Bulgarian footwear

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Bulgarian tsarvouli

Peasant sandals - tsârvouli

Peasant sandals (tsârvouli,), were the earliest form of footwear worn by men and women throughout Bulgaria.. These are made of a single piece of ox hide or pig skin and are either pointed in front or boat shaped. They are gathered round the foot and tied to the leg using cords made of long strips of leather or strings of twisted hemp. More modern variants have a strip of leather joined at the front, making a t-strap, which has a slit in it for the cords to pass though at the ankle.

In the North Leather sandals are known as tsarvouli, kondouri, kalevri, emenii, mestyuve,opinki, vruvchanki, tozlutsi, opintsi, or opanak, in Central Bulgaria as tsârvouli, koundri, kalevri, emenii, and in the west as opintsi, kalevri, konduri, emenii, tozlutsi.

Footwraps - navoi

Peasant sandals are worn over footwraps (navoi) made of rectangular pieces of homespun woollen cloth wrapped round the feet and legs, and held on with black cords made from hemp, goats hair or strips of leather. In the past footwraps were worn by men and women. with those worn by brides being fastened with red braiding. More recently these are mostly worn by men who are shepherds and farmers.

Knitted woollens socks - kaltsuni

Knee high knitted woollen socks (kaltsuni, lapchuni, terlitsi) or footless knitted gaiters (kaltsi) have replaced footwraps for women and in some areas for men. These are knitted using five needles, and can be plain or patterned in bright colours on a white or black background. Men's socks and kaltsi most commonly have a black background, with multicoloured stripes, which are decorated with small knitted or embroidered patterns. Women's socks can be white or black and are striped or decorated with knitted or embroidered floral patterns. Those from Karlovo are white with rows of tiny multicoloured geometrical motifs on lower part

Leather shoes - kinduri, kondouri, kalevri, or emenii

In west, central and southern Bulgaria, especially in urban centres, tsârvouli were replaced by shallow leather shoes or slippers from the mid nineteenth century. These were called kinduri, kondouri, kalevri, or emenii (note same names as are used as for peasant sandals in some areas). They were made from black, brown or red leather and were worn with knitted woollen socks.

Leather boots were not normally worn with Bulgarian folk costume with an exception being a single village in eastern Thrace.

Fabric slippers - tarlitsi or lapčouni

Slippers made of knitted wool or thick felted woollen fabric and decorated with embroidery in silver or gold braid are worn indoors.


© Eliznik2008, Last updated Jan-08