The Art of Embroidery Macedonian Cultural Treasure

The Macedonian folk embroidery an opulent cultural heritage and significant national artistic creation has many years of tradition. The principal bearer of the art of embroidery is the village woman closely related to the old traditions of her environment, for years carried on the knowledge and experience from one generation to another which is actually characteristic for the entire national culture. The folk embroidery of Macedonia until recently existed as a traditional embellishment primarily of the village costumes where the esthetic expression and artistic expression of the artist/creator through ornaments, technique and color found their most adequate and characteristic manner of expression. On the other hand it managed to sustain as a specific mark of the national culture which carries the sign of ancient cultural traditions.

The art of embroidery of the Macedonian people, an expression of the collective esthetic and psychological dispositions of a specific community grew and evolved under specific socio-economic condition and through its centuries of evolution and underwent significant transformations and various cultural influences. But, through the continual process of upholding old traditions, besides the various cultural influences the Macedonian national embroidery, formed into a specific ethnically divergent art of embroidery.

The traditional Macedonian national embroidery as a significant product of the national culture of the Macedonian people in the past sustained in conditions of patriotic village essence when the mere division of the work responsibilities contributed to the exert great efforts of the woman in the home textile production. But, with the transformations in the political and socio-economic conditions at the beginning of the 20th century great changes occurred in the Macedonian costumes as well and then the ancient opulent decoration of these costumes began to fade. The Macedonian population particularly being earning money in different countries, began to abandon their old costumes and ornamentation and turned towards easier and contemporary clothing solutions (Prespa, Kostur, the Upper Villages of Bitola, the Tsapari Plain, Zheleznik, Kichevia).

To the transformation in the Folk Costumes contributed the komiti actions in the period before the Ilinden Rising, which resulted in restrictions in the use of several expensive parts of the costume, restrictions that were penalized if not respected. The role of the komiti organizations in the villages in order create more rational expenses for the Macedonian population made severs reductions to the embroidered decorations. That way fewer embroidered shirts were worn whereas in some villages under their influence created the special embroidery so-called komitskoto.

Today in the process of modernizing our villages the old embroidery traditions are being abandoned. Only the collected and preserved exemplars of the Macedonian folk embroidery remain as evidence of an ancient artistic tradition. It is rare to have such a rich cultural heritage of the Macedonian people where the knowledge of many generations is sublimed into great esthetic values and is an endless resource of artistic inspiration for contemporary art.



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