Traditional headwear Tembleque
Traditional headwear Tembleque is a part of folk dress Pollera – the pride of Panamanian women. The cost of this traditional dress, known since the time of the colonization of America by the conquistadors, today reaches several thousand dollars. Even more expensive is the complete folk dress with jewellery decorations (peinetas), pearl beads, and a special headwear (Tembleques) made of gold and pearls, the price can reach up to 15 000 dollars. The hair of beauties are decorated with tortoise shell combs with a gold plate complemented with pearl flowers and two dozen of gold pins, one of which resembles a dagger. No less complex are several rows of hanging accessories “duck tails”, “orange slices”, “solomons” – twisted chain, reminiscent of the column, which is supposed to have been at the Temple of Solomon. The girls don’t miss a chance to show such an expensive outfit at every opportunity. One of them – the January parade of pollera where the main beauty is selected. Her decorations complement another gold jewelry – a crown.
Traditional costume of Panamanian women originated in the American colonies of Spain. When the wives of wealthy colonists moved to a new continent, their luxurious outfits from a rather dense textile became uncomfortable in hot and very humid tropical climate of equatorial America.
Then they began to dress the same way as their servants: skirts and blouses made of cotton or linen, and were decorated with embroidery and lace. Pretty soon la pollera spread among the Creoles and mestizos, and today is considered one of the symbols of Panama. Traditional costume is often worn on holidays together with the traditional gold jewellery and pearl beads, which are passed down from generation to generation.
Traditionally, the Panama women also wear several golden chains and other ornaments as necessary items of La Pollera. Earrings are usually made of gold or coral, and to complete the outfit, the female wears slippers which match the color of her pollera. Traditionally costume of Panamanian women is in white color.
Panama women adorn their head and hair with floral decorations matching with Pollera. The hair is parted into two braids and tightly pulled back behind the ears.
Traditional costume of Panamanian women is made of wool or cotton and are very colorful. For decorations are used different materials, from fish scales, silk fabrics, to pearls, etc. Other fine adornments like beads, sequins, crystals, flowers should match the colors of a costume. Most of the decorations are embroidered, flowers and regional animals are among the most common designs found in polleras.
A single pollera can cost from several hundred to several thousands of dollars and take up to a year to create. The gold and pearl decorations are generally passed down as heirlooms through generations.
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