Sunday, March 4, 2012
A Look at Southern Italian Life in the 19th Century - Part III
"...Clothing differed as much from section to section among the poor in Italy from which our immigrants came as did language, housing, and culinary methods. Its variations depended upon local traditions, the materials available, and the needs of the people as defined by occupation and climate. Much of the peasant clothing, regardless of design, was made from sheep's wool, woven, and sewn in the home...Shepherds thus wore long hooded capes that fell below the knees and sheepskin leggings and trousers as such that adorn American cowboys. Fisherman, on the other hand, used heavy breeches, woolen stockings, sweaters, and caps when out on the open water in cold weather; and trousers and shirts open at the neck, with feed bare, in the summer. Peasants who worked in the fields donned trousers and coats or sweaters in summer, both coats and sweaters in the cold season. Most of these work garments were dark colored, but the somberness was relieved at times by a bright scarf, and the cap, blouse, or shirt might be pink, green or light blue..."