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Full text of "The Hungarian szür : an archaic mantle of Eurasian origin"

History, Technology 
and Art 



Royal Ontario Museum 





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The Hungarian 


An Archaic Mantle 

of Eurasian Origin 

Veronika Gervers-Molnar 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Royal Ontario Museum 

History, Technology 
and Art 



Royal Ontario Museum 

The Hungarian 


An Archaic Mantle 

of Eurasian Origin 

Veronika Gervers-Molnar 

Publication date: 23 November 1973 

ISBN 0-88854-031-0 

Suggested citation: ROM HTA Monogr. 


Royal Ontario Museum 

Publications in History, Technology and Art 

The Royal Ontario Museum publishes two series in the fields of history, tech- 
nology and art: Monographs, a numbered series of original publications, and 
Papers, a numbered series of primarily shorter original publications. All manu- 
scripts considered for publication are subject to the scrutiny and editorial 
policies of the Art and Archaeology Editorial Board, and may be subject to 
review by persons outside the Museum staff who are authorities in the par- 
ticular field involved. 

Royal Ontario Museum 

Art and Archaeology Editorial Board 

R. L. Peterson, Chairman 

T. Cuyler Young, Jr., Editor 

D. M. Pendergast, Associate Editor 

V. Gervers-Molnar, Associate Editor 

Veronika Gervers-Molnar is Assistant Curator in the Textile Department of the 
Royal Ontario Museum. 

Price: $7.50 

© The Royal Ontario Museum, 1973 
100 Queen's Park, Toronto, Canada 
Printed at the University of Toronto Press 

Cs. K. 



Preface, 1 
Introduction, 3 

The Origins of the Szur, 5 

A. The Prototypes of the Szur: Artistic Depictions and 
Written Descriptions of the Kandys, a Long Coat 
Worn over the Shoulders, 5 

B. Ethnographic Material Related to the Kandys and the Szur, 14 

C. The Adoption of the Szur by the Early Hungarians, 19 

D. Linguistic Evidence for the Adoption of the Szur, 21 

The Hungarian Szur, 25 

A. Szt/r-fabric, 25 

B. Szt/A-makers and Szi/r-making Guilds, 27 

C. The Cut of the Szur, 28 

D. The Decorated or Cifraszur, 32 

1. Transdanubia, 36 

2. Great Hungarian Plain: 

a. Debrecen and the Hajdusag Region, 38 

b. Bihar County and Transylvania, 38 

c. The Nagykunsag Region, 40 

3. Upper Hungary, 41 

4. Cifraszurs of the Transylvanian Saxonians, 43 

Conclusions, 44 

Appendices, 46 

A: Szurs in the Royal Ontario Museum, 46 

1. Cifraszur from the Kalotaszeg Region 

2. Cifraszur from the Kalotaszeg Region 

3. Cifraszur from Vac 

B: Szt/r-making centres in Hungary, 48 

Notes, 52 
Glossary, 72 
Illustrations, 75 

List of Illustrations 

Fig. 1. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Persian (left) and Median (right) dignitaries 

Fig. 2. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Eastern Stairway, Tribute Procession: Delegation no. I 

Fig. 3. 

Persepolis Apadana; Northern Stairway, Tribute Procession: Delegation no. Ill 

Fig. 4. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Eastern Stairway, Tribute Procession: Delegation no. IX 

Fig. 5. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Eastern Stairway, Tribute Procession: Delegation no. XI 

Fig. 6. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Eastern Stairway, Tribute Procession: Delegation no. XVI 

Fig. 7. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Eastern Stairway, Tribute Procession: the leader of the delegation no. IV 

with a Persian usher 

Fig. 8. 

Golden statuettes, Oxus Treasure 

Fig. 9. 

Golden statuettes (back views), Oxus Treasure 

Fig. 10. 

Silver statuette from Soloi, Sicily 

Fig. 11. 

Golden plaque, Oxus Treasure 

Fig. 12. 

Golden plaque, Oxus Treasure 

Fig. 13. 

Silver box lid with engraved design, Erzingan, Armenia 

Fig. 14. 

Kizkapan, Iraqi Kurdistan, entrance to a rock tomb 

Fig. 15. 

Sacrificial scene, Dascyleion (Ergili), Phrygia 

Fig. 16. 

Cypriot statue of an oriental figure 

Fig. 17. 

Model golden chariot, Oxus Treasure 

Fig. 18. 

Back view of the passenger from the model golden chariot, Oxus Treasure 

Fig. 19. 

Golden plaques, embossed design, from Scythian barrows of Chertomlyk and Kul-Oba 

Fig. 20. 

Silver drachm of Mithradates II of Parthia (c. 123-88 B.C.), reverse side 

Fig. 21. 

Sable coat with mosaic-scale pattern of ermine and gold-covered wooden plaques from one 

of the Katanda kurgans, Altai Mountains 

Fig. 22. 

Types "A" and "B" (reconstructions) 

Fig. 23. 

Frescoes depicting the festivities of Ephthalite (White Hun) grandees, Balalyk-tepe, 


Fig. 24. 

Clay tomb figurines, Chinese, late 6th c. A.D. (Sui Dynasty) 

Fig. 25. 

Clay tomb figurine, Chinese, late 6th - early 7th c. A.D. (Sui Dynasty) 

Fig. 26. 

Clay tomb figurines, Chinese, late 6th - early 7th c. A.D. (Sui Dynasty) 

Fig. 27. 

Clay tomb figurines of warriors, Chinese, late 6th - early 7th c. A.D. (Sui Dynasty) 


Fig. 28. 

Clay tomb figurines, Chinese, first half of the 7th c. A.D. (T'ang Dynasty) 

Fig. 29. 

Clay tomb figurine, Chinese, first half of the 7th c. A.D. (T'ang Dynasty) 

Fig. 30. 

Clay tomb figurine, Chinese, 7th c. A.D. (T'ang Dynasty) 

Fig. 31. 

Map of Central and West Asia and Eastern Europe 

Fig. 32. 

Turkman coat of warp ikat silk, Turkestan 

Fig. 33. 

Turkman jacket of warp ikat silk, Northern Afghanistan 

Fig. 34. 

Turkman woman's coat {kurti) of white cotton tabby embroidered in multicoloured silks, Merv 

Region, Western Turkestan 

Fig. 35. 

Turkman woman's coat (kurti) of white cotton tabby embroidered in multicoloured silks, Merv 

Region, Western Turkestan 

Fig. 36. 

Cashmere coat with tapestry woven borders, Kashmir 

Fig. 37. 

Uzbek coat of white cotton tabby, Afghanistan 

Fig. 38. 

Turkish costume of the Supreme Sherif, Istanbul 

Fig. 39. 

Cheremiss woman's coat of dark blue woollen fabric, Upper Volga Region 

Fig. 40. 

The Miracle of Saint George, fresco from the church at Staro Nagoricino, Northern 

Macedonia, Yugoslavia 

Fig. 41. 

Mantle of white fulled woollen twill (kepenek/coha) with applied decoration of red, blue, 

green and yellow broadcloth, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Turopolje Region 

Fig. 42. 

Mantle of white fulled woollen twill (kepenek/coha) with applied decoration of red, green, 

blue and yellow broadcloth, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Turopolje Region 

Fig. 43. 

/p/ngea-mantle worn by coachman, Romania, Muntenia, area along the Danube River 

Fig. 44. 

Manfa-coat, Romania, Moldavia 

Fig. 45. 

Jackets of brown or black woollen twill from the Balkans 

Fig. 46. 

Jacket of heavy black fulled woollen twill decorated with black woollen embroidery and 

fringes, Albania 

Fig. 47. 

Hooded coat (kapa or kapot) of black woollen twill, Greece, Thessaly, Larissa 

Fig. 48. 

Hooded coat (kapa) of dark brown woollen twill (sayaki), Greece, Thessaly, near Kozani, 

contemporary example 

Fig. 49. 

Coat (kapa) of heavy grey woollen twill, Greece, Macedonia, contemporary example 

Fig. 50. 

Coat (kapa) of heavy grey woollen twill, Greece, Macedonia, contemporary example 

Fig. 51. 

The Crippled Soldier wearing a hooded brown coat (kapa or kapot) over his shoulders, painted 

by Theodoros Vryzakis, Greece, 1840 


Fig. 52. 

Coat (kapot) of fulled brown woollen twill decorated with couched work of blue silk and blue 

broadcloth edgings. Greece, probably Crete, 1936 (dated) 

Fig. 53. 

Map of Hungary showing the different geographic districts 

Fig. 54. 

Szi/r-making centres in Hungary 

Fig. 55. 

Szur-mantle, Nagykiinsag Region, Great Hungarian Plain 

Fig. 56. 

Szur-mantle, made in Debrecen, Great Hungarian Plain, 1880s 

Fig. 57. 

Szur-mantle, probably around Mezokovesd, Borsod county, Northern Hungary, c. 1900 

Fig. 58. 

Swineherd's szur, Somogy county, Transdanubia 

Fig. 59. 

Swineherd's szur, Bakony mountains, Transdanubia 

Fig. 60. 

Szur-mantle from Csokoly village, Somogy county, Transdanubia 

Fig. 61. 

Saxonian szur-mantle, Transylvania 

Fig. 62. 

Szur-mantle (nyakas or "necked" szur) made in Bihar county, Great Hungarian Plain 

Fig. 63. 

Szur-mantle with black broadcloth edgings, Banat Region, Southern Hungary 

Fig. 64. 

Man, wearing szur, and a woman near Kassa, Upper Hungary, engraving of Jozsef Bikessy, 

c. 1816 

Fig. 65. 

Shepherd from Apony village, lithograph of Reiffenstein and Rosen, c. 1860 

Fig. 66. 

Pista Patko wearing a szur, Somogy county, Transdanubia 

Fig. 67. 

Szur-representations from Transdanubian herdsmen's woodcarving in the collection of the 

Hungarian Ethnographical Museum, Budapest 

Fig. 68. 

Old mafyd couple, man wearing Debrecen-type szur, Mezokovesd, Borsod county, Upper 

Hungary, c. 1930 

Fig. 69. 

Cattlemen in Debrecen-type szurs and suba, Hortobagy area, Great Hungarian Plain, 1930s 

Fig. 70. 

Horseherds in Debrecen-type sziirs, Hortobagy area, Great Hungarian Plain, 1930s 

Fig. 71. 

Design of an embroidered szur-collar, Nagyszalonta, Bihar county, Great Hungarian Plain, 

c. 1870-1880 

Fig. 72. 

Design of an embroidered Matyo szur-collar with Hungarian coats-of-arms, Mezokovesd, 

Borsod county, Upper Hungary, 1889 

Fig. 73. 

Design of an embroidered szur-collar of Kunsag-type, Szentistvan, Borsod county, Upper 


Fig. 74. 

Bihar-type szur-mantle with applied black broadcloth ornaments, worn at Magyargyeromonostor, 

Kalotaszeg Region, Transylvania, c. 1890 

Fig. 75. 

Bihar-type szur-mantle with applied black broadcloth ornaments, worn at Magyargyeromonostor, 

Kalotaszeg Region, Transylvania, c. 1890 


Fig. 76. 

Applied black broadcloth ornaments of a Bihar-type szi/r-mantle 

Fig. 77. 

Bihar-type szur-mantle decorated with applied black felt ornaments, worn at Kalotaszentkiraly, 

Transylvania, c. 1900 

Fig. 78. 

Bihar-type szur-mantle decorated with applied black felt ornaments, worn at Kalotaszentkiraly, 

Transylvania, c. 1900 

Fig. 79. 

Applied black felt ornaments of a Bihar-type szi/r-mantle 

Fig. 80. 

Child's black szur embroidered in coloured wools, made in Vac, 1920s 

Fig. 81. 

Child's black szur embroidered in coloured wools, made in Vac, 1920s 

Fig. 82. 

Embroidered ornaments of a child's szur, made in Vac, 1920s 

Fig. 83. 

Embroidered ornaments of a child's szur, made in Vac, 1920s 

All drawings made by the author unless otherwise specified. 



The szi/r-mantle, a characteristic outer garment of Hungarian herdsmen and 
peasants, belongs to the ancient nomadic traditions of Eurasia. The colourful, 
highly stylized, well composed embroidery which appears on its richly adorned 
variants, the so-called cifraszur, was discovered by students of Hungarian 
ethnography and applied arts in the last quarter of the 19th century. 1 In 1909, 
Istvan Gyorffy, one of the founders of Hungarian ethnographic studies, under- 
took a study of the cifraszur, and the project became one of his major life 
works. A descendant of a well-known szi/r-maker family, he had been familiar 
with this special trade from childhood and carried out his research at the very 
last period when a detailed study was still possible. The Great War of 1914-18 
put an end to the garment's popularity and the last generation of szi/r-makers 
died out soon afterwards. Gyorffy collected much valuable information 
concerning the actual making of the coat and the regional variations of its 
ornamentation, not to mention some fifty decorated examples for the Museum 
of Hungarian Ethnography in Budapest. After numerous brief publications, 2 he 
compiled the results of his research in the excellent and fundamental study, 
A Cifraszur (The Decorated Szur) 2 published in 1930. 

After Gyorffy's death in 1939, other Hungarian ethnographers worked on 
various aspects of the problem. While their publications provided additional 
data about the szi/A-making craft or the local decorated variants, they added 
little to Gyorffy's major work. 4 In 1956 an important publication appeared which 
reproduced a large number of 19th-century engravings, drawings, and paint- 
ings depicting the szur. 5 

Interestingly enough, those scholars working on the szt/r-mantle concentrated 
exclusively on the decorated types. No one paid attention to the simple 
undecorated examples, which in many cases show more archaic features than 
the more elaborate ones. Although it was suggested that the szur was very 
likely an ancient Hungarian garment, possibly worn by the Magyars as early as 
the 9th century A.D. when they occupied the Carpathian Basin, 6 no attempt 
was made to define precisely the historical origins and diffusion of similar 

The present study concentrates on the question of the origin and ancient 
history of the Hungarian szur. Through archaeological finds, artistic repre- 
sentations, early literary sources and the evidence of the Hungarian language 
itself, I have tried to trace where, when and why the Hungarians adopted the 
mantle, and then go on to discuss diverse problems concerning the actual 
garment and the regional variants of the cifraszur. Although many outstanding 
examples of this typically Hungarian mantle are now to be found in major 
North American and European museums (The Costume Institute of the Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, New York; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; Musee 
de I'Homme, Paris; Musee Historique des Tissus, Lyon; and several Romanian 
and Slovakian collections), and Yugoslavian, Albanian, Greek, Polish and 
Czechoslovakian museums possess garments directly or indirectly related to 
the szur, this is the first attempt to make a comprehensive study of the garment 
outside Hungary. 

I am deeply thankful to those colleagues without whose assistance, advice 

and criticism this work would never have been possible: 

Mrs. Ivanka Bakrac, Ethnographical Museum, Zagreb; 

Prof. Leonard E. Boyle, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto; 

Mrs. Katharine B. Brett, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; 

Mrs. Dorothy K. Burnham, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; 

Mr. Harold B. Burnham, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; 

Mr. J. E. Curtis, British Museum, London; 

Mrs. Mavis Dalton, The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

New York; 

Mr. Bernard Dupaigne, Musee de I'Homme, Paris; 

Dr. Nezih Firatli, Archaeological Museum, Istanbul; 

Mrs. Alison Harle-Easson, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; 

Mrs. Pauline Johnstone, Victoria and Albert Museum, London; 

Dr. Maria Kresz, Hungarian Ethnographical Museum, Budapest; 

Mrs. Jelena Lazic, Ethnographical Museum, Belgrade; 

Mrs. Neda Leipen, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; 

Miss Louise W. Mackie, The Textile Museum, Washington; 

Prof. G. R. O'Donnell, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto; 

Dr. Corina Nicolescu, University of Bucharest, Bucharest; 

Mrs. Patricia Proctor, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; 

Mrs. Monique Roussel de Fontanes, Musee de I'Homme, Paris; 

Mrs. Elena Secosan, Romanian Institute for Cultural Relations, Bucharest; 

Dr. H-Y. Shih, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; 

Mr. John E. Vollmer, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; 

Dr. T. Cuyler Young, Jr., Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. 

