In Nicaragua, depending on the area we are going to, we will find different models of traditional clothing. They are part of the folklore of the country and most come from the typical dances. Here you will find which is the most outstanding clothing in each department of the country.
Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.
South Caribbean Coast
In this area, formerly known as Autonomous Region of the South Atlantic, the costumes used to dance the Maypole, an Afro-Caribbean dance that worships fertility and characterized by its sensual movements.
Although originally the skirts were long, today women tend to wear them short. At the top they wear a blouse, better known in Nicaragua as huipil.
They also cover their heads with a scarf. The clothes are bright and cheerful colors. The origin of this dance is in Bluefields, the capital of this region of the Atlantic coast.
It is in this department that we can find the most typical costumes. One of them is that of the Inditas, characterized by a white dress, a shawl or rebozo red and a petticoat or fustian. In addition, braided hair and flowers or a basket are worn on the head.
Furthermore, the Braid Costume It is inspired by the clothing of mestizo or indigenous women. It is made up of a white dress with colored braids, a black or red shawl and flowers in the hair. With this costume the marimba sound is danced.
Another clothing is that of the Agüizotes, which is the favorite of children, since characters of legends and mythology of Nicaraguan folklore are represented. Some of the costumes are "Quirina Death", the witch and the headless father. They can be seen the last Friday in October.
Finally, for the Vulture Dance, the man is disguised in black and with a mask representing the vulture, a bird of prey, while the women wear a long orange dress, a black shawl and flowers in their hair.
Chontales and Boaco
These central regions have their own traditional clothing. In Chontales, the woman wears a long-sleeved white blouse with cross-stitch embroidery and a round neckline. Also, at the bottom they wear a long colored skirt with ruffles.
As for Boaco, the man wears knee-length blue pants, a shirt, and a palm hat decorated with ribbons and flowers. Of footwear, caites or sandals. It is a costume similar to that of the Masaya Indian.
The woman in the typical costume is called boaqueña indian. She wears a colorful, short-sleeved blouse, a smooth, fitted bodice, a colored petticoat, and a shawl or rebozo.
Chinandega and Leon
In both the Chinandega and León departments we find «The Mantudos«, A religious dance in which seven devils are represented tempting San Pascual Bailón. It takes place on the holidays of May 17 and 18.
One of the disguised, the "greater devil", covers his face with a black mask, while the others, the "devils", do so with a red one. The rest of the clothes are the same for everyone.
They wear a long-sleeved shirt and a worn suit. The pants have colored patches. To all this, a palm hat is added in which there is a mirror in front and flowers and ribbons behind.
Also, you can not miss a long cloak or cape of red color and adorned with diamonds. Noise is made with a kind of zambomba and rattles or chili. The footwear is black shoes or caites, traditional sandals, accompanied by long red socks.
Esteli and Managua
In Esteli the northern peasant costume. The woman wears a tight skirt, a scarf around her waist and another on her head, a long-sleeved shirt and earrings. The man wears long white pants, a white shirt, a neckerchief and a hat.
In Managua they organize the contest «Indian Beautiful«, In which a representative of Nicaraguan beauty and intelligence is chosen. During this event, the participants wear folk costumes.
Likewise, in this department we also find the clothing of «la Vaquita», which is worn during the patron saint festivities, and is composed of a cow mask, an embroidered shirt or guipil and a hoop decorated with fabrics that mimics a skirt.
Granada and Jinotega
The Granada men's suit is characterized by knee-length wool trousers, which are adorned with silver buttons. He also wears a woolen sash at the waist, a long-sleeved white shirt and a black velvet and satin vest adorned with flowers and buttons.
On the other hand, in women's clothing, the wool skirt with flowers stands out hand embroidered, the black satin apron adorned with rhinestones and sequins, and the long-sleeved black blouse with white lace on the neck and sleeves.
As for footwear, sneakers with esparto soles or espadrilles with colored ribbons are typical. Wool is used because it is an area of Nicaragua with a cold climate. This clothing is also traditional in the department of Jinotega.
From the city of Diriamba comes «The Güegüense«, A comedy that is tradition to interpret. There are four outfits for this event. The women wear long dresses, necklaces and earrings.
The men can be disguised as Spaniards, with a colonial suit and hat, high socks and masks with blond mustaches and light-colored eyes; or of mestizos, with straw hats, humble clothes, sandals, a mask with a dark mustache and rattles.
Finally, there are also the males, barefoot, with a horse mask, a sequined vest, mane made of rope and a rattle or chili metallic to go making noise.
The clothing of the old man and the old woman is typical of this same city, which can be seen in the San Sebastián festivities. In this case, two people go together with masks and old people's clothes, and they dance to the sound of the marimba.
In Matagalpa we can also find the northern peasant costume, of which we have already spoken. They also have their own traditional clothing. In the case of men, it is a short blue pants, shirt and white palm hat.
As for the women, they wear the costume of «Matagalpa India«, Which is made up of a white gown tied at the waist, beads or seed necklaces and a colored or rebozo knotted to the arm.
Men usually wear caites, traditional sandals, while women go barefoot. The clothes are not warm, since the climate of the region is temperate throughout the year.
In Rivas, as in other Pacific territories, the traditional Mestizaje costume, whose history has a strong Spanish influence. The women wear a colored skirt adorned with sequins and a feathered hat and fan. This clothing is called "luxurious Indian dress."
On the other hand, the man wears a white shirt, a dark cape decorated with sequins, a hat with a red flower, flared trousers, white socks and sneakers.
Likewise, the costume of guipil, which is considered the traditional mestizo clothing of Nicaragua. It consists of a shirt, which is usually accompanied by a long flared skirt, earrings and braided hair.
In addition, a blouse with four holes is worn: one on the chest, one on the back and one on each shoulder. These holes symbolize the four cardinal points for the natives.
North Caribbean Coast
Indigenous Miskitos of the North Caribbean Coast or North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN), celebrate during the month of January a curious festival known as King pulanka, which for them means a mockery of the settlers.
In it, a girl and a boy are chosen to be crowned queen and king and a dance is organized. Also, the kings are accompanied by ladies and gentlemen of honor.
The king is dressed in a jacket, a tie, shiny ornaments, glasses and a crown. Meanwhile, the queen wears a long gown, a veil, her face made up, and a crown.
Madriz, Nueva Segovia and Río San Juan
Madriz and Nueva Segovia are close to the border with Honduras. Despite not highlighting any regional costume, those considered national are traditional, such as the traditional mestizo costume.
However, in Ocotal, Nueva Segovia, the Festivities in Honor of the Virgin of Asunción are celebrated in August. On these dates a queen is chosen and it is very common to use folk clothing.
Likewise, in Río San Juan, the Aquatic Carnival, in which the inhabitants dress up and the boats are decked out, organizing an internationally famous river ride.
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