Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Exhibit Virtual Tour: Spiš Regional Folk Costume [Part 1]

Over the next week or so, I'll be posting photos, text and some videos so that folks who couldn't make it to Pittsburgh for the event can see the exhibits as well as possible.  This should be fun, as there are some things that can be done virtually that can't be done in real life, which should make up for you staring at a computer screen.

Until the 13th century Spiš County of north central Hungary (today in east central Slovakia) was sparsely populated and was a part of the territory known as “No Man’s Land.” In the late 1200s and 1300s, the Hungarian government invited populations from the West – Germans and Slovaks — and those from the East – Carpatho-Rusyns — to settle this rocky, mountainous region.  These three populations were joined by Roma (Gypsies), Jews and Poles known as “Gorale” to make Spiš one of the most ethnically diverse regions of old Austria-Hungary.
The folk costumes of the Rusyns in Spiš are influenced by cloth making and decorative techniques refined by and brought by the Germans to this region. Germans brought with them advanced dyeing techniques, which made brilliantly colored cloth possible. They also brought with them lace making styles that added lace to many of the costumes of this region.
Two costume components distinct to Spiš county among Rusyns are the use of batiked cloth – placing beeswax on white cloth and then dying it blue, removing the wax to reveal the pattern underneath; and the use of red threads stitched very closely to one another to create large areas of vibrant red color in embroidery.
John Righetti

Torysky / Торискы - on loan from the collection of Walter and Anna Orange
Kojšov / Койшов - on loan from the collection of Ann and Joe Lesko
Sleeve detail from Kojšov kroj
Jakubany / Якубяны - on loan from the collection of Maryann Sivak
Skirt and apron detail from Jakubany kroj
Litmanová / Лiтманова (left) and Jarabina / Орябина (right) - Litmanova kroj C-RS Collection donated by Stephanie Salony, Orjabyna kroj on loan from the collection of Rita Benya
Cuff detail from Litmanová kroj

View Spiš Regional Folk Costume in a larger map

Special thanks to Barbara Perlstein for her help in completing this display, and to everyone who was so generous to loan their kroj. 

No comments: