Folk costume

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Faroese folk dance club with some members in national costumes.

A folk costume (also regional costume, national costume, or traditional garment) expresses an identity through costume, which is usually associated with a geographic area or a period of time in history. It can also indicate social, marital and/or religious status. Such costumes often come in two forms: one for everyday occasions, the other for festivals and formal wear.

Following the outbreak of romantic nationalism, the peasantry of Europe came to serve as models for all that appeared genuine and desirable. Their dress crystallised into so-called "typical" forms, and enthusiasts adopted that attire as part of their symbolism.

In areas where contemporary Western fashions have become usual, traditional garments are often worn at special events or celebrations; particularly those connected with cultural traditions, heritage or pride.

In modern times, there are instances where traditional garments are required by law. In Bhutan, the traditional Tibetan-style clothing of gho and kera for men, kira and toego for women, must be worn by all citizens, including those not of Tibetan heritage. In Saudi Arabia, women are also required to wear the abaya in public.


West Africa[edit]

Yoruba men in folk costume

North Africa[edit]

Berber boys in folk wear

Horn of Africa[edit]

Somali woman in traditional attire

Central Africa[edit]

African Great Lakes[edit]

Ugandan women in gomesi

Indian Ocean Islands[edit]

Southern Africa[edit]


American senators wearing seersucker suits associated with the Southern US


Central Asia[edit]

East Asia[edit]

South Asia[edit]

Southeast Asia and Pacific[edit]

Indonesian girl wearing traditional Palembangese Songket


Northern caucasus folk costumes
Costumes of peasants from Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Germany
Traditional kroj from Slovakia
Andalusian folk costumes from Spain

Greater Middle East[edit]

Palestinian family wearing typical clothing.
Modern Bedouin from Saudi Arabia with turban and jambiya dagger

See also[edit]