The art of knitting dates back to the ancient history of human society. Known to the Orthodox as well, the exercise has been developing for two millennia. The creative process of Bulgarian extracurricular art is a manifestation of the national spirit, inextricably linked to our material and spiritual culture. For generations, unique patterns of beauty, color and technical design have been created. In these works, the fruit of labor and patience, the Bulgarian woman puts love to her home and to the Bulgarian nature. It adorns home made fabrics of hemp, linen, wool, cotton and silk, with all kinds of locally made thread, in a wide range, and also with gold and silver pearls, sequins and beads.

The Bulgarian applied arts have preserved the traditions for decorating aprons, dresses, rugs and other works of folk art. A deeper look at the figures, ornaments and shapes depicted on them gives a wealth of information about their symbolic meaning. All peoples retain their spiritual and life experience through folklore. The Bulgarian is especially rich in all its fields.

The artistic design of the traditional Bulgarian costumes is one of the most valuable virtues of lasting value. It is the most convincing testimony of a rich spirituality, of high artistic values, of an unceasing pursuit of beauty. The decoration of the clothing, made by the Bulgarian woman, bears the imprint of family and family traditions, of worldview and morals. It is she who distinguishes herself with the most complete ethnicity, with the role of a social regulator.

The unique artistic qualities of the costume are achieved through the skillful application of the ornamental decoration, expressed in the form of fabric, in the stitch, in the applique or knitting.

The main role in the Bulgarian sewing is played by the colors. These are red and green on a white base.

Red symbolizes the mother's blood and life extension. It is safe from lessons and evil eyes. Therefore the bride wears a red veil; the infant swings first in a red diaper; the first red egg, painted for the Resurrection of Christ, anoints the children for health; with a red thread, he makes his way home to welcome Baba Marta, leading to a spring revival.

Green is a resurgent life and is associated with the World Tree of Life - a universal symbol of the Universe.

Gold also has a manifestation and symbolic meaning in the exercise. It is associated with the sun, fire and light, with the well-being of people. In the golden waters of the magical river, according to the folk tale, the sorceress gilded a virtuous girl.

White reveals the power of purity, incorporeality, spotless youth and divine light. The bridegroom marries on a white wave; white wool propels the bride into the wedding ceremony; with "white" steam heals the fable; in "white" mints poured silent water for ritual breads.

The two main ethnographic regions of Bulgaria, Eastern and Western, are characterized by a slight difference in both ornaments and colors. As it has already become clear red and green are the main ones, but in the seams of the regions from Western Bulgaria (such as Vidin, Vrachanski, Sofia, Kyustendil, Troyan - Sevlievo, Pleven and others), there is a predominant red color and its lighter shades combination with blue and green. Whereas in the regions of Eastern Bulgaria (Razgrad, Ruse, Elhovski, Karnobatsky, etc.) the red color is accompanied by dark tones (dark blue, brown, black), except for the Sliven and Stara Zagora - Kazanlak regions, whose seamstresses are characteristic multicolor.

Stitches of the Bulgarian folklore

A typical element in the Bulgarian folklore is the rhombus. It is an ancient symbol, part of the fine arts of humanity, and is associated with the Mother Goddess, with earthly and feminine fertility. The rhombus is one of the most important elements of the exercise of the Bulgarian national costume. The diamond-shaped apron marks the childbearing part of the female body. Worn by sexually mature girls and brides, it is a sign that they can now have children and participate in the biological reproduction of the genus.

The rhombus is also found in men's clothing, wishing fertility. It is embroidered on the upper part of the shirt, on the shoulder and is a square or rectangular motif from which two straight narrow strips descend. The ornament is made of rhomboid images with eyelashes, hooks and smaller rhombuses.

One of the most common topics in our ancestors' exercise is the topic of family, fertility and the well-being of the genus. Through knitting, a series of wishes to relatives are expressed. Even today, the tradition of "Engagement" or "Wedding" is preserved, when donning aprons, girdles, towels, etc. when donating.

