The richness of the peasant traditional costume from Hațeg Country surprised our great ethnographer, Romulus Vuia, when at the beginning of the 20th century, he systematically researched the area, and the variety of clothing elements makes the region not uniform, as it is, for example, in the case of the neighboring Pădureni Land. Sometimes, differences can be noticed even in the same village, in the garments of the descendants of “nemeși” and the former “iobagi” (serfs). Also, the proximity to other ethnographic areas such as Mountain Banat, Jiu Valley or Orăștie gave rise to phenomena of synthesis or cultural influence. As part of men’s traditional garment from Hațeg Country, the men’s shirt proposed as this week’s artefact at the Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography is a rare ethnographic piece with special aesthetic qualities, being purchased in 1923 from the town of Bucova, Caraş-Severin county. The town was not part of the Historical Banat, but the structure of the setting and the specificity of this piece show its de facto belonging to this area. The high collar and wide wristbands (“pumnași”), which give elegance to the shirt, are covered in geometric embroidery with red and blue unmercerized cotton yarn on a black background, the stitch over the yarn being predominant, edged with “șinătău” (sewing technique). Also, the front opening is richly ornamented in a unitary color, with a decoration arranged in two columns of boxes with stylized floral motifs sewn in hubs, crosses and over the yarn. The tailoring elements are joined over the shoulders and along the sleeves with wide keys, made by needle with white cotton yarn, and the laps are embellished with white fringed lace. The cut of the shirt is straight, with a “barbur” (embroidery) only at the back and three trapezoidal lateral gussets, the sleeves being made from a width and a half of cotton cloth.
Text: Sebastian Paic – MET museographer
Photo: George Ciupag – MET, photo-video museographer