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what kind of traditional clothing do costas ricans wear?

joe wu , Dec 16, 2004; 07:34 a.m.

I am doing a project in school and am trying to find out what kind of traditional clothing do costas ricans wear. I tried searching on GOOGLE, but nothing relevant shows up. If anyone knows an answer, please, please reply. The time you put aside is greatly appreciated. Thanks


Luke P , Dec 16, 2004; 09:28 a.m.

I have not been to CR in person, but I do know that it is largely a Creole society i.e. most of the people are of Spanish, african or mixed ancestry. The indigeneous people are a minority and their traditional clothing is likely to be similar to most Latin American rainforest people's i.e. simple loincloths, robes and plenty of adornment with beads, feathers and natural dyes. If you are interested in traditional Creole clothing that will be based on Spanish clothing of the 17th century. I hope this helps.

hsksla ddygff , Dec 16, 2004; 10:56 a.m.

from what i understand early costa ricans wore tank white t-shirts and oversized black gorilla pants which were creased and cuffed and the waist was folded over under the belt, shoewear were black wing-tips.

Manuel Franz , Dec 16, 2004; 11:00 a.m.

I have lived here for a number of years now but honestly, I have never seen anyone in traditional clothing. The area that I live in is traditionally a Cowboy culture and the so- called "Sabanero" (Cowboy) wears just what you'd expect. The country is very varied and the majority of people is indeed of Spanish heritage. However, in some areas, this does not apply. The Carribean coast, for example, is quite a differnt story with many people being decendants of African origin and corresponding traditional dress. Other areas are still clearly rooted in Mestizo heritage, with yet a different kind of dress.

I would suggest that you find a large bookstore and skim the various travel and guidebooks. They invariably contain some information about traditions and traditional dress.

Good luck.

Glenn Stauffer , Dec 16, 2004; 11:26 a.m.

If by traditional, you mean the dress of the indigenous peoples, try searching on BriBri and Cabecar. They remain to this day in small areas of Talamanca along the Caribbean coast. The group with the most distinctive dress would be the Guaymi who live primarily along the southern Pacific coast; if you search on the name, you'll find plenty of pictures of traditional clothing worn by this group.

The indigenous people of Costa Rica have little influence on the modern culture and really only represent about 1% of the population. They're concentrated mostly in the south. It might be more true for you to search on something like 'Coast Rica Folkloric' to see traditional dress of a more recent era.

Glenn Stauffer

Sue Humphrey , Dec 17, 2004; 08:26 a.m.

This does not have traditional dress but might give you more insight and therefore more possibilities for a search to find what you need. There isn't much in the way of traditional dress down there.


Joaquin Rodriguez , Dec 21, 2004; 06:39 p.m.

Hi Joe. I just subscribe to this site and the first question regarding Costa Rica that caught my attention was your letter. I am a Costa Rican. The precendent letters are right, telling you that we do not have a special way of clothing in our normal life. The cabecar aborigenous people, one of the oldest original citizens, living in the border with Panama, still using their traditional clothes, mainly the women. You will see the same dresses in Panama as they are related as well. There are some old documents showing the Costa Rican clothes during the colony or the times of the independence from Spain, in the XIX century. Further from the local aborigenous, the old Spanish or traditional dresses were recreated by the folklorical dance groups. Search costa Rica folklore in google, I found this folk group http://www.costaricaweb.com/curime/index.htm It is one of the main groups and they could help you with some nice pics of the traditional clothing they use for their performances.

More than that, Costa Ricans live a multicultural situation and you won?t see the difference from a Californian in San Jose, I think. Except the shorts and the backpacks the tourist use always.

Good luck in your search. Joaquin

Paul A. - Los Angeles, CA. , Mar 25, 2005; 05:47 p.m.

Most CRs are young people. Many study in the States and take back US ways, which others adopt. You won't see alot of ostentatious wear because of the weak economy. Its not like you're going to Africa or Borneo though. CR is more sophisticated than you think. For women, the "traditional" wear is a long flowing skirt and lose blouse - both in white. Bright accent colors are added, generally to the blouse.

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