This postcard belongs to the series Lietuviu tautiniai drabuziai (which means Lithuanian Folk Clothes - thanks Google Translate) and show (as explained Vaida - thanks a lot, I think I wouldn't have managed without these explanations) a traditional costume from 19th century from Aukštaitija (Highlands), one of the five ethnographic regions of Lithuania, in the northeast part of the country, which up to the 13th century corresponded to the Duchy of Lithuania.
This costume is considered an archaic one and seems to be out of Panevėžys district. Even if can't be seen, the two women probably wear long linen shirts with red ornaments and decorative sleeves. The woolen skirts are some for special occasions, red, with a little yellow and purple. The aprons, the most important part of the costume, are made of white linen, featuring decorative red ornamental stripes in a pick-up weave at the bottom. The pick-up patterns are very old and geometric, found in this region since the Stone Age.
Neither the bodices can be seen, but the women certainly bears some, made of home-made wool, woven in detailed striped, curved and clover patterns, or of expensive materials, such as gold and silver brokate, silk, velvet, damask, wool. In the front bodices had decorative metal plates with loops. Narrow ribbons and metal chains were used for lacing.
In special occasion, like this one, the women wear footwear made of home-treated leather. Shoes required hand-knit linen (for summer) and woolen (for winter) stockings, whereas foot-cloths were sufficent for naginės (leather soleless shoes) or vyžos (bast shoes). Better foot-cloths are made of white cloth supported by apyvaros (kneebands) - narrowly woven and braided sashes.
The women in the picture are married, because they wear wimples, a very old style of headdress, woven from the thinnest and brightest white cloth and decorated with narrow red ornaments, finished of with delicate tassels or bobbin laces at the ends. The photo was taken in winter, because women wore matted woolen caftans (sermėga), decorated with black stripes and velvet borders. The woman from the right has also a wool scarf.
About the stamps
The first two stamps are part of the definitive series Wooden Sacral Architecture of Lithuania, about which I wrote here.
The second is one of the two issued on June 4, 2011, designed by V. Bruchas, and dedicated to the Alytus Ethnographic Museum:
• Ceramic of R Indrasiute (2 LTL) - it's on the pstcard
• Smith’s bellows (2 LTL)
Clothing of Aukštaitija - Anthology Of Lithuanian Ethnoculture
sender: Vaida Velutyte (direct swap)
sent from Utena (Lithuania), on 18.04.2012
photo: R. Paknys