Wraps and headscarves: traditions and fashion in Panemunėlis area

Inga Nėnienė

The fashion and traditions of wearing wraps and headscarves by women in the area of Panemunėlis in 20th century and the beginning of the 21st c. has been discussed in the paper. Based on field investigations performed by the author in 2001 and the data of precedent years collected by other researchers, an attempt is made to analyse the appearance of headcloths, headscarves and wraps, peculiarities of their weave and decoration, as well as traditional wear originality as the expression of ethnocultural and confessional identity. The olden headcloths, wimples, had disappeared in the area discussed at the beginning of the 20th century. They were replaced by headscarves weaved at home in a great variety of styles or shop-bought. Warm shoulder scarves–wool wraps–had been popular by mid-20th century both by Lithuanian Catholic or Russian Olden Orthodox women for everyday or festive sacral wearing. Ethnic originality had been expressed by colours and weaving style. At the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century, a tradition to cover head and shoulder remained typical only of the Russian Old believers during the sacral ceremonies caused by specific requirements of this confession. The confessional requirements for Lithuanian Catholic women were more liberal and the tradition to cover the head became similar in regard to everyday and sacral environment. Use of headscarves became unfashionable for both young and adult women, while wrapping the shoulders remained in rare cases for an extraordinary case or within the environment of folklore activities.