String Skirt, Europe, 6000 BCE

by Kathryn B. Gerry, '99

This string skirt, copied from one still used in some parts of the Balkans, is based on one of the longest continuing clothing trends in the world. The oldest extant evidence we have for this type of apparel is from the Egtved grave, a Bronze Age archeological site in Denmark, dating to the fourteenth century BCE. Folk costumes in many countries of Eastern Europe include a version of this string skirt in the form of a fringed apron. Many small figurines from Neolithic Europe depict women wearing nothing except a belt with long fringe hanging down from it. Women have worn and still wear these aprons to communicate information about their lives and marital status (the exact information implied varies from group to group).

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