I am indebted to the Canada Council whose generous assistance made 
possible extensive research on the historical background and ethnographical 
problems of the sziir in a number of English, French, Hungarian and Turkish 

Special thanks are due to the authorities at the American Museum of Natural 
History, New York; the Archaeological Museum, Istanbul; the British School of 
Archaeology, Athens; the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of 
Art, New York; the Ethnographical Museum, Belgrade; the Ethnographical 
Museum, Zagreb; Musee de I'Homme, Paris; Musee Historique des Tissus, 
Lyon; the Hungarian Ethnographical Museum, Budapest; Institut Frangais 
d'Archeologie, Istanbul; the Topkapi Sarayi Museum, Istanbul; and the 
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, for the research facilities they offered me 
in the preparation of this study. 

For permission to reproduce photographs I am grateful to the Benaki Museum, 
Athens; The British Museum, London; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; 
Gallery of Frescoes, Belgrade; Hungarian Ethnographical Museum, Budapest; 
Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest; The Oriental Institute, Chicago; and 
the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin. 

Toronto, June 9th, 1972 

Veronika Gervers-Molnar 


The typically Hungarian szur-mantie or szur is a long, straight-cut, coat-like 
garment made of heavy, fulled woollen twill of comparatively narrow width, 
usually white in colour. Its front and back are a single piece. The front is slit 
down the centre for opening and has turned-back panels which, with the 
addition of another piece of fabric, merge into a large square or rectangular 
collar. Small roundels are attached to the edge of the collar's lower corners 
which can be knotted together to form a hood. Some szurs are actually made 
with a hood. In most cases a separate narrow band with selvage edge is 
attached at the lower edge of the garment. Since the width of the material is 
too narrow to allow sufficient fullness for the garment, the sides are widened 
beneath the deep sleeves with additional pieces. Generally, two pieces seamed 
horizontally form a side-panel. Although the szur has sleeves, they are seldom, 
if ever, used; the garment is worn characteristically over one or both shoulders, 
and is fastened with leather ties or straps across the chest (Figs. 65, 68, 69, 70). 
The sleeves, which no longer serve their original function, are often sewn or 
tied together at the wrist, forming a pocket in which small objects are kept and 
carried (Fig. 64). In parts of Transdanubia and Upper Hungary, some szurs 
were made with short, stubby sleeves closed with a roundel of the same 
fabric (Fig. 66). 

The geographic distribution of the szur corresponds in general to the territory 
of the Carpathian Basin, the area which from A.D. 896 to 1918 represented 
Greater Hungary (Fig. 54). The mantle was formerly worn by all groups of 
Hungarians, and in many parts of the country it was still fashionable in the early 
20th century. From mediaeval times the szur became traditional within the 
Basin among a number of minority populations such as the Saxonians of 
Transylvania and the Slovaks of northern Hungary. The Slovaks introduced the 
garment to Moravia where it was worn by the Hanaks, 7 and to Southern Gallicia 
where it was worn by the Poles. 8 After the 18th century, the szur became 
popular among various Slavic groups in Southern Hungary.' 

The heavy, fulled sziir, worn exclusively by men and particularly by those who 
spent most of their lives out-of-doors, was virtually waterproof and an excellent 
protection against the elements, including the intense heat of the summer sun. 
Herdsmen often used it as their blanket and tent, sleeping in and underneath 
the coat. The rider and coachman might use the szur in the wintertime as a 
horse-blanket when they had to leave their animals outside. Those who rode 
without a saddle often used a folded szur instead. Working as most of them did 
for an overlord, novice herdsmen received a szur as payment for their first 
year's service. Such mantles were also traditionally included in the payment of 
serfs and fieldhands on a periodic basis. 

The costly, richly embroidered cifraszurs, a type characteristic of the 19th 
century, were prized possessions of herdsmen and the labouring peasantry. 
When a young peasant was considered to have reached manhood, his father 
usually gave him a fine suit and an embroidered szur. n In the 19th century a 
peasant could not be married without a citraszur, for the mantle itself was 
important in courtship. Prior to asking for the hand of his beloved, the prospec- 
tive fiance would make a visit to her house dressed in his szur. Upon his 

departure he would "inadvertently" leave it behind. If the girl's parents did not 
wish him as their son-in-law, his szur was put out in front of the house, so that 
the next morning the rejected suitor could take it back. If, on the other hand, 
his szur was kept inside the house, it meant that the family agreed to the 
marriage. This custom is the basis for the Hungarian saying: "Kitettek a sziiret" 
("His szur was put out") meaning that someone was not wanted." 

The cifraszur of the young peasant remained his life-long festive attire and, 
draped over his coffin, often accompanied him to the grave. A folksong men- 
tions a certain highwayman, Simon, who was buried in his cifraszur instead of a 
coffin.' 2 It is recorded that when in 1912 the "brigand Kasa" of Atany village 
died in a far-away prison and his body was not turned over to the family, a 
funeral ceremony was nevertheless held at home. The szur of the deceased 
was laid out so that mourners could pay their last respects, and the garment 
was subsequently buried. 13 

The Origins of the Szdr 

A. The Prototypes of the Szur 

Artistic Depictions and Written Descriptions 

of the Kandys, a Long Coat Worn over the Shoulders 

In antiquity, a full length, heavy coat with long sleeves, worn over the 
shoulders, first appears as a characteristic garment of the Medes. We learn 
from Xenophon that is was called KdvSvs or kandys. The mantle had a straight 
central-front opening with turned-out panels which often terminated in a 
relatively large triangle at the back. It was fastened across the chest with 
cords or straps. 14 

On the 6th-5th century B.C. reliefs of the Apadana in Persepolis, the kandys 
with empty hanging sleeves is commonly worn by Median dignitaries attending 
the New Year's procession. 15 The long mantle is depicted everywhere with 
turned-back front panels; on some representations one can perceive that they 
were fastened across the front with two straps, possibly of leather, attached 
below the neck (Fig. 1). In several cases the Medes are shown toying with 
unfastened straps, indicating that the heavy mantle could be worn over the 
shoulders without any fastening. Under the kandys, the Medes wear a sleeved, 
belted shirt and long, tight trousers with ankle straps; their heads are covered 
with domed, fur-trimmed hats. 16 The north and east stairways of the Apadana 
display in relief the procession of twenty-three tribute-bearing delegations from 
all corners of the Achaemenid Empire, and lines of guards, dignitaries, 
horses, chariots and attendants. Five of the delegations, i.e. nos. I 17 (Fig. 2), III 18 
(Fig. 3), IX 19 (Fig. 4), XI 20 (Fig. 5), and XVI 21 (Fig. 6), bear as a special tribute 
from their homelands, an outfit similar to that worn by the Median grandees. 
One figure in each group carries the kandys, the next, the sleeved shirt and the 
third, the long trousers. 22 The bearers themselves are never to be seen in the 
kandys, the wearing of which seems to have been solely the prerogative of the 
highest classes. With the exception of the head-dress, which has certain 
differences, the costume otherwise worn by the delegations — the belted, 
sleeved shirt and the tight-fitting trousers — was the same or certainly very 
similar to that worn by the Medes. Besides the Medes, only the leader of delega- 
tion no. IV 23 is represented on the reliefs wearing the kandys (Fig. 7). He is 
distinguished from the Medes by the hood-like head-dress which covers 
his neck. 

It is evident from these representations that the kandys belonged to the formal 
outfit of the Median dignitaries who appear wearing it at the Persian court. 
It is equally apparent that the mantle was valuable enough, symbolically or 
intrinsically, to be offered as tribute by a number of nations in the Achaemenid 
Empire to the Persian king, Darius I (521-485 B.C.) and his son and successor, 
Xerxes (486-465 B.C.) on the occasion of the most important of all Iranian 

Herodotus (c. 484-425 B.C.) noted in his Historia (portions of which he must 
have written at least as late as 430 B.C.), that the Persians ". . . have taken the 
dress of the Medes, considering it superior to their own . . .". 24 The numerous 
artistic representations from around the 5th century B.C. which show Persian 

kings, satraps, dignitaries and magi throughout the empire wearing the long 
sleeved belted shirt, trousers and kandys indicate that this was the dress in 
question. From the Oxus Treasure, presumed to have been found at Takht-i- 
Khawat on the south bank of the Oxus River, now the Amu-Darya, in ancient 
Bactria, there are two tiny golden statuettes dated to the 5th century, which 
represent figures wearing the richly adorned kandys over their shoulders 25 
(Figs. 8, 9). Similar coats appear on a gold statuette of unknown provenance 
now in the Victoria & Albert Museum, 26 and on two somewhat larger statuettes, 
one of gold, said to have been found in southern Asia Minor near the village of 
Kesbuch in Cilicia, 27 and the other of silver from Soloi, Sicily 28 (Fig. 10). 
Representations of the kandys occur on three golden votive plaques 
from the Oxus Treasure 29 (Figs. 11, 12). These plaques were originally 
deposited in a temple by worshippers seeking the favour of the god. Each 
represents the petitioner in what one may imagine to be his best and most 
characteristic clothing. In all three examples a man stands facing either right 
or left, wearing a mantle which reaches below the knees; the sleeves hang 
empty and what appears to be fur edging runs along the front openings, and 
continues into a triangular back panel. Each figure is hooded. Another depic- 
tion of the garment is to be found on the inside of a cylindrical Persian silver 
box lid found near Erzingan, Armenia 30 (Fig. 13). 

A representation of the mantle occurs above the entrance of a rock tomb at 
Kizkapan (Fig. 14), a site near the village of Surdash in the mountains of Iraqi 
Kurdistan. 31 Carved in relief, the scene depicts two men, perhaps a monarch 
and his successor, standing on either side of a fire altar, each holding a bow of 
the Scythian type. The left-hand figure is seen wearing the long coat with 
empty sleeves over a shirt-like tunic and trousers; he also wears a hood. The 
kandys is worn over the shoulders of a seated satrap carved in stone from the 
5th century tomb of Payava in Lycia. 32 

Three late 5th century bas-reliefs from Dascyleion (Ergili), the Phrygian capital, 
represent further variations of the kandys worn by what are most likely Persian 
figures. A sacrificial scene depicts two men wearing mantles with ornate 
borders on the front-panels 33 (Fig. 15). The second piece shows a single 
worshipper in a red coat, 34 while on the third a man on horseback wears the 
kandys, again with decorated front-panels. 35 A Persian bulla, also from Das- 
cyleion, represents a figure in the same outfit. 36 On each side of a small, stone 
fire-altar found at Bunyan, near Kayseri, Cappadocia, a Persian worshipper or 
magi appears in a red kandys and a hood with the Median type of shirt and 
trousers. 37 In Phoenicia, on three of the sarcophagi from the royal cemetery of 
Sidon, similar mantles can be seen worn by the Persians, but these are carved 
in Greek style with flying sleeves. The earliest piece is the "Sarcophagus of the 
Satrap" from the second half of the 5th century, where the mounted satrap 
himself wears the kandys in a hunting scene. 38 The so-called "mourners" sarco- 
phagus dates from the first half of the 4th century. Below the main figures is a 
narrow frieze containing hunting scenes, wherein a great number of the 
Persians, both mounted and on foot, have the kandys. 39 On the late 4th century 
"Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great" the Persians again appear wearing the 
mantle in scene after scene. 40 Fortunately, some of the original polychroming 

has survived and we can see that one coat was blue with red cuffs and yellow 
lining, while another was red with yellow cuffs. Finally, a lime-stone Cypriot 
statue of a distinctly oriental figure, now in the Archaeological Museum of 
Istanbul, is also represented with a kandys-Wke coat over his shoulders 41 
(Fig. 16). 

In addition to these representations of the mantle, the Greek historian and 
philosopher, Xenophon (c. 430-355 B.C.) provides first-hand information. In 
401 B.C., Xenophon took part in an expedition which Cyrus the Younger led 
against his brother, Artaxerxes (404-358 B.C.), King of Persia. In the Anabasis, 
describing the march from Sardis to the gates of Babylon, he — for whose 
Greek eyes the kandys appeared to be strange and unusual — mentions the 
Persian dignitaries wearing it in an episode where Cyrus' army was having 
difficulty advancing its wagons through a narrow muddy defile: (Cyrus) 
"... directed the Persian nobles who accompanied him to take a hand 
hurrying on the wagons. And then one might have beheld a sample of good 
discipline: they each threw off their purple kandys [wop^vpods k6lv5vs] where 
they chanced to be standing, and rushed, as a man would run to win a victory, 
down a most exceedingly steep hill, wearing their costly tunics and 
embroidered trousers, some of them, indeed, with necklaces around their 
necks and bracelets on their arms . . . " 42 

From Xenophon's Hellenica we learn that the kandys was worn by many 
Persians who in the king's presence were obliged to thrust their arms into 
their sleeves for reasons of security, and not to wear the mantle over their 
shoulders as they were otherwise accustomed: 

"It was in this year [406 B.C.] that Cyrus put to death Autoboesaces and 
Mitraeus, who were sons of Darius' sister — the daughter of Darius' father 
Xerxes — because upon meeting him they did not thrust their hands through 
the kore [k6 pv ], an honour they show the king alone. (The kore is a longer 
sleeve than the kheiris [xeipis], and a man who had his hand in one would 
be powerless to do anything)". 43 

The strict code for the wearing of the kandys, and the distinction between 
longer and shorter sleeves, appear to occur among the Persians alone, and 
were evidently later developments. In the representations from Persepolis, all 
the Median grandees wear the mantles over their shoulders with hanging, 
empty sleeves as they parade before the Persian king. 

Although Xenophon knew that the kandys was worn also by the Medes, 44 he 
believed it to be an ancient and characteristic Persian garment. In his Cyro- 
paedia, a historical romance written about Cyrus the Great (559-529 B.C.), 
founder of the Persian Empire, one reads that the king wore the mantle when 
he appeared in the great Iranian New Year's procession: 
"... Cyrus himself upon a chariot appeared in the gates wearing his tiara 
upright, a purple tunic shot with white (no one but the king may wear such 
a one), trousers of scarlet dye about his legs, and a kandys all of purple 
[k6.v8vs 6\oir6p(t>vpovs]. He had also a fillet about his tiara, . . . His hands he kept 
outside his sleeves [xeipides]. With him rode a charioteer, who was tall, but 

neither in reality nor in appearance so tall as he; at all events, Cyrus looked 
much taller". 45 

The two model golden chariots from the Oxus Treasure 46 (Fig. 17), both from 
the turn of the 5th-4th centuries B.C., and thus contemporary with Xenophon, 
represent a scene very similar to the preceding description of Cyrus wearing 
a kandys. The principal figure in each of these chariots may well have been a 
Persian king or satrap whom Xenophon might actually have seen, and subse- 
quently described from his own experience. We should nevertheless note that 
despite the Greek historian's precise and vivid description, the costumes worn 
by Cyrus the Great in the Cyropaedia do not correspond in general to those 
worn by Darius, Xerxes and the Persians at Persepolis. There, at the turn of the 
6th-5th centuries B.C., only the Median dignitaries appear dressed in shirts, 
trousers and kandys. A century after Persepolis, however, the outfit of the 
Persian aristocracy had changed, and the formerly "Median costume" had 
become a typically Persian garment. Xenophon believed that they had always 
worn it and as a result described the famous Persian ruler, Cyrus the Great, as 
though he were a contemporary king of Persia. 

Like Herodotus, Xenophon knew that the Persians adopted a garment from the 
Medes which he thought to be the beautifully woven, often coloured, Persian 
stola [(ttoXi?]. 47 He considered that the mode had been borrowed in the 6th 
century B.C. during the reign of Cyrus the Great. According to all known 
artistic representations, the historian must have been mistaken about the 
garment in question. 48 From his description and the Greek name of the garment, 
the Median stola [M-nSuch 0-1-0X17] almost certainly referred to those flowing 
robes depicted on the stone reliefs of Persepolis and the glazed bricks of 
Susa, typically worn by the Persians 4 ' (Fig. 1). 

