Oriental Costumes
Their Designs and Colors

by Max Tilke

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Striped aba.

The common aba is striped brown and white. The shoulder-seam, the opening for the neck, and the middle-seam are embroidered with colored silks. The horizontal stripes over the chest are reminiscences of the frogs worn on the garments of the Turkish peoples.

An aba striped in white and black, chiefly worn by Bedouins in Syria, is often seen beside the brown striped aba. But unicoloured, white, brown, or dark blue abas are also much favoured. The material is wool of the most various qualities.

Tilke Coll.

Plate 34 SYRIA.
A mashla from Damascus.

This costume is made of fine unicoloured or rougher woollen fabric with thin stripes. It is interwoven with tapestry-like colours on back and upper seams over chest. It serves as an over-jacket, and is worn by men over the kaftan, and also by women over their shirts. The mashla, like the aba, is composed of two pieces, but is considerably tighter, and shorter, and has short sleeves. Beside the colored and decorated mashlas, there are some with simple broad white, brown, or black-white stripes corresponding to the material of which the aba on Pl. 33 is made. This garment is met with between the S. Caucasus and S. Mesopotamia.

W. Gentz Coll.

[Page 14]

Man's white cotton shirt with pointed sleeves.

This shirt is usually worn under the aba out of the sleeveholes of which the long points of the shirt-sleeves project. These shirts are worn from the southern parts of the Caucasus to E. Arabia.

W. Gentz Coll.

Blue rough cotton woman's shirt with pointed sleeves.

The sleeves of this shirt are cut out of one piece, and not put together, as is the case with the shirt shown on the previous plate. The seams are often decorated with multicoloured silk stitches. The native women of Jerusalem used to wear garments cut in a similar fashion, but of huge dimensions. They were gathered in the ancient Persian manner, and the upper sleeve-edges were tied together behind the neck. This produced a very picturesque fold arrangement.

W. Gentz Coll.

Woman's blue woollen garment with colored floss-silk stitching.

This garment served as a shirt. It has the shape of the mashla, but is longer, and closed at the breast. The seams are enlivened by colored silk stitches.

w Gentz Coll.

Two vests of kaftan material from Baghdad.

These two vests show the shape of the vests worn in the whole of the Near East. They are mostly made of kaftan material; but like the upper- jacket are also made of unicoloured cloth.

A single row of pear-shaped buttons covered with woven material and caught into loops form the characteristic method of fastening this gatment. The material is silk cord, 3 mm in width.

Origs. in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

Three types of jackets.

Left, a so-called "salta" of cloth with stitching in colored and gold threads. This jacket comes from Bethlehem, but is worn in this shape by women in the whole of the Near East. In the middle, a sleeveless overcoat of rough wool material with shoulder-seam. Right, a salta for men, rough wool material. Note the shoulder-seam and side pieces. The sleeves are tighter than is usually the case (cf. the form of the chogas on Pl. 88).

W. Gentz Coll.

[Page 15]

Wide taffeta women's trousers, tshaivar (Turkish), shintijan (Egyptian).

Women's trousers in the Near East are made of both unicoloured or striped silk, as well as of unicoloured or cotton print. They are tied round the hips with a strip of material made to draw ("dikkeh"). The lower part of the trousers is pulled up and gathered below the knee by means of tape drawn through the hem. Owing to their length, however, the trousers reach to the feet, or nearly to the ground, although they are tied up.

Turkish man's cloth trousers ("potur"):

They have extension pieces cut like gaiters which can be fitted close to leg by buttoning.

W. Gentz Coll.

Three differently cut men's trousers.

The middle pair is of cloth. It shews the type of slanting trousers. Trousers from Baghdad made of natural colour wool, or ramie.

Trousers from the Nupairier Mts. (N. W. Mesopotamia). They are made of very rough red cotton stuff interwoven with dark blue stripes running lengthwise and with yellow horizontal ones. A blue cord gathers the trousers into pleats at the bottom.

Tilke Coll. and Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

Plate 42 TURKEY.
Old Turkish gala-coat. "Usth-kurby" ?

This characteristic over-garment shows the type of Turkish costumes worn by the Sultan or the upper-classes from the 16th. to 19th cent. The long empty sleeves betray the Asiatic origin of this garment. At the side, slits to admit the arms encased in the kaftan or entari sleeves. Upper garments made of cloth, velvet, or silk, and trimmed with sable, were very popular at the Turkish court.

