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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2019

The Emergence of a Polish National Dress and Its Perception

Beata Biedrońska-Słota and Maria Molenda


This article examines the evolution of an early modern Polish national dress called the kontusz ensemble. It differed from the fashion of the West both in cut and look. The garment was mostly worn by the Polish nobility and was one of the distinguishing features of this estate and its ideology. It started forming in the sixteenth century, when knighthood was gradually abandoned and eventually replaced by an estate of landowners mainly involved in agriculture. These noblemen identified with the Sarmatian tradition and tried to prove their Sarmatian origins. Throughout the early modern period this garment was subject to modifications, but it retained its essential Eastern form.

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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