Serbian National Costume
Today the Serbian national costume now only tends to be worn on national holidays and for special celebrations especially in the more rural parts of the country. Yet although it is not worn as often it still plays an important role in the country’s history.
When you look back over the history of the Serbian national costume you will notice that it has become well known for using a variety of different textures and embroidery within it. Also each particular component of the costume will tend to reflect a different part of Serbian history. For example the peony design that is embroidered on to aprons, socks etc., is always bright red in color. This is because it helps to symbolise the amount of blood shed by the people of Serbia during the Battle of Kosovo.
Typically the national costume of Serbia comprises a number of different elements. For the mean it will be a trousers, shirts, Jelek (sleeveless coat), Jubun, socks, belts and some form of headwear. As for the women their costume is often made up of a skirt, blouse, Jelek, socks and head wear plus of course shoes. Each item worn has its own specific name and below we take a look at what these are.
1. Opanci – These are the shoes worn and were traditionally worn by the peasants in Serbia. They are made from leather and they simply slip on. The front of these shoes ends in a horn like shape and this helps to denote which part of Serbia the shoes come from.
2. Subara – This is one type of hat worn as part of the Serbian national costume. It is the same thing that would have been worn by shepherds to help keep them warm in the winter. Generally it is either of a conical or cylindrical shape and is black in color because this was the color of the wool produced by the sheep that the shepherds cared for.
3. Sajkaca – Another form of cap worn as part of this country’s national costume. It is very easy to recognize, as it seems to resemble the letter V or the base of a boat when you look at it from above. This particular part of the costume was derived from a military cap worn during the 18th Century and which was worn by the river troops (Sajkasi) who guarded the Danube, Belgrade and Sava.
4. Jelek – This is a waistcoat worn by men and women and is normally made either from velvet and wool. However there is one marked difference between the Jelek worn by women and that is theirs are normally lined with fur.
5. Pregace – This is the apron worn by the women as part of the Serbian National Costume and is very important to it. All of them will be decorated with beautiful floral motifs that would have taken hours to embroider on to the material. Again this helps to identify which part of the country the woman wearing the costume is from just as the hats do.