The Albanian clothing heritage consists of numerous traditional dresses because this country was dominated by various invaders since the Middle Ages. Presently the Republic of Albania is divided into 12 administrative counties and the each county has its own traditional costume. But overall the traditional dress of Albania is full of colors and richness in designs.
Albanian dancers in traditional costumes-Shkumbin's Image
The traditional male dress of Albania includes the Fustanella which is a classical skirt-like garment worn by men. For the lower part of body the Albanian men wear a long trouser which is known as Triq and in some parts of Albania, another traditional pant Çorape is also worn by men.
An Albanian village man in his traditional dress-Vindenis Image
Xhaqete is a traditional vest which is used by the Albanian men in the whole parts of Albania and they also use a belt called as Brez. The Albanian men also used different kinds of headgears in various parts of Albania; the most popular of them areQeleshe and Fez Their traditional footwear is known as Opinga.
Wonderful Albanian costumes worn by Albanian girls-( diana-flickr-2 )
The Albanian women traditionally wore very colorful, bright, elegantly designed and decorative clothes. They are the best known in the whole Balkan region for the richness in their styles and colors. Xhubleta and Mbështjellëse are the favorite traditional attires of the Albanian women.
Beautiful Albanian girls wearing the traditional dresses- (Asdren Rrahmani's Image)
As it has early been mentioned that there is a tremendous variety of the traditional dresses in Albania, so there are also many kinds of headdresses in use by the Albanian women. They are having distinct designs as some of them are round shaped and the others are right shaped while in some parts Kryqe is also worn which a square is shaped hat.
The Albanian children wearing traditional clothes- ( Disha Thakur's Image )
The Albanian Muslim women wear two types of wedding dresses in their marriage ceremonies. One is worked on a “shajak” (large piece of wool) and with floral motives worked with “gajtan” (kind of rope) black cotton, sometimes mixed with green. The other one is worked in the same material but with red color. Different forms of motifs are used in these bridal costumes as in the first dress the motifs occupy all the area while the second one occupies a little part in the front and back.
An Albanian couple in their wedding dress ( Image: Saimir Gera )
The Catholic Shkodran bride wears the wedding dress which is tripped from the transparent white, shiny, soft, which spreads all over the body, and is intended to suggest tranquility and a warm purity.
Albanian folk dancers in their traditional costumes-Julian Poutzka's Image
The traditional dress of Albania is a magnificent dress which is so attractive for the colorful and golden cloaks, unique jackets and waistcoats and fantastic headdresses. Although in the urban areas of Albania the conservative Western-style dress is common, still every Albanian dislikes wearing shorts or other revealing clothing. The traditional clothing with full swing can be observed in the theatrical or folk dance performances in the main cities.
Some Albanian women dancers in a cultural festival ( Bastlomiej Haluszczak's Image )
The horsemen from Ersary, Yomud, Göklen, Saryk, Tekke and Chowdor tribes were the pride of the ancient Turkmenistan. They were known for their bravery and aggression and the clan identity was their most prominent feature. The old rituals and amazing customs gave the full energy to flourish their unique culture. The discovery of many distinguished archeological excavations disclosed the diversity and richness of the Turkmen heritage.
The Turkmen falconers in their traditional dress ( Image by Anguskirk )
The traditional dress of Turkmenistan also passed through the evolution with the passage of time and faced many variations. The styles and designs of the traditional Turkmen costume had the similarity with the other neighboring Central Asian states. The main clothing included the long and tunic dressing and was only having the distinction of the quality of fabric and decorations.
The Turkmen falconers in their traditional dress ( Image by Anguskirk )
A Turkmen male has a distinction in the world for his traditional “Telpek” cap, which is a large black sheepskin headdress. The Turkmen men usually wear high, shaggy sheepskin hats over white shirts and it was supported by a three-quarter-length cotton robe or long sheepskin coat. Traditionally they used to keep weapons hanging along their costumes. Although today the situation is different as the Turkmens have adopted the Western style of clothing and they are often seen in suiting with a tie and very clean shoes. But in some parts we can see the mixture of the modern and traditional style dresses worn by men.
A young Turkmen girl in her traditional attire ( Image: Ali Eminov )
Traditionally the Turkmen women’s costume was a long sack dress over tight pants but they used the silver jewelry with semiprecious stones as a compulsory item of their dress. Turkmen women of all classes used rings, earrings and bracelets and even both the boys and the girls start to decorate themselves with silver ornaments at very early age. The women of Turkmenistan have continued the tradition to wear their classical style clothing with slight variations.
The Turkmen women in their traditional dresses ( Image: nathan.groth )
The traditional dress of Turkmenistan is observed in full momentum in the wedding ceremonies and other festive occasions. The Turkmen bride is usually dressed up in red dress made from silk homespun fabric – ketene, studded with silver or gilded pendants from the embroidered collar till the edges.
