Red-thread cross stitch on white linen
I've collected textiles for four decades now and I have always been particularly drawn to the details of traditional costume; in the use of colour, the methods of construction and also, more recently, the symbolic nature of much of the stitchery and other ornament. I thought it may interest some of you to see some details of the costumes worn by the folk dancers from several agricultural co-operatives (mostly from the environs of Lisbon and the Alentejo) , who gave a really exuberant display of dancing in Rossio Square (Lisbon, Portugal) on May Day this year (2013)
Particularly intriguing for me were the gold frontal jewellery worn by some of the women - clearly as part of a distinct local costume (their garments were, in contrast to the other dancers, very plain and sombre - which only served to show off the gold to greater advantage). The gold was fashioned into many symbols - mostly of hearts but with some crucifixes, and also a number of gold coins set in filigree frames. It would be fascinating to discover more about the reasons why particular symbols are present and also how they may cross cultural boundaries and be used in many different ways and places.
I can see I have some reading, talking and listening (particularly, I suspect, to Rebecca ) to do - and also some hunting to find my books by the intrepid traveller, collector, interpreter of symbology and all round amazing woman Sheila Paine. So much to discover, so little time - but for now, enjoy these few images and a little of the flavour of Portuguese folk dance
Static images for the detail - but here is a taste of the atmophere on the day, when the themes and colours came alive with music, gaiety and friendliness, all helped along with a generous helping of balmy sunshine!