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The Costume of Scanno

Dress as the hallmark of Scannese women

A landmark of Scanno culture and tradition, a distinctive feature of the pastoral epic that the village has experienced for centuries is the ancient costume of the women of Scanno. Many prominent scholars have said that "the one who bears the pride of Abruzzo's costume is of course Scanno."

What if we told you that the elderly women in the village continue to wear it daily? That's right! Walking around the village, among the countless alleys and narrow streets, you will have the chance to meet, especially on Sundays, the ladies wearing the traditional Scannese women's dress! A unique and evocative experience that will make your stay in the village even richer in cultural value.

The origins of costume

Some local history scholars have speculated on the Eastern origin of the custom, given by certain habits of the women of Scanno such as covering their faces with a cotton band ("ju abbruvudature"), leaving only their eyes and foreheads uncovered, as a sign of mourning; the care and reverence (typically Eastern) in caring for and serving their men; following their husbands in the street by staying two or three steps behind, just as happened among Muslims; and squatting on the floor, with their legs crossed when in church. Others, however, have claimed its Lombard origin. The oldest documents that speak of the clothing of Scannese women concern the dowry trousseaus of the 16th-18th centuries where we find clothing that is very different from that of today. An evolution of dress that stops in the 1950s and yet has not diminished, over time, the emblematic charge of women's costume, especially in its festive version.

The main features of the dress

The present gown consists of a wide skirt, the color and type of fabric used in which indicated the class and social status of the wearer. It is embellished with gold embroidery, covered in front with a white linen apron with lace applications. Another distinctive element is "ju cummudene," the bodice, in the part that closes the neck is sewn a fine lace: the scolla. A hand-embroidered white shirt is worn under the bodice, the sleeves are very wide and narrow in minute pleats at the wrists and shoulder junction. It is fastened at the front with a single row of buttons ending in a buttonhole called "la buttunera." Finally, there is "Ju cappellitte," or also the "ngappatura," particular hats that were worn depending on the weekday or holiday.

The Scanno women's dress is the most representative and original costume in the region, still laden with mystery; it gives the woman wearing it a solemn, almost regal bearing.

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