Among the later Greek historians, Strabo (c. 63 B.C.), in his Geography, 
mentions that the Persians "... in summer . . . wear a purple or vari-coloured 
cloak [ipariov], in winter a vari-coloured one only"; 50 he refers presumably to 
the kandys. In his Bibliotheca Historica, Diodorus Siculus (first century B.C.), 
writing about Alexander III the Great (356-323 B.C.) notes that in 329-28 B.C., 
the emperor began to imitate Persian luxury: "... he put on the Persian 
diadem and dressed himself in the white robe and the Persian sash and every- 
thing else except the trousers and the kandys [k&j'Svs]". 51 He refers to the 
long, sleeved coat by the very name that Xenophon did. As the kandys was 
most certainly worn by Persian dignitaries and satraps in Alexander's time, 
Diodorus' information might have been based on old traditions as well as real 
historical facts. 52 

It was not only the Persians among the Iranians who adopted the Median 
kandys. Small, square, golden plaques with embossed design found in the 
important Scythian barrows of Chertomlyk 53 and Kul-Oba 54 show a goddess in a 
long coat with pendant sleeves, indicating that the garment was known in the 
region north of the Black Sea during the 4th century B.C. and that it was an 
attribute there of divine personages (Fig. 19). All of the plaques represent the 
same scene within a decorated frame: on the left is a goddess seated upon a 


throne, a kandys over her shoulders, a hood on her head and a round mirror in 
her hands; on the right a young Scyth stands before her drinking from a rhyton. 
Justin (c. 200 A.D.) noted that the Parthians dressed in Median garments at the 
time they rose to power. 55 Indeed, the reverse side of numerous coins from the 
Arsacid Dynasty (between c. 238 B.C. and A.D. 224) habitually depict a seated 
figure wearing a variant of the kandys with pendant sleeves. 56 The head of the 
figure is covered with a hood and tied with a diadem indicating that a king is 
represented. He holds a bow in his hands. This conventional representation of 
the garment seems to derive from a style of dress which dates to the time of 
Arsaces, founder of the dynasty. The figure on the coins may in fact be Arsaces 
himself 57 (Fig. 20). 

The kandys, which appears in artistic representations between the 6th century 
B.C. and the 3rd century A.D., probably did not originate in Western Asia, 
where prior and parallel to its introduction, garments consisted of large, wide 
pieces of cloth. Characteristic products of the warp-weighted loom, 58 such 
pieces were wrapped or draped around the body in many ways. In contrast, the 
long sleeved kandys was made of fabric woven in comparatively narrow widths, 
suggesting the use of a horizontal loom. Since the earliest representations of 
the kandys depict it being worn by Medes, it may be assumed that they brought 
the garment to the Iranian Plateau. 

Since the kandys is known to us only through what we may assume to be more 
or less precise artistic representations, the reconstruction of its cut can only 
be hypothetical. Many of the depictions suggest that the fronts and back were 
cut from a single piece with a long, vertical slit for a central front opening and 
a smaller horizontal slit for the neck which allowed the front panels to be 
turned back. Since the width of the fabric could not have provided sufficient 
fullness for the coat, side pieces would have been needed. Judging from the 
straight, rigid appearance of these mantles in early representations, the sides 
were very likely made of rectangular pieces. It is also probable that the long 
sleeves, once simply cut crosswise from the material, were set into this con- 
struction above the sides (later referred to as type "A", Fig. 22), and that the 
longer sleeves seen in some examples, and described by Xenophon, were 
formed from extra widths or part widths. Together with the extremely long 
sleeves, sewn-up rounded sleeve-ends appear, indicating that the custom of 
closing the sleeves was common even at this early period. 5 ' The construction of 
the kandys may thus have been very similar to that of the Hungarian szur, 
for the latter was cut in the manner suggested here. Certainly, like the szur, it 
was always worn over the shoulders with pendant sleeves. 

In contrast to the foregoing, a long coat found in one of the Katanda kurgans 
(Fig. 21) in the Altai Mountains, and compared by the Russian archaeologist 
S. I. Rudenko to the kandys, 60 indicates another type of cut. Made of sable, this 
garment was cut in a style more characteristic of fabrics woven in narrow 
widths than of fur garments. Its fronts and back were constructed from two 
strips sewn together vertically down the back with an emphasized central back 
seam and a straight central-front opening. Such a garment (type "B", Fig. 22) 
needed no additional fullness at the sides. The coat, with very long, narrow 

sleeves which can hardly have been intended for functional use, was probably 
worn over the shoulders like the kandys. The hem and both edges of the front 
opening seem to have been bordered with fur which continued into a roughly 
triangular panel at the back — a feature also evocative of Median and Persian 
mantles. The outer surface of the Katanda coat was entirely covered with a 
mosaic scale pattern of ermine. To emphasize wealth, the nomadic Altai 
grandees affixed hundreds of gold-covered wooden plaques and buttons to 
the surface. The vertical line at the back of the coat worn by the Berlin silver 
figurine (Fig. 10) and the passenger of a golden chariot from the Oxus 
Treasure (Fig. 18), could be interpreted as a central back seam, and suggests 
a cut similar to that of the Katanda mantle. The kandys of the two golden 
statuettes from the Oxus Treasure is also adorned in a manner similar to that 
of the Katanda coat (Figs. 8-9). 

At this period two basic possibilities apparently existed for the cut of the 
kandys. These two types, one with fronts and back made of a single piece of 
material and enlarged with separate side-pieces below the sleeves (type "A", 
Fig. 22), and the other made from two widths of material sewn together 
vertically at the centre back and sides (type "B", Fig. 22), still appear together 
in the more recent ethnographical material of Central and West Asia. "Type 
A", showing similarities with the cut of the Hungarian szur, is much more 
characteristic in western Central Asia and the eastern European steppes, 
while "type B" represented by the Katanda coat is typical of the eastern 
regions of Central Asia and the Far East. In Mongolia, China, and Japan it was 
the basic type of garment construction. 

The fashion of the long mantle worn over the shoulders, already favoured for 
many centuries, was perpetuated throughout the first millennium A.D. 6 ' Small 
terracotta statuettes dating from the 3rd to the 6th centuries A.D., found in 
Afrasiab 62 (Uzbek S.S.R.) and Krysgan-Kala 63 (Chorezmia), represent Anahita, 
the goddess of the waters, fertility and procreation, and indicate the survival 
of the kandys type of garment. The goddess wears a long, heavy mantle with 
turned back front panels over her shoulders. The front panels of the mantle 
are decorated with small repeating circles which probably imitate the stamped 
decoration apparent on the considerably earlier metallic representations. 
Since published illustrations show only the front view, it is questionable 
whether this mantle had sleeves, although one may strongly suspect that it 
did. Certainly the front view is very similar to that of the Persian silver or gold 
figurines discussed above. The similarity between the goddess' mantle and the 
kandys becomes even more apparent when compared with the representa- 
tion of Anahita on the probably 5th century Sassanian rock-carvings in the 
massive cave of Taq-e-Bostan. 64 The relief on the back wall of the principal 
cave depicts the investiture of a king; he is receiving two diadems, one from 
Ahuramazda, the other from Anahita. That Anahita again appears wearing a 
long coat with clearly depicted hanging sleeves over a tunic, indicates that this 
costume is one of her iconographic attributes. 65 If this is correct it is possible 
that the deity depicted on the gold plaques from Chertomlyk and Kul-Oba 
might be identified as Anahita (Fig. 19). 


A coat with turned-back front panels and hanging sleeves is depicted on the 
late 5th-early 6th century frescoes at Balalyk-tepe. 66 It is clearly worn by a 
servant girl 67 standing behind a festive group of the Ephthalite (White Hun) 
grandees (Fig. 23). Equally important, all the women represented at Balalyk- 
tepe wear long, cloak-like mantles, apparently made of figured silks, over their 
shoulders. In most cases the garment appears to be a cape, but in one 
example a vertical line, possibly representing a sleeve, is clearly evident. 68 If a 
sleeve is actually intended, then it is quite likely that all these women's 
mantles had hanging sleeves, as on Anahita's mantle (Fig. 23). 

On the late 5th and early 6th century (Northern Wei Dynasty, 386-534) stone 
reliefs from the Buddhist cave temple at Yun Kang in North China, Buddha's 
lay disciple, Vimalakirti, 69 is frequently depicted wearing a /candys-type mantle 
over his shoulders. As the Weis moved their centre from Ta-t'ung to Lo-yang 
in 495, similar works began to appear in the caves of Lung-men, located on the 
southern outskirts of the newly founded capital. Here again there are a 
number of representations from the 520s, where Vimalakirti is shown in a 
sleeved mantle. He is found wearing the coat on a stone relief from c. 530 in 
cave III at T'ien-lung-shan. During the Wei and Northern Ch'i (550-577) 
dynasties in the 6th century, Vimalakirti is often represented in similar costume 
on the reliefs of stone-carved steles. Immediately afterwards he can be seen 
wearing the mantle on the wall paintings of the caves in Tun-Huang. His earliest 
representation is probably that occurring in cave 420 dating from the Sui 
Dynasty (580-618), followed by the paintings of caves 276 (early 7th century), 
220 (642), 103 (first half of the 8th century) and 149. 70 On almost all of these 
representations, Vimalakirti is depicted seated within a canopied couch, 
usually holding a fan in one of his hands. His costume is characteristically not 
Chinese, but he wears either a long gown or a belted tunic and a pair of 
trousers. Over his shoulders, or sometimes over only one, there is a full long 
coat with pendant sleeves. The sleeves are sometimes narrow and short, some- 
times full and long. The garment is usually fastened with a buckle or leather 
straps across the breast and richly bordered along the front opening, the hem 
and the cuffs. Vimalakirti, the wealthy householder from the city of Vaishali 
in northern India, was most likely depicted in such a coat as an indication of 
his foreign origin; eventually it became one of his iconographical attributes. 
Garments similar to the coat worn by him were probably known to the Chinese 
from the steppes, and not necessarily from Vimalakirti's native land. Interest- 
ingly enough, all of these representations come from north China, just below 
the steppe border, and geographically close to the territory from whence 
foreigners coming to China might have brought the costume. 

That such mantles were well known in China is attested by the fact that a large 
number of tomb figurines of the 6th and 7th centuries (Northern Ch'i, Sui and 
T'ang [618-906] dynasties) representing foreigners are depicted in knee-length 
to mid-calf /candys-type coats, worn over the shoulder with long, pendant 
sleeves. The workmanship of these clay figurines indicates that both type "A" 
and "B" (Fig. 22) were common. 7 ' 

Besides the two basic cuts, tomb figurine mantles represent several variations, 

each probably distinguishing a particular ethnic or tribal group. In the late 
6th century, one distinct group of turbaned figures with armenoid features 
wear type "A" mantles with normal length sleeves. They are always closed at 
the neck by overlapping upper parts of the front opening, and are worn over 
a belted shirt, tight knee-length trousers, and knee-high boots 72 (Fig. 24). 
Several types of hooded figures dated to the late 6th and early 7th centuries 
appear wearing elaborately bordered mantles of type "B" 73 (Fig. 25). They are 
closed at the neck and have simple sleeves. Another group of contempora- 
neous hooded figures wearing a shirt, wide baggy trousers and boots have 
similar coats, but with full sleeves hanging in folds (types "A" or "B"). 74 
Although most coats are depicted as relatively rigid garments, made of heavy, 
possible woollen fabric, some of the "B" type coats suggest the use of lighter 
materials. These profusely edged mantles with either over-lapping top or 
rolled collar closure, which clearly reveal the body beneath, have very full, 
draped sleeves. 75 These are frequently worn by both mounted and standing 
warriors (Figs. 26-27). 

From the early 7th century onward, the mantles are usually represented open 
with turned-back front panels and pointed lapels over a long robe and a belted, 
knee-length shirt. The sleeves of this period tend to be of exaggerated length, 
but are always narrow and never draped. The type "A" cut occurs on hooded 
figures 76 (Fig. 28), while type "B" with wide borders along the hem is found 
both on hooded 77 (Fig. 29) and turbaned ones 78 (Fig. 30). At this period, the 
garment appears rigid, indicating the use of heavy materials. In most cases, 
remains of red or orange pigments are visible on the coats, suggesting their 
actual colours. In several cases, the lapels are painted pale green or light 
blue. 79 

The intended national identities of tomb figurines wearing the /candys-type 
mantle have unfortunately not yet been ascertained, although recent studies 
hesitatingly suggest that they were either of Iranian origin or Tocharians who 
lived north of China. 80 Written sources from T'ang Dynasty China describing a 
hu-fu ("barbarian" or rather "foreign costume") may refer to these mantles. 

During the T'ang Dynasty the term hu (barbarian, foreign) seems to have 
referred to the Iranians. The fact that the early Iranians wore the kandys 
supports the supposition that the hu-fu is this mantle. However, it is certain that 
/candys-like mantles were worn by several ethnic groups living on the steppes 
west and northwest of China, since in antiquity the coat was part of the 
costume of many nomadic tribes from Central and West Asia. The extended 
coexistence of type "A" and "B", although possibly reflecting major regional 
variations, makes it practically impossible to identify the intended geographic 
origin of 6th and 7th century Chinese tomb figures from the stylistic variation 
of the mantles they wear. 

Around 720, male costume became fashionable among Chinese women and 
the Sandys-like coat was adopted by them. The figurine of a lady wearing such 
a mantle was found in the tomb of Shih Ssu-li (d. 744). 81 Although this curious 
mode soon passed, a few of the more comfortable garments, among them 


these mantles, continued to be worn by women. They would certainly have 
been suitable for the idealized "plump woman" of the 8th century. 82 

Contemporary and slightly later Chinese or Chinese-style depictions of the 
mantle appear worn by male figures on some of the wall paintings from the 
Turfan area, along the north-western border of China. The mantle with turned- 
back front panels, emphasized lapels and long narrow sleeves, made of resist 
dyed fabric appears on a donor in a wall painting from Sinkiang, Kucha oasis, 
dating from c. 750." At Tun-Huang, in cave 137B, a number of donors are to be 
seen wearing two variations of the mantle, this time with long, wide sleeves 
above a full-length tunic. Some of these coats have rolled collars while others 
have an emphasized single lapel. 84 In the Nestorian Temple at the Eastern 
Gate of Qoco, two figures from the so-called "Palm Sunday" scene of the late 
9th century (T'ang Dynasty) are represented in coats with empty, pendant 
sleeves. 85 One of these coats is of pale blue, the other of dark brown fabric. 
Both are worn over long belted robes, and have slightly turned-back front 
panels with triangular red lapels. The ethnic group or groups to which the 
Turfan figures belong — with the exception of Vimalakirti — is yet unknown, 
but they are obviously of similar origin to some of the figures depicted in the 
earlier Chinese tomb figurines discussed above. A handscroll dating from the 
Northern Sung Dynasty (960-1279) represents barbarian royalty worshipping 
Buddha. One of the figures, also unidentified, wears a long coat with pendant 
sleeves. 86 

According to the Strategicon, written by Orbikios or Rufus at the turn of the 
sixth and seventh centuries, the Avars, who settled in the Carpathian Basin, 
wore over their shoulders a long mantle called gunia or gunoberonicia which 
may well have been a /candys-like garment: 

The Avars "were obliged to wear a certain gunia [yowla] or gunoberonicia 
[yewoSepovLKLd] made from woven fabric [kcvtook^os] which is worn fairly loose 
and has quite wide, long sleeves, so that when they carry their breastplates 
and bows, if by any chance it should pour with rain or if otherwise the air 
becomes damp from dew, the coats worn over breastplates and bows, protect 
their arms, nor do they impede the use of javelins or spears." 87 

Above the western portal of the church at Mren, Armenia, (built c. 638-640), 
one of the donors is represented in a stone relief wearing an ankle-length coat 
with turned back front panels and long, pendant sleeves. 88 The patterned 
bands of the garment may indicate fur, although a very pronounced shoulder 
seam, and a similar seam showing the lengthened sleeve, rather suggest 
woven fabric. 

The kandys, which was an extremely ancient garment, very likely evolved from 
the coat worn by nomadic horsemen and herdsmen accustomed to severe 
climates, and was adopted by a number of different peoples through the ages. 
These people lived in a distinct geographic band following the steppes from 
the Mediterranean Sea to the western border of China (Fig. 31). In the earliest 
representations, the kandys was the festive costume of kings, chieftains, 
members of the upper classes and even deities, but it is quite likely that the 


mantle had simpler variations worn by the common people. The artistic 
depictions of the later periods, particularly the Chinese tomb-figurines, often 
show the coat worn by servants and mercenaries rather than by members of 
the highest classes. 

