A Virtual Gallery of Folk
Costumes of Romania
Telephone in Chicago 1-773-545-8423 or FAX 1-773-509-1287
About the Folk (National, Ethnic) Romanian Costumes
1. General Description
2. Main Characteristics
3. Elements of the Romanian Folk Costumes (Men,
4. Specific characteristics of Romanian FolkCostumes,
by Ethnographic Regions.
5. Tables, Lists
General Description of Romanian Folk Costumes.
The Romanian Folk Costume (as any other folk costumes
is a combination of: (1) ethnicity or race; (2)geographical location
and climate; (3) time period; and (4) economic possibilities. The
dress itself, within a community, also reflects the (5) social status
of the person who wears the dress (married, widow, etc.) or the
occasion (wedding, funeral, etc.)
1.1. In the good old days, one could tell, just
by looking at someone's clothes, the place he was from and his
race (nationality.) In a single city as Sibiu (Central Transylvania)
one could easily tell apart Romanians from Saxons or Hungarians.
1.2. On the other hand, because all Romanian folk
costumes have certain common elements, until about one hundred
years ago, one could recognize the Romanians living in Albania,
or Bulgaria, or Greece, or Serbia. As a curiosity Ukrainan and
NE Romanian folk costumes are similar. In Romania itself, people
living in different regions have slightly different costumes each
with its specific elements. Depending on who is counting, what
is counting, and how the counting is done, in Romania could be
between 40 and over 120
1.3. Also, it is accepted that between 1000 AD
and mid 1800, the folk (peasant) dress in Europe changed very
little, if at all. The economic development of the mid 1800's
made easy for the peasants to acquire more fabrics, embroidery
threads, etc. thus women spent less time weaving and more time
embroidering. Also ease of travel and more communication erased
some of the differences between the ethnographic zones. In Romania,
after the 1950 the traditional folk dress is worn only at festive
events. Thus, it is interesting to present folk outfits before
and after 1900's.
1.4. The Romanian Old Fashioned Folk Costumes
were entirely made at home: home spun wool, cotton, hemp, silk
(from home grown silk worms) and flex (in Romanian "in").
Quality and degree of ornamentation depended on one's skills and
possibilities. As a curiosity "camasa iobageasca" didn't
have any ornamentation. In Romanian "camasa" means shirt
and "iobag" means serf.
1.5. The costume itself or some ornamentation
or accessories indicated if the person wearing it was married
(less or more than a year;) single and not interested in marriage;
single, but looking for a partner; engaged to be married; widow/er
(less or more than a year.) Also there were special accessories
for different holidays, events, or occasions: weddings, funerals,
Main characteristics of Romanian FolkCostumes.
The Romanian Folk Costume main characteristics are: Predilection
for white; Embroidery in geometric patterns; and Elaborate and highly
2.1. One main characteristic of the Romanian folk costumes is
the predilection for white
. Women have white blouses, white
skirts, white scarves, even white coats. Aprons and vests are
black or colored. Men have white shirts and white pants.
2.2. All, absolutelly all, without exception,
all traditional blouses and shirts have long sleeves. Only in
the last 50 years, blouses have short sleeves.
2.3. Embroidery in geometric patterns.
Almost every piece of clothing has some kind of handwork, unusually
embroidery in geometric pattern; of course, to a limited extent,
flowers (or curved lines) are also present.
2.4. Elaborate and highly symbolic headdresses.
Nowadays, the Romanian folk costumes are generally limited to
blouses, skirts, and aprons, perhaps vests for women; Shirts,
pants, and sometimes vests or coats for man. The old style of
elaborate and highly symbolic headdresses are totally disregarded.
Elements of the Romanian Folk Costumes (Men, Women).
3.1. Women's Romanian
Old Fashion Folk Costume usually consists of a white blouse,
white skirt, and one or two black or colorful aprons. Also some
head cover; traditional shoes (opinci) and belt. For cold weather
vests and coats.
