"Threads of life": the folk costume of 19th and 20th century Northern Dalmatia as an identity marker of men and women and an indicator of their relationship
Jelka Vince Pallua
(Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb, Croatia)
Jasenka Lulić Štorić (Narodni muzej Zadar)
Paper short abstract:
The paper presents the patriarchal relationship between men and women in 19th and 20th century Northern Dalmatia (Croatia) based on a semiotic reading of traditional costume as a nonverbal transmitter of all crucial values of a certain social and cultural milieu – a cultural sign and a symbolic phenomenon.
Paper long abstract:
The paper presents the patriarchal relationship between men and women in 19th and 20th century Northern Dalmatia (Croatia) based on a semiotic reading of the traditional costume as a cultural sign and a nonverbal transmitter of the crucial values of a certain social and cultural milieu. It is shown how the traditional costume, or its parts, symbolizes the dynamics of structuring and the structured status through the life cycle (shown from the early childhood, puberty, adolescence, the mature age until old age) of men and women who accept and confirm the gender value system characteristic of the milieu they belong to. The traditional costume, along with the visual and written sources about it, as well as the material gotten from field-research at the end of the 20th century is analysed in the context of the opposition between the Adriatic (Mediterranean) and Dinaric area - its hinterland. The paper is concluded with another dichotomy: 1) the relationship towards the traditional costume in traditional culture as the place of gender construction (on the basis of the theoretical postulates of J. Butler, S. Ortner and examples of Northern Dalmatia) and 2) today's "second life of the traditional costume" in the context of the relationship of artistic associations and individuals towards the traditional costume as a symbol of their own cultural heritage in the function of the identity performance.
Gendered realities: old issues, new heritage