Republic of Bulgaria

Bulgarian Folk Costume

Donated by the Republic of Bulgaria to Gatineau. The unveiling on March 11, 2004 was attended by representatives of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria, the National Capital Region Bulgarian Community and Mayor Yves Ducharme.

The traditional Bulgarian folk costume in the Kyustendil region is one of the most artistic forms of the saya, a garment that was worn over a blouse until the 1950s.

The rich embroidery across the chest and on the sleeves is probably the work of local artists. Because it was so valuable, the gold-threading (called bikme) at the centre of the design became a symbol of social status. The cotton blouse under the saya was hand-made by the woman who wore it. On weekdays, a red wool apron held the saya. The style of apron depended on the occasion. A silk headwear and belt buckles indicated that the woman was married. Based on these features, this was most likely the festive costume of a young married woman.

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