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Kęty and the town of Wilamowice, which was exceptional as early as in the interwar period, lie 7 kilometres apart. Wilamowice was founded as a settlement around 1250 by a group of newcomers from Frisia and Flanders who took care of their culture throughout the centuries, including their own dress and language, so different from the one in the communities nearby.

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Kęty and the town of Wilamowice, which was exceptional as early as in the interwar period, lie 7 kilometres apart. Wilamowice was founded as a settlement around 1250 by a group of newcomers from Frisia and Flanders who took care of their culture throughout the centuries, including their own dress and language, so different from the one in the communities nearby.
The girl’s costume which belongs to the collection of the Museum in Kęty can be a testimony of that cultural distinction which had started to disappear only as a result of administrative orders after 1945. What attracts attention are the extremely vivid colours, being the opposite of the subdued colours characteristic of costumes of ethnic Poles common in Kęty and its vicinity. The combination of contrasting colours of red and green in a costume were distinguishable in a gray crowd during the Monday markets in Kęty. A girl’s Sunday best costume presented in the Museum in Kęty consists of a white shirt, a skirt with a corset, an apron, and wide ribbons tied at the front and the back. The white linen shirt is decorated with embroidery on a hem in the bottom parts of the sleeves and on the shoulders. The chain stitches are made with yellow cotton thread on separate pieces of cloth which were unstitched before washing them. Then the skirt with the corset (oplecek) was put on. The skirt is made of blue taffeta, decorated with gold lace over the bottom edge, and a rimming in red is near the bottom edge, which joins the skirt with a cotton bottom lining. The corset made of brocade yellow and violet fabric with a low neckline goes into the flies of the skirt. Below the neckline are small metal holes which are designed for lacing up the red ribbon. The next element of the costume is the apron of green taffeta sewed in a colourful hem (belt). Everything is completed with colourful ribbons of interesting plant motifs.
There has been a group of people in Wilamowice trying to cultivate local traditions for years. Also, a regional folk band diligently works, and those eager enough can learn the exceptional language named wymysojer, which is only used by a few dozen people. It is definitely worth getting to know the exceptional history of the inhabitants of Wilamowice more closely, Poles with deep roots.

Elaborated by the Aleksander Kłosiński Museum in Kęty, © all rights reserved

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The Wilamowice folk costume

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