Balkan Costumes with Ron Wixman
Part of our Thursday evening SOFA Series presentations, find the program listings online.
About the Program
In this presentation, Ron explains the role of women and clothing-making in the Balkans and why and how they have developed these elaborately decorated and embroidered festive and bridal costumes, and he discusses how the fibers (linen, cotton, wool, silk) were made, spun, woven/felted, and then decorated with embroidery.
In Balkan Romania and in Macedonia women considered their handwork and the making of their festive clothing to be marks of their personal value; by far the most heavily embroidered women’s costumes in Europe are found in these two regions. Girls and women grew or raised the materials necessary to make clothing – flax for linen, cotton, wool for fibers and embroidery thread – while men raised the sheep for sheepskin jackets and bodices.
Ron Wixman is a specialist in Balkan costumes and has donated many fabulous bridal costumes from late 19th/early 20th century Macedonia to the Museum of International Folk Arts in Santa Fe, as well as complete museum-quality folk costumes from Romania to the Mayhill Museum of Art in Washington, and Croatian, Bosnian, and Albanian costumes to various other museums as part of the Ron Wixman/Steve Glaser collections.
A folk dancer for most of his life, Ron Wixman has performed with ethnic ensembles, taught at folk dance festivals and camps in North America, taught in the Russian & East European Studies program at the University of Oregon, and lectured on Smithsonian Institution trips. A prolific writer, his research focuses on geographies of ethnicity, culture, and religion, particularly those situations related to political geographical questions, ethno-territorialism, and ethno-territorial disputes.
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