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Photographer's Note

Traditional costumes from village Bizovac (eastern Slavonia region) are one of most decorated and unique traditional costumes in Croatia.

The formal womens costume of the Bizovac area is of such a characteristic form that it can be recognized at first glance. For its individual qualities it can be considered a special type among Croatian costumes, distinguishable from all others by several particular characteristics. This particularly refers to the cotton skirts, which are visibly shorter than in the costumes of other areas of Croatia and go only just below the knee, covering the lower part of the body in several layers, for which reason the dress is very wide. The next individual feature of women's clothing is the stiffened and richly pleated ruff called reklja, which recalls the style of French fashion of the end of the 18th century, and the girls wreath of lilies of the valley in the shape of a diadem. The distinctive form of the clothing is complemented by colourful wooden stockings called bobane and gold-embroidered slippers. There are differences in these clothes for special occasions in respect of the wearers age and marital status. This female costume was worn all the way up to World War II on an everyday basis.

Although mens costume has undergone some changes, it has nevertheless remained more conservative and has almost no specifically local features, fitting into the general picture of Slavonian male costume. Mens ruvo (costume) is made up of two parts: shirt and pants.

Bizovac is situated 18 km west of Osijek, and 9 km south of Valpovo at the road and railway traffic direction Zagreb-Nasice-Osijek, and it is connected to the international traffic directions toward Central Europe and inter-regional traffic directions toward the western part of Croatia.

Photos were taken in February 2014. for a monograph about Bizovac traditional costumes. Unfortunately the book was never finished and therefore never published. Although our goal was never accomplished I had a lot of fun photographing these unique costumes, and I have a great collection of photos from that day.

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