Friday, July 06, 2012

Historical Hungarian costume

The people of Hungary have undergone many changes over the last thousand years that they have been in Europe. They have gone through many political, economic and cultural changes. Throughout the centuries, they have been influenced by the many cultures that they have come into contact with, in peace and in war. The costume or clothing styles of Hungarians have gone through many changes as well.

Originally, the Hungarian people or Magyars were an eastern people from Asia. They were a very large group that comprised of many tribes that were united together. Over time, the Magyars eventually migrated to Transylvania and the Pannonian Basin (Modern Hungary), and then settled down. They reached Europe in the 9th century AD. Before they settled down, they often raided and attacked other European kingdoms.

For nearly two hundred years, the Magyars were unbeatable and were known as a fierce people. One could only imagine how fearful Europeans were at the appearance of the Magyars. There was a saying amongst Europeans that was "Save us from the arrows of the Hungarians!" The Magyars were horseback warriors who often used bows and arrows in combat. They were renown with the use of the bow, hence the saying.

The dress of the Magyars was very eastern and Asian in appearance when they first got to Europe. After settling down and adopting a European and Western lifestyle, the national costume began to change. You'll notice a change in costume around the Middle Ages. This video highlights the changes over the last 1,000 years. It is an excellent video as there aren't many that show the changes to Hungarian dress over time.