Thursday, 21 January 2010

The Cetinje Ethnography Museum

Last summer, on holiday in Montenegro, Archie and I visited an amazingly romantic museum in the tiny mountain town of Cetinje. The Ethnography Museum is housed in a little white-painted cottage off a dusty square, and is filled with the most evocative collection of historic Balkan folk clothes. I wanted to spend hours there, examining the treasures: shepherds' waistcoats trimmed with bells and bobbles, hand-woven and embroidered shawls, colourful knitted socks and lace-trimmed nighties. It was extraordinary to think that really not that long ago - maybe only 100 years - everyday people would have worn these handmade treasures, and had these extraordinary skills - lacemaking, weaving, embroidery - that are all but lost these days. There was a trestle table by the entrance, selling hand-embroidered tunics, and Archie bought me one. We felt strangely sad coming out into the real world, to see everyone in tracksuits and trainers.

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