3.2. Men's Romanian Old
Fashion Folk Costume consists of a a white, large, mid-thigh
length shirt; white pants, and belt. Also some head cover; traditional
shoes (opinci) and belt. For cold weather vests and coats.
Specific characteristics of Romanian FolkCostumes, by Ethnographic
Regarding Romanian folk costumes, there are 7 ethnographic
regions. Six ethnographic regions in romania proper and one outside
present-day Romanian borders. (see map
regions.) We are presenting about 90
Actually, there is not a set number of
ethnographic zones in Romania and each "expert" will
have a different combination presented, the total number being
between 40 and 120.
Basarabia, Bucovina, Moldova
1. Transylvania or Ardeal
Superior, Hateg, and Muntii Apuseni.) The main characteristic
of this region is the fact that women wear two aprons, called
zadii, c[tr`n\e or oprege; the aprons are narrow, the color is
black or black and red.
2. West Plains or Câmpiile de vest
(Câmpia Muresului, Câmpiile Crisurilor Negru-Alb-Repede,
and Câmpia Somesului Inferior). The main characteristic
of this region is that women wear only one front apron, called
zadie or c[tr`n\[. The aprons are very wide and very colorful.
3. Banat (Lunca Timisului, Caras-Severin.) The main
characteristic of this region is that women wear two aprons, called
opreg. One or both aprons have long fringes.
4. Wallachia or Tara Româneasca
(Oltenia and Muntenia). The main characteristic of this region
is the fact that women wear two overlapping aprons. The aprons
have different sizes and designs. The front, the narrow apron
is called zavelca. The back apron is wide, with creases and is
called vâlnic. Sometimes in the summer girls wear two "zavelca."
In the winter women wear one apron, a heavier versions on the
vâlnic, called "pesteman" and "fota creata,"
wide, pleated,wrapped all around, looking almost like a regular
5. Dunare, the region along the
inferior course of River Danube: Baragan, Dobrogea and South Moldova.
The main characteristic of this region is the fact that women
wear two narrow aprons called pestelca. The aprons are similar
in size, but different in design.
6. Moldova: Moldova, Basarabia,
Bukovina. The main characteristic of this region is that women
wear only one, wrapped around apron, called "fota."
7. Balkans, or Romanians who live outside
the present-day Romanian borders.
a) In this vast region there are Romanians who live close-by the
Romanian borders and their costumes are similar to those of their
Romanian neighbors. Thus Romanians from Voijvodina or Banatu'
Sarbesc (Serbian Banat) have costumes very similar to Romanians
from Romanian Banat. Romanians who live in Timoc or Timok, Serbia
have folk costumes similar to Caras-Severin. Romanians who live
in Timoc or Timok, Bulgaria have folk costume similar to Oltenia
b) Romanians also live in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece,
Istro-Romanians live in Istria, Croatia.
Macedo-Romanians or Aromânii live in Albania, Bulgaria,
Megleno Romanians live in Bulgaria, Greece, and Macedonia.
The main characteristic of this region is the fact that women
wear only one apron, called poale, and condusa, a long, sleeveless
vest. Other elements of the Balkan's folk costumes are:
Fustane, blouse and skirt together, sort of a dress with
very little embroidery
Condusa, a long, sleeveless vest.
Scurtac, waist long vest.
Libade, a jacket with short sleeves.
Hrisafi or Pirpodzi, socks, made of many different colored
Paftale, two metallic "buckles" at the ends of
Tipunea, heavy winter coat..
Sarica, heavy, sleeveless winter coat...
Romanian Folk Costumes: Tables, Lists.
