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Bulgarian crafts
National costumes

The traditional folk dress together with the language and the songs gives the picture of ethnographic variety of Bulgarian people.

The researchers of Bulgarian national costume point three general types of women’s clothing depending on the outer clothes: two-apron, tunic (soukman) and Sayan. Men’s clothing is classified as white-cloth and black-cloth costumes. The most ancient type of costume is the two-apron. The outer clothing – front and back apron – is the reason why this costume is called two-apron. North Bulgaria is the area where the two-apron costumes are common. Tunic is the most widely spread national costume. Mainly in the mountain districts of Central Bulgarian lands and the sea regions – Black Sea and South-East Thrace. In most cases the tunic is sleeveless but sometimes it has short or long sleeves. Tunic costume is supposed to be put on accompanied by short knitted belt the edgings of which are locked with belt buckles – a typical metallic decoration (casted or wrought) mostly with floristic ornamentation. Sayan costume is also based on tunic-like shirt but the general image is built of so called “saya” – an outer clothing opened at the front, slightly inclined with different brim length (up to the knees or up to the uncles) and different sleeve length (short or long).

Men’s clothing in Bulgaria is classified by the color of outer cloths – white-cloth and black-cloth. As the most ancient is considered the costume formed from a whole shirt with brims left free over the white woolen or cotton pants, belted with textile or leather belt. The second costume, black-cloth, appeared as a result of the universal process of darkening of men’s clothing during the Bulgarian Renaissance. It was made of black homespun (woolen) with changed style of pants and outer clothing.

Every major type of costume has a lots of subtypes and combinations. They are formed as a result of cultural interaction between the costumes of different districts and regions or between the costumes of different ethnographic groups.

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