Ateneul Național din IașiDAC MUSIC PERFORMANCE

Promoting Roma culture through contemporary art.


The Splendor of the Traditional Port of the Roma: Women and Men in Colors and Traditions

Clothing has to follow some rules especially for women. A married woman must always have her head covered with a headscarf. The skirt is long, multi-layered and very colorful, large earrings, long braided hair and sometimes a flower in the hair or gold coins. The Roma's favorite color is red, which they consider to bring good luck. Gypsy clothing consists of "rohta" (skirt), "katrint" (sort), "dikhlo" (handkerchief), "gad" (shirt), "podea" (skirt), "dikhlo baro" (large backhandkerchief) and a traista - "tisi". The colors of the materials from which women's clothes are made represent the state of mind of the gypsies, thus blue-green signifies the sad soul, yellow and orange - happiness and ruby red means love and luck. Men have no particular attire, and often have wide-brimmed hats, long moustaches, trousers, waistcoat and shirt. However, there are differences according to the Roma nations.

To the Roma bears - younger women wore brightly colored skirts and blouses. The older the bear women wore darker skirts and blouses. The skirts were curly and long (the woman who wore a slightly shorter skirt was criticized by the whole community; if her ankles were visible, she was considered frivolous). In front he wore an apron (pestelka), and on his head all the time a kerchief tied under his chin or behind his back. The Roma Ursari woman had to exude a lot of seriousness through her clothing. It was a particularly great delight for the bear woman to wear her man's coat when traveling here and there. At holidays or parties they dressed very cleanly. The way a fiddler's wife was dressed showed how rich that fiddler was, and therefore how in demand he was by the world for his performances. The bear men dressed in suits of dark colors, black, brown or gray. Bearers wore dark-colored hats and shaped in such a way that you immediately realized that it was a bearer's hat (it doesn't look like the hats of boilermakers or gabors, nor those of ploughmen). Fiddlers wore ties and white shirts all the time, no matter how hot it was outside, when they went to play. The fiddler took care to look impeccable (for example, the shoes were very well polished). In the closet of the most modest fiddler there is a black and/or a white suit. Sometimes they also wore red or navy jackets. As a rule, the most valuable musicians had at least one pair of white shoes.

To the Roma from Caldara - the port is very colorful, with red, green and yellow colors predominating. The skirts of the horsewomen are beautifully pleated, with multicolored ribbons, with pennies and buttons sewn on the skirts and aprons. The shirts are tight, nicely gathered around the neck with a frill; they have wide sleeves and are made of cotton with large or small flowers (the cotton being red, yellow or green). A married woman must wear a headscarf; a woman with an uncovered head brings offense (dishonest) to a man, the headscarf represents a sign of respect that the woman brings to the man. The unmarried girl does not wear a headscarf because she is clean, virgin. She wears her hair in two pigtails; before, Roma girls wore their hair braided in three pigtails, two thin ones in the front and a thicker one in the back. In their hair braids, girls and women have red strings on which silver coins are strung, this silver being a bringer of luck, protecting them from evil. The girls and women have gold necklaces and gold chains around their necks.

The men have wide trousers, made of green or black velvet, on which colored ribbons are sewn on the side. They have vests also made of velvet or velour, with colored buttons and silver coins sewn on the front of the vest. The shirt is brightly colored, preferably red with large white or yellow flowers. The men's shirt is also with wide sleeves. These shirts are sewn by Roma girls and women. The hat is, in turn, decorated with beads or peacock feathers, as a sign of greatness. The Roma wear astrakhan hats in the winter and decorated green hats in the summer. The footwear is similar to that of gagis. Men also wear large silver or gold chains and rings. Before, men wore long hair and had beards. The elders were seen as the advisers of the camp and they were the ones who gave their verdict together with the bulibaşa when "i criss rromani" was held - the Roman judgment, if there were problems in the camp.

To the gypsies - clothing has largely adopted the urban attire of the majority, the older, more conservative ones continue to wear traditional clothes. For women: curly, cloche, pleated skirts, embroidered aprons with angled edges, two pockets, headscarves, hand-stitched canvas blouses with flourishes, which tie at the neck and cuffs with tasseled cords. For men: wide trousers, shirt, vest, hat, hat. Favorite colors are red, yellow, black, green, purple. Women's shirts are always white, the flourishes are made with blue, red, black, green thread; the headscarf ("barisi") is entirely blue, rarely black, the basmales are of various bright colors combined with floral motifs; they have a square shape, and when they are put on the head, they are folded in two resulting in a triangle, the middle part being folded with a hem of 2-3 cm. above the forehead and tie the corners under the chin with a weak knot, the corners hanging on the chest. In warm weather, the corners are placed under the tail, tying above it, at the nape of the neck. Older women tied the corners on the top of the head (Bulgarian binding). In winter, black astrakhan or black astrakhan hats and hats, sheepskin coats and beanies with skin on the outside and fringed edges with various motifs are worn. The shoes, like the clothes, were made to order from leather or patent leather, dyed even in several colors, with lace braids, according to preferences.

