“Ia” and the Traditional Moldovan Costume

The traditional clothing of the Moldovan people is one of their most distinguishing features, the result of hundreds of thousands of years of labor and invention, bringing together many representative forms of culture, ceremonies, holidays, and national folklore. Traditional clothing used to be used to indicate a person’s status in society and the hierarchical organization method. 

The classic “Ia” blouse is one of the characteristics that has remained among the most well-known but is also valued at the moment.In recent years, the Moldovan ia has also become a trend at festive ceremonies. Today there is no wedding or party where these popular shirts are not displayed. Moldovans abroad also wear them with pleasure and pride.

The “Ia” is a blouse made of white cotton, linen or gossamer, hemp, and wool. It is decorated with embroidery in traditional motifs with a special emphasis on the neck, chest and sleeves. The traditional execution techniques are: weaving, sewing, embroidery. It is also important that Ia was not worn every day, but only on holidays, the catrința traditional skirt was worn with the opening aside, while the usual ones had the opening in front.

The traditional Moldovan costume is a certificate of high skill and skill, it is a standard of beauty, which has a language of communication of ancient traditions, a living testimony of a process of mass creation.

At one time it was not acceptable to copy ornamental motifs from another person’s costume or to alienate them from community traditions. Each girl had to create her own festive costume, leaving the imprint of local traditions and her aesthetic vision. The costume must correspond to the man’s nature, to harmonize with his outfit, with the color of his eyes and hair, his age and his place in society.

Each suit had a unique and unrepeatable value. For the period of the past we hardly find two identical costumes, each having one or a few costumes, which differed from each other in part in design and color, proportions. It was the same way of making men’s embroidered shirts. They wore shirts embroidered by mothers, grandparents or future brides.

Moldova celebrates the Day of Folkloric Wear on June 24. This day is dedicated to highlighting the revival of traditional culture and encouraging ideals in order to preserve Moldovan heritage.

If you’re wondering where you may see traditional Moldovan clothing, the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History offers approximately 2330 items. Also, owing to the permanent exhibit in the folk costume hall at the Cultural Complex “Rustic Art,” you will learn a lot about traditional clothes.

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The Moldovan folk costume represents the individuality and originality of Moldovan culture. It is an invaluable historical source of beauty and a continuous mean of  perpetuation of traditions through its simple existence in the collective memory of people who do not hesitate to keep their existence as pure as possible.

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