Traditional Costumes of Macedonia

Postitioned in the center of the Balkans, Macedonia has always had connections with Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean as the crossroad of movements of various ethic groups. Starting with the earliest cultural layer of the Old-Balkanik, in Macedonia are present the Byzantine, the Old-Slavic and the Turkish-oriental cultural layers, up to the newest western influences. The Macedonian people had carefully and successfuly passed on traditional characteristics from generation to generation, and had created uniquely rich and varied material and spiritual heritage which features reworked and adjusted elements in harmony with the own cultural principles and the own reality.

There are some 70 various types of richly decorated traditional costumes in Macedonia that the Macedonians greatly care of. Macedonian traditional costumes are divided into two main types : the west and the east Macedonian traditional costumes. As per the ethnographic zones, the western Macedonian traditional costumes are present in the areas of the Upper course of Vardar River, the Debar-Miyak and the Brsyak zones, while the east Macedonian traditional costumes are found in the Middle course of the Vardar River zone and the Shopi region.

Prilep Valley Traditional Dresstraditional costume of Mariovo – the Prilep region is found in most of the settlements of the Prilep valley, i.e. in the north-east part of the Pelagonia plain. Prilep Valley traditional costume is similar to the dress in the Bitola valley and forms a complete whole with it, except for certain minor differences in the nuances of color and the embroidery technique. In the Prilep valley dress flame red and blood yellow are the dominant colors, while in the Bitola valley dress the dominant colors are blood yellow and black. The traditional costume of the Mariovo area (Prilep valley area) is one of the most decorative and richly ornamented, especially abounding in metal and bead ornaments. A slight Byzantine influence makes itself felt via the old “bolyar” costume, particularly in the manner of veiling and the decoration of the clothes. This costume is one of the most over elaborate in Macedonia, especially the bridal dress. The brides wear: golema /large/ smock, almost entirely covered with embroidery on the sleeves (the decorations used are “vrteshkki” circles). The fronts and the “okolizhot” – the border round the skirt, are embroidered with “shapkite” – formalized blossoms and “kopito poli” – horseshoes, knitted of multi-colored woolen thread and worn on the arms below the elbow cuffs, upper garment of broadcloth called “valanka” ornamented with embroidered facings with gold and yellow thread. The seams are trimmed with tufted fringe and braid, girdle plaited from black wool, an apron which is a special part of the bridal dress, folk-weave, patterned with “kolci” (rhomboids), “krshchinja” (crosses), and trimmed at the hemline with red tufted fringe, gold thread ribbon, and braid, an ornament worn below the girdle at the back made of beads and trimmed with old silver coins, metal ornaments for the belt which is the Silversmith’s work, a silver ornament to go under the belt, trimmed with old silver coins with seven rows of chains, “uskolec”, a bead-work ornament worn at the sides of the belt, necklace in the form of a stomacher, trimmed with old silver coins, mounted with broadcloth, flame colored socks knitted and patterned with formalized blossoms, fes – a head dress with rows of old silver coins – “tunturici”, which hang down the sides of the face. The silver boss is ornamented with various colored stones and trimmed with pendants. Above the fes there is a garland of spruce, white broadcloth towel decorated with embroidery and two rows of old coins and a hair decoration made from black twisted woolen fringe which is worn hanging down the shoulders……

The men in Mariovo region wore the following: “rubina” – smock or shirt, a girdle, “sukman” – a kind of upper garment, “chakshiri” – breeches and gaiters which have been retained till now in the man’s dress from Mariovo, a coat with sleeves which was worn either as a shirt or on top of the jacket. Each of these features has been preserved in the contemporary national dress – traditional costume of Macedonia.

Tanec Professional Folklore Ensemble Macedonia

Tanec is eminent professional folklore musical ensemble from Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, and one of the most famous and reputed folklore ensembles in the Balkans. Tanec Ensemble is worldwide considered as an ambassador of the Macedonian folklore tradition, with the repertoire that includes more than 60 choreographed pieces. The Tanec Ensemble of folklore dances and songs of Macedonia was founded by the Government of the People’s Republic of Macedonia in 1949 with an aim to collect, preserve and present the Macedonian folklore: folk songs and folk dances, folk instruments, national costumes etc. The Tanec Ensemble Macedonia inspired by ancient Macedonian culture and traditions also has a junior ensemble. During the several decades of its existence the Tanec Ensemble has taken part in over 3500 concerts and festivals around the world including: USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, USSR, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Kuwait, Israel, Egypt, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Zaire and many other countries as well as concerts across the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia….The highly professional performances of “Tanec”, proven on the world’s most renowned stages, make the ensemble most competent researcher and performer of the music folklore of the Republic of Macedonia, as evidenced by over eight million spectators and numerous awards that “Tanec” received for its achievements in the preservation and nurturing of the Macedonian folklore and the years-long presentation of the artistic values of the traditional folk dances and songs at home and abroad, thus making a remarkable contribution to the affirmation of the Macedonian cultural legacy.

Tanec Dracevka dance

Tanec Vodarki /water carriers/

Tanec Djamale and Vodicarki

Tanec Ohridski igri

Tanec Malesevka

Tanec Teskoto

Mitevi Mariovska tresenica