So now I’m happy. I was turning the house over and over as I was missing one important thing. The crown of the national costume. I did find all other parts but not the crown. OK, it’s just an old embroidered piece, falling apart and no big value but I hated the idea that it has been lost. Now I found it – alone a drawer in completely wrong company, but it’s survived. It has lost it big glass beads on top which my granny has replaced by small round pearl-shell bits (but I still have the bag of original glass beads) so I will be able to find similar ones to replace the missing ones and repair it properly one day (or I will leave it to my daughters, they need some fun as well LOL).
Our national costume is basically the traditional festive outfit of peasants, craftsmen, fishermen, and other ordinary folk as worn through the centuries, approximately up to the 1870s.
The traditional costume or rather stylised variations of it became a symbol of Latvian culture in the 1880s, as part of the national song festival. To this day, the traditional costume is an essential element of the song festival. Picture on the left shows a modern day copy, available on market for about $ 200.
The full outfit was not thinkable without a headdress: a crown, a hat or a headscarf. As far as we know, so for at least a thousand years, the head covering served to signify the wearer's marital status. The symbolic covering for a maiden was a wreath or crown ; in some regions, a ribbon served the same purpose
The little girls usually were wearing just a ribbon in their hair for an important event, or a wreath of wild flowers. Early teens started wearing an embroidered ribbon, a smaller, flexible version of a crown, and only grown up girls, ready for marriage, were wearing a full crown. Each area has it’s own style and patterns thus it was like an address book, telling from which part the girl comes.
The teen stage “little crown” is already gone – I remember wearing it sometimes as a child and it was falling apart then but the main crown is still alive.