Even as she weaved her boot, gifts for future relatives, the bride put her names to the family members of her fiance and future spouse, as well as to her family. The embroidery or weaving itself was subject to the strictly desirable symbolism according to which the young bride donated all present to the engagement or wedding. In gifts she has woven the figures of Makaz, Kanatitsa and Babitsa with their varieties.

The macaw is engaged in an engagement. This figure is an interpretation of a rhombus composed of two triangles whose sharp vertices touch. Touching them is contact, the beginning of contact, that is, engagement in sexual symbolism. Ie the symbol of Makaza means Kinship, Kinship. In the ancient symbolism, two triangles connected to their sharp peaks are a sign of the masculine and feminine origin, of the divine and terrestrial, of harmony and poise.

Great Macaz means Wedding - triangles are penetrated into each other. They symbolize the engagement already achieved, ie. The bridegroom's sexual sacrament has been accomplished. The Great Mackaz is a symbol of the Commonwealth, of the Father and Mother in their sacred unity of future parents.

Rope or Family is illustrated by two small triangles on either side of Makaza's main body. Or the Father and the Mother have exercised their capacity to bear - the child. Completely the main goal of family formation has been fulfilled. The triangles illustrate two children, a boy and a girl, but they are not sexually indicated.

The Great Rope is the Genus (the figure grows with another triangle on the side) - when the first generation has its heirs.

Great Rope - The people. Here we see the threefold symbol of fertility, the growth of a lineage, which symbolizes the creation of a nation, of a genetically linked genera and a shared being of a nation or tribe.

We already have one nation, one ethnic group, one genetically and blood-related group of people belonging to their blood relationship. This people is related to families and families. Here, the affinity is no longer between two people but between large groups of people. The figures of the two triangles already touch their large sides and form the Rhombus, the sign of unity of genera.

Granny or related families. To the main figure of the diamond are added two outward triangles. They do not illustrate the children of the family, but the members of the lineage who have made the relationship have created families with members of another lineage. Outward triangles mean leaving one's knee, one's generic genetics, and joining another one. The symbol of Grandmother can grow to Grandmother - related families and related tribes.

Photo: igranka.com

Photo: igranka.com

Wedding gifts have a well-defined symbolism that reflects their social status. If the bridegroom has three sisters, the first of whom is married already and has a family, the second is engaged and has no personal family, and the third is still a girl, then the bridegroom will don aprons for the three, but with different content and symbolism decorated with ornaments to reflect her various wishes and attitude towards them.

The first, who is already married and has children, will don an apron with the symbols of Kanatitsa, Grand Kanatitsa and Velika Kanatitsa because these symbols express her wish for her family to grow into a large family and people. It is called fertility, fertility and symbolic immortality of the genus.

To the second sister, a future wife, the apron will be embroidered with the symbol of the Wedding Rope that will make her become a bride like her and start a family.

The third apron will be with the symbols of Makaz and Grand Makaz, because they want an engagement and a wedding.

These three symbolic gifts are strictly oriented towards the marital status of the sisters and what they have to develop in the life of spouses and mothers. And if high-ranking people - boyars, goddesses, etc., are present at the wedding, the bride will give them gifts with symbols of the Great Rope and Great Grandmother, reflecting their social status and ancestry in the people, their role as Fathers and Mothers of Genera .

On the costume, through its semantics, one can recognize the social status of the person who wears the garment. Girls, brides, married or married - all wore their own embroidered emblems of their social status.

Folklore art is not a product of personal aesthetics and creative interpretation, but a transmission of tribal memory, of ancient knowledge, inherited through the cultural traditions of the ethnic group.

Shevitsa is one of the most striking achievements of Bulgarian folk art. The work of the woman, it combines the dexterity of her hands, the love of her heart and her relentless thirst for beauty. Their Bulgarian transforms into a magic called the folk seamstress.

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