Parade of Kroje
Dunajec River raft rider’s vest from Velka Lesna, Slovakia worn by
Betty Groot. The embroidered floral motifs echo the local flowers in this
Goral region of the Pieniny National Park on the Polish border.
1920’s kroj worn by Ellen Szedon, Asheville, NC
A tulip motif in tambour stitch decorates Ellen Szedon’s kroj from Abelova, a
shepherding village in southern Slovakia. An elaborately embroidered apron
and skirt complete this festive outfit from the 1920s.
Archaic motifs bloom on a kroj from Cicmany, an ancient village nestled in
the mountains of western Slovakia. Hand-made bobbin lace decorates the
neckline. Ellen’s mother Lucille Szedon from Fort Mill in South Carolina, is
holding a doll from the village in a matching outfit.
Chris Visconti, Hoffmann Estates, Illinois models an heirloom wedding
cap from Ratiskovice in the Moravian Slovak Region of the Czech Republic.
The lace trimmed headdress is covered in sequins and beads and mirrors
to “scare off” evil spirits. Once the bridal wreath was taken off, a woman’s
hair was covered in a cap or kerchief because it was believed to be magic
and could attract others.
Hearts and flowers trim Sharon Broman’s kroj from Dolni Nemci, a village
on the eastern Czech border in Moravia. This elaborate lace-trimmed kroj
featuring colorful brocades would be worn on Sunday and for festive
occasions. Sharon is from Spicer, Minnesota.
Queen Kimberly Root, Miss Slovakia USA Youngstown, OH
Queen Kimberly Root, wears her kroj from Liptovska Luzna,
a shepherding village in the mountains of northern Slovakia.
Protective symbols adorn the homespun linen blouse and
flowers bloom on the batik blueprint apron.
Katie Makousky, Woodbury, MN
Katie Makousky wears an elaborately beaded and decorated kroj from
the Blata region of southern Bohemia, Czech Republic. The hearts and
flowers that riot on the apron are filled with net lace inserts. A velvet
embroidered vest and beaded, mirrored head band and be-ribboned
cap complete the outfit dating from the 1920s.
Diane Massura, Downers Grove, IL
Diane Massura wears an incredibly embroidered apron with
archaic colors and motifs of peacocks and flowers from
Dobra in the Trencin region of western Slovakia. Her
headdress from Rykynice in southern Slovakia features
wax flowers, sparkly beads and openwork lace trim.
Agnes Johannsen from took part in the last two parades of kroj
and that inspired her to journey to her ancestral village, Maly
Lipnik in the Carpathian Mountains of eastern Slovakia, and
the have her own outfit made for her in Presov. Symbols
decorate velveteen vest and flowers bloom on her apron matching
the elaborately pleated skirt that swings when she dances.
Ellen Komarek Duvall
Ellen Komarek Duvall didn’t have a kroj from her ancestral village in
Bohemia, Czech Republic so she made her own! Cafe curtains from a
Sear’s sales bin provided the right look for the “embroidered” blouse
and apron and she fashioned the “holuby” or dove-winged cap to
match! Ellen is from Springfield, MO. She’s an inspiration!
Rare embroidery in real gold thread decorates the blouse and cap worn
by Sandra Nemecek. They date from the early part of the 19th century
from the Trnava region of Slovakia. Hand-made bobbin lace encircles the
collar with beads ansequins adding extra sparkle. A godmother
might have to sell a cow or a field to have such an elaborate cap and
Daniela Mahoney, Portland, OR
Daniella Mahoney models her kroj from Domazlice region, Chodsko region
in southern Bohemia, Czech Republic. This is a married woman’s outfit with
a lace trimmed apron and red stockings. Garnet necklaces and red stockings
turn up in many of the Czech kroj.
Barbara Douvier and daughter Cathy Haugen
Mother daughter team – left Barbara Douvier, Woodbury, Minnesota,
wearing a beaded wedding cap from Zvolenske Slatina in southern
Slovakia and Cathy Haugen, Vancouver, Washington modeling a
wedding crown from Vazec in the Liptov region of northern Slovakia. Her
colorful bead and rbbon trimmed vest is from Abelova, southern Slovakia.
John and Jeanne Sabol
John and Jeanne Sabol, Seven Hills, Ohio. John wears an elaborately
embroidered wedding shirt from Helpa in central Slovakia’s Horehronie
Valley. Roses and birds riot on this shirt, birds are said to be a symbol of the
soul there. Jeanne’s beaded wedding cap is from Poniky in central Slovakia,
and her gorgeously embroidered apron is from Cataj in western Slovakia.
Sharon Hanrahan and sister Kay Brookshire
Sharon, Fitchburg, WI at left, models a beaded vest from Abelova and a
bead and sequined trimmed wedding headdress from Sumiac in
central Slovakia. The elaborate bead and ribbon trimmed headdress
that Kay, Oak Ridge, TN wears comes from the Spis village of Kojsov in
Susan “Zuza” Marcinkus
Susan “Zuza” Marcinkus, Oak Park, Illinois, wears her Piestany
kroj for the first time. The beautifully embroided sleeves took
many hours of work as did the floral motifs that decorate the skirt and
apron. The dramatic wedding headdress is a riot of beads and ribbons,
it’s from Krakovany is a village near Piestany in western Slovakia.
Sharon Holliday, Lincoln NE
Tambour stitched flowers decorate the colorful apron and skirt of the
wedding outfit from Zvolenske Slatina in southern Slovakia worn by
Sharon Holliday. The heavily beaded cap would be placed on the bride’s
head at the wedding capping ceremony area. The matching beaded vest
is most unusual and it all makes a stunning combination.
Mark Bigaouette, Stillwater, Minnesota and also Arizona, wears a
gentleman’s coat from Eastern Bohemia, Czech Republic. A brocade
vest and beautiful wool coat are trimmed with a colorful ribbon.
This would have been worn to church and for festive occasions.
Kristin Cederquist from Lansing, Michigan, wears her kroj from the
Liptov region in northern Slovakia. The homespun linen blouse has
finely embroidered decoration on the sleeves and a crocheted lace
collar. The vest is fine wool with colorful inserts. A blueprint (batik)
apron adorns the pleated linen skirt. An elboarate floral wreath is
Elaborate silk embroidery enlivens the blouse worn Kristin’s mother
Rosalie Baine from Atlanta, Georgia. Likely a wedding blouse as
it features heart motifs, it comes from Cervenany in the Tisovnik
region of southern Slovakia. Rosalie is carrying a bride doll from
Slovensky Grob in western Slovakia that was made for her by a
woman in the village.
Helene Baine Cincebeaux
Helene Baine Cincebeaux, Rochester, New York, emcee for the
Parade of Kroj, wears a dress she found in a Prague antique shop
years ago. Fashioned in French silk and totally hand embroidered
in colorful metallic threads it is evocative of the Mucha paintings.
It’s known that Mucha imported items from France. The rare
necklace is Bohemian made in the 1920s and features a moth.
Her be-ribboned bridal crown was made for her in Stary Tekov in
southern Slovakia and this was its debut!
Parade of Kroje Participants
Kroje Picture Takers
Pictures courtesy of Russ Helwig.