Portuguese Folk Costumes

Figure 1.--This photograph comes from a postcard maied August 23, 1963, but probably it was actually taken in the late-1950s. The outfits had important regional styles. The photograph is a street scene in Nazaré, Portugal. The children are wearing the traditional local costumes of Nazaré. Notice the boy's pants done in the same pattern as his shirt and the beautifully embroidered apron. You can see the same costumes by clicking on the image. This was the traditional fishermen's clothing in Nazaré. In Portugal it was common everywhere that children went barefoot, but in Nazaré almost all people, both children and adult went shoeless at least till 1950s. Also later, during folk festivals, the costume of Nazaré was worn often without shoes, as the bare feet were the traditional footwear.

We do not yet have a good assessment of Portuguese folkwear, but have begun to collect information. Folk garments appear to have been widely worn in the 19th century, but do not appear to have been widely worn by the 20th centurty, Folk clothing could, however, still be seen in the mid-20th century to some extent. The outfits are no longer commonly worn, except for festive occassions or weddings and other family celebrations. Tey are also worn in folk dancing. Some garments stand out like the red and the green stocking cap. One source said this was a style worn by Alentejo cattleman. I thought this was more of a fishermen's style. And we do note an unidentified fisherman's family wearing them in the 1890s. Some had poms. The samarra is a short jacket with a collar made of fox fur. It was popular in the northern Minho province. Other garments include berets, baggy shirts and trousers. We also see medium brimmed hat with flat tops. This and the short black jackets are a style we also see in Spain. Drawings, suggesting older styles, show shoes which turn up at the toes. We are not sure who awould have worn these shoes. Boys of course would be most likely to go barefoot, prtly because Portugl was such a poor country. We are not sure where these were worn. The men's garment s were often black and white and usually less colorful than the brightly colored dresses the women wear. The colorful long dresses often had regional styles. And are also worn in Spain. Shawls were popular. They can still be seen to alimited extent in Madeira.


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Created: 3:17 AM 5/23/2013
Last updated: 3:17 AM 5/23/2013