C Traditional Clothing
Another precious element of the Albanian cultural heritage is the traditional clothing, which like dialects and traditions, changes from one region to the other, giving us a great variety of styles even within the same region. Therefore, in all Albanian speaking territories there are more than 200 different kinds of traditional clothing to be found, which is quite a great number considering the territorial space within the old ethnic borders. All this variety comes due to the division of the Albanian lands into many different principalities during the middle ages, as well as from the differences in social ranks and religion.
The common elements of the traditional female clothing is the kerchief, apron and dress, in which colours and motives change from one clothing type to the other. Usually, in all northern regions the female clothing is extremely intricate and ornamental, full of bright colours, whereas in the southern regions it is generally simpler and less ornamental. All types of traditional female clothing are accessorized with coined gold or silver necklaces.
The traditional male clothing is mainly made up of a pants, cap, shirt and a sleeveless waistcoat called Xhamadan in north and Jelek in south. In northern regions, the male waistcoat is ornamented only in the dresses of the high rank, whereas in south it is ornamented almost in every rank. A particular addition and a unique element in the southern male clothing is the kilt called fustanellë.
In 18th and 19th century, due to the great presence of southern Albanians in the neighboring Greece (called Arvaniti), the Albanian male kilt became so fashionable that they decided to include it in their collection of traditional clothing.