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Montenegro – Folk Costume

Male Costume
If we start by the order of dressing in first place would come knee socks. Knee socks are a kind of socks which strongly tighten the calves. For making of these socks a great skill is needed, and what needs to be pointed out is that no matter the experience and years for putting on of the knee socks it takes a lot of time. Knee socks need to be tightened strongly in order for man’s easier and safer movement, which was extremely important for Montenegrins who moved around the stony Montenegro. Except the knee socks there were the so called bjecve which had a slit on the side, and their rims were hemmed with red or dark blue coarse cloth.
Private Transfers

crnogorska-nosnjaPants were dresses immediately after the knee socks and they should overlap one part of the knee socks. Very often pants and knee socks were tied with a cord so that they wouldn’t separate, and for that people made special hooks on the knee socks. Pants in ordinary Montenegrins were white and they were made of coarse linen and water proof cloth (coja). Pants near the waist were wide, while below the knees they were shrunk. Montenegrins had a belt in which there was a wreath through which a rope went through in order for the pants to be tied around the waist.

Male shirt had a collar and a slit on the chest which was closed with buttons. The shirt was drawn in the pants and most often it was a white shirt) rarely could you find a Montenegrin in a colorful shirt). The shirt was an obligatory part of the Montenegrin male costume and at the festivities it was always tied. Except the shirt male folk costume, its upper part, was made of “gunj” (long peasant jacket). Gunj had short tassels which on the chest were moved apart. Montenegrins wore this short coat whose ends crossed one over the other and it was buttoned with copper buttons. Gunj was replaced with “dolama”(dolman), which has the sleeves below the armpits and up to the fist they are almost opened, so that they can be thrown back. In that way the hand stays solely in the shirt. That was of great importance and very characteristic for Montenegro, because in that way the suites, the folk garment could be made for all seasons. When it was summer they didn’t use th sleeves of dolmans, but they would throw the sleeves behind the back, and when it was winter, Montenegrins would put on the sleeves of dolmans. A dolman can usually be found in Montenegro in green color, and it is made of coarse linen or waterproof cloth (coja). The ends of the dolman (sleeves and the corners and tassels) are decorated with dark red color.

Below gunj they wore “dzemadan”, which was made of red coarse linen and was usually embroidered with on sides with some cotton or silk braids of black or golden color. That is a vest with tassels which came one over the others, and it was buttoned with four buttons (made of metal) and with black knots made of silk rope. Dzemadan was worn over the chest, and it went all over to the throat. The rims of dzemadan on tassels are also decorated with knots or with golden embroidery.

Dzemadan was sometimes replaced with “jecerma”, which did not have tassels or overlapping, and the slit on the chest was flat. On both sides of “jecerma” there were two rows of buttons (black silk ones) which are just a decoration. Below the buttons there are several hooks and knots which are used for buttoning of jecerma to the middle from below. These hooks and knots were usually the only thing used for buttoning of jecerma, because Montenegrins left their chest uncovered. Over gunj went “jelek”(sleeveless embroidered jacket).

Jelek was made of the coarse material and was decorated with rope or with golden embroidery. That is an upper clothing item, a lot like a coat without the sleeves. In front it is very open, and what is characteristic for it is that it was never buttoned.

Jelek was sometimes replaced with “toke” (silver plates), which have the same shape as jelek, but on the front side they have metal, most often silver plates. “Toke” are tied in difference to jelek and they are very close to body, and as they are made of metal they remind on armor, which was their usage in former Montenegro.


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