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Lajkonik’s costume designed by Stanisław Wyspiański

The costume of Lajkonik, also called the Zwierzyniec Horse, designed by Stanisław Wyspiański in 1904, could be seen in the streets of Kraków until 1963. The costume used today during the annual frolics of Lajkonik is a faithful copy of the displayed exhibit. Although legend associates the origins of Lajkonik celebrations with the Tatar invasions of Kraków in the 13th century, the first ever source reference to it dates back to 1738.

White woollen apron

An apron to match the Kraków costume made of two gores of white thin woollen fabric with motifs of green twigs, roses and other pink and red flowers, and blue and pink tiny flowers and buds printed over it.

Apron for Kraków costume

An apron of white thin cotton cloth for the festive Kraków costume, full so as to cover the front and sides of a skirt, made from two widths of material, pleated, sewn into a narrow trim with cords formed on it. The apron is richly decorated with hand-made white punch and openwork pull out (toledo) embroidery, with a satin stitch.

Woman’s fan

The fan, originally designed as a cooling device, was elevated in modern times to a symbol of dignity. Over time, it became a very fashionable element of female attire. On the other hand, fan gestures became a conventional code used by men and women to communicate and flirt at the court.

Costume of a Scythian princess from Ryzhanovka

Since 1887 the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Kraków has boasted the equipment of a rich Scythian female tomb situated under the mound of a kurgan, examined in Ryzhanovka near Zvenyhorodka in Ukraine by Gotfryd Ossowski, the first curator of the Museum of National Antiquities (from which today’s Archaeological Museum has originated) at the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in Kraków.

Kontusz style outfit

This outfit, comprising the kontusz, żupan, trousers, kalpak, boots and karabela sabre, belonged to the Drohojowski Family from Czorsztyn. A full Polish national costume consists of an external part known as the kontusz and the żupan, the part which is worn underneath the kontusz. The kontusz was made of velvet. The back was cut in a characteristic manner with the so-called pillar, flared with a system of deep pleats highlighted with the sewn-in silk haberdashery.

The Wilamowice folk costume

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.

Staff with a hatchet

The staff of beech wood, of hexagonal intersection, slightly flattened, even along its entire length. It is equipped with a brass handle, in the shape of a hatchet with a slightly rounded blade. On the top of the axe there is the so-called cone a brass, oval shaped inscription inscribed in a rectangle, fastened with four nails.

Orava shirt — “kabotka”

The Orava shirt was tailored from light blue fabric. It narrows at the waist and is slightly widened at the bottom. The sleeve is raised high, narrowed from the elbow down with three pleated sections. Black ribbon applications are sewn into the edges at the front. The whole shirt is trimmed with a wide belt of black karakul sheep pelts. The back is fitted to the back line, slightly flared at the bottom.

Women’s folk — the Szczawnica highlanders

Today’s female folk costume of the Szczawnica highlanders consists of a corset made of black velvet with large floral patterns embroidered with silk threads on the back and the front, which is put on a white shirt, a skirt from green tybet fabric printed in large red flowers, an embroidered tulle apron and kierpce (hard-soled leather moccasins) put on white socks. In the past married women covered their heads with coifs and later with scarves. In the winter they wore cloth slippers and long sheepskin coats with sleeves.

Garden dress

Crinoline dress made of white muslin printed with motifs of water plants at the bottom of the skirt, and flying butterflies and other insects above. A short camisole lined with a white fabric with whalebones and fastened in the front with buttons. Slotted and flared long sleeves sewn with frills.

White sukmana coat — “chrzanówka”

The sukmana coat, formerly known as an outer garment, was commonly worn on Sundays and festivals by the inhabitants of Kraków villages. It was made of white cloth formerly manufactured, for example, by drapers from Chrzanów (even in the early 20th century, about a dozen families living in Chrzanów were still involved in this craft). Cloth made of spun wool was purchased from merchants from Biała. Depending on the recipient, tailors used a various finish of sukmana coats.

Tadeusz Kościuszko’s sukmana coat

The homespun sukmana coat is traditionally believed to belong to Tadeusz Kościuszko, sewn of ashen cloth, with long sleeves lined at the end with red fabric, widening from the waist down. The upright collar is sewn with a red fabric inset. On the collar, along the hook-and-eye clasp, at the waist and the coat tail cut, there are brown braids of woollen string. At the bottom of the right coat tail there are four horizontal zones of blue and yellow embroidered with wool.

White sukmana coat — Bronowice costume

A men's sukmana coat with a mandarin collar, made of white cloth. The sleeves are finished with small trapezoid lapels, with two oblique pocket holes on the front, fastened with a brass hook and eye. The collar, sleeve lapels, and a slit on the front are lined with red cloth; the edges are finished with a red trim. The sukmana coat is adorned with amaranthine silk cord appliqués and similar motifs of thread bundles embroidered with silken threads.

Outfit of a Wawel steward

The outfit consists of a navy-blue coat with a wide cape reaching beyond the shoulders trimmed with a red border. The coat is single-breasted, with one column of buttons, and there is a stand-up collar around the neck.

Men's shirt buckle

Shirt buckle – a decoration appearing in a costume of the Podhale region, used to fasten a man's shirt on the chest. It was purchased for the collection of the Tatra Museum by Juliusz Zborowski, a director of this institution, from Ignacy Prokop “Magdziarz” of Ratułów for the price of three million Polish marks in 1924.

“Farbonica” skirt

The skirt, known as a farbanica or farbonica, is an element of the historical Podhale outfit. It was sewn from linen fabric, woven in a home weaving workshop, and printed manually with the batik technique and dyed indigo in the village dye-works in Chochołów, which was owned by Ferdynand König, Jan Krzeptowski Sabała’s son-in-law. In Podhale women wore such skirts in the second half of the 19th century.

Lemko skirt “kabat”

SA Lemko skirt, or kabat, was made of modrotrotnik – thin printed factory fabric with a pattern of small yellow flowers and small green stars. It was hand-sewn at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Such fabrics were made in the towns of the southern part of the Carpathians, in Bardiov, as well as in Krynica and Muszyna.

Green woollen skirt

A skirt for a Kraków-style costume sewn from six green woollen fabric gores with pink-crimson-white motifs of single roses and yellow-claret ribbons. By means of delicate green stems, the roses are bunched together with blue flowers – rosettes with five petals separated from each other with small yellow circles.

Tafetta skirt

Skirt of silk taffeta brocaded with a silk thread – an element of a woman's festive dress from the Podhale region. The skirt comes from Zakopane or its vicinity. Its fabric dates back to the second half of the 18th century. The time when the skirt was made and the period of its use are unknown.