Orig. in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus

Plate 43 ASIA MINOR.
Dust-mantle from Smyma

This garment shows the form of the mashla, and is of cotton interwoven with rough yellowish silk stripes. Net-like open-work on the sleeves. Seams on chest and around neck of the mantle are stitched in the style of the Asia Minor "state towels ".

Orig in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

[Page 16]

Turkish woman's shirt and shoes from Kars, S. Caucasus.

The shirt is made of so-called Brussa material. The extension of the nucleus of the garment and the sleeves by a straight strip of material, which is joined to both sides, is very original.

Turkish women's shoes are yellow.

Origs. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Nen's Turkish jackets from Kars.

The men's jackets, closely related in form to the djubbeh, are also made of cloth. The favourite colours are blue, and grey-blue shades. Sometimes these jackets are provided with applied ornamental cord, usually of darker shade.

Origs. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Turkish trousers ("tshalvar"), and men's red leather shoes.

These trousers show the straight type. They are of blue cloth, and inconspicuously ornamented with black cord. A woollen draw-string runs through the cotton hem (top) which gathers the trousers in pleats round the waist. A unicoloured, striped, or checked woven belt is worn over the hem of the trousers.

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Under-jacket and vest types from western Balkans.

"Djamadan", sleeveless cloth vest worn overlapping the chest. Asiatic form. (Cf. Pls. 94 and 103).

"Mintan", under-jacket with sleeves; always of striped material; worn under djamadan. Herzegovina.

Vest with straight slit and black silk cord edging from Albania (cf. Pl. 38).

Sleeveless over-jacket, cloth, with gold and silver thread edging. Worn over the djamadan. Herzegovina.

Tilke Coll.

Shepherd's cloak from N.-W. Hungary.

This cloak reproduces an old Finnish-Asiatic shape. The sewn-on neck cover is very characteristic. This form of mantle is also worn in N.-E. Russia among the garments of the Cheremissians.

Orig. in a private coll.

[Page 17]

Georgian man's garment. "Tchockha".

A festive garment of a well-to-do Georgian from the district of Tiflis. The material is fine, but very strongly and closely woven blackish-blue wool. The lower part of the garment has small pleats sewn on to the top part. Richly trimmed with gold braid which is both well and tastefully made in the Caucasus by so-called board weaving.

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

A cherkesska, the national Caucasian dress.

This tight waisted garment is always made of strongly woven wool. The favourite colours are black, dark blue, grey, and brown. Red, white, and ochre colored materials are also used. Cloth cases are attached to that part covering the chest in which formerly cartridges were kept. Even peaceful urban artisans have not discarded the empty cloth cases on their coats. A narrow leather belt is worn round the cherkesska to middle of which the national dagger (the kindshal) is hung. Shirt, trousers, and beshmet (cf. Pl. 69) are worn under the cherkesska, and over it the large semi-circular weather coat, the burka (cf. Pl. 52).

Orig. in the Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Khevsur blouse.

Made of black-blue strong woollen material with pieces of cloth trimming, braid and small white china buttons.

The decorated opening for neck is buttoned at side like the Perso- lndian shirts (cf. Pls. 82 and 90).

The Khevsurs, like the old Retennus, who lived in the Near East, favour the cross as a decoration on their garments. The blouse is slit at side, and there is an opening in the old Persian manner under the armpits (cf. Pl. 27).

Khevsur woollen trousers with colored cloth trimmings (cf. von Radde "Die Chewsuren und ihr Land", Kassel 1878).

Orig. in the Caucasus Mus. Tiflis, v. Radde Coll.

The burka.

The burka is the weather cloak of the Caucasians. It is semi-circular, and made to fit the shoulders by the insertion of a gore. It is made of a felty milled wool, a sort of rough hunter's cloth, on the outside of which the hair is sometimes left.

The favourite colours are black, or black-brown; seldom white. The opening for the neck, and the seams over the chest are trimmed with the braid. The inside of the burka, and the shoulder parts are often lined with silk or calico. The burka is tied at the neck with strings. The bashlik is a complement to the burka. It is a hood, the ends of which are slung round the neck (cf. Pl. 53)

[Page 18]

Three bashliks.

