Foster Care Manager Amalie Mannik explains why her Estonian folk dress is a nod to the decorative beauty of traditions passed down by generations.
My folk costume is called pühalepa and originates from Hiiumaa (translates to Hiiu Island).
The blouse and apron, and their intricate embroidery, were handstitched by my great-grandmother Jenny Ülesoo.
Vilma Beier, an Estonian craftswoman woman in Adelaide, now deceased, made my headpiece from wool she shore from her sheep (rastas). Mine is an open head `maiden’s’ piece which indicates I’m not married. Married women wear the head piece with a red cloth underneath to differentiate their relationship status.
Vilma also wove the wool for my skirt on her loom. I layer this with a silver coin belt, crafted by Jaan Kirk, an old family friend.
Brooches are said to protect the wearer from spirits. Six rubies adorn my silver brooch passed down to me by my grandmother Mälle Mannik.
When I wear my Estonian folk dress, I feel proud to be passing on traditions of Estonian culture to my daughter’s Eevi and Silvi, who strongly identify with their Estonian heritage.
It also provides one with the overwhelming urge to dance!