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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Sepia Saturday: National Dress on Show

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history and memories through photographs.

This week's theme brought back memories of my childhood of sharing my mother's love for music and costume,  and of more recent happy holiday times in Austria and Poland.

As a child, traditional European national costumes always appealed to me.  I  remember watching on TV the dancers at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales (that's never televised now!)  and went onto collect costume dolls until they became nothing but dust gatherers.  (right) 

My piano music
Being taken to see the ballet "Coppelia" at the Opera House in Blackpool, had me captivated by the folk dances of the mazurka and czardas.  I longed  to wear a dirndl skirt with lots of braiding, a bolero fastened with criss cross laces over a white blouse, a fancyapron  and best of all a headdress with ribbons streaming down.  

The nearest I came to this was the full skirt  my dressmaker mother made me with  rows of different coloured ric-rac above the hem,  which I wore around the house  with one of my mother's pinnies and a cardboard headdress with the long flowing ribbons.  Unfortunately no photograph exists of me in this outfit. 

 Below is the Corpus Christi procession  in St. Gilgen, near Salzburg.


Shop displays  of national dress in Salzburg and surrounding towns:

 Musicians playing in the main square in Krakow, Poland.

 pipers at Floors Castle in the Scottish Borders.

Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

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  1. I enjoy seeing various national costumes. It surprises me that there are so many variations, even between different regions of the same country.

  2. I do love seeing people wearing national costumes and period dress.

  3. What lovely costumes...and I appreciate that people are keeping alive the customs from their heritage still. Beautiful post.

  4. Your Spanish dolls are just like the ones my aunt brought back from a trip to Spain to give to my girls.

  5. I had a Japanese doll, which I'd forgotten about until I saw your Flamenco dolls.

  6. A fun post. But my favorite has to be those Scotsmen in their kilts! ;-)
    Even though everyone in the U.S. can trace their origin back to another country with its own costume history, we do have a costume history distinctively American - at least with regard to the pioneers who crossed the plains & mountains. For the women: Calico dresses & sunbonnets. And for the men: Fringed suede jackets & coonskin caps.

  7. I just got a (good) shiver! Coincidences galore tonight! I had never heard of Llangollen but it was mentioned in my grandmothers letter (in my post this week) so I Googled Llangollen to see where it was. I intend on visiting North Wales on a dream genealogy trip in future and put Llangollen on the "bucket list". Then I read your post and see Llangollen mentioned! What are the chances?? Yes it is definitely on the list now!

    Another enjoyable post. Thank you.

  8. I too thought of all those lovely costumes I've seen on the stage and wondered how close they were to genuine national dress. Looking at your photos makes me think that perhaps they were fairly close. Such a lovely collection of images.

  9. I can appreciate the heritage of traditional national costumes but increasingly they have lost their original meanings in regards to gender, family, class, and regional differences. For instance I know that not all tartans are genuine Sottish plaids as some spring from the imagination of a Chinese textile worker.

  10. I'd like to hear the music the beautifully dressed musicians in Kakow are playing.

  11. Great pictures : I was always slightly disappointed in not having a national costume. I remember collecting cigarette cards from my fathers cigarette packets (how that would be frowned on in these days) and there being a series on national costumes orf the world and being bitterly disappointed with the English one.

  12. The countries of Europe do it so well - keeping their national customs and costumes alive, I hope it's not only we tourists who enjoy these experiences, but like you we've had a lot of fun sharing some of these occasions.

  13. I too collected Costume dolls and I’d forgotten that I had a flamenco one. All mine are long gone, but I enjoyed displaying them at the time.

  14. I have such a beautiful dirndl purchased in Austria so long ago. And then I never wore it. I tried it on in my house and danced around, but never wore it. Now it doesn't fit, but I still have it. I still love looking at it. You made me think of it with the shots of Austria.


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