National Geographic : 1923 Jan
THE ISLAND OF SARDINIA AND ITS PEOPLE In Cagliari, for months and months no woman or man wearing a distinctive na tive costume is to be seen. Now and then, for some fancy ball or similar event, the elegant young ladies of Cagliari bor row costumes for a few days and wear them through the streets. Everybody turns and looks with admiration at the unusual sight, to the amazement of for eigners, who on coming to Sardinia ex pect to find everyone in gay attire. Artists and archeologists are thinking of founding in Cagliari an ethnographic museum containing specimens of the cos tumes of the various districts of Sardinia. Funds are already being raised for that purpose (see Color Plates I to XVI). COSTUMES NOW TOO EXPENSIVE FOR PEASANT BRIDES Although costumes are a sort of family heirloom handed down from mother to daughter, they do not last forever. A modern bride cannot afford to have one made for her. Since the war the prices of brocade and silk have increased four or five fold and so have jewels. How can a peasant girl of Osilo, about to be married, afford $8oo for a complete fes tival costume? She must content herself with a dress which, being designed after her own fancy, has lost the best features of the primitive costume. Moreover, the farmers and rich peas ants in the villages are wont to send their sons and daughters to the nearest town to attend secondary schools. When the boys and girls return home they will no longer wear native costumes, but want to be dressed in the latest European fashion. In Sardinian villages, even in the interior, you often see a mother, dressed in the most beautiful and gorgeous costume im aginable, walking beside her daughter, who is dressed according to the dernicre mode of Paris. Sometimes the daughter compels her mother to lay aside the fine old costumes and put on modern dress. The unhappy woman, not being accustomed to wear such inartistic modern hats, looks so awk ward and embarrassed that she is very often laughed at and scorned by the townspeople and called a country cousin. Authors have a lamentable fault-that of flattery through imitation. They are too often disposed to copy one another. A REAR VIEW OF THE OSILO COSTUME The headpiece is of red silk, with top and band of white silk embroidered in multi-colored flower patterns, beneath which a fine white veil is worn. The skirt is of plaited scarlet silk, with a wide embroidered band at the bottom.