From the moment we first come in contact with the kandys in representations 
of the 6th century B.C., it was worn not as a coat, but over the shoulders as a 
cloak, in a fashion which was not to change over the centuries. Every example 
appears to have been made from fabric woven in relatively narrow widths, 
although the cut, based on narrow fabrics, shows two major variants (types "A" 
and "B", Fig. 22). 

The prototype of the Hungarian szur is to be found among these /candys-type 
mantles. The type "A" cut retained in the sziir is characteristic of kandys 
mantles from the eastern European steppes as well as parts of West and 
Western Central Asia, and indicates that the Hungarians adopted it when still 
pastoral nomads somewhere in these territories before they settled in the 
Carpathian Basin, that is, before the late 9th century A.D. 

B. Ethnographic Material Related to the Kandys and the Szur 

It has already been noted that kandys variant type "A" (Fig. 22) and the 
Hungarian szur are both similar in cut and based on fabrics woven in narrow 
widths. The fronts and back were of a single piece of material; to assure a 
comfortable fit, the sides were enlarged with separately cut rectangular pieces 
below the sleeves. 89 This type of cut is not characteristic of European, 
particularly western European, costumes. On the other hand, it is common, 
even typical throughout a vast, but geographically distinct area which includes 
parts of eastern Europe, Asia Minor, West and Central Asia 90 (Fig. 31). 

Reflecting ancient garment constructions, different types of folk costumes cut 
in this manner have been worn until quite recently, and in many cases are still 
being worn, by and large, in the same regions where /candys-type garments 
were known historically. The descendants of the kandys itself also survived 
among this ethnographic material. Not only were they cut in a manner similar 
to that of their predecessors, but were often worn in the same way, over 
the shoulders. 

In western and Chinese Turkestan the tshapan and chalet are reminiscent of 
the kandys. These outer mantles are usually made of wool, striped or warp ikat 
silks, and often quilted or padded 9 ' (Figs. 32-33). A narrow band serving as a 
collar is generally attached to the upper part of the front opening. The Afghan 
tshapan tends to be cut in the same fashion. 92 A similar style prevails in Iran, 93 
as well as in Syria where townsmen wear quilted silk or cotton coats over 
their kaftans." 

In the Punjab region the tshoga, made of brown camel wool, is reminiscent of 
the tshapan.'' 5 Mantles made of cashmere, trimmed with tapestry-woven bands, 
identical in cut to that of the tshoga (Fig. 36) were worn over the shoulders by 
members of the upper classes in Kashmir. 96 Turkmen women in the Merv 


Region of Western Turkestan wore a curious variant of such garments called 
kurti over their heads rather than over their shoulders. Their coat-sleeves, 
mere strips of fabric, stitched entirely around, were purely decorative elements. 
They were joined together at the back 97 (Figs. 34-35). 

One type of Ottoman-Turkish ankle-length upper kaftan is closely related to 
the kandys, and is worn over the shoulders with long, narrow, hanging sleeves 
(Fig. 38). The first representation of this garment appears among illustrations 
of an early 14th-century Persian manuscript, the History of the Mongols by 
Rashid ad-Din. 98 In these illustrations, it is worn by turbaned Turks over long 
tunic- or kaftan-\\ke garments and seems to be lined with fur, reminiscent of 
many ancient representations of the kandys. Genghis Khan also was 
represented wearing this coat over his shoulders with only his left arm passed 
through a sleeve. The same type of kaftan in silk, velvet or fine woollen fabric, 
lined with silk or fur, either worn over other kaftan-\'\ke costumes or short 
jackets and baggy trousers, appears with increasing frequency in Islamic 
miniatures of the 15th through 18th centuries. During this period, it was worn 
by both men and women as an outer garment, and, depending on the fabric 
from which it was made, even belonged to the sultan's formal garb and served 
as court costume. Many of the royal kaftans made of expensive patterned silks, 
and housed in the collections of the Topkapi Sarayi Museum in Istanbul, 99 are 
of this type, although their cut became somewhat more complicated than the 
cut of their predecessors. They usually have shoulder seams and the central 
back panel is often tapered. Other examples of this kaftan, worn by upper 
classes, have survived in Romania. 100 Many paintings representing Hungarian 
noblemen during the time of the Turkish occupation of Hungary (1526-1686) 
depict the same type of outfit worn as formal costume. 101 With the passage of 
time, the sleeves of this coat became increasingly longer, so that by the 
16th-17th centuries, they reached the hem of the garment. Sixteenth century 
examples often have vertical slits on either front, sometimes at the seams, 
through which the arms could be passed. From the 17th century onwards, 
rounded, fur-edged armholes replaced the slits. The sleeves became 
exclusively decorative elements and hung down behind the armholes 
(Fig. 38). Such kaftans were still worn in the 19th century, but had gone 
entirely out of fashion by the early 20th century. 

The ancestor of this kaftan was a variation of the /candys-type garments which 
may well have been worn by the Ottomans when they still lived in Central Asia. 
The exceptionally long and narrow pendant sleeves evolved later at the 
Ottoman court. Nevertheless, the older types of this kaftan survived among 
Turkish ethnographical costumes. A dust-mantle from Smyrna, with normal 
length sleeves made of heavy cotton, banded with silk and with embroidered 
decoration on the upper parts of the central front opening, is cut in the same 
way as the common Turkestan mantles mentioned above. 102 

Garments related to the kandys are also found on the eastern European 
Steppes. Near the Ural mountains, the outer coat of the Bashkir women, made 
of coarse, natural coloured wool, reflects the Turkmen mantles in its cut. The 
Kasar Tartars wore analogous garments made of figured silks. 103 In the Upper 
Volga Region, the more traditional Cheremiss mantles, trimmed with applied 


edgings, were similar. 104 Interestingly enough, Cheremiss women wore a coat 
related in its origins not only to the general type of /candys-like garments, but 
to a variant which can be closely associated with the Hungarian szur. The upper 
part of the front openings of this coat was emphasized with additional richly 
decorated, slightly curved panels, which continued into a large, rectangular 
collar at the back. Although this collar was only ornamental on the relatively 
recent examples, it may formerly have been transformable into a hood, much 
as the collar of the szur. Unlike the simpler construction of the szur, the 
Cheremiss coats have long, tapered sleeves, and large triangular underarm 
gussets, and diagonally shaped side-pieces are set below the sleeves, each 
with a short central vent at the hem' 05 (Fig. 39). Certain kandys-Wke mantles, 
both short and long, worn over the shoulders and made of heavy brown, black 
or white woollen twill are known from peasant costumes of the western border 
of the European steppes in Galicia, 106 Poland, 107 Hungary, 108 Transylvania, 109 
Moldavia, 110 Wallachia, 111 Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia and the Yugoslavian 

In addition to the Cheremiss women's coats, mantles from the Balkan 
Peninsula are the most closely related to the szur. These Balkan coats, both 
long and short, have the same sleeve and side panel construction and large 
collars at the back transformable into hoods. With few exceptions they are 
worn over the shoulders. Like the szur they are always made of heavy, usually 
fulled woollen twill, woven in comparatively narrow widths. 

An early origin for the mode on the Dalmatian coast is evident from the fact 
that this type of coat is mentioned in 14th century records deposited in the 
archives of Dubrovnik (Ragusa). 112 On a fresco dated between 1313 and 1318 
from the church at Staro Nagoricino in northern Macedonia we see Saint 
George on horseback wearing over his shoulders a similar mantle made of red 
fabric with wide orange borders along the fronts and at the hem and cuffs 113 
(Fig. 40). Saint George faces the viewer, hence his collar is not visible. Since 
such garments never appear on Byzantine frescoes of the period, we conclude 
that the painter was inspired by local costume. 

Along the northern Dalmatian coast, particularly in Istria and on some of the 
islands, shepherds, peasants and fishermen wore a heavy coat over their 
shoulders as protection against inclement weather. This coat, called kapot, 
was made of thick, fulled, dark brown, woollen twill. It always had a hood and 
turned back front panels similar to those of the Hungarian szur, yet lacking the 
fastening across the breast. The kapots worn for special occasions were 
trimmed with applied ornaments of red broadcloth and silk braiding on the 
hood and around the slit pockets. The hood was usually lined and the front 
panels covered with red broadcloth (s/cr/ef). 114 Those individuals who appear 
wearing a similar brown coat with or without red decoration on many 17th-19th 
century Venetian paintings are probably the inhabitants of Istria, its 
surrounding coastline and islands, who had made the relatively short journey 
across the Atlantic to Venice. 115 

In the Turopolje region of Croatia, near Zagreb, both men and women wore a 


long mantle known as coha or kepenek" 6 (Figs. 41-42). This long coat, worn 
over the shoulders and fastened across the chest with leather straps and 
buckle, is made of relatively light, white, fulled woollen twill. Its sleeves are 
usually tapered. The coat's hemline is often widened with additional triangular 
gores inserted between the back-panel and the sides. This coat has a special 
collar construction which extends over the shoulders and part way down over 
the upper fronts. It serves as a yoke-like shoulder protection and can be 
transformed into a hood." 7 The collar, sleeves and edging around the back-vent 
of the coha/kepenek are invariably richly adorned with applied geometric 
designs made from punched dots of red, yellow, blue and green broadcloth, a 
decoration which evolved from the applied ornaments of leather garments. 
The collar is characteristically lengthened with a strip of dark blue broadcloth 
or felt. As for the decoration, there were many regional variants with colour 
modifications, determined by the age of the bearer, ranging from the intensely 
red through darker shades. Similar mantles were formerly commonly worn 
everywhere along the River Sava as well as in Croatian Prigorje, but survived 
in the 20th century only in Turopolje. 

In Wallachia, along the Danube River, the surugiu or liveried coachman wore 
a wide mantle called imurluc or ipingea with a large collar which could be 
buttoned into a hood; its cut bore similarities to the szur (Fig. 43). The woollen 
fabric used for these coats was of natural colour (generally white, grey or 
brown; seldom black) or red, fulled twill woven in 60 cm widths (1 cubit) by the 
peasant women. The garments themselves were made up by special tailors in 
small village work-shops. The mantle was always richly decorated with spirals 
and circles of coloured woollen braids or simple applied broadcloth elements 
on the collar or hood, the centre part of the sides, the back, and along the 
front opening. For festive occasions, it was worn over the shoulders with 
pendant sleeves, but for travelling the sleeves were used. Such coats also 
appeared in Moldavia and were called manta™ (Fig. 44). 

Around Kumanovo in Yugoslavian Macedonia men had an upper garment 
called kusljak, made of extremely coarse, rust-brown, black or grey woollen 
fabric. This material was home-made and was not fulled. The mantle was never 
embroidered, and seldom even adorned with edgings. One type of kusljak 
resembles a short jacket with three-quarter length sleeves which are usually 
functional. At the back, it has a rectangular collar joined to the turned-back 
front panels (Fig. 45). A longer variation of the mantle covers the knees. Like 
the szur, its collar can be made into a hood. The three-quarter length sleeves 
are rarely used, the coat being generally worn over the shoulders and fastened 
with leather straps across the chest. Unlike its shorter counterpart, the fronts 
are not turned back into panels. 1 " 

A long coat with a hood, called kabanica, guna or sakma, made of brown or 
sometimes black woollen fabrics without any decoration, was also worn in the 
mountains of the southern regions of Yugoslavian Macedonia. Since the slightly 
overlapping fronts of this coat are cut in two separate pieces, usually from a 
three-quarter width of fabric, and since the back is made from a full width, the 
coat has shoulder seams. The strips which remained from the fabric after the 
front panels were cut, are used, as in most sziirs, to give a selvaged border 


along the hem. Beneath the long narrow sleeves, the sides are enlarged with 
rectangular pieces, while two long, narrow gores are inserted between the back 
and the sides. In some cases, the shoulders are provided with an applied yoke 
for protection against rain. 120 

Close variations of this coat are also known from Bulgaria, 12 ' Greek Macedonia 
and Thessaly,' 22 where they are called kapa or kapot (Figs. 47, 48). Another 
hooded variant, known as guna, was common in the Nis Region of eastern 
Serbia;' 23 it was worn generally by men and in bad weather even by women. 
This coat, made of brown woollen twill, always had a shoulder seam since the 
back and the two somewhat overlapping fronts were in separate pieces. The 
sides were widened not by additional straight side pieces beneath the sleeves, 
but with large triangular gores inserted beside the back panel. It was worn 
over the shoulders with pendant sleeves and fastened across the chest with 
simple button and loop closing. The hood and the hem of the coat were edged 
with a narrow selvaged border. Other variations of the coat, made of heavy 
brown or grey woollen fabric with an almost separate back-collar which can be 
buttoned into a hood are known from Albania (guna),' 24 northern Greece 
(/capa)' 25 (Figs. 49, 50, 51), and some of the Ionian Islands (/capof). 126 These 
examples have their sleeves closed, the fronts are enlarged with overlapping 
panels, and wide triangular gussets are inserted between the back panel and 
the sides. 

Around Tetovo, Kumanovo and Galicnik, short jackets called cepe or 
zobantche zetovsko, similar to the short variation of the kusljak, are worn by 
Mijacka Macedonians.' 27 These jackets, made of dark brown, fulled, woollen 
twill called sukno and dyed with green walnut husks, have short, functionally 
used sleeves and turned back front panels connected to a collar at the back 
which may be buttoned into a hood in rainy or cold weather. Their cut varies 
considerably between a type where fronts and back are made of a single piece 
and the sides are enlarged by the addition of square pieces beneath the 
sleeves, and other types where three fabric widths with shoulder seam form 
the back and the fronts together with the sides (Fig. 45). Interestingly enough 
such construction is apparent in some of the szurs from the Banat' 28 (Fig. 63), 
suggesting that this variant was once spread over a much larger geographical 
area. Jackets with three-quarter length sleeves and back collar, related to 
the short kusljak and cepe, are also known from Albania (Figs. 45, 46). In 
northern Albania, men wear the xhurdine, a short coat made of heavy black 
goat-hair twill edged with braids and with fringed collar.' 29 In central Albania, 
between Cavaia and Croia, it is called a xhyrdin and is worn over the 
shoulders.' 30 Such jackets are richly trimmed with couched woollen braids on 
the sleeves, the collar and along the front opening. Existing examples of the 
garment are made of black, heavy, fulled goat hair twill called shajak; the 
material was woven by women. It is said that the xhyrdin was originally white 
but that the Albanians began to dye it black in 1468 as a sign of mourning for 
the national hero, Skanderbeg; the colour has been retained ever since. The 
fringed collars of these Albanian jackets can no longer be converted into 
hoods, but there is little doubt that their prototypes were unfringed and could 
be used as hoods.' 3 ' 


Macedonian Vlachs wore a particular variant of the long coat having a large 
rectangular collar which could be buttoned into a hood with knotted buttons 
and loops, called siguni. U7 It was made of extremely narrow (25 cm) widths of 
black woollen fabric characteristically constructed with a centre-back seam, 
otherwise unusual in the Balkans but well known from Central and East Asia. 
The siguni was always worn over the shoulders. Its slightly tapered long 
sleeves were joined together at the back with the help of a double cord, recall- 
ing those coats which were worn over the heads of the Turkomen women. 133 
The coat is enlarged with two sizable triangular gores inserted between the 
back panel and the sides. To its fronts triangular panels are added and all the 
seams are emphasized by decorative braiding. This interesting garment 
resembles in many ways the general Balkan type of szur-Wke coats, but may 
not relate directly to our group. 

C. The Adoption of the Szur by the Early Hungarians 134 

Fundamentally a Finno-Ugrian linguistic group, the Hungarians are known to 
have originated somewhere in the region of the Ural Mountains. From which 
side they came has not yet been determined, but what is important to this study 
is that sometime in the first millennium B.C., the proto-Hungarians separated 
from their Ugrian group, gave up what formerly must have been a forest life of 
hunting and fishing and became closely associated with a Turkic tribe or tribes. 
As a result of this association they developed into nomadic herdsmen. Con- 
siderably later, in A.D. 463, the Avars left their homeland on the north-western 
border of China and attacked the Sabirs. Pushed westward, the latter in turn 
attacked the Saragur (White Ogur), Urog (Ugor) and Onogur (Ten Ogurs) 
peoples, driving them into the neighbourhood of the Black Sea and the eastern 
shores of the Sea of Azov. The Onugors, composed primarily of Turkic groups, 
included also the Hungarians. Soon after 463 the Hungarians reached the 
shores of the Black Sea and settled between the Don and the lower Kuban 
rivers. Resettlement there was relatively unimpeded. Shortly before, in 453, the 
great Hunnish chieftain Attila had died and his powerful empire, which had 
included this region, collapsed. The Onugors mixed with Huns who had 
remained in the area, a union which, from the 7th century, resulted in the 
establishment of the Great Bulgarian Empire with which the Hungarians were 
closely connected. 

