Falconara Albanese,  27 Ottobre 2003
Translated by Angelo Buffone


Typical Falconara Costumes.



Until the 1920’s it was particularly lucrative to breed the Silk Worm “Mundash”. Infact in the countryside, the breeding of the black worm “men” was widespread. The adult worms were fed on course leaves ("fjetat"), meanwhile, the white mulberry leaves were used to nourish/feed the newly borne silk worms. The broom was used as a structure, to let the silkworm weave their cocoons. The sale of the Silkworm was used as a means, to raise the moral of the Falconarese Families. The silk produced was utilised for making clothes, i.e. (Bed covers where used as a trousseau for the future brides). Many a household possessed a loom, fitted in a large and well lit room. The loom was used in the making (according to customs) of the trousseaus/dowry, as a wedding gift to the “daughter or daughters”. The fibers largely used were of silk, wool and linen, whilst cotton and hemp were rarely used for this purpose. The looms have all but disappeared, from the households and the few that survive (including the people that posses any remnants) are jealously guarded. The loom consisted of many working parts, which with time deterioration would take effect. The Falconarese Looms came to be appreciated from the nearby villagers, who frequently placed an order for the implementation of entire dowries. Very often payments for these services would be in kind (widespread practice in this region was to barter). The typical Falconarese costume has undergone, with the fleeting of time, various modifications, nevertheless, still maintaining its originality.

The original costumes consisted of the following items:

"Linja": long white linen shirt (down to the calf), with a square neckline, similar to the undergarment still used in Albania today. The individuality of these shirts where the embroidery that adorned the neckline and the shirt sleeves.

"Coga": Ankle length silk skirt, in colours of Green or Blue, sufficiently hemmed around the waste with trimming applications that enhance the garment.

"Keza": headdress in the form of a rigid bonnet, embodied in gold and silk coloured threads (that harmonized with the colour of the skirt). The bonnet would then be placed over the plaited hair, enfolded at back of the head (in circular shape).

"Shqepi": Transparent (loom fabric) Silk scarf was placed over the head of the newly-married bride, whilst the day to day scarf’s were made out of coarse silk.

"Prigri": A small apron adorned with embroidery similar to the embroidery on the shirt sleeves.

"Xhipuni" Bodice made out of wool, with sleeves only as far as the elbow and embroider similar to the skirt. The bodice was probably introduced due to the climatic influence of the Spanish/French fashion.


Costumes Design
Typical Falconara Costumes (end '800)
Typical Falconara Costumes (1960)


All references courtesy of:
Scuola Media di Falconara Albanese; "V rassegna Culturale - Folkloristica per la valorizzazione delle minoranze etniche Calabresi" edited in 1998. Recollections from my (Nonna) Grandmother. To speed up the site, photographs have been placed on a separate page.


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