Romanian Folk Costumes by ethnographic regions
By 7 regions with 16 sub-regions and 97 ethnographic zones
(prezentarea a 7 regiuni folcorice, impartite in 16 sub-refiuni
si 97 zone etnografice )
1. ARDEAL or TRANSYLVANIA
Somes (Somesul Superior)
2. CAMPIILE de VEST (West Plains)
Arad, Câmpia Muresului
Bihor, Câmpia Crisurilor
Câmpia Somesului Inferior
4. TARA ROMANEASCA(Wallachia)
Moldova de Sud
7. BALCANI or Romanians outside the present day
Daco-Romani: Serbia, Bulgaria, Ucraina
Macedo-Romani (aromani or vlahi) ]n Albania,
Bulgaria, Grecia, Macedonia, Serbia
Istro-Romani (istro-romani or vlahi) in
Megleni-Romani (or vlasi) in Macedonia,
Romanian Folk Costumes
by ethnographic regions and zones
ARDEAL or Transilvania
Podisul Secaselor (Sebes)
2. Valea Hartibaciului
3. Fagaras or Tara Oltului
5. Barsa or Tara Barsei
7. Tara Lovistei
Topolog (19 century as Sibiu; 20 century
|8a Cluj or Dealurile Clujului
8b. Campia Clujului
11. Mures + Valea Gurghiului
Tulghes-Izvorul Muresului-Ciuc (In
Transylvania, but similar to Moldova)
12. Nasaud + Prundu Bargaului
13 Huedin (or Meses)
Depresiunea Calata (Or Kalotszeg)
||16. Hateg - Sarmisegetuza
17. Hateg - Lunca Cernii
18. Hateg - Meria
21. Petrosani Valea Jiului
22. Petrosani-Momarlani (Valea Jiul-de-Vest)
||24. Ampoi, Valea Ampoilui; Zlatna
Mocanii de Turda (pr Aries)
25. Aries (Valea Ariesului; Salciua)
25a. Aries (Lupsa)
26. Beius (transition between Bihor & Apuseni),
28. Tara Motilor--Vidra
29. Tara Zarandului-Brad
30. Tara Zarandului-Halmagiu
|Campiile de Vest
| Campia Muresului
31. Arad ( cu "Opreg" or 2 oprege)
32. Arad (Orasenesc)
33. Arad ("Zadie" or 1 zadie)
34. Ineu (Bihor: Campia Crisului Alb)
35. Meziad (Bihor: Campia Crisului Negru)
36. Alesd (Bihor: Campia Crisului Repede)
37. Valea Barcaului & Crasnei
38. Codru (Zone Codru-Chioar-Oas)
39. Chioar (Zone Codru-Chioar-Oas)
40. Oas (Campia Somesului)
43b. Jebel-Buzias-Lugoj, or The Golden Triangle
||48. Almaj (Carbunari)
49. Almaj (Valea Nerei)
50. Caras (Oravita)
51. Clisura Dunarii
53. Valea Bistrei,
56. Gorj, + Tismana
57. Mehedinti + Plaiul Closanilor
58. Olt + Campia Boianului
59. Romanati + Slatina
Valahia / Wallahia
|61. Arges, + Topolog
Topolog (19 century as Sibiu; 20 century
| 73. Tulcea(or Macin)North Dobrogea
74. Babadag (Dobrogea Central)
75. Ostrov (South Dobrogea)
76. Macedo-Romani or Aromani
77. Megleno-romani (Cerna, judetul Tulcea)
|Moldova de Sud
||78. Covurlui (azi Galti)
||80. Suceava+ Falticeni
81. Campulung Moldovenesc
82. Dorna ( or Vatra Dornei)
83. Homor (or Gura Humorului)
86. Botosani + Siret +Jijia
88. Tulghes-Izvorul Muresului-Ciuc (In geographically
but ethnographically similar to
89. Neamt + Valea Bistritei
||93. Romani in Banatul Sarbesc
94. Romani in Cadrilater (South Dobrogea, Bulgaria)
& Romani in North Bulgaria Nord, along Danube river
95. Romani in Timoc (Vidin, Bulgaria)
96. Romani in Timoc (Negotin, Serbia)
|Macedo-Romani (Aromani) in Romania, Bulgaria,
Macedonia, Gerecia, Albania (76)
||Megleno-Romani in Romania (Tulcea)
Macedonia. Grecia, Bulgaria
||97. Istro-Romani (in Istria, Croatia)