Mariovo folk costumes
According to its characteristics, the Mariovo folk clothes are part of the brsjak ethnographic unity which belong to the West-Macedonian ethnographic region. The folk costumes are familiar after their great richness with details and it is the heaviest of all the Macedonian folk costumes, which is closely connected to the mountain character of the region.
It is rich in decoration with different decorations, especially fringes andembroidery, with geometrical and stylish plant ornaments, which makes it look momentous.
Basically, the Mariovo folk clothes are mountain and animal husbandry which does not make some strict division between the winter and summer clothing, but it is one type for all the seasons. According to the other universal characteristics, it is divided into: the sex (male, female), the age (childhood, youth, maturity, old age), economic status and use (everyday, holidays and rituals). All those parameters point to the segments of which one folk costume is made.
The basic division of the Mariovo folk costume is the division according to the sex, the males and females. Some certain similarities between these two basic groups exist in time of early age while in time of complete maturity they, according to the rule, disappear.
The female Mariovo folk costume is especially characteristic and it is a symbol of identity, creative spirit, tradition and socio-economic condition. The dominant white colour on the clothing elements is an expression of the purity, chastity, life, and it is additionally decorated with an embroidered woolen thread with scarlet, dark red, yellow and black colour. The embroidery techniques, just as the decorative elements, create colourful and eternal beauty with deep symbolism. The motive of apples, combined with white grapes on the bride’s shirt symbolises strength and fertility. The bride’s skirt, the apron had a magical function to protect and ensure a new life, it can even be interpreted as a stylish representation of the motive of the tree of life. That all is fulfilled with jewelry and it places the female Mariovo folk costume on a significant position in the Macedonian cultural heritage.