Albania Costumes

Albania Costumes


According to topschoolsintheusa, the clothing of the Albanians, although it is very degenerate compared to what is still described to us by travelers of the middle of the last century, nevertheless retains not a few characteristic elements. The national badge is – it can be said – the white fez (qylaf or qeleshe), worn by males without distinction of religion throughout Albania, varying only locally in height and ornamentation. After all, there are striking differences between the way of dressing of the Toschi del S. and that of the Gheghi del N., especially in the shape of the trousers. The Toschi wear knee-length trousers, with wool socks woven in the shape of a wedge; they also have a characteristic white embroidered linen shirt with wide and short sleeves, sometimes an embroidered petticoat and above a jacket open on the front, whose sleeves can be pulled off, so as to leave the arms free, and remain then hanging behind the shoulders, in a very picturesque way. A wide belt, usually red or white, completes the male costume. Except the shirt, the other articles of clothing are white or dark blue or black wool, woven at home by women. One of the most characteristic elements of Tuscan clothing has almost disappeared, the fustan, a kind of kilt worn over trousers, made of many pieces of fabric gathered together, intricately pleated, which is believed to be an inheritance of the ancient Illyrians; it has now become a party or war dress.

Very similar to the Tuscan custom is that of the Aromuni shepherds, who also prefer dark colors, and also wear a large brown coat.

The ghego costume is much more varied. Its characteristic elements are the long and narrow trousers, white with black hems, in summer, dark or black with light decorations, in winter, which is considered an element of high antiquity; besides the usually red petticoat and the black jacket, decorated with braids and shoulder pads (xhurdì). In the elevated regions, longer, very heavy jackets or large cloaks are often worn in winter; at the Malissori the sheepskin jacket with the wool outwards is in use. In the summer, on the other hand, you are happy to leave your clothes upstairs and go to work with a white linen shirt and underpants up to the shin. Moreover, in almost every tribe of the N. there are characteristic varieties of clothing, which very often allow them to be distinguished at first sight; the Nopcsa has recently accurately described them.

In central Albania there are frequent dark wool trousers, wide at the top, gathered at the malleolus, in Turkish fashion, and the wide red belt wrapped around the chest and belly.

The women, who everywhere, even in Christian territories, are barely seen, wear a shirt with wide sleeves, white, wide and long breeches closed at the bottom, at the ankle, a dark surcoat and usually also an apron, and a handkerchief. various shapes on the head.

The importation of fabrics from abroad has brought with it many innovations: in the coastal areas it is now not rare to see the residents dressed in the West (with generally poor quality clothing), and even in the interior the cloths are not more than a small part a product of the local industry.

Another Albanian institution is the besa, the sworn faith, or the obligation assumed by oath to protect or guard a person, a place, a road, etc.; it is religiously observed throughout Albania.

Other customs, which are based on the Canon of Dukagjin, such as retaliation, exercised through the destruction of the house and property, against those guilty of certain crimes, tolerance towards theft, especially if it is committed outside one’s village or tribe, they are disappearing in the face of the laws promulgated by the current government, which also makes great efforts to repress the habit of revenge.

Albania Costumes