Images Of Nearly Extinct Slovak “Parta”: Tradition Symbolizing Adult Unmarried Slovak Girls

When girls were unmarried they did all kinds of things to find their man

Parta is a type of a fancy headband, the symbol of adult unmarried girls. It was worn mainly by brides at their wedding ceremonies in the past and it was a part of a festive and ceremonial hair styling. Being the most important and beautiful component of the wedding costume, it has always been richly decorated and it was unique in every region of Slovakia. It varied in shapes, sizes, materials used, ribbons and accessories. “Party” in Slovakia have different local names, for example  “vinec”, “odkonka”, “pantlík”, “vjenec”, “stuški” etc.

Young girls from Slovakia used to decorate their heads at each festive ceremony. It consisted of decorating and painting their heads with cardboard, colored glass beads, small tiaras, embroidered ribbons, velvet’s, dukátiky as a symbol of good luck and many other available items. Egg whites were used as the adhesive. “Parta” was sown to a 3.5 to 4 cm wide ribbon, which fitted to the head. Unfortunately, “parta” does not exist anymore in many regions of Slovakia, so on the basis of drawings of the documentation fund ÚĽUV, the “parta” for this photo-shoot was made by Mr. Tomáš Mrázek. Mr. Pavel Socháň in the Journal of Slovak Museum Society published the oldest representation of Zliechovská “parta” in 1931. The photo was captured probably much earlier, probably at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

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