Latvian archaeological folk costumes

Let ‘s have a look at Latvian folk costumes :-)

Latvian folk costumes are divided into archaeological and traditional folk costumes.

Archaeological costumes are costumes that are found on archaeological excavations in burial places on the current Latvian territory and reconstructed. Usually they are festive costumes, which are richly adorned with bronze jevelry. They are related to the 7th-13th centuries, even some to the 2th-4 th centuries. At that time Latvian territory was inhabited by Balts tribes: latgaļi, kurši, zemgaļi, sēļi and not Balts tribes - Finn tribes: Livs.

Traditional costumes are costumes that country peoples wear in their everyday life and on festivals till 19.century. Festival costumes are very festive and colourful.

In today article I will show you how to wear archaeological costumes. It was our club which experimented together with Latvia University Ethnic Culture Center scholars and it happenned some years ago.
Unfortunately today the Ethnic Culture Center is closed because of the crisis. Not a wise decision from Latvian politicans.

Anyway, enjoy :-)
Next time it will be about traditional costumes !

Tags: , ,

22 Responses to “Latvian archaeological folk costumes”

  1. Vicky Kritikou Vicky Kritikou says:

    Latvia has not only beautiful ancient costumes but gorgeous girls as well. Magnificent step by step revival of your ancient dressing tradition. I enjoyed very much your exceptional post that offers us a reverse trip in Time. Gongratulations!

  2. isabelle Pallier says:

    This is a fantastic idea! I enjoyed it from beginning to end! Simple costumes but so becoming! And I agree with Vicky: gorgeous girls to wear them too! The round brooches remind me of the Celts’fibules that they used to fasten their clothes in the centuries before Christ and just after Christ. They were sometimes very elaborate and a few were in gold with intricate patterns.
    Thank you for this demonstration!

  3. isabelle Pallier says:

    I admire the way the head dress was fastened too. Each country, region and people had their specific way of wearing headdress.
    And the jewels are very fine too.

  4. Mariedebretagne Mariedebretagne says:

    Wow, Tanja! What a great post!

    I can see that “hands on” archeological costumes can bring to young generations! What an experience it must have been to your students to wear their far away ancestors’costume!

    The costume was sturdy in those days but was very elegant too! I love the plain colours with good material such as wool and linen, I suppose.

    I like your jewelry a lot and there was a will to adorn the costume to look even more elegant. What does the last one represent? Seems to be dragon heads which were also on the drakar boats! Am I right or not? I remember seeing them in Stockholm port.

    In Brittany we used to be scared of the boats coming from the north of Europe to loot our shores. Near Roscoff, in a place called Locquénolé, the first church was built by Vikings coming from your area, so I was told by a guide a few years ago when I went to visit the church with our Swedish friends: a fountain and some sculptures are the only potential proofs of their presence on our shores:

    Have a look at the photos at the end of the article and your will see the “primitive” carving in granite. No-one knows for sure but tribes from the north sailed to that village.

    • Tanja (Latvia) Tanja (Latvia) says:

      The church is very nice. I like that “primitive” carvings. They could be done by northern people, but not by Balts. Latvia have not stones. Only some on fields, that came with glacier.
      All Balt tribes buildings were built with wood.
      Wooden castles on castle hills - nothing survived till today …

    • Anna says:

      Merci de nous montrer cette splendeur, Marie-France! C’est un coffret de bijoux, cette magnifique église!

  5. Tanja (Latvia) Tanja (Latvia) says:

    I like that jewelry too :-) Most of them are found in burial places, because I think, they could be related to trip to other worlds. You know that ancient jewelry is used not for elegant looking but for magical purpose to improve life.
    About influence - on this territory happen lot of trade, because jewelry styles could be mixed. Balts with Finnish, German, Celtic.

    Viking rides were frequent here. Anyway - Balts tribe kurši had fighting spirit too. Here are medieval texts about kurši riding in vikings lands.

    You notice that red dress consist from two square clothes, fasten together on shoulders with big bronze pins.

    • Mariedebretagne Mariedebretagne says:

      Thanks a lot for these extra explanations. What about the symbolic heads on the necklaces? Why are they dragon shaped?

      As you wrote before there are some similarities with Celtic jewels:

      • Tanja (Latvia) Tanja (Latvia) says:

        I dont know about dragon head … I found nothing written about shapes. And if is written - they could be new times interpretations.
        Balts have not written texts (like celts), and important information about the past is lost.

  6. Marika Marika says:

    Congratulations Tanja!
    Magnificent traditional Costumes!
    And also very good your idea of presentation!

  7. Isabelle, maman d'élève says:

    What a wonderful way to explore History! I am very, very, very admirative!!! And more, I admire the simple beauty of the costumes, and the extraordinary jewelers’ work. I love the shoes! Very trendy! And the spiral bracelets!!!
    A little question: how can we know about these clothes, if there are no written texts? In graves linen and wool are destroyed, aren’t they?

  8. clara 405 says:

    It is very interesting to speak about history, about graceful costumes.

  9. clara 405 says:

    The jewels are very beautiful.

  10. Anna says:

    Interesting post, Tanja! Congratulations!
    Very beautiful ancient costumes, very beautiful jewels and very beautiful girls! Thank you! :)

  11. Héloïse 4ème 5 says:

    These costumes are very well made, the red shoes are extraordianary and your jewels are very elegant !

  12. mary says:

    C’est intéressant de voir comment on s’habille avec des costumes anciens.

    It is very intesting to see how to put an old costume on.