Clothes Culture


The clothes of the Hungarians of the period of their settlement was very heavily decorated and multicolored. Their clothes were more evolved than that of Europe of that time. What today is called "European dress" throughout the world has its roots in Scythian, Persian, Hun and Hungarian clothing deriving from Central Asia, which was adopted and modified over a millennium to the taste and needs of Europeans. After all we are not wearing togas or kilts of the ancient Europeans but the pants, shirts, coats, vests of the ancient eastern Scyths and Huns.

According to the Arab merchant Ibn Rusta (870), "These Hungarians are very attractive in their exterior (dress). They are of large physical size, they are rich and have much noticeable wealth, which is due to their trading activities."

Gardezi wrote in 1050 also about their silk clothes. In the moist ground of Hungary most burried material has decayed in time, however archaeologist have found small fragments of very fine linens and silks. Most of the Hungarian words for materials are in common with eastern languages rather than European. Hungarians therefore did not come into Europe in skins and furs but as the chronicles of the time clearly state were dressed very handsomely in a variety of clothes. The furs no doubt were also used to decorate and to keep them warm in winter.

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Pictures on an arm band.


The archaeologist have unearthed the exquisitely bejeweled weapons, horse equipment, and jewelry of the time. They found many metal ornaments which were sewn onto the edges of their clothes, on sleeves, belts, and even onto their boots and shoes. The women also wore circular breast ornaments on their coats which illustrated such themes as the tree of life or the mythical Turul eagle with her hatchlings. A portion of their clothes perhaps had some similarity to the rich clothes culture of the Hungarian peasants of today. These are so unique and different from much of European clothes. One of the main differences was that women and men clothes were more similar than in Europe, especially since Hungarian women of the time also wore loose flowing pants of fine material. The metal decorations of the early Hungarians was usually of bronze, however the rich and prominent leaders wore silver or gold versions.

The names of traditional Hungarian clothes are in common with our eastern Turkic, Hunish and Persian neighbors. Some of these clothes have no English equivalents. Other clothes can be traced as far back as early Mesopotamian Sumerian and Akkadian. Ruha/ruba (clothes), chizma (boots), sharu (shoes), papuch (slippers), köpenyeg/kepenek (robe), ködmön (short womens leather jacket), kabát (coat), Sapka (hat), kalap/kalpac (brimmed hat), chákó/sakele (pointed hat), zubony (tight military shirt), szür/sör,süz (felt long cloak), új (sleeve), szövet (cloth material), chuha, kacagany/kartugan (fur mantle), zseb (pocket), gyürü/yüzük(ring), szücs/sevaza(tailor), gyapyu/yapagi(wool), are in common with ancient Turkic languages.

Those in common with ancient Mesopotamian are the following: kötény/kitun (linen loin cloth, apron), gatya/gadda (linen loin cloth, summer pants), gunya (coarsely woven clothes), csákó/sagsu (pointed turban), guba (coat made of course knotted cloth), suba (long poncho like fur coat, without sleeves), szür/sur (felt long cloak), Sapka/sabiku (hat), szövet/subatu (cloth material).