In 552, the Turks overthrew the kingdom of the Yuan-Yuans (Asian Avars) who 
lived in the territory of modern Mongolia, and within several years they 
established an empire extending from the Pacific to the Black Sea; the area 
was divided into an Eastern and a Western Turkish Empire. This empire was 
temporarily overthrown by the Chinese in 630, leading one group of the western 
Turkish tribes to establish the Khazar Khanat. The centre of Khazaria was 
bordered by the Caucasus, the Don and the Volga Rivers and the Caspian Sea, 
but sovereignty soon spread to the neighbouring territories so that between 
641 and 689 the Khazars occupied Great Bulgaria. At this time, the Hungarians 
and the Bulgarians became their dependents. Although Turkish society, culture 
and customs had for centuries influenced the Hungarians, life under the Khazar 
Khanat brought even deeper and more lasting changes. Among them were the 
establishment of dual kingship, the positions of authority and the names of the 


dignitaries, the use of Turkish rune-writing, contact with Christianity, introduc- 
tion of agriculture and various trades, and adoption of costume elements. The 
result of this extensive influence led the Byzantines, when writing about the 
Hungarians in the 9th century, to refer to them as Turks. 

About the year 830, the Hungarians broke away from the Khazar Empire and 
moved westward in search of greater independence. Four other rebelling tribes 
went with them: the so-called Kabars (meaning rebellious), among whom 
were a number of Iranian Chorezmians, Alans, also of Iranian origin, some 
Bulgarians, and Khazars. The new territory to which they went, situated 
between the Don River, the Carpathian Mountains and the Lower Danube River, 
was called Etelkoz (i.e. territory between the rivers). Here, in 895-96, as the 
result of a dispute between the Danube Bulgarians and the Byzantines in which 
the Hungarians aided victorious Byzantium, the defeated Bulgarians joined the 
Petchenegs and attacked the Hungarians, pushing them westward into the 
Carpathian Basin where they have remained to the present day (Fig. 31). 
During their early history the Hungarians moved through the eastern European 
steppes, the northern border of the vast geographical region where kandys- 
type garments were being worn by many different ethnic tribes (Fig. 31). The 
Hungarians most probably adopted the proto-szi/r from Turkish groups and 
perhaps certain Iranian tribes when they lived on the steppes, sometime 
between the mid-5th and early 9th century A.D. 

Ethnographic material suggests that a special variation of the kandys with a 
large collar developed in the European steppes, in the regions of the Black Sea 
and the Sea of Azov. In the event of bad weather, the collar of this mantle could 
be transformed into a hood, either by buttoning or interlocking its lower 
corners when drawn over the head. While the predecessors of the mantle, 
known from Median, Persian, and various Central and West Asian representa- 
tions, do not have this back-collar, the kandys is usually depicted with a 
separate hood. This hood, a necessity for people who spent most of their life 
outdoors in lands of extreme climates, here became an integral element of 
these coats from at least the middle of the first millennium A.D. All variations of 
the Hungarian szur have a collar with roundels attached to the lower corners 
which could be knotted together into a hood, a practice still used into the 
20th century. The szur presumably had this collar before the Hungarians 
arrived in the Carpathian Basin, i.e., before the end of the 9th century. A collar 
similar to that of the szur is found among the ethnographic costume of the 
Cheremiss (Fig. 39), a Finno-Ugrian group closely related linguistically to the 
Hungarians. They have lived along both sides of the river in the Upper Volga 
Region since at least the middle of the first millennium A.D., just north of the 
area from where the Hungarians came westward to reach their present 
country. The Cheremiss maintained a local tradition. 

The jackets and mantles of the Balkan Peninsula, the Wallachian imurluc or 
ipingea; the Moldavian manta; the Serbian and Macedonian kabanica, guna 
or sakma; the Albanian xhurdine or xhyrdin; the Greek and Istrian kapot; 
examples from Bulgaria, etc. (Figs. 40-52) which historically would seem to 
relate to the Hungarian szur, but which cannot be explained by it, may be 


associated with the influence of the Bulgarians. Between the mid-5th and 7th 
centuries A.D., the Bulgarian Turks lived on the steppes north of the Black Sea, 
side by side with the Hungarians. Soon after the middle of the 7th century, as a 
result of the pressure of the expanding Khazar State, a group of these Turks, 
later known as Danube Bulgarians, fled westward under the leadership of their 
khan, Isperich. They reached the Danube in 679 and, subjugating the Slavonic 
population of Moesia, established themselves on both banks of the river 
(Fig. 31). They built a powerful empire southward over the greater part of the 
Balkans, extending their frontiers across Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania 
and Thrace. For a short while they occupied the lands as far as the Adriatic and, 
until the arrival of the Hungarians, ruled over what is now eastern Hungary and 
Transylvania. Although their power declined slowly during the 11th and 12th 
centuries, their importance disappeared only in the 14th century when they 
lost independence as a result of the Ottoman Turkish expansion. 135 Considering 
their influence in the early medieval history of the Balkans, one may suppose 
that their arrival and political rule over the lands brought many changes in the 
life of the inhabitants of that region. The szur-Wke coats and jackets could have 
appeared with, and been adopted from, the Danube Bulgarians who arrived 
from those lands where it can be supposed this garment originated 136 and from 
where the Hungarians also brought the tradition. 

Originally the proto-szi/r was very likely worn by the dominant Hungarian 
classes as well as by the more humble tribesmen. Among the upper classes, 
the mantle must have diminished in importance, and even passed entirely out 
of fashion as their nomadic existence came to an end. When they settled in the 
Carpathian Basin in the late 9th century, subsequently developing into a 
European Christian state, their tents quickly gave way to palaces, castles, and 
houses built of earth and stone. Their eastern outlook was influenced by the 
international European medieval way of life which they endeavoured to 
emulate. No longer herdsmen, the rich had no further practical need for the 
szur: they abandoned it in favour of contemporary European modes. But the 
lower classes, including serfs, peasants and herdsmen, although no longer 
nomadic, spent a good deal of time out of doors, and needed the szur as 
protection against the elements. 

D. Linguistic Evidence for the Adoption of the Sziir 

The probability that the proto-szur was transmitted to the Hungarians by 
Turkish and to a lesser extent by Iranian tribes, sometime between the 5th and 
9th centuries A.D., is supported by evidence derived from the Hungarian 
language itself. 

The word sziir, by which these mantles are called, has a double meaning in 
Hungarian: it refers to a heavy, fulled, woollen fabric, and to the mantles made 
from this material. Etymologically the word szur has the same origin as the 
word szurke which now means the colour grey. Szurke, in fact, derives from the 
word szur.™ The latter is thought to have entered the Hungarian language from 
a Turkish dialect at a period prior to the arrival of the Hungarians in present 
day Hungary. 138 Since certain garments and fabrics were grey, this word quite 
naturally described their colour; at the same time there is little doubt that from 


an early, as yet undetermined period, it referred to a special type of grey woven 
fabric, more precisely a coarse, possibly fulled, heavy, grey woollen cloth. In 
Latin sources from Hungary, such expressions as grisea tunica (grey tunic or 
rather tunic made of grey fabric) are frequent. Some religious orders were 
named after the grey coloured garments they wore, hence the Cistercians were 
often referred to in the chronicles and charters as Grisei Monachi (Grey Monks, 
meaning monks dressed in grey) or Ordo Griseus (Grey Order), and in 
Hungarian szurkebarat (grey monk). 139 The word szur, meaning both the colour 
grey and grey woven fabric, first appears in a Hungarian vernacular as zyr in 
1395' 40 and zir in 1405. 141 The szi/r-fabric was from an early period the charac- 
teristic clothing of serfs, peasants, and herdsmen.' 42 It was the broadcloth of 
the lower classes, and, together with handwoven hemp tabby and leather, 
served as basic material for their clothing. In many old Hungarian texts, this 
fabric is symbolic of the poor. In the Kazinczy Codex, written between 1526 and 
1541, one can read the following: "Having thrown off his expensive clothes, 
he changed into szur." u3 In a work written by Mihaly Bathory in 1664 appears 
the prophecy: "A jacket made of szur will be put on your neck instead of 
English broadcloth and silk." 144 

Of the many kinds of Hungarian garments made from szt/Mabric 145 the most 
popular was the szi/r-mantle, formerly described as szur-kontos, szur- 
koponyeg or szur-csuha. According to our present knowledge, this change 
occurred sometime during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The word 
szur ceased to be used as an adjective referring to the fabric from which the 
garment was made, but became the noun describing the coat itself. The 
Calepinus Dictionary of 1585 mentioned the Hungarian word sziir (szwr, zwr) 
as the equivalent of the garments called gaunacum and mastruca in Latin. 146 
In an account book dated 1619 from the castle of Sarospatak, 147 szi/r-mantles 
were mentioned simply as szurs among payments to swineherds, other herds- 
men, fieldhands and gardeners. This shorter name for the mantle became more 
and more general, and by the 19th century, the expressions szur-koponyeg and 
szur-csuha were merely peculiarities in the vocabulary of certain dialects, 
while the term szur-kontos had disappeared entirely from the dialects. 

The expression szur-kontos, meaning the szi/r-mantle, is first known from 
1558. 148 However, the term kontos appears alone in written sources as early as 
1363."" It meant a sleeved upper garment which was often decorated and worn 
by the upper classes. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the word referred to 
several different kinds of long and short coats worn by both men and women. 
In addition to those made of szur fabric, such garments were also of broad- 
cloth, velvet, fur, lambskin and silk; woollen kontos, however, were by far the 
most common. Written sources further indicate that the Turkish-influenced 
mantles with long sleeves and fur edging, often provided with a back-collar of 
fur and always worn over the shoulders, were also called kontos.™ 

The word kontos is a wandering term which appears in several languages. In 
Ottoman Turkish, kontos means an outer coat worn by Tartar begs; the 
Bulgarian kuntos or kontus means exactly the same thing; the Serbo-Croatian 
kuntoz refers simply to an overcoat, as does the Byelo-Russian kuntus; in 


Polish, kuntusz or kontusz means an oriental overcoat with hanging sleeves 
which was formerly part of the traditional upper class costume; the eastern 
Slovakian kontus refers to the coat worn by the Poles; and in old Romanian as 
well as in some existing Romanian dialects, contas, contos or contus means 
the magnificent outer coats of Turkish influence worn by the boyars.™ All of 
these terms are closely connected both in sound and meaning with each other, 
and all seem to derive from the Iranian kandys.™ The Greek transliteration is 
navbvv and is the very term used by Xenophon to describe the long, 
heavy coats worn over the shoulders by the ancient Medes and Persians. In 
other words, the term describes the very mantle which appears on objects from 
the Oxus Treasure, on reliefs of Persepolis and throughout Central and West 
Asia at one time or another from the 6th century B.C. to the 9th century A.D., 
and through ethnographic material up to the 19th and early 20th centuries, 
which we suggest is the ancestor of the sziir itself. The similarity between the 
word and its later national variants, and between the objects themselves which 
it describes over the centuries, can hardly be coincidental. While the immediate 
derivation of the Hungarian word kontos is still undetermined, linguists agree 
that it could have come neither from any of the other Eastern European 
languages in which a similar word occurs, nor from the Ottoman Turkish. 153 
It seems, rather, that the word was introduced to the Hungarian language from 
some lost language during the first millennium A.D. and very likely after the 
Hungarians migrated to the region of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in 
the mid-5th century. There they could have adopted both the word and the 
proto-szi/r from neighbouring Turkic or Iranian tribes. 154 

The term koponyeg is known from 1494, 155 while the expression szur- 
koponyeg first appears in written sources only in 1598. 156 Even then it meant 
overcoat or mantle. It is certainly from Turkish dialects that the word 
koponyeg originates. It exists in Ottoman Turkish as kepenek, and in modern 
usage has an archaic tone meaning the hooded, nomadic, heavy white felt 
outer mantles of the Anatolian shepherds, 157 and the overcoat of the 
Janissaries. 158 It was also through Turkish that the word passed into the 
vocabulary of several Slavic languages. 159 While there is no precise indication 
when the term entered the Hungarian language, nor from which Turkish dialect 
it came, 160 it is probable that it was not adopted from the Ottomans but from the 
Bulgarian Turks between the 5th and 9th centuries A.D. 161 At this time the 
Hungarians could have adopted the szt/r-mantle and it is reasonable to assume 
that the name would have been adopted concurrently with the garment. 1 " 

The third expression used to describe the szi/r-mantle is the szur-csuha. When 
the word csuha first appears in 1494-95, '" it means over-coat; its use to 
describe the szur is not known before 1614. m The word has a similar counter- 
part in Ottoman Turkish: cuha, which means a woven woollen fabric. The word 
entered some of the Southern Slavic dialects of the Balkan Peninsula 165 
through the Ottoman Turkish and Hungarian languages. The word csuha itself 
derives from the Persian coxa meaning over-robe or mantle. The immediate 
derivation of the Hungarian term is not clear. 166 There is little doubt that it is 
linguistically related to the Ottoman Turkish cuha, but the Hungarian usage 
meaning "robe" or "coat", and the Ottoman meaning "fabric" suggests that 


the former was not derived from the latter. Linguistic similarity between csuha 
and cuha is probably determined by their common source; difference in 
meaning can be explained by divergent development. That the Hungarian 
csuha perpetuates the meaning of the Persian coxa, and that the term appears 
relatively early in written sources, indicates that it may have entered the 
Hungarian language at an early point (perhaps from a Bulgarian - Turkish 
dialect which in turn had been directly influenced by Persian). At that time it 
may have referred to a szur-Wke mantle made of woven woollen fabric. 167 

While the linguistic derivation and descent of the three Hungarian terms 
formerly used to describe the szur is not entirely clear, all are manifestly 
ancient yet not Finno-Ugrian. The derivations of the words kontos, koponyeg 
and csuha stem from the same geographical region and historical period 
where and when the Hungarians adopted the mode of the proto-szt/r. Although 
the written documents in which these words appear date back only to the 
14th-15th centuries, and although they are known to refer to mantles made of 
szt/Mabric only from the late 16th century, documents in the vernacular are 
rare before that time. By then the szur was already a typical peasant garment 
worn by those who received little detailed attention in pre-17th century 
documents. There can be little doubt, however, that these words were used to 
refer to the szur in previous centuries; as far back as they can be traced, the 
words all refer to a mantle made of woven woollen fabric. 


