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A white headscarf tied into a bonnet. A white thin cloth; white, flat and punch embroidery. Two sides cut in teeth surrounded with one border of holes; two other sides cut in teeth with a triple border of holes. Between the teeth, bulky, there are spindle-shaped forms of holes. Between these forms is a six-petal flower with three berries and above them – a belt with motifs of “Turkish hearts.”

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A white scarf for tying like a bonnet. White, thin cloth, flat white with perforated embroidery. Two sides cut into serrations, surrounded by one border with holes, and two others in serrations with a triple edge of the holes. Between the serrations and bulging spindle-shaped forms of holes. Between these forms a six-petal flower with three berries. A belt with “Turkish heart” motifs above them. The corner of a scarf falling on the back of the head is filled with a diamond-shaped ornament of circular flowers filled with holes and hemstitches of three clusters of berries and the like. The second corner of the scarf is filled by a composition with a transparent motif of three flowers punched, long leaves and loose flowers.
The bonnet scarf, also commonly referred to as a bonnet, is a large linen embroidered scarf (i.e. “sewn”) or percale printed, usually square, with a side length of approximately 100—170 cm. The name “bonnet” comes from the form that was taken by a scarf when tied on the head. The technique of binding the bonnets was basically the same, but differed in details, depending on the area. The scarf was folded diagonally and overlapped several times, creating a kind of binding; the longer ends of the headscarf arranged on the head were crossed in the back and then tied over the forehead in a decorative knot. The most embroidered corner in this way hung loosely at the back. The methods of tying, pinning the ends, the width of the pleats and the length of the falling “tail” were so different that it was possible to discover from what parish or even village the woman wearing a bonnet scarf came from. Hence, specialists in washing and tying the caps emerged in the village community of a particular area. A well-ironed and pinned bonnet “stood like a hat for six Sundays”. A clean, draped bonnet headpiece would be stored in a chest and worn, removed and put on several times, and disassembled only for washing.
The bonnet headpiece was intended for married women who were required to cover their heads. Married women wore a calico handkerchief on a daily basis, but on special occasioned they donned a white stiff piece of linen with white embroidery. The bonnet was still worn by girls in the 19th century, although from the late 19th century, during good weather, the girls would always walk without a headpiece, decorating long braids with flowers and colourful decorative pins. Braids were trimmed during the ceremony when a cap would be placed on the bride's head after the wedding, which — apart from the bonnet — constituted another element that distinguished married women who were universally recognized by Kraków inhabitants in the 1920s. Hence the urban fashion for short hair among unmarried women did not reach the villages for a long time, and none of the rural girls dared to cut their hair. In ceremonial or solemn costume, girls were obliged to have their heads uncovered, while women wore headscarves until the beginning of the 20th century.

Elaborated by Ewa Rossal (The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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How to tie a wedding scarf?

Subtle knots exposing the beautiful embroidered starched material... Thanks to this the scarf becomes a real decoration for the head... However, would everyone be able to tie such a scarf nowadays? The thing that was very easy for our great-grandmothers could be very problematic these days...

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Subtle knots exposing the beautiful embroidered starched material... Thanks to this the scarf becomes a real decoration for the head... However, would everyone be able to tie such a scarf nowadays? The thing that was very easy for our great-grandmothers could be very problematic these days.
For those who like tradition and for all of those eager to learn new skills we have prepared a short guideline in co-operation with the employees of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków.
Similar scarves were typical for folk costumes of the Kraków region in the 19th century. They were worn by both wedded women and maidens, who additionally decorated their scarves with flowers that were forbidden for wedded women. Maidens could be additionally identified by the carefully made plaits protruding from under the scarf.

You are all invited to watch and to try and tie a traditional wedding scarf!

Elaborated by Anna Berestecka (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

See also:
Wedding scarf for Kraków costume

Coif scarf from the region of Gorlice

Wedding scarf from Raciborowice

Wedding scarf

Wedding scarf from Pogórze

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Wedding scarf from Raciborowice

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