Since I first saw this woman, I’ve wanted to photograph her. I originally noticed her because she is one of the few women in my husband’s hometown who still wears traditional dress to church. I was also captivated by her pleasant and peaceful demeanor. You know when you meet someone and they have that light in their eyes? She is one of them.
It took all my courage to run after her and her daughter on the street one day to ask if I could photograph her. I still feel like a tourist sometimes, and am afraid that I’m bothering somebody.
Each region, each town even, has it’s own traditional outfit, called a kroj (pronounced kroy). Here she is wearing a simple winter costume, common in Western Slovakia. Handkerchief over head; a heavy and fringed shawl pinned with a large metal clasp; mid-calf high black leather boots. The skirt consists of three layers – a poofy underlayer, a coloured and pleated ‘apron’ that covers the back and ties in the front, and a black ‘apron’ that covers the front and ties in the back, showing a section of the pleated colourful skirt in the back.