- Museum number
A woman's apron; bridal wear. Rectangular in shape, with two large fringes. Made from tabby woven wool and goat hair cloth. Green and cream weft faced bands on a red 'ground' made from goat hair, for 20.5 cms at the top of the apron and for 19 cms at the bottom. In between is 20.5 cms of weft dominant red and lilac wool bands (cream cotton warp?). Two layers of long red dense fringing; the top one covers red/lilac bands. Left tie made from black (damaged), and right tie made from red, commercial square braiding.
- Production date
- 1900-1925 (donor information)
Length: 62 centimetres (excluding fringing)
Width: 37.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Text from Eth Doc 1892, no. 86g: A bridal apron, a 'kičena bovča'. Made by village women from flame red cloth, cotton/goat hair. It is in one length with a long fringe at each end and with a central portion of interior striped material. When worn, the apron is folded across to conceal the central area so that the two rows of fringe, ‘al-kiski’ (a Turkish word?), hang immediately above each other. This is also a bridal ‘inspection’ garment. The Mijaks are a matriarchal society of Albanian origin.
Religion: Macedonian Orthodox.
For a discussion of the 'string skirt' or fringed apron as a symbol of fertility in European clothing, see: Barber, Elizabeth Wayland 1994: Women's Work: the First 20,000 Years: 62-3.
See Barber, E J W 1999, 'On the Antiquity of East Eruopean Bridal Clothing', in Welters (ed.), Folk Dress in Europe and Anatolia: 13 - 3; and Mladenovic, Vesna 1999, 'Threads of Life: Red Fringes in Macedonian Dress', in Welters, Linda (ed.): 97 - 110.
For other parts of this attire see: 139: jacket; 140: shirt / chemise; 141a + b: bridal sleeves; 142: waistcoat; 143: coat; 144: upper sash; 146: headscarf; 147: scarf; 148: socks; 149: silver buckle; 150: head decoration; 151: coin chain.
For a detailed description of how and the order in which this item of clothing was worn as part of a whole costume, see Eu1997,04.131
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2011 21 Jan-11 Sep, London, British Museum, Room 2, Traditional Jewellery and Dress from the Balkans
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Obtained for the donor in the 1960s by Živko Firfov of the Folklore Institute in Skopje.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number