10 junio, 2024

Typical costumes of Venezuela and their characteristics (by regions)

The typical Venezuelan costumes They are the traditional clothing that are part of the national folklore, which vary by region. This Caribbean country is divided into nine political-administrative regions: Capital, Central, the Andes, the Llanos, Western Center, Insular, Zuliana, Northeast and Guyana.

Each of these regions has its own typical costume. Most of them are variations of the same concept, except in those regions with marked ethnic differences, where indigenous populations live.

Typical costumes of Venezuela by regions

Capital Region

The Capital region includes the Capital District, where Caracas, the capital, and the states of Miranda and Vargas are located. It is the most populated region of the country, since Colonial times.

The old Caracas women wore costumes of the European high society that resided in the country. This costume is known today as «old lady». It is a flowing dress with luxurious silk and lace fabrics.

Under the dress were several layers of fabric or iron armor to give it volume. The elaborate attire is completed with wide hats, gloves and an umbrella made of soft fabrics to protect them from the tropical sun.

Men wear pantsuits and jackets, made of linen or cotton, generally in light colors. In the past they could wear a tie or bowtie and, to complete the image, a straw hat. Some used canes as a fancy accessory.

Typical costume of Miranda and Vargas

In Miranda, the typical dress is less formal. Men wear khaki (cream-colored) pants rolled up to the calf and a white shirt or T-shirt.

The women wear a wide skirt up to the knees, usually flowered, a ruffled blouse, rubberized at the top, and bare shoulders. They also wear colorful scarves on their heads, or wave them in their hands when performing traditional dances.

Vargas is located on the central coast and the tradition of drum dances made women adapt traditional clothing to have greater mobility when dancing. The blouse is tied at the waist to make it tighter and the skirt is less wide.

Men wear khaki pants rolled up to the knee and a white shirt. As the drum dance is usually on the sand of the beach, they dance barefoot.

Los Llanos Region

The llanera region, made up of the Apure, Barinas and Guárico states, is the cradle of the llanero attire, the liquiliqui, which also identifies the entire country. Here the joropo is danced.

According to the occasion, the suits are usually elegant or casual. For formal events, the liquiliqui is made of linen with striking buttons, combined with black leather boots, a “pelo e’ guama” hat, and a riding kit.

The most formal female suit has the longest and most voluminous skirt, armor is even used. The sleeves of the blouses are elongated and have brightly colored ribbons. On the head they use striking floral arrangements or a simple cayenne flower.

Andes region

The Andean region has the coldest temperatures in the country. It is made up of the states of Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo, on the mountain range. The geographical aspect is decisive in the typical costume.

They wear light-colored cotton or linen pants and shirts. To protect themselves from the cold, they wear a heavy ruana woven by hand from raw sheep’s wool. They wear espadrilles but, unlike the rest of the country, the Andean model is closed.

The typical costume is very practical. In the past, men from the countryside also used useful accessories for work, such as the cogollo (straw) hat to protect themselves from the sun. EITHER a wide leather belt with pockets to store money (silver coins), thread the sheath of the comb (machete) and a marusa (cloth bag) to carry the prop (food).

They wore wide and long skirts, and underneath they wore unicolor petticoats, usually black, which gave heat to the legs. They also wore a long-sleeved white blouse and a cotton or linen jacket to protect themselves from the cold.

They tied a handkerchief on their heads and the hat went over it to feel less cold, but when they worked in the fields they used them in reverse: first the hat, held on with the handkerchief to prevent the wind from blowing it away. These details were incorporated into the typical clothing used in traditional dances and parties.

Zuliana Region

It is included only by the Zulia state, but it is such a characteristic area that it constitutes a region by itself. Their typical costumes are inherited from their indigenous inhabitants, who even today occupy a large territory in La Guajira, that covers the border between Venezuela and Colombia.

The most distinctive costume is that of the women and it originates from the Wayuu people. The guajira blanket is a wide and long robe made of very striking cotton fabrics, with prints of warm and bright colors.

The neck can be round or «V». Internally it has a drawstring around the waist that makes it look tight at the front, but loose at the back.

The shoe is the sandal, adorned with large balls of wool in a range of vibrant colors. Its bags are woven and with a long handle, to hang it crosswise on the body. On the head they use a ribbon, generally red, that covers the forehead and is tied at the back.

