Bulgarian Folklore in Fashion: 'The tree of life'
From ancient times, Bulgarian women have decorated their clothes and those of their family members with shevitzi (traditional embroidery) - beautiful, unique, symbolic.
One of the symbols, which was often include in women's shirts - since the moment when a girl become a damsel till her very late days - was 'The tree of life'.
'The tree of life' looks like a stylized branch or bush, ending with three or more blossoms, most oftenly sewn with black woolen threads and decorated with crosses in Turkish pink.
Other used colors are dark red (family blood), green (nature), blue (sky) and yellow (sun).
Cross-stitch is the key stitch.
Embroidery is popular mainly in villages of Sadina, Elhovo and places around Razgrad and Sofia and depending on the region, there are variations in the used colors and type of threads.
'The tree of life' symbolizes a woman's connection with the family roots and also her social maturity.
The ornament is called also 'A cosmic tree' or 'A Kabbalah tree' and is associated with the cycles in nature and life (birth, maturity, death) and connects Earth with Heaven (from roots and trunk to the branches and leaves).
The tree is among the most commonly used botanical symbols in Bulgarian embroidery art.
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