The traditional profession of spoitor is on the way to being forgotten, few are currently engaged in this business (mostly old people), young people are turning to commercial businesses. During communism, they were employed in enterprises as tradesmen depending on their training. At weddings, christenings, parties, fiddlers are generally from the community, formed in formations and playing musical instruments such as accordion, clarinet, violin, drums, trumpet, cymbals, double bass, organ,

bass guitar, fiddle, gypsy, manele, choir, Serbian and popular music in general. A few years ago, there was an artistic dance group made up of rompers who were active in the House of Culture. They wore traditional Romani costumes for girls, consisting of: a flowered sequined hat, a black velvet skirt with sequins and beads, a narrow handmade belt ("beta"), black low-soled shoes that were fastened with straps at the buckle, white socks , blue or red ribbons caught in pigtails, rose in the ear; and for boys: white shirts, black pants and bilgher (high, military) boots. They danced games like: ibangi, duj-star, o romanos, but also hore or Romanian dances with shouts and screams during the game. The leader directed the entire formation, giving them instructions on the direction of the dance and the number of steps to be performed, with a loud voice to be heard and assisted.

Women adorn themselves for special occasions with gold earrings, earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces, crowns, all made of gold. A number of 10 to 40 gold coins of 24 K (altija) are attached to a piece of velvet that make up the salba, with the aim of showing one's wealth. Men wear cannonballs, bracelets, chains, crosses. It is customary for both men and women to wear gold teeth. Wedding rings are worn by those connected by marriage.

To the Carpathian Roma - compared to other nations, the clothing is made of cotton, linen, borangic, canvas, - as structural elements representative of their behavior, the Roma have opted for silk as the raw material of women's clothing. The light material, like a spring breeze - like the soul and nature's intuitive and perennial creative capacity, is symbolically accepted by Roma women. The colors are pastel, warm, sometimes in a pressing touch, visible from a distance, like a field of flowers, symbolizing beauty, taste for aesthetics with tones of "play of love" and challenge for love and perpetuation.

The men chose the sobriety and aristocracy of black/white colors in an interweaving of purity and aesthetic balance, translated into the good/evil spiritual component of the divine perception between lacho/3ungalo, or that between the "great transition" of day/night life, configuring the postulate of existential philosophy: birth - life - death, in a repeatable and natural cycle.

The traditional costume of the Romani woman: the headscarf, kerchief, scarf, naframa-khozno. The material used is cashmere of the best quality, suitable in size, in vivid flowery colors, with the predominance of yellow - wealth, life, light, insight, attention and attraction and green color - tranquility, calm, hope, rebirth.

The headscarf, printed with large flowers, in blood red, determinant of action, provocative of love but also of "mystical fire", wears the head of the Roma woman whose combed hair with a "part in the middle" is gathered in a bun at the back of the head signifying the married woman. The Virgin has plaited hair, in the braid of which a red silk bow is placed, like a "flame of fire", from the metaphor of the budding volcano. The Transylvanian-Roman woman does not have pennies or sables in her hair, considering the "additions of beauty" as "impurities" of feminine thought and cleanliness.

The blouse, the shirt is made of the same silky material, the same colors with floral prints, most of the time with a wide cut signifying freedom of movement, being wrinkled and "rolled" out of the wide skirt, it has as its component elements handmade lace in the neck area , the collar, sometimes, the chest, the sleeve and the provocative cuff through the wide opening - in the median of the "solar plexus", let us see the free and well-formed breasts, as a symbol of health and fertility. The sweater, made of wool, usually green in color, worn over the hip, not being finished, or tied on the hip, protecting the reproductive area or that of the kidneys and the back - as a prevention of illness. The skirt, made of "heavy" silk , flowered with the predominance of the same yellow or green colors, finely pleated with equal parallels, edged with lace. It is a single "sheet" that is tied with "studs" from the skirt, being folded on the body - in front - reminiscent of the sary Indian. Wide and free, discover the "amphora" body of the woman with wide hips - a symbol of reproductive health. apron, of the same silky material, the same vivid colors with floral prints, pleated, tapered with the base down finished with lace, tied at the back in front of the skirt, has a large and roomy pocket. The man's costume includes a good quality felt hat with wide brims and a wide ribbon, having the brim curve with an opening towards the back of the head and an inclination in front, raised to the ear.

Predominant Color – the black aristocratic and relevant of challenging masculinity. The cut hair and the beard with the "pot" mustache highlight the strength and the attractive male type, emanating sexual provocation and the status of the master of the family. The shirt, made of thin "poplin" cloth, cashmere or silk, always white - as a symbol of sincerity, purity, openness and understanding. The hilt, the vest, the "innkeeper" is made of black cloth.

Bone buttons replace metal, silver. The only remaining component, as an artisanal addition, is the silver chain, fastened in a collar and hidden in a vest pocket. The coat is the same, made of black cloth, always open, with bone buttons and an inner pocket, which houses the always full purse. He does not wear a belt, but a 5-8 cm wide black leather belt with a large buckle. The trousers are also made of black fabric, with a wide cut, loose and sleeveless, most of the time, with a longer measurement to create the "harmonica" at the ankle, covering the socks, from male "protection" and male "modestness" .


This project is financed with the support of EEA Grants 2014 – 2021 within the RO-CULTURE Programme

Granturile SEE 2014 - 2021
Ministerul CulturiiUnitatea de management a proiectului

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