The most of the Kazakh people depended upon the livestock economy and their traditional practices, customs and living style was also of nomadic nature. Presently, lots of changes have occurred in the daily lives of the people of Kazakhstan and their sustenance and priorities have become more diversified. Especially after the Russian domination, the culture was become a blend of from the Western influences. With the passage of time when the cultural ties of Kazakhstan were evolved, the style of clothing of Kazakh people was also turned over from simplicity. Embroidery, floral patterns and new designs were placed upon the traditional attires of the Kazakhs. Similarly animal skins and furs that were used earlier as the raw material of clothing were replaced by imported materials like silk, brocade, velvet and cotton.
The beautiful Kazakh girls in their national dresses ( Image: Jonathan Newell )
The traditional dress of Kazakhstan was worn with a waist coat that was more like a jacket or a gown for a woman. The Kazakh men used to wear “zheyde” that was an outer coat along with the trousers made of thick cotton fabric. The skullcaps like the traditional “Kolpok” or “Kalpak” and “Takiya” were the important headdress of the Kazakh men. Bashlykwas prepared with camel skin, which was supposed to be worn on top of other hats, to protect from dust, sun, rain and snow. The Kazakh men normally liked the boots with high heels.
A Kazakh man with the traditional Bashlyk
The Kazakh women used to wear pants with a tight shirt but the outer coat was a loose out fit that was also called as “kamzol”, a type of dressing gown. The women belonging to different classes used various types of fabrics for sewing their dresses. For example, the upper class women made their dresses of silk, satin, velvet or brocade etc. Moreover, these expensive fabrics were also decorated with laces, embroidery and stripes of fur.
The folk group of Kazakh girls in their traditional costumes ( Image by Jonathan Newell )
The traditional dresses of Kazakh women were stitched with a little distinction for the women belonging to various age groups. The Kazakh girls also used to wear two kinds of headdresses; skull cap (Takiya) and a warm hat (Borik), decorated with otter, fox or beaver fur. A tuft of owl feather was often sewed to the top of Takiya for further grace. The footwear was almost the same like the men; the young Kazakh women loved the boots with high heels while the elder women preferred low-heeled shoes.
A Kazakh bride in her traditional red wedding costume ( Image: Zulkarnan Abdul )
As the wedding occasion was the most awaited and significant moment of the life of a Kazakh woman, the bridal costume was embellished with maximum adornments and decorations. The most noteworthy item of the dowry articles of a Kazakh bride was the headdress known as “Saukele” along with a facial veil. The wedding dress that was usually of red color and Saukele were prepared long before the girls reached the age of marriage.
Some native girls of Kazakhstan in traditional costumes ( Image: nasa-hq )
Although the modernism, Western influence and contemporary fashion attacks have affected the traditional dress of Kazakhstan, yet the Kazakh people are trying their level best to maintain their clothing heritage. The Kazakh fashion industry time and again introduces the traditional and national costumes prepared with a variety of applications and decorations. The traditional ornaments like earrings, flat and wrought bracelets and rings are still an integral element of the Kazakh women’s clothing.
Some young girls from Kazakhstan wearing yellow traditional dresses (Image by Mark Andrew Barrett)
The traditional clothing in Kyrgyzstan was much dependent upon the nomadic life style of the Kyrgyz people. The traditional dress of Kyrgyzstan was almost similar to the other central Asian states like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
A Kyrgyz woman in her traditional dress ( tracingtea.images )
The Kyrgyz people especially women love the traditional embroidery on their dresses prepared with obscure patterns. During the last two centuries the trend of men’s wear was rapidly replaced with western style dressing and only the tradition of wearing Kolpok hat was remained. Only on few festive occasions the Kyrgyz men wear “jelek” which is the traditional coat made of blue, black, or brown velvet, with a belt at the waist. The trousers are liked with little beautifications.
A Kyrgyz man with his traditional Kolpok hat ( Image: Eric Lafforgue )
The young Kyrgyz girls wear the traditional “koinok” having high necklines with typical embellishment on the skirts and sleeves. They also cover themselves with a coat of heavy texture decorated with floral designs.
The Kyrgyz girls wearing traditional costumes ( Photo : AFP )
A traditional headdress which is cone-shaped having feathers, coins or beads, is another accessory to the Kyrgyz girl’s dress. The middle aged or elder Kyrgyz women like simpler dress with big white head-dresses called “elechek”.
A Kyrgyz girl with her traditional fur hat (tracingtea.images)
The loveliest traditional dress of Kyrgyzstan is the wedding dress for a Kyrgyz bride is longer and it normally white. The sleeveless jacket is perfectly illuminated. The headdress for the bride is called as “shokulo” which is very high and cone-shaped, with a veil falling down the back; the veil may be used to cover the bride’s face.
The traditional Kyrgyz dance in cultural dress (Image: Go.Live.Serve.)