Armenian clothing expresses national characteristics as well as the history of the Armenian nation. National clothes have a long history. They have been modernized and changed according to historical period trends, but some national features still remain.
There are many aspects that characterize a nation. One of these characteristics is clothes. The traditional costumes and ornaments of a nation are not only an important historical element of the culture but also an artistic creativity as well.
We are sure that you can distinguish Armenian from others just by looking at their way of clothing. The Armenian Taraz (national clothes) is as rich and beautiful as the Armenian language.
History Of Armenian Clothing
The first thing noticeable about Armenian clothing is the colors. The national dress of Armenians is called “Taraz”. Through Armenian dresses and clothing, you can find rich cultural traditions of Armenia.
Basic materials for Armenian clothes are wool, cotton and fur. Before having their own silk production, Armenians imported silk from China. However, the silk dresses were meant to be for the rich.
Throughout centuries, Armenia has had different influences. There were times of Byzantine influence, Roman influence, Arabian, Persian, Russian, Franc, etc.
All of these periods left their mark on Armenian culture and traditions. They have also shaped particular designs of national clothes.
Every type of costume can tell the story of that exact period in Armenian history. Since ancient times, the Armenian national clothing, taraz, has had an aesthetic significance.
Since the very beginning, the taraz was adapted to the climate of the area. Even during ancient time,s Armenian costumes have had classifications such as gender, social class, region, etc.
Armenian Clothing: Colors And Style
It is interesting to know that the taraz itself in its style is a loose garment and has grooves. There are 4 dominant colors in the taraz.
A very famous Armenian philosopher Grigor Tatevatsi wrote in his book that there were 4 colors for clothes,
According to him, black expressed the earth, white expressed water, red expressed bravery and yellow expressed flame. There was also the purple, which was the symbol of wisdom, and blue characterized justice.
When you explore these amazing dresses, you can find many interesting facts about them. For example, it is interesting to know that just looking at the color of the taraz, you could know whether the person wearing it is married or not.
In addition, you can also guess how many children they have and so on. All these things made the role of these dresses more important in the lifestyle of the Armenians.
Traditional Armenian Clothing And Costumes In Different Regions
While talking about taraz it is important to know that there isn’t only one kind representing all regions of Armenia. Armenian clothing is as many as Armenia’s cultural and historical elements. Moreover, there are as many national costumes in Armenia as the Armenian regions.
These costumes vary from one region to another. Every region has its own unique features and yet all of them share general similarities. It’s hard to choose which one is more beautiful.
There are two main branches of Armenian clothing: eastern and western.
In the western part of Armenia, people made costumes with embroideries made of gold or silver threads. One of the most important differences between the eastern and western parts of Armenia was the apron. These were rare in eastern Armenia.
In western Armenia, the apron symbolized the woman. It showed whether the woman is married or not, whether she had children, etc. Middle-aged women wore a veil in order to cover the head.
In both parts of Armenia, they wore a hat which covered half of the forehead. The part of the forehead was covered with silver coins.The women used to pay for the products by taking a coin right from their forehead.
The male national costume had 2 basic elements: one for shoulders which included coats, shirts vests etc, and trousers. The collars of the shirts were embroidered with beautiful paintings.
A lamb fur hat is a part of this costume as well. The difference between eastern and western parts was that in the eastern provinces the Caucasian kind of taraz (with a short shirt and for winter lamb fur coats) was popular.
Armenian National Clothes In Life Of Modern Youth
Nowadays, you can hardly find someone who wears Taraz in their quotidian life. Though with fashion, some national elements and ornaments re-entered in the style of the Armenians.
Now, you can see girls wearing shirts with traditional elements or ornaments. Armenian fashion houses also pay attention to this fact and produce their own collections.
Today, the only use of Armenian taraz is presented to the public via folk and national dance groups. No matter where they are, they dance with these beautiful costumes and present Armenian history and the culture abroad.
Cultural Centers Of Armenian Clothing
If you are interested in Armenian clothing you can find, rent or buy them in the cultural centers of Armenian clothing in Yerevan.
Teryan Cultural Center
Teryan center produces its own taraz collection. You can buy one right from the center if you want. The center often organizes its own exhibitions. So, in case you’d like to be part of these events, just check their official page and learn more about upcoming events.
Teryan cultural center plays a big role in modern Armenian fashion industry. Though the center creates only traditional clothing, it still is very popular. Many celebrities, singers and actors buy or rent costumes from Teryan center for their music videos and films.
It is a new trend for Armenian youth and newly created families to have a traditional photo with national garments. This center is one of the main providers of these costumes. It’s cool for tourists to have a photo in Armenian national costumes as a memory from their visit.
Terian center became very popular when they hosted famous reality stars, the Kardashian sisters. They presented the sisters national costumes and jewelry. This was featured in KUWTK (Keeping up with the Kardashians) reality show.
Millions of people abroad were introduced to Armenian national clothes and Teryan cultural center.
The center is situated on Teryan street. It is a library building and it is situated on the underground floor of the building.
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