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    Traditional Albanian clothing

    For many centuries, the Albanians' clothing allowed strangers to learn all kinds of things about them at a single glance; region of origin, marital status, the family's wealth and standing, age, and more.

    Clothes were made by specialised craftsmen and women with cotton, wool and imported silk, and decorated with colours, embroidered symbols, themes like the Albanian eagle, natural scenes and patterns, incorporating gold and silver thread and small river pearls. Styles and fashions changed over the years as new materials and trends emerged, but the distinct regional variety remained.



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    Lord Byron in Albanian dress


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    Quote Originally Posted by King Bardhyl View Post

    Lord Byron in Albanian dress
    1809 - 1810
    Lord Byron:
    Letters on Albania


    British poet, Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-1824), set out on a grand tour of the Mediterranean in 1809, in the course of which he visited Spain, Malta, Albania, Greece and Asia Minor. His visit to Albania in the autumn of that year made a lasting impression on him and is reflected in the second canto of the poem "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage," that catapulted him to fame as a writer in 1812. The first letter here, written to his mother from Albania, betrays much of the excitement he felt on his first journey to the "Orient" and, in particular, at his meeting with the formidable tyrant Ali Pasha of Tepelena (1744-1822), the so-called Lion of Janina. The second letter, written to John Cam Hobhouse (1786-1869), describes his encounter with Veli Pasha, son of Ali Pasha.

    My dear Mother,
    I have now been some time in Turkey. The place is on the coast but I have traversed the interior of the province of Albania on a visit to the Pacha.
    The Albanians in their dresses (the most magnificent in the world, consisting of a long white kilt, gold worked cloak, crimson velvet gold laced jacket and waistcoat, silver mounted pistols and daggers).
    He called my Albanian soldier who attends me, and told him to protect me at all hazards. His name is Viscillie and like all the Albanians, he is brave, rigidly honest, and faithful, but they are cruel though not treacherous, and have several vices, but no meannesses. They are perhaps the most beautiful race in point of countenance in the world.
    your affectionate son,
    BYRON
    P.S. I have some very "magnifique" Albanian dresses, the only expensive articles in this country. They cost 50 guineas each and have so much gold they would cost in England two hundred.
    [from: Lord Byron, Selected letters and journals in one volume, from the unexpurgated twelve volume edition. Edited by Leslie A. Marchand (London, John Murray 1982), p. 29-34, 41-42.]

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    Fustanella

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