June 14, 2017

3086 HUNGARY (Bács-Kiskun) - The traditional costume of Kalocsa region

The Kalocsa is a marshy but highly productive district, on the left bank of the Danube River, in south central Hungary, and forms part of the cultural area known as the Great Hungarian Plain. Although is not very large, it has developed a beautiful form of very colorful embroidery which is often considered to be representative of Hungary. This handicraft was born in the second half of the 19th century, and originally the needlework was only white and the embroidery patterns were merely made up by holes.

The compositions were very simple and clearly arranged. The motifs were borrowed from nature: clusters of grapes, lilacs, lilies of the valley, roses, forget-me-nots, violets delighted the eyes. The art of Kalocsa embroidery became quite fashionable, and went through creative innovations. The holes of the pattern designs were filled but there were also many artists who liked to combine the two needlework styles. The motifs of tulip, lily, paprika, corn in the ear appeared at that time.

At the turn of the 20th century more and more women became skilled in "writing" patterns, creating Kalocsa embroidery designs. The white embroidery was succeeded by black, blue-black, blue-red style. Each of the colour can appear individually and combined as well. Then green, pink and yellow gained ground. The artists embroidered clothes, tablecloths, towels, bedspreads, handkerchiefs, coats, shirts, blouses, aprons. The earliest coloured embroideries date from the years 1904-1905.

The colour of the traditional costumes changed with the person's age who was wearing that. The most colourful embroidery was worn by the bride. The elder women's dresses were less colourful, the tonality of the colours was dark. The combination of blue-violet-green gives an atmosphere of sorrow. This is the so-called szomorupamukos Kalocsa style embroidery. The patterns and colours of embroidery are identical with the patterns and colours of the art of Kalocsa wall painting.

The basic garment of the woman's costume is the blouse. As currently worn, the cut is quite modern, with short sleeves and an opening in the back. There is a small amount of embroidery on the front under the neck opening, and also on the sleeves. Over the blouse, a white bodice is worn, of linen or cotton, with a front opening. This is covered with the typical embroidery, and extends only to the waist. Married women wear a small bonnet, which feature the typical embroidery. The cut is the typical one for bonnets.

The skirt is pleated, sewn from a solid mid-tone color. There are one or two bands of lace sewn on midway, and sometimes along the hem. The pleats add a special kind of movement to the skirts when dancing. The apron is minimally gathered at the sides on top, rounded on the bottom, and made of white linen or cotton. It serves as the major vehicle for presentation of one's embroidery skills. The edges usually are scalloped, with cutwork. The footwear consisted of mules, small backless clogs with a short heel.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the definitive series Postal History, designed by Barnabás Baticz, and issued on May 4, 2017, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Magyar Posta. The stamps of the series feature typical or unusual objects and work tools related to the postal service from its beginning until the present day.
• Postmark stamps and handstamps (5 HUF)
• Horse-drawn parcel delivery cart (10 HUF) - It's on the postcard 3086
• Post box with an emptying mechanism (30 HUF)
• Post office sign with the arms of Hungary (100 HUF)
• Cap of the uniform of postal carriers (200 HUF)
• Post horn (300 HUF)

The last stamp is the choise of Magyar Posta for Europa Stamps 2012 (with the theme Visit...). The two stamp designs are the work of the graphic artist Ágnes Rozmann. The main motif is Hungary's online country code ".HU", which in one stamp is filled with peppers and grapes and in the other contains details of the library of the World Heritage site of the Archabbey of Pannonhalma. The building of the Archabbey is on the left of the selvedge and Lake Balaton can be seen on the right.

Kalocsa Embroidery in authentic Hungarian patterns - kalocsa-embroidery.com
Costume of Kalocsa, Bács-Kiskun county, Hungary - Folk Costume & Embroidery

Sender: Bernadett Bernáth (direct swap)
Sent from Ajka (Veszprém / Hungary), on 09.06.2017  

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