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Ceremonial Costume - Breast Apron, Albanian, Female, circa 1900 Object Reg. No: HT 22378 2

Embroidered breast apron which reflects the traditional style of the Dumre region in central Albania. It was made around 1900 and was purchased, as part of a traditional costume, in 1997 by Mustafe and Sanije Memishi in Kruja, Albania during their first pilgrimage back to their homeland after migrating to Australia in the 1960s. The costume was selected by daughters Esmine and Lirije who were drawn to its simple folkloric design. The Memishi daughters wore the costume to the Albanian Festival at Footscray Park up until the mid 2000s.

This is a special occasion costume worn at weddings, engagements and sacred cultural ceremonies. It is a simple style of dress, enhanced through a variety of decorative elements including textures, weaves, and colours. The costume would traditionally have been further adorned with decorative jewellery, usually in the form of a coin necklace. This jewellery would have been presented to the wearer on special occasions and placed in an embroidered wool woven tote, made to hold gifts and items when attending functions in distant villages. The dress apron and scarf enable the wearer to continue their domestic duties while remaining respectably attired, according to the requirements of Albanian society of the early 1900s.
Cream cotton breast apron with predominantly red embroidery in the front square and along the bottom edge. There are a pair of tie strings at each side of neck hole and a tie string down side attached with a button. Button on opposite indicates the other string is missing.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Sanije & Mustafe Memishi, 2008
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 360 mm (Width), 470 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: albanian communities, albanian immigration, cultural maintenance, cultural traditions, muslims in australia, immigration, brought goods, national costumes
Themes this item is part of: Mustafe & Sanije Memishi, Albanian Migrants, 1960s, Clothing & Textiles Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: regional costume
Place & Date Made: Dumre, Albania, circa 1900
Other Association (See Comments): Sanije & Mustafe Memishi, Kruja, Albania, 1997

Purchasers of Item
User: Miss Lirije Memishi, Footscray, Victoria, Australia, 1997-2005
User: Miss Esmine Memishi, Footscray, Victoria, Australia, 1997-2005
References: Kurbet. The continuing journey of Albanians in Victoria, Immigration Museum Community Gallery room brochure, 2007-2008

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