Traditional Wendish dress (Spreewald costumes)
Traditional Wendish dress was for long a fixed element in everyday fashion in the Spreewald. Today it is being revived and is increasingly worn at ceremonies and events in the Spreewald.
Sorbian/Wendish costumes entered the everyday lives of Spreewald residents in the 17th century. Right up to the 1920s, the costumes formed a fixed element of village traditions, and they reflected the origin and affluence of the family. For example, you could tell by the quality of the material, colours, cut and frills which town the wearer came from and what their financial standing was.
Depending on the occasion, there were many types of traditional dress. For example, we distinguish between working dress, church dress, ceremonial dress and a bridal dress. Everyday dress is seldom encountered these days. However, with the people of the Spreewald's rediscovered awareness of tradition, ceremonial dress is increasingly worn - particularly for the numerous festivals and events in the Spreewald.
Structure of traditional Wendish dress in the Spreewald
Every costume is made up of several individual elements: The skirt, also called a cosula, was a particular colour depending on the occasion or the marital status of the woman. A band decorated with flowers is embroidered to the lower third. A lace apron is worn over the skirt which is finished with a silk band at the waist. Waistcoat and shawl form the upper part of the costume. The striking hood (lapa) consists of a cardboard frame which is covered in a cloth. In Burg (Spreewald), you can find the last costume embroidery shop that still produces these hoods faithful to the original.