The indigenous people use various necklaces, as they are considered magical and are inherited from mothers and grandmothers. On special occasions, their faces and arms are painted with natural pigments.

Unlike the indigenous costume, the men of this town use a guayuco or “loin cloth”, a small piece that only covers the genitals, which they tie with a braided ribbon from which small warm-colored tassels hang.

The torso is left bare, but more recently they have included a white T-shirt. The natives always carry a small woven bag to store the knife they use to provide themselves with food.

They use a felt hat to protect themselves from the sun and leather sandals for their feet, without decorations. On ceremonial occasions they may wear a plume on their heads.

Island region

This region includes the state of Nueva Esparta and the federal dependencies (Caribbean islands). The typical female costume is one-piece, that is, a dress whose wide, multi-layered skirt falls to the ankle.

It is made with seven yards of flower fabric with a background of light colors or red. A ribbon or lace is placed over the seam of each floor.

The blouse has three-quarter sleeves, a high neckline and is decorated with ribbons and buttons in the same color as the skirt at the back. The typical footwear is the espadrille sole. Women also wear ribbon bows to adorn their heads.

The man wears white pants rolled up to the middle of the leg, and a white or red shirt, without a collar. Sometimes the pants are black and the shirt is white. Other times they wear khaki suits with loose shirts over pants.

The straw hat is used and also the heavier “pelo e’ guama”, especially in tap dances, to prevent it from falling off.

Guiana Region

This region is made up of the states of Amazonas, Bolívar and Delta Amacuro. Its most representative typical costume is that of Amazonas. The women wear a colorful and flowered skirt that is worn halfway down, combined with a white blouse, belts and indigenous necklaces.

The typical male costume consists of white pants and a colored shirt that is adorned with very colorful indigenous necklaces. In some indigenous towns the guayuco is still used and the naked torso is worn, another very representative clothing of the region.

West Central Region

This region includes the states of Falcón, Lara, Portuguesa and Yaracuy. Each one of these states has a very rich folklore, for which the typical costumes are varied.

In Falcón y Lara, the man wears khaki pants with white flannel and a wide-brimmed straw hat. The women wear a flowered skirt combined with a high top in light colors, similar to the costume used to dance joropo. In Lara, This costume is used to dance the tamunangue, a typical dance.

In Yaracuy, the typical costume is the liquiliqui. The women wear ankle-length dresses that end in ruffles. They are generally very colorful and are accompanied by capes or blankets over the shoulders.

The typical Portuguese costume is also the liquiliqui for men, while for women it is a wide flowered skirt and white blouse. Men and women wear espadrilles.

Northeast Region

It is made up of the states of Anzoátegui, Monagas and Sucre. The typical costume of Anzoátegui is the liquiliqui with a “pelo é guama” hat for men, and a wide, flowered skirt with a light low-cut blouse for women.

In Monagas, the typical female costume consists of a dress with a wide skirt that falls to the ankles, with very bright and striking colors, or a mid-calf skirt with wide lace.

The blouse is white with a low cut and short sleeves with a washer. They usually wear their hair loose adorned with a flower. They wear sandals or espadrilles.

The man wears white pants rolled up to the middle of the leg. He combines it with a white or red collarless shirt, or black pants with a white shirt. His favorite hat is the “pelo e ‘guama”.

In Sucre, the woman wears a wide flowered skirt with floors that falls to the ankle. It is made with seven rods of cloth with a light or red background. The blouse is three-quarter sleeved with a high neck, which is decorated with ribbons and is buttoned at the back. Men and women wear espadrilles or quotes.

Central Region

This region is made up of the states of Aragua, Carabobo, Cojedes and Guárico. In Aragua, the typical male costume is white pants and a shirt with a red scarf around the neck, a “pelo e’ guama” hat, and espadrilles. The feminine one consists of a wide flowered skirt and a white blouse.

In the other states, the men’s dress is the liquiliqui, espadrilles and a sombrero, and the women’s is similar: a wide, flowered skirt and a short-sleeved blouse, sometimes with lace. Both wear espadrilles.

References

Typical costume of Venezuela. Recovered from ecured.cu.
Typical costume of Venezuela. Recovered from trajetipico.com.

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