in cooperation with the ethnography department of the Museum of Lublin organized, within the series entitled "From a Painted Trunk", two exibitions presenting the Krzczonów costume and the Biłgoraj and Tarnogród costume. There are slso museum lessons entitled National costume of Lubelszczyzna organised.