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July 16, 2021

30 Amazing Photos Show Traditional Costumes Around the World in the 19th Century

A folk costume (also regional costume, national costume, traditional garment, or traditional regalia) 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 or religious status.


If the costume is used to represent the culture or identity of a specific ethnic group, it is usually known as ethnic costume. Such costumes often come in two forms: one for everyday occasions, the other for traditional festivals and formal wear.

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

These amazing vintage photos from Wolfgang Wiggers captured portraits of people in their traditional costumes from between the 1860s and 1890s.

Peruvian woman in traditional costume, Lima, Peru, circa 1860s

Romanian costume, 1865

Romanian costumes, 1867

Romanian costume, 1868

Romanian costumes, 1868

Romanian costumes. Romanians from the Banat, Temesvar, 1868

Greek woman, circa 1870s

Man in a traditional costume, probably Göttingen, Germany, circa 1870s

Man in a traditional costume, probably Göttingen, Germany, circa 1870s

Moravian lady, circa 1870s

Norwegian costume. A little boy from Saalsviig, circa 1870s

Norwegian costume. A little girl from Jolster, circa 1870s

Norwegian costume. Bride from Hardanger, circa 1870s

Norwegian costume. Man from Modalen, circa 1870s

Norwegian costume. Man from Roldal (elder dress), circa 1870s

Norwegian costume. Woman from Jolster, circa 1870s

Norwegian costume. Woman from Jolster, circa 1870s

Norwegian costume. Woman from Ovindherred, circa 1870s

Norwegian costume. Woman from Vos, circa 1870s

Norwegian costumes. Man from Finland, circa 1870s

Norwegian costumes. Man from Finland, circa 1870s

Romanian costumes, circa 1870s

Austrian man in traditional costume, Vienna, circa 1880s

Greek or Albanian man wearing the fustanella, the skirt-like garment of the traditional costume, circa 1890s

Mediterranean traditional female costumes, circa 1890s

Mediterranean traditional male costume, circa 1890s

Traditional Montenegrin clothing, circa 1890s

Balkan woman, circa 1890s

Bavarian boy, circa 1890s

Two women in folkloristic costumes, circa 1890s




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