The Hungarian Szdr 

A. Szur Fabric 

In Hungary, the thick, heavy woollen material, called originally szur or 
szur-poszt6, Ui was formerly woven at home by the peasants themselves. 
Because szi/r-fabric was used in great quantities by a large segment of the 
population, its production had from medieval times grown into a more 
sophisticated craft. Charters of the 11th and 13th centuries mention linen 
weavers {linifices), wool-weavers {lanifices) and weavers (textores), with 
reference to the early manufacture of textiles in Hungary. 169 While these 
references are too brief and imprecise to allow us to determine what kinds of 
woollen cloth were being woven, it is evident that woollen woven fabrics were 
regularly made and that their makers presumably were centred around 
monasteries, abbeys, the royal court, and noble houses. The production of 
szi/r-fabric must have been an important element of their trade, for at least by 
the late 14th century the weaving of szi/r-fabric was such an important craft 
that it was regulated by guilds. 170 

The first charter granting the right to make szi/r-fabric was probably given to 
the Saxonians of Transylvania, who had organized a szi/r-weaver and fuller 
guild at Nagyszeben (Hermanstadt, Sibiu) and Nagydisznod as early as 1376. 171 
On the Great Hungarian Plain, the szi/r-weavers and fullers of Nagyvarad 
(Oradea) received similar privileges in the last quarter of the 14th century. 
The charter of the Debrecen guild, dated 1395, was based on the Nagyvarad 
document. 172 

During the Turkish occupation of Hungary (1526-1686) sheep raising decreased 
on the Plain, and the resulting scarcity of wool caused the decline of the 
Nagyvarad and Debrecen weaver and fuller's guilds. Consequently, the 
szi/r-makers of these towns often had to obtain szi/r-fabric from the Saxonians 
in Transylvania, for they produced the greatest quantity of this special fabric. 
Since so much was exported, the Prince of Transylvania, Zsigmond Bathory, 
in 1582 prohibited further exportation of the material outside his principality. 
In 1607 Prince Zsigmond Rakoczi and in 1609 Prince Gabor Bathory renewed 
this prohibition, although the latter made some concessions to the Nagyvarad 
and Debrecen szi/r-makers for the export, trade and working of this fabric. 
Masters from these towns were permitted to maintain their privileges even 
though, in 1613, Prince Gabor Bethlen turned the szi/r-fabric trade into a 
princely monopoly. 173 

Little is known about the subsequent history of the Nagyvarad guild, although 
we presume it survived until the early 17th century. In Debrecen, the decline 
of the szi/r-fabric making industry was hastened in the late 17th century by the 
rise in popularity of the guba. m Because this more economical, fleecy, long- 
piled blanket-coat became so popular, the Debrecen szi/r-weavers and fullers 
slowly changed their craft into gt/ba-weaving and fulling, and bequeathed 
their former trade to their one-time guild brothers, the szi/r-makers. 175 The 
szi/r-makers were not trained in weaving and fulling, and soon gave it up 
entirely. They preferred to buy szi/r-fabric from the weavers and fullers of 
other regions, particularly from the Saxonians, and made the most of their old 
privileges for the export of this product from Transylvania. The importance of 


these privileges was paramount in the 18th century, for at that time the 
Debrecen szt/r-makers were procuring material not only for themselves but 
for practically the entire Great Plain. 176 

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Debrecen szt/r-makers imported an 
unbelievably large quantity of szt/r-fabric from Transylvania. It is known, for 
example, that in the year 1816-17, 101,900 rolls of szi/r-fabric produced by the 
Saxonian weavers and fullers were brought to Debrecen and divided among 
23 szt/r-makers. 177 One roll of material was enough for four szt/r-mantles, which 
means that the entire amount could have made 407,600 mantles. Even with 
numerous assistants, 23 masters could never have worked up this immense 
quantity of material, for in Debrecen a small workshop would only make about 
one thousand coats a year. Most of the material was sold by the szt/r-makers, 
some to private individuals who needed szt/r-fabric for different garments 
produced at home, but the majority in bulk to szt/r-makers and szt/r-maker 
guilds of other towns. After the 1840s-1850s when the peasants began to wear 
garments made of finer broadcloth and the old szt/r-garments, with the 
exception of the mantles, went out of style, the szt/r-fabric was sold only in 
bulk. Seeing the success of the szt/r-fabric trade, the gt/ba-weavers of 
Debrecen wished to return to their former trade in the early 19th century. 
But their efforts were unsuccessful, since the szt/r-makers for whom it was the 
most important source of income would not relinquish their rights to the 
import of the Transylvanian product.' 78 

Second only to the Transylvanian Saxonians in this enormous trade of the 
18th and 19th centuries were the szt/r-weavers and fullers of Veszprem, 
Transdanubia. While Transylvania supplied the Great Plain, Veszprem 
produced szt/r-fabric for practically the whole of Transdanubia. Their early 
documents have unfortunately disappeared as a result of the stormy centuries 
of Hungarian history and nothing is known about the medieval existence and 
importance of their guild. Other smaller szt/r-weaver and fuller guilds of the 
country never attained particular importance and worked basically for the local 
market only.' 79 

Szt/r-fabric was made from the coarse long-stapled wool of the Hungarian 
purzsa-sheep. ' 80 Woven in 2/2 twill, it had a hairy surface, and was always made 
of a width of approximately 63 cm (1 cubit). The length of the roll varied from 
period to period and region to region. 18 ' Once woven, this fabric was exposed 
to a fulling process to shrink it and to render it weather-proof. The fulling mill 
itself was worked by water-power in a simple and rather small wooden building. 
The szt/r-fabric was put first into cold water for two hours, then into hot water 
for two days, and back into cold for one more day. Having been exposed thus to 
heat and cold, it was placed horizontally in a narrow, shallow tray carved from 
a heavy tree trunk. At least three of these trays lay side by side and running 
water flowed over them. The fabric was beaten in the water for six days by 
wooden hammers driven by hydraulic power. At the end of this rigorous 
treatment the fabric was properly fulled, and was put out on fresh grass to dry 
in the sunshine.' 82 


The szt/r-fabric of the 19th century, particularly that used for the decorated 
szt/r-mantles, was usually white. Throughout the Middle Ages, the fabric was 
generally grey, a fact which we have already determined from the etymology 
of the word szur, formerly an adjective referring only to the colour. The grey 
colour of this woollen fabric probably resulted from the mixture of black 
and white sheep's wool selected for it, and from the fact that formerly it was 
rarely if ever bleached. White szt/r-fabric woven from carefully selected wool 
started to be more popular during the 17th century, even though it was much 
more expensive. 183 It came into general use only in the 18th— 19th centuries, 
when the economic situation of the Hungarian peasantry improved and 
individuals were able to afford more expensive materials. In spite of the 
popularity of the white mantles, the traditional grey szurs were still being 
worn in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, 184 while old style black szurs 
remained in fashion in parts of the Great Plain and Upper Hungary 185 during the 
same period. 

In the 19th century, the highest quality szt/r-fabric continued to be made in 
Transylvania by the Saxonians. 186 Fabric woven and fulled in Upper Hungary 
was of inferior quality, usually stained white with fuller's earth 187 and was sold 
at half or sometimes a quarter of the price of its Transylvanian counterpart. 188 
In Debrecen, only the Transylvanian cloths could be sold at fairs in the best 
and most prominent places; merchants selling Upper Hungarian material were 
obliged by the guild regulations of 1815 to take up less advantageous 
positions.' 89 By the end of the 19th century the once venerated quality of the 
fabrics made at Veszprem, Transdanubia, had become as inferior as that made 
in Upper Hungary. 

Particularly in the last century, a considerably finer material than the general 
szt/r-fabrics, called karazsia,™ woven in tabby weave from the fine wool of 
merino sheep, was also made by the Transylvanian Saxonians. This fabric was 
used for some of the finer decorated szurs in the Great Plain. 191 The Saxonians 
used this lighter material exclusively for their mantles and, with the exception 
of that imported from Moravia, 192 supplied the entire country with it. 

B. Szi/r-makers and Szi/r-making Guilds 

While szt/r-mantles were formerly home-made products, the producers of 
szt/r-fabric and the masters who made it into mantles and other garments 
subsequently worked in guilds. Already in 1489, a szt/r-maker guild existed in 
Buda, the capital of Hungary; by 1492, there was another such guild in 
Debrecen (Great Plain); in 1543 the szt/r-makers of Gyula (Great Plain) 
received their charter of privileges. 193 Other guilds arose simultaneously 
throughout the country. Information about them is scarce before and during 
the Turkish period (1526-1686), but in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, 
immediately after Hungary's liberation from the Turks, an extraordinarily large 
number of szt/r-making guilds were founded and many which had ceased to 
exist were re-established. The list in Appendix B gives some idea of how 
widespread such guilds were in Hungary until the 1840s (Fig. 54). It should be 
mentioned that in addition to the independent guilds, szt/r-makers were often 
represented among the ranks of the tailors, szt/r-weavers and fuller's guilds. 


Having no connection with the rest of Europe, the Hungarian szt/r-maker guilds 
constituted a unique group. Szt/r-maker journeymen never went abroad to 
gain experience and knowledge for their trade, but travelled only in Hungary 
and Transylvania visiting the different important szt/r-making centres. The 
technical language of the szt/r-makers was made up almost exclusively of 
Hungarian words and expressions, yet this cannot be said regarding the 
professional language of other contemporary trades. 1 ' 4 

Although szt/r-makers made from their raw material such garments as short 
coats, jackets, waistcoats and trousers, their primary and most lucrative 
occupation was the production of szt/r-mantles; from the mid-19th century 
they produced little else. Unassisted, one szt/r-maker could manufacture from 
two to three hundred simple szurs a year, while a small workshop could make 
about one thousand. The fabrication of decorated mantles was much more 
time consuming. According to an old szt/r-maker at Karcag, in the 1880s it took 
a master nine days working from four a.m. to nine p.m. to complete a richly 
embroidered mantle.' 95 

Most szurs were sold at fairs, sometimes at a considerable distance from the 
master's home-town. Szi/r-makers attended fairs regularly (at least eleven 
yearly) and we know that from Somogy county, Transdanubia, a master 
usually took with him thirty to forty szurs on each occasion. 1 ' 6 At the major 
summer fairs throughout the country, there were twenty to thirty szt/r-makers 
selling their products. At a summer fair in the important Transdanubian town 
of Szekesfehervar, in the 1880s, eight hundred to one thousand szurs were 
sold in a single day." 7 

Szurs were also made to order, particularly for large estates and for the church. 
These establishments regularly ordered szt/r-mantles in large quantities for 
the people who worked their lands. Such mantles were traditional part payment 
for fieldhands, herdsmen and coachmen. For the average peasant who did 
not spend a great deal of time outside in bad weather, a good szur lasted a 
lifetime. A serf or fieldhand wore out a mantle in six to eight years and for a 
herdsman — who spent practically his entire life outside — the sturdiest coat 
would not last more than four years. There was thus a constant demand for 
new szt/rs." 8 

The price of these coats varied according to the period and the region where 
they were made and the extent and type of decoration applied. In the mid-19th 
century, the price of the simple, undecorated szurs worn mostly by serfs, 
fieldhands, poor herdsmen and poor peasants, was twelve to fifteen forints, but 
the embroidered ones — worn by the wealthy herdsmen and well-to-do 
peasants — cost twenty-six to forty forints. Even more was paid for an 
exceptionally beautiful and richly embroidered example. 

C. The Cut of the Szur 

The cut of the szt/r-mantle is generally the same throughout Hungary 

(Figs. 55-62). All modifications originate from the different proportions of the 


various parts of the coat and diverse decorative schemes applied to it. 

The most traditional szt/r-type known consists of eight or nine pieces of 
material. Fronts and back are made from a single piece. 199 The front is slit down 
the centre for opening and a horizontal slit cut at the top of the opening, in 
the exact centre of the whole piece of material, provides for the neck and the 
turned-back front-panels. In the case of longer coats, the back often has a 
vent at the bottom to facilitate movement. 200 A large rectangular or square- 
shaped collar with selvage edge along the bottom is invariably sewn to the 
neck-line and along the upper part of the turned-back front panels. This collar 
usually has two roundels at the lower corners by which it can be knotted 
together and made into a hood. 201 The mantle with turned-back front-panels and 
free hanging collar cannot be closed, but when the collar is made into a hood, 
the front-panels turn in, and the garment provides complete protection against 
the elements. The hem is often edged with a narrow band of material having 
a selvage along the bottom. This well planned application of the selvage gives 
extra strength and longevity to those parts of the coat which get the most 
wear. In this regard, it is interesting to note that the shorter szurs of the 
Transdanubian swineherd lack this lower edging (Figs. 58, 59). 

The width of the front and back panels is exactly the width of the szi/r-fabric, 
i.e. 60-63 cm (one cubit). 202 Since this is too narrow to provide sufficient width, 
rectangular pieces of varying width are added at the sides below the sleeves. 
There are usually two of these pieces to a side, sewn together to give the 
required length. The lower one or aszaj, originally meaning the lower part of the 
garment, 203 is always made from a width of szi/r-fabric set sideways and is 
thus 60-63 cm deep. For additional length, a smaller square called palha, 
meaning gusset, 204 is added at the top. In the 19th century, however, when the 
decorated szur became popular, the sides were usually made of three pieces 
instead of two. Embroidered ornaments covered part of the side, but a 
considerable piece of the heavy, thick szuMabric was not suitable for 
embroidery in the made-up state. For this reason, the szt/r-maker cut off a band 
from the lower half of the upper side-piece, the palha, embroidered it 
separately and sewed it back together again. While the band was cut out he 
often embroidered the lower edge of the remaining palha and the upper edge 
of the lower side-piece, the former aszaj. When the palha is sewn together 
again, the upper portion retains the name palha, while the second piece 
becomes the aszaj, and what was once the aszaj becomes the oldal, meaning 
side. In this situation, the original sense of the aszaj, referring to the lower part 
of the side-piece, becomes meaningless. In Debrecen, where the sides were 
often entirely embroidered, the szt/r-makers usually cut off two pieces for the 
central motifs, one from the palha and the other from the lower side; the type 
was called szur with double aszaj. 

The szi/r-mantle was usually worn over the shoulders and the sleeves were 
but seldom used (Figs. 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70). It is evident from many degenerate 
sleeve-variations and from the apparent scarcity of underarm gussets, 205 that 
the szur had been worn this way for a very long time. On the Great Plain 
and in Upper Hungary, the sleeves were often sewn together at the cuffs and 


used as pockets; the herdsmen kept in them many of their small daily needs. 
In the village of Atany, people remembered that before 1886 the mayor of the 
village carried the tax money to the county authorities in the sleeve of his szur 
on the last day of the year. 206 Nineteenth-century engravings show that the 
sleeves of the szur were often tied at the cuffs with string for the same purpose 
(Fig. 64). 207 In Transdanubia, especially in the western counties, 208 there was a 
characteristic type of swineherd's szur which had very short (20-30 cm), often 
narrow, degenerated "pocket" sleeves closed with a circular piece of material 
sewn into the cuffs 209 (Figs. 58, 59, 60, 66, 67). Among the Paloc Hungarians of 
Upper Hungary, swineherds and cattlemen all wore szurs with similarly closed 
sleeves, but these were somewhat longer than the Transdanubian examples. 210 
Closed sleeves are also known to have been worn in localities further east. 211 
In contrast to these short sleeved szurs, the Transylvanian Saxonians from 
around Nagyszeben had szurs with sleeves which usually reached the hem of 
their mantles 2 ' 2 (Fig. 61). Because of their exaggerated length (95-105 cm), these 
sleeves — although neither closed with a piece of material, nor sewn together 
at the cuffs — could never have been functional, but served rather for 
decoration. Unfortunately no early representations of the Saxonian szur are 
known, and it is impossible to ascertain when the long sleeve became 
fashionable. We note, however, that a type of Turkish kaftan had similar long 
sleeves in the 15th - 18th centuries (Fig. 38). It was during this period that 
Turkish costume greatly influenced the mode of the Hungarian upper classes 
as well as that of the Saxonian aristocracy and upper bourgeoisie. 213 It is 
probable that the Saxonian peasants began to wear long sleeved sziirs in 
imitation of the Turkish-influenced and Turkish garments then being worn all 
over Transylvania. On the other hand, since the sleeves had not been used 
for centuries anyway, the mode could have developed independently. 

Always covering the knees and usually reaching the centre of the calf, the 
sz<v/--mantles of the Great Plain, eastern Transdanubia and southern Upper 
Hungary were the longest. 214 The Paloc Hungarians of the North wore shorter 
szurs. In the western part of Transdanubia, the swineherd's szurs of the Bakony 
Region and Somogy county were very short, generally just covering the knees 
but sometimes not even reaching them. 215 It is quite possible that the 
Transdanubian swineherd's sziirs and those of the Palocs were short because 
the swineherds spent most of their day in the forests, where — among the 
bushes, high grass and broken branches — a short one was most suitable. On 
the Great Plain, long mantles gave more protection against the elements and 
there was nothing in the terrain to render walking difficult. 

In some parts of Hungary, short, jacket-like szurs were particularly popular 
amongst shepherds. Such jackets were found around Pecs in southern 
Transdanubia, and were also worn by the Slovaks of Bihar and Szilagy counties 
in eastern Hungary. 216 This type may relate to the ancient short variation of 
the szur, the tradition of which survived among many of the Balkan examples 
(Figs. 45, 46). 