The bashlik belongs, like the cherkesska, the burka, and the lamb's- wool cap ("papache") to the national costume of the Caucasians Bashliks are mostly made of natural colour wool, but cloth is also sometimes used. In the latter case they are edged with Caucasian gold and silver braid, or are decorated with ornamental gold piping. The bashlik is worn like a hood. Its ends can be used like a shawl, etc., or twisted round the head to the shape of a turban. Felt hats of the Ossetes and Swanets. Georgian felt caps.

Drawn after origs. in the Caucasus.

Georgian woman's garment; beginning of 19th cent., from Tiflis

This costume is made of silk striped kaftan cloth. Blue flannel is used to line bodice, grey silk for sleeves, which are slit at ends. The front and lower seams are edged with green silk, the sleeves decorated with black braid. The somewhat broadly projecting parts above the hips are characteristically Persian.

Orig. in the Costume Depart. of the National Theatre, Tiflis.

Over-dress of a Calmuck woman.

This dress is a combination of bodice and skirt. It is of black satin with gray-brown flannel lining. Caucasian silver braid is used as edging, also narrow strips of inferior brocade. The bodice is fastened in front with galoons in the Turkish-Mongolian manner.

Orig. in Stavropol Mus.

Calmuck woman's under-garment ("tshonor").

This shirt-garment is made of red patterned Chinese silk. Breast and sleeves are edged with Caucasian braid. The galoons at the breast are of the same material. The parts over hips are pleated up to the arm-pit piece. (cf. Pl. 112).

Orig. in Stavropol Mus.

Nogair woman's kaftan.

This garment shows the type of the Caucasian beshmet or archaluk cut (cf. Pl. 69). It is made of silk and lined with flowered calico. With the exception of jacket pattern seams, the kaftan is quilted vertically. The sleeves and seams are lined with silk of another colour. The bodice is closed in front with metal clasps (developed from Turko-Mongolian galoon patterns), and ornamental silver discs sewn onto underlying pieces of leather or cloth.

Orig. in Stavropol Mus.

[Page 19]

Nogair-Tartar shirt.

Flowered kaftan is the material of this shirt. It is provided with a rather high collar.

Nogair-Tartar woman's trousers.

The trousers are made of red-white-black flowered calico. The method of cutting is very interesting. The legs and the front part have been widened to correspond with the Turkish shirt. (cf. Pl. 44).

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Turcoman boy's gala suit.

The cut of the Caucasian beshmet. Quilted silk is used. The hems and seams are hemmed with Caucasian silver braiding and green silk ribbon.

The Turcomans of the Stavropol district are very fond of highly coloured garments. Orange, yellow, white, violet, crimson, blue, etc. are often composed into patterns on the semi-circular women's cloaks.

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Primitive mantle called "tchopus".

The material of this simple mantle is made of a piece of felt shaped like a cross. This rough shepherd's dress is made by folding it together, and cutting and sewing the sides.

Copied from the orig.. purchased (1913) in Kach for the Caucasian Mus., Tiflis.

Plate 61 S.-E. CAUCASUS.
Short jacket-dress of a Tartar woman from Shemacha.

The dress is made of orange coloured velvet, lined with yellow silk, and decorated with Caucasian braid, as well as gold braid of lace-like texture. The cut is adapted to the Persian taste.

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis

Plate 62 S.-E. CAUCASUS.
Short jacket-dress of a Tartar woman from Daghestan.

The jacket was made in the beginning of the 19th cent. Good old brocade was used; it is lined with calico and quilted. The seams are edged with silk ribbons. The narrow sleeves, half open at bottom, are lined with brocade of another colour. The character of the cut is Persian

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

[Page 20]

Plate 63 S.-E. CAUCASUS.
Shirt of a Tartar woman from Nuchá.

This shirt is made of shot silk, which is very popular in the Caucasus. A black satin ribbon which is ornamented with coins has been added to the front hem. The lower part of hem is ornamented with gold plaques. These are fastened to little tubes through which a string is drawn.

Hair-bag of a Tartar woman from Nuchá.

The women of the S.-E. Caucasus are in the habit of enveloping their hair in a hair-bag which is open below, and can be tied at the neck to the back of the head so as to fit it tight to the foerehead. These hair-bags are either made of calico or silk and are edged with braiding at both ends.

Origs. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Shirt garment of a Lesghian woman from KubKubKubatshiagrave;tshiagrave;tshi.

This garment dates, like the last, from the beginning of the 19th cent. and is made of good old silk brocade interwoven with gold and silver threads. It shows the usual shape of the Caucasian shirt.

Orig. in the Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

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