July 9, 2013
0727 MOLDOVA - Young women in traditional clothes (National Folk Dance Company "Joc")
As I wrote in more detail here, Moldavia (Moldova) is a historical region and a former principality, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester (Nistru) river. The western part of Moldavia is now part of Romania (47.5%) and the eastern part belongs to the Republic of Moldova (30.5%), while the northern and south-eastern parts are territories of Ukraine (22%). Majority of the population consists of Romanians, who speak a subdialect of the Romanian language. As a result, the Moldavian folk costume is generally the same all over historical Moldavia, and has, of course, many similarities with the one of the Romanians from the other historical regions. The main elements of the traditional costume for women in Moldavia are the shirt or chemise (cămaşă or ie), the straight apron (catrinţă), the wrap round skirt (fotă), and the veil (maramă).
The earliest form of shirt was the one type tunic, tailored "in the whole", being made only an angular cut for the neck, square or round. Another type is ia, whose decor includes "the chest" and the sleeves. There are three variations in the composition of the decor on sleeves: the ia with sleeves with vertical stripes embroidered in "straight rivers", the ia with sleeves with "oblique rivers", and the ia with sleeves with "stars". The sleeve decor is composed also of three basic components: altiţa which covers the shoulders, then încreţul (the rippled) which is a light-coloured strip (yellow, white, gray, beige...), embroidered with geometrical motifs, then strips embroidered vertically or diagonally or with dispersed motifs or shaped in "tree of life" or "wheat ear." The ia pleats around the neck, forming a round collar which binds with a colored string from twisted yarn. "The chest" partially repeated motifs of the sleeves.
The straight apron and the wrap round skirt were made of pure wool or wool and cotton yarn, in the warp. The most common apron, for all ages, is a single rectangular piece of fabric, with which the woman covers her body from the waist down. In Moldavia there are about ten groups of aprons, which differ in decor and the manner to achieve. The most common is striped apron, with colored vertical stripes, then apron with selected designs, apron with raised strips, etc. It was fasten around the waist with a long belt (3-4 m).
The young women used to walk bareheaded, but after the wedding ritual ("the bride's bonding" or "the bride's undressing") the godmother put on the head of young woman a kerchief (basma) or a veil (maramă), which means that in the future, becoming wife, she must walk veiled. Marama, made from silk yarn (borangic) and thin cotton, was hand weave with floral or geometric ornaments. Regarding footwear, poor women wore opinci and woolen stockings, but on the holidays wore shoes, sandals or boots specially sewn by craftsmen.
The beautiful young women from the postcard are members of the National Folk Dance Company "Joc", an honored collective which has established itself as an association that maintains and develops the beautiful and valuable traditions, customs, rites, and practices of Romanians who live in Moldova. The word "joc", just like good old romanian "hora", comes from the Latin "jocus" and can be translated as "joy", "mirth", "pastime with music and dance."
About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the series Birds, issued on April 8, 2010 and designed by Oleg Cojocaru:
• European Goldfinch (Carduelis Carduelis) (0.85 MDL)
• House Sparrow (Passer Domesticus) (1.00 MDL) - it's on this postcard
• Ural Owl (Strix Uralensis Pallas) (1.20 MDL)
• European Magpie (Pica Pica) (4.50 MDL)
The second is part of the series Chişinău - 575 Years, issued on 13 October 2011:
Cultural Palace of Railwaymen (0.85 MDL)
• National Opera and Ballet House (1.20 MDL)
• National Theatre "Mihai Eminescu" (2.00 MDL) - it's on this postcard
• National Palace (3.85 MDL)
• Cinema '"Patria" (5.40 MDL)
Costumul popular femeiesc - Moldovenii
Women's aprons - Eliznik web pages
National Folk Dance Company "Joc" - Official website
sender: Nadejda Zincenco (direct swap)
sent from Chişinău (Chişinău / Moldova), on 14.05.2013