Exhibition of the Week: Discovering Folk Costumes of Šibenik Archipelago

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Our cultural highlight of the week takes us to Šibenik

Ask anyone to cite a couple of prominent features of Croatia’s cultural heritage, and there’s a good chance you’ll get folk costumes for an answer. The versatility of traditional clothing preserved in all parts of the country is nothing short of amazing: there are dozens of types of costumes which vary in design according to the area they’re indigenous to, their features changing from village to village, island to island.

Šibenik City Museum is shining a light on one particular feature of folk costumes with a lovely exhibition dedicated to headscarves as part of traditional clothing indigenous to the wider Šibenik area.

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Opened on February 8, the exhibition features a diverse selection of headscarves you’ll find on the coast and on islands in the Šibenik archipelago, with an incredible range of patterns, designs and colours on display. While the costumes indigenous to the coast are less flashy than their continental counterparts – simpler in design, a bit more down-to-earth – they have the vibrant headscarves to round up the whole ensemble with a finishing touch of colour.

Even though folk costumes have mostly gone out of fashion and are not worn on a daily basis, but on special occasions such as local feast days instead, the majority of elderly women living in the area still hang on to that one part of their traditional gear – the headscarf. Some of them have actively participated in preparations for the exhibition, providing valuable information on the history of this precious item of clothing.

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Members of the Cultural-Artistic Society ‘Zora’ from Betina

The exhibition was organised by the Šibenik City Museum, the Antun Vrančić Gymnasium from Šibenik and the Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding on Murter island.

You can look into the vibrant display Monday to Friday from 8 to 17, and on Saturdays from 10 to 15. Not planning a trip to Šibenik this month? You’ll soon have another chance to discover the richness of Croatian folklore, as the Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding is preparing a similar exhibition of headscarves featuring floral motives indigenous to Murter island, in March.

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Photo credit: Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding Facebook

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