Young Brides, Old Treasures

Macedonian Embroidered Dress

Edited by Bobbie Sumberg

This is the exhibit catalog for a current exhibit at the Museum of International Folk Art.

Until the mid-twentieth century, Macedonian women wove, embroidered, and wore magnificent ensembles of dress that indicated to a knowing eye what village and region they came from and where they were in the cycle of life. From puberty through betrothal, marriage, child bearing, and old age, dress changed to reflect status change. Historic ensembles, no longer made but preserved in the museum, also illustrate the tumultuous political history of the region; pan-Slavic, Byzantine, and Ottoman influences can be seen in embroidered motifs, materials, garments, and jewelry. The outstanding collection the Museum has dates primarily from 1890 to 1920 with some later pieces from the 1950s. On display will be 27 mannequins in multi-layered ensembles as well as individual garments and pieces of jewelry belonging to Museum of International Folk Art; the Collection was made completed with a recent, large donation from the Macedonian Arts Council so that it is today the largest and most comprehensive museum collection in the United States.