The width of the szurs' side-pieces also varied from region to region. On the 
Great Plain, parts of Upper Hungary and eastern Transdanubia, the sides 


usually measured about half a loom-width (30-31 cm). The Paloc Hungarians 
preferred wider sides. Sometimes measuring as much as 60 to 63 cm (one cu- 
bit), the full width of the szi/Mabric, the widest szt/r-sides appear among those 
worn by the Bakony and Somogy swineherds of Transdanubia. Because of 
the exceptional width and fullness of the garment it could only be worn over 
one shoulder, and was held on with leather straps attached to both sides of the 
front opening (Fig. 66). Made with square side-pieces, the Somogy szur 
maintains ancient characteristics (Fig. 58). The Bakony szur with trapezoidal 
sides may represent a more recent variant (Fig. 59). Considerably wider at the 
bottom than at the top, the sides gave a bell-shaped form to the whole garment. 
In contrast, the sides of the Transylvanian Saxonian szurs are cut in the form 
of long and narrow trapezoids (Fig. 61). In parts of Upper Hungary and among 
the Transylvanian Saxonians, narrow, triangular gores are often added to 
the sides of the centre-back panel. 2 ' 7 

The last variable part of the szur is the collar. On the Great Plain, in the 
Nagykunsag Region, the collar tended to be narrow; it was half a width of 
szt/Mabric long (30-31 cm) by about 50-55 cm wide (Fig. 55). In the Hajdusag 
Region, of which Debrecen was the major szi/r-making centre, and in Bihar 
county, the collar was generally longer and as a result quite square (c. 55 by 
55 cm) (Figs. 56, 62). In Upper Hungary and Transdanubia, collars tended to be 
large with the exception of those areas influenced by the half-width collar of 
the Nagykun szur. In the Bakony Region and Somogy county of Transdanubia, 
the collar of the swineherd's szur was extraordinarily large, sometimes being 
as long a6 the mantle itself; collars measuring 80 by 90 cm were not excep- 
tional. Since the 63 cm width of the szi/r-fabric was too narrow to permit such 
an elaborate collar to be made from a single piece, several smaller pieces 
covered with wide borders of broadcloth were added around the edges of a 
single width. In Somogy county, the collars were always square (Fig. 58), but in 
the Bakony Region the collars, like the sides, were trapezoidal in form (Fig. 59). 
The added pieces were cut on a concave line giving the corners a triangular 
effect, on account of which such collars were named fecskefarku, meaning 
swallow-tailed. These exceptionally large Transdanubian collars may have been 
a late development since a large surface was excellent for decoration. Figural 
wood-carvings made by Transdanubian shepherds in the first half of the 19th 
century depict smaller collars on the szt/r-mantles 2 ' 8 (Fig. 67). 

There is a type of Hungarian sziir called nyakas szur, i.e. "necked szur," which 
in many ways is different from the general type and its principal variants 
(Figs. 62, 74, 75, 77, 78). The front and back were cut in separate pieces, and 
the shoulders were slightly shaped. The front pieces were not turned back to 
form panels, but met along the line of the central front opening and were 
trimmed instead with long, triangular front-panels which were sewn on as 
separate pieces. At the neck, the fronts and back were cut out on a curved line. 
A small stand-up collar was attached to this neck opening, from whence the 
name of the type. Similar stand-up collars are to be found on other Hungarian 
garments such as jackets made of szi/r-fabric, military uniforms and the 
characteristic festive garments of the Hungarian nobility. The fashion was 
extremely popular in Transylvania, but appeared also in the Balkan Peninsula 


and the Near East among Turkish and Turkish-influenced garments. It is quite 
possible that the Turks themselves introduced the fashion to Hungary, probably 
as early as the 16th century, but such stand-up collars did not come into style 
on the szurs until the 1860s-1880s. 219 About the time of the Hungarian com- 
promise with Austria in 1867, an increased nationalistic feeling developed in 
Hungary and, as a result, szi/r-mantles became highly fashionable among the 
upper classes. 220 Such szurs were not made by the szi/r-makers however, but by 
the so-called "Hungarian tailors," 22 ' who were for the most part unacquainted 
with the traditional simple szi/r-pattern. They created a new szur type with 
stand-up collar and shaped shoulders analogous to other garments made by 
them in a "Hungarian" style. The style and cut of this new creation of the 
"Hungarian tailors" soon made its way to the peasants and herdsmen. Existing 
examples suggest that the type first appeared in Bihar county on the eastern 
edge of the Great Plain. From there it spread quicky to Debrecen and the 
Hajdusag Region and on to Transylvania. By the early 20th century, such szurs 
were made in some parts of the Nagykunsag Region, the southern reaches of 
Upper Hungary and eastern Transdanubia. 

Another 19in century szi/r-mantle type, without turned-back front-panels but 
with a large circular collar, was popular among the coachmen and shepherds 
of Transdanubia. Before the 1870s, similar coats were to be found in a few 
places on the Great Plain. The historical background and origin of this type is 
as yet unknown. 222 

The szur-kabat, meaning simply szur-coat, made in the town of Papa, was 
generally worn by the shepherds in many Transdanubian counties, 223 parts of 
the Banat and Slavonian* As the name implies, these were always worn as 
coats with the arms through the sleeves, and not over the shoulders. They are 
historically unrelated to the szt/r-mantles. Influenced by urban overcoats of the 
19th century, they were similar to an ordinary overcoat with their frogged 
central front opening, small turn-down collar and sleeve-construction. They 
were, however, made of szt/Mabric and usually had a hood fitted behind the 
collar. The guba-szur, a coat resembling the szur-kabat, was worn by craftsmen 
on the Great Plain. 225 

Transdanubian shepherds wore the kdpdnyeg-szur m or galler-szur,™ a large 
circular cape sewn together from many gores of szi/r-fabric. 228 Unlike a tradi- 
tional sziir in almost every respect, it was actually a cheaper copy of the suba, 
a cloak made from many lambskins and often adorned with fine silk 
embroidery. 22 ' 

D. The Decorated or "Cifraszur" 

The richly adorned cifraszur™ represents a new variation of this archaic 
garment, which can be traced back no farther than the late 18th to early 19th 
centuries. The fact that none of the known szi/r-making guilds' regulations 
mentions ornamentation of the mantles indicates either that decorated szurs 
were unknown when guild regulations developed, or that decorated szurs 
were formerly never considered as masterworks. That many of the guilds 


were vociferously opposed to the richly adorned examples even in the mid-19th 
century is indicative both of the institutions' unwillingness to change and of the 
popularity of the mode. 

Notwithstanding the lack of evidence, it is reasonably certain that szt/r-mantles 
had had some elements of ornamentation for hundreds of years prior to the 
late 18th century, even if they were unrelated to the types which appeared on 
later examples. 231 The remains of certain ancient decorative elements, however, 
can be found even on the szurs of the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Among 
these are the edgings which appear on the horizontal seams of the coats. 

Decorations of this kind is documented from as early as 1627, when in a 
regulated price list of Gabor Bethlen, Prince of Transylvania, reference is made 
to a "big mantle made from white szi/r-fabric . . . , which is usually made for 
old men in the town of Kolozsvar, and which has a collar with broadcloth 
edging . . ." 232 Originally these edgings were applied as reinforcement against 
the extra weight incurred when the already heavy material absorbed moisture 
from rain or snow. The horizontal seams being particularly vulnerable, narrow 
strips of broadcloth were sewn to them in a similar way to that found on some 
leather garments. Good examples are the side-pieces of the Transylvanian 
Saxonian szurs. With time, the primary function of these reinforcing strips was 
forgotten and instead of being sewn into the seams they were sewn over them, 
at the same time becoming increasingly wider and more decorative. Vertical 
seams were sometimes finished in a similar manner. Such broadcloth strips 
were usually red and were often called csipke, meaning lace, with reference to 
their punched, scalloped edging. From the 1870s and 1880s, the edgings were 
usually sewn on by machine in different undulating patterns. 

In addition to such edgings, the roundels appearing along the vertical seams of 
the aszaj and directly above the vertical seam-decoration rising from the hem 
of the szt/r-mantle, are among other ancient ornaments deriving from technical 
antecedents: the completion and strengthening of the seam which led in turn 
to the visual emphasis of the seam area. The roundels are usually made either 
by crocheting or by a special type of "button-hole-knotting;" on older and 
more traditional examples of the mantle they are often made of narrow strips 
of broadcloth or short woollen threads in the form of pompons or tassels. 
Indeed, in many parts of the country the roundels are actually called bojt, 
meaning tassel. A document from 1628 already refers to the roundels as 
tassels. 233 

Besides the decorative edgings and roundels, narrow, scalloped or otherwise 
patterned border-ornaments were applied to some szi/r-mantles, particularly 
on the very traditional examples from Transdanubia. Such simple ornaments 
are known on the szur-mantle from the early 19th century and on leather 
garments from the 17th century, but their origins are undoubtedly more 
ancient. 234 

In contrast to the ancient szur ornamentation which developed from technical 
applications, the rich and colourful, somewhat naturalistic ornaments typical 


of extant 19th century mantles are of relatively recent origin. They derive from 
the late Baroque floral motifs of the 18th century, and in some cases from the 
Biedermeier flower-bouquets of the early 19th century. 235 During the 18th 
century these patterns appeared as ornaments on leather garments such as 
the long suba and the short kodmon. By the 1820s a highly developed leather- 
garment embroidery is already found in pattern-books. 236 The szur decoration 
is so similar to that used by the leather garment makers that there is little 
doubt that the latter were the most influential sources of decoration for the 

As was the case in regard to decorated folk costumes in general, cifraszurs 
were rare before the last decades of the 18th century. At that time sumptuary 
laws were promulgated by town and country, and measures were taken against 
those peasants who wore fancy garments, including of course the cifrasziir. 
That such action was considered necessary indicates that it was then that 
such ornamented clothing came within the reach of the lower classes. For the 
first time they attained an economic level permitting them to afford this type of 
garment. The rich and colourful mode which had penetrated to the servile 
classes conflicted with the severity and the conservative nature of the long 
established feudal system, but the regulations were ineffective against the 
increasing wealth and freedom of the peasantry. Slowly but surely the 
decorated costume spread throughout the country and by the beginning of the 
19th century it was in quite general use. 

It is apparent from the various sources available that the mode of the 
decorated szur probably began in Veszprem, the famous szur-making centre 
of Transdanubia. 237 The first representation of the cifrasziir occurs in an 
etching by Jozsef Bikessy dated 1816, depicting a cattleman wearing the 
decorated garment over his shoulders with sleeves hanging freely. 238 In this 
representation, decoration appears on the corners of the collar, the upper 
part of the front panels, and the aszaj. A lithograph from 1836 of the popular 
Transdanubian highwayman, Ferenc Milfajt, shows another good example of 
the cifraszur,™ although here the embroidered floral motifs seem to be 
adaptations of leather applied work characteristic of fur garments rather than 
of forms otherwise considered typical of szur decoration. Honey-cake moulds 
from the late 1830s carved of walnut wood and depicting two illustrious 
highwaymen, the above mentioned Ferenc Milfajt and Jozsef Sobri, show 
more precisely what we consider to be the typical Transdanubian cifrasziir. 7 * 
The same type is well illustrated in the carving of mirror cases from the 
1840s on. 24 ' 

Richly adorned, good quality garments of this type were not cheap and many 
who wished them could only with difficulty afford them. Among these were 
cattlemen, swineherds and shepherds who so coveted the handsome mantle 
that some turned to theft in order to satisfy their desires. On several occasions, 
the infamous career of the highwayman began in this manner, and it is not 
surprising that among the earliest representations of the cifrasziir the 
garment often appears worn by highwaymen. At an early stage, town and 
country administration recognized the seductive power of the cifrasziir and 
strove to regulate against it, its makers and its wearers. The minute-books of 


the town of Csepreg from 1815 give incitement to robbery as the reason why 
an official stand was taken against the mode. 2 " 2 Again, in the county of Zala in 
1824, laws were passed against making and wearing of the cifraszur. 7 " All 
such efforts were in vain. After the failure of the Hungarian War of Indepen- 
dence in 1849, the new Austrian administration endeavoured in its turn to 
control the wearing of the colourful mantles because of the overtones they 
bore of Hungarian national pride and revolutionary fervour. 244 Such attempts 
met with even less success than those of the local administrations. 

In Transdanubia, the cifraszur reached the apex of its development in the 
mid-19th century; by the 1870s the mode was already on the wane. At the 
same time the embroidered szur only appeared on the Great Plain in the 
1840s and even between 1848 and 1867 trimming was minimal. Not until after 
1867, the time of the political entente between Austria and Hungary, did the 
mode become widespread. 245 It was extremely successful on the Plain for the 
next twenty years, after which, in the 1890s, its popularity began to decline. 

In Transylvania, on the other hand, the cifraszur was not known before the 
1890s and as a result of its novelty became modish when it was slowly vanish- 
ing elsewhere in Hungary. Because it remained in fashion there throughout 
the first quarter of the 20th century, many szi/r-makers from the Great Plain 
followed the trade to Transylvania, and the last masters of an otherwise 
disappearing craft continued to produce their mantles for this new but short- 
lived market. A situation similar to the Transylvanian phenomenon appeared 
concurrently in southern Hungary among several southern Slav groups who 
began wearing the cifraszur in the late 19th century and continued to do so 
after it was no longer favoured by the Hungarians of the same region. In 
contrast, we may note that the farther north one went from the Great Plain in 
Hungary, the plainer was the szur. Perhaps for economic reasons the mode of 
the expensive cifraszur never reached that part of Upper Hungary populated 
almost exclusively by Slovaks. Instead, the szur was worn there until the early 
20th century with no other decoration than the ancient edgings, applied, as 
we have seen, for technical reasons. 

It was the social and economic consequences of the First World War which 
brought an end not only to the cifraszur but to the szur in general. With the 
outbreak of the War, szi/r-fabric made from the wool of the Hungarian purzsa 
sheep could no longer be obtained easily. 246 Even more conclusive was the 
division of Hungary in 1918-20, and the resultant passing of Transylvania to 
Romania. The sziir-fabric which had previously been produced by the Tran- 
sylvanian Saxonians for the entire Great Plain could now be procured only 
with the greatest difficulty, and its import was possible only on the payment 
of very high duties. As a result of the economic squeeze and general decline 
in interest, the Transdanubian industry ceased producing the material. The 
effects, moreover, of 20th century technology brought irreversible changes 
to the way of life of the Hungarian peasantry. With better means of transporta- 
tion, peasants, particularly herdsmen, no longer needed to spend as much 
time out of doors, and as a result, the demand for the heavy szi/r- mantles as 
protection against bad weather decreased. Improved means of communication 
also brought an end to the peasants' isolation. Their life style approached 


more and more that of the townspeople. In their own way they took on the 
petit-bourgeois customs of the town-dweller, much as the peasants of western 
Europe had done centuries earlier. With the new way of life, regional costumes 
became increasingly neglected and died out quickly. Wishing above all to 
dispense with the servile connotations of their past, the peasants were often 
loath to wear their szurs and other characteristic traditional costumes, for 
these differentiated them from what they considered to be the more successful 
townspeople with whom they had increasingly more contact. 

The decoration of the 19th and early 20th century cifraszur usually consisted 
of satin-stitch embroidery 247 worked in multicoloured wools. 248 The woollen 
thread used for szur embroidery prior to 1880 tended to be coarse and was 
referred to by the masters as haraszt or eszaki (northern) thread. After 1880, 
the finer Berlin wool came into general use. Silk was rarely used and then only 
on the finer ground material woven from the wool of the merino sheep. 249 
Some of the szurs from the Great Plain had beading among the embroidered 
ornaments. 250 

The embroidery was done by the masters themselves, and only very seldom 
by women helpers. This part of the work was referred to neither as embroidery 
nor as sewing, but as viragozas, meaning "flowering." 25 ' To carry out the work, 
a coarse needle was used, and a ring-thimble was worn on the middle finger. 
Because of its rough surface the szt/r-fabric was marked with difficulty. Details 
for the motifs were never drawn onto the ground material, only the main guide 
lines. To apply these general lines, the szur-maker in more recent times used 
a carpenter's pencil, while formerly he worked with charcoal made from hazel 
branches. 252 The main floral elements were cut out from cardboard. This was 
used as a template around which the szur-maker drew freely. 253 Most favoured 
of the flowers were roses, rose-buds, carnations and tulips; but forget-me- 
nots, pansies, lilies-of-the-valley and berries also appeared. To enrich these 
floral designs, rosemary, rose, apple, oak and clover leaves were generously 
applied. The flowering ornaments were often depicted growing out of a pot 
or basket, and sometimes from a heart-shaped form which was itself derived 
from a stylized pot or basket. Appearing frequently among the flowers was 
the favoured Hungarian coat-of-arms, called by the szi/r-makers "crown." 
From all these relatively simple elements, the szi/r-makers created a unique 
type of embroidery with countless variations and numerous basic motifs. The 
cifraszur's major variants will be emphasized in the following regional analysis. 

1. Tra nsda nubia ' 

The Transdanubian cifraszurs do not form a single homogeneous group, but 
are represented by several major and numerous minor variants. The only 
forms of decoration common to nearly every szur from that region are the 
relatively wide, coloured edgings to be found around the collar, on the aszaj 
and the upper portion of the front panels, and those narrower patterned 
borders which reflect ancient and oriental character. The edgings of the szur 
worn by cattlemen, swineherds and the lower nobility were made of red 
broadcloth, while those of shepherds were mostly black, and of peasants and 
smaller town dwellers, green. Blue trimmed szurs were worn by those who 


worked on large domains. Such colour differences were of particular im- 
portance as they were an indication of social status and could not be inter- 
changed. This is emphasized by the Hungarian proverb: "One man should 
not wear another man's szur." 255 In western Transdanubia, 256 a very ancient 
type of szur survived, worn predominantly by herdsmen. These fall into two 
distinct types, the so-called Bakony 257 or Veszprem 258 swineherd's szur and the 
Somogy 25 ' swineherd's szur. 

The decoration of the Bakony swineherd's szur is composed primarily of 
coloured edgings, and applied ornaments (Fig. 59). Embroidery on these szurs 
was clearly of secondary importance, usually placed only on the applied 
trimmings. Even though threads of many colours were used in this embroidery, 
the decoration appears predominantly red because of the widespread use of 
that colour for the broad edgings and the applied work. All edges were covered 
with borders of vermilion red broadcloth and a characteristic "H"-shaped 
piece of broadcloth is always sewn over the horizontal seam between the 
palha and the aszaj. As a general rule, these edgings are outlined with black 
and are always sewn on by hand. In addition, applied ornaments of stylized 
tulips, roses and rosemary leaves occur as well as borders of semi-circles 
referred to as "horseshoes." Most of the Bakony szur decoration is concen- 
trated on the collar and the sides, but less elaborate ornamentation also occurs 
on the sleeves and the front panels. What distinguishes the Bakony decoration 
from that of all other Hungarian cifraszurs is the appearance of birds and 
animal figures. Depictions of an entire herd of cattle or flock of sheep together 
with herdsmen is sometimes applied or embroidered on the large collars. 260 

The Somogy swineherd's szur is in many ways similar to the Bakony szur, 
with the exception that only the edgings and borders are of applied red 
broadcloth, the rest of the decoration invariably being embroidered (Fig. 58). 
Unlike the Bakony szur, the red used for the Somogy szur edgings is scarlet 
rather than vermilion. The embroidery, composed of flowering wreaths and 
flower-bouquets, shows the strong and close influence of late Baroque and 
Biedermeier motifs. This embroidery occurs not on the szi/r-fabric itself, but 
on the wide, red broadcloth edgings. Because of the red background, reds are 
seldom used for flowers. Instead, blues and yellows, otherwise rare on 
Hungarian szurs, are quite common here. 

With the defeat of the 1848-49 Hungarian War of Independence, the cifraszur 
was worn in defiance of authority as an expression of Hungarian nationalism. 
As a result, the police in Transdanubia often forcibly removed the wide applied 
edgings of the Bakony and Somogy cifraszurs, leaving only the red outline of 
the trimming. Deprived in this manner of its decoration, the striped szur 
provided the szi/r-makers with a new source of inspiration; they began to 
make mantles decorated only with narrow, red outlines 26 ' (Fig. 60). 

Since the szurs from eastern Transdanubia were very similar to those worn 
on the Great Hungarian Plain, little need be said about them here. We should 
nevertheless note that some szurs from the region bear the applied, patterned 
borders common to the western regions of Transdanubia, rather than the 
plain borders typical of the Great Plain. 


2. Great Hungarian Plain 

a. Debrecen and the Hajdusag Region 262 

Lying east of the River Tisza, Debrecen, the major town of the Hajdusag 
Region, had been a centre for the manufacture of szur-fabric from medieval 
times, and it was there that one of the first szt/r-maker's guilds arose in 
Hungary. It is not surprising that the town also became a centre for the manu- 
facture of cifraszurs. The first written document in which a Debrecen szur 
edged with coloured broadcloth is mentioned dates from 1795, 263 but the em- 
broidered cifraszur was not popular there until the early 1840s when the mode 
reached the town from Transdanubia. Thereafter, cifraszurs were made in 
Debrecen, reaching their zenith in the 1860s and 1870s. 

The typical early Debrecen szur was decorated with coloured broadcloth 
edgings on the obverse of the front panels, around the collar and the cuffs, 
along the horizontal side-seam and the horizontal seam running around the 
lower edge of the garment, and on both sides of the back vent. These often 
narrow edgings were retained on the embroidered cifraszur. Embroidered 
decoration occurs next to these edgings, particularly on the aszaj or double 
aszaj, which was solidly embroidered with rich floral motifs usually extending 
to the palha and the oldal. It was not unusual for szurs from the late 19th 
century to have almost solidly embroidered sides. In addition to the sides, the 
upper part of the front panels and the obverse upper corners of the collar 
were always embroidered. In a few cases the top of the collar was enhanced by 
a continuous embroidered garland. Generally there was an emphasized orna- 
ment above the vent (Figs. 56, 69, 70). 

The predominant motifs were roses and rosemary leaves, while carnations, 
tulips, forget-me-nots, berries and oak-leaves were common. The decorative 
composition tended to be poor as the drawing was but roughly sketched. More 
complicated patterns such as flower-bouquets or potted flowers were rare, 
and the colour scheme was often unimaginative and dull. Debrecen was the 
only szur-making centre in the whole of Hungary where, from the late 19th 
century, semi-skilled women rather than the over-worked szi/r-makers em- 
broidered the garments. The women were badly paid, and their workmanship 
was usually of a very inferior quality. 

After the late 1870s, elaborate applied decoration replaced embroidery on 
many of the szurs made at Debrecen. Since this style came from nearby Bihar 
county, the motifs, the placing of the ornaments and the actual technique 
itself were reminiscent of the late Bihar szurs. 

While the white sziir with coloured embroidery was the common type in 
Debrecen, inhabitants from many of the surrounding Hajdu towns preferred 
black szurs with mainly brown and beige ornaments. They differed from the 
Debrecen szur in that only the aszaj was embroidered.The collar and the upper 
part of the front panels tended to be decorated with applied flowers. 264 

b. Bihar County and Transylvania 265 

Another important cifraszur centre was Bihar county, situated on the eastern 


edge of the Great Plain. Here, in the workshops of Nagyvarad and 
Nagyszalonta, 266 a unique and characteristic ornamental style developed. 

Like szurs from practically every other part of the country, those from Bihar 
county are always to be found with the usual applied edgings. These edgings 
were formerly narrow, but became quite wide (5-7 cm) during the last quarter 
of the 19th century. Embroidered decoration appears in the areas emphasized 
by them, that is to say on the front panels, the collar, the aszaj and above the 
cuffs and the back vent. Additional ornamentation sometimes occurs in 
regular intervals above the bottom edging. The decoration generally consists 
of large elements worked with meticulously detailed and fine embroidery 
representing floral motifs only. The collar is always filled with bouquets or 
potted flowers radiating from the corners (Fig. 71); similar individual motifs often 
occur above the cuffs and back-vent. The carnation, rarely found elsewhere in 
cifraszur embroidery, is the most predominant flower. Roses are also common, 
while the space between the flowers and curving stems is filled with narrow 
rosemary leaves. This type of embroidered szur decoration appeared at 
Nagyvarad possibly around the mid-19th century and reached its zenith in the 
1870s. From that time on, nothing important was added to this developed 
ornamentation and the style slowly started to decline. The once quite 
naturalistic motifs became ever more stylized, not only because the szur- 
makers copied each other's work instead of the original patterns, but probably 
also because Hungarian folk art has always tended to favour conventionalized 
motifs. Flowers formerly worked in many shades of red were in the later period 
executed in a single colour. Similarly, leaves once green were later often 
worked in black, with the result that by the end of the century the embroidery 
had taken on a sombre character. At the same time, more and more of 
the szurs were given over to the embroiderer's needle. 

Another variant on the Bihar szur ornamentation was the style of complicated 
cut out and applied work developed at Nagyvarad in the last quarter of the 
19th century. This type of decoration was characteristically sewn on by 
machine, and indeed the appearance of the sewing machine 267 made it possible 
to apply formerly embroidered motifs in a much less time-consuming but 
equally decorative manner. Because it was both attractive and required much 
less labour, which in turn rendered it considerably less expensive than the 
embroidered examples, this was practically the only type of cifraszur produced 
in Bihar county from the 1890s on. The applied decoration was originally 
made of thin, coloured broadcloth, but this was replaced by thin, coloured felt 
at the turn of the century (Figs. 74-79). The elaborate floral patterns were 
made with the help of cardboard templates. They were cut out from felt or 
broadcloth along the main lines of each pattern and sewn onto the material 
with the sewing machine. When everything was sewn down, the szi/r-maker 
cut out the fine details with a small pair of scissors. Sometimes several colours 
were used for the work and the different superimposed colours were revealed 
by the cutting. 

In Transylvania, cifraszurs with Bihar-type applied decoration first appeared 
only in the late 1880s. In 1890 the Nagyvarad szt/r-makers were selling their 


goods in the Kalotaszeg District (Figs. 74-79). The mode was so popular that 
shortly afterwards a few szi/r-makers from Bihar county were employed in 
some Transylvanian towns in the workshops of the so-called "Hungarian 
tailors." 268 The garments produced by them were naturally of the Bihar type. 
Between 1890 and 1900 the mode of the cifraszur penetrated further east in 
Transylvania, and in the early 20th century reached the eastern Transylvanian 
region known as the Land of the Secklers. 269 A further stage in the general 
eastward progression of the cifraszur occurred when the garment went out of 
fashion on the Great Plain, leaving the szi/r-makers of Bihar county devoid of 
a market. As a result, many of them moved to Transylvania early in the 
present century, where they worked as the last masters of their trade. 270 

c. The Nagykunsag Region 271 

The third characteristic cifraszur centre on the Great Plain was the Nagykunsag 
(Great Land of the Cumanians), a region lying east of the River Tisza and 
north of the River Koros. The mode for the ornate style reached here from 
Debrecen. While it is known that cifraszurs were already being made in the 
town of Karcag in 1844, the decorated garment did not flourish until the 1860s, 
after which it remained in fashion until the turn of the century. Szurs with 
coloured edgings, on the other hand, had been made in the region from at least 
the first quarter of the 19th century; in 1825 a szt/r-maker was punished for 
selling such fancy edged szurs at a fair held at Kiskunfelegyhaza. Even as late 
as 1853, regulations at many fairs restricted the sale of the szurs to those 
with simple edgings, extra trimmings being forbidden. Embroidered and 
otherwise fancy szurs could, according to guild regulations, be made only to 
order, to insure that the purchaser could afford the garment and had had time 
to consider the cost. 

The szurs of the Nagykunsag had several decorative variants. Always 
subordinate to the embroidery, the edgings were generally similar to most of 
the Hungarian cifraszurs, but these were usually made of black broadcloth. 
The aszaj was always embroidered, usually in the form of two flowered bands 
between the plain broadcloth edgings. The collar too was almost invariably 
embroidered; in some areas the decoration is known to have consisted of 
individual flower sprays in the lower corners, while elsewhere the sides and 
bottom are surrounded by a flowering garland (Figs. 55, 73). Szurs with richly 
decorated collars tended to have an elaborate single or double embroidered 
flowering garland around their lower edge, while on many others two or three 
scalloped edged borders of coloured broadcloth or felt decorated this part 
of the coat. The front panels were always decorated, ornament being placed 
sometimes only on the shoulders, sometimes as far down as the breast, while 
in other cases an embroidered garland covered the length of the panels. In a 
few towns, the front panels were trimmed with red broadcloth and then 
embroidered. Many szurs had a separate embroidered cuff on the sleeves. 

The most favoured motifs on the Nagykun szurs were roses and rose-buds, 
followed by tulips (themselves derived from highly stylized roses) and 
carnations. The spaces among the flowers were always filled with rosemary 


Although the szt/r-makers of the Nagkunsag learned the technique of 
embroidered szur decoration from Debrecen, and their motifs in general are 
similar to those found on szurs elsewhere in Hungary.they nevertheless created 
an individual style of their own, very different from what was typical of other 
Hungarian szi/r-making centres. Their contribution to the art of the cifraszur 
lay in the combination of colours. The well composed yet relatively simple and 
limited variety of motifs was enhanced by carefully chosen colour schemes. 
Their szurs became brilliantly alive and stand out as the most beautiful 
examples of the art of the cifraszur; only the Paloc mantles from the northern 
regions of the country can be compared to them for beauty of decorative 
design and colour scheme. Such artistic sensitivity for colour can probably be 
explained by the fact that the region was renowned from the 1 8th century for 
its embroidery worked on linen in many shades of coloured wool. This 
embroidery is closely allied to Baroque wool embroidery of the period and its 
outstanding quality is unmatched elsewhere in Hungary. 272 

In contrast to the richly coloured mantles of this region were the black- 
embroidered sziirs occurring particularly in neighbouring Bekes and 
Csongrad counties. 

3. Upper Hungary 273 

Coming from the Great Hungarian Plain, the mode of the cifraszur established 
itself in Upper Hungary in the 1860s. Its popularity was relative, however, for 
the further north it penetrated, the less it was decorated. In southern Upper 
Hungary, the cifraszur was common to all folk groups. Along the River Ipoly it 
seems to have been popular only among herdsmen, for the peasant mantle — 
with a few exceptions — remained undecorated. We have already noted that 
the sziir worn by the Slovaks, inhabitants of the northern counties of Upper 
Hungary, was never decorated. 274 

The motifs of the Upper Hungarian cifraszurs are varied, for there were a 
number of small szi/r-making centres each having its individual decorative 
style. The diversity can be attributed to the lack of any single influential centre, 
and to the fact that the cifraszur mode reached this region from several 
different szi/r-making centres of the Great Plain and in a lesser extent from 
Transdanubia. Only the main types will be discussed here. 275 

In and around the town of Rimaszombat, the profusely edged szurs were 
embroidered on the aszaj and corners of the collar. The flowers were usually 
worked in red, the leaves in two shades of green. The cifraszurs of Gomor 
county were in many ways similar to those of the Nagykunsag whence the 
major influence came. These garments were embroidered with a garland along 
the hem and front panels and around the collar. 

The Paloc herdsmen from along the River Ipoly preferred a concentration of 
decorative motifs on the collars. The aszajs were enhanced by a narrow 
embroidered band between the edgings. Every village applied different 
coloured edgings to its szurs. The custom was so strictly followed that a native 
would have had little trouble recognizing whence the wearer of such a gar- 


merit came. 276 Here, in the late 19th century, applied motifs sewn on by machine 
became common. The Palocs on the northern slopes of the Cserhat, Matra and 
Bukk mountains had their szurs embroidered on the upper part of the front 
panels, the aszaj and the corners of the collar. If the sleeves were closed, as 
they often were, the circular piece of material sewn in as a bottom was also 
embroidered. The ornamental motifs of these szurs are usually large, un- 
doubtedly as a result of the szi/Mabric being coarser here than elsewhere 
in the country. In some examples, a flowering garland runs around the bottom 
of the coat as in the Nagykunsag region. The narrow black edgings which 
emphasize the seams of the garment are also similar to szurs from the 

In some parts of Upper Hungary, Debrecen types of szur were worn. Around 
Hatvan and Tura, black szurs with blue and claret-coloured decoration were 
the style. In Vac they were generally white but sometimes black; the flowering 
garland around the bottom of the garments resulted from the influence of the 
Nagykunsag (Figs. 80-83). In the 1870s, a characteristic szur-type developed 
in the towns of Eger and Diosgyor, the decoration of which differed from 
anything found elsewhere in Hungary: they were entirely covered with rich and 
colourful embroidery. Needless to say, the style was not widespread, for such 
szurs were extremely expensive. 

The most diversified types of szt/r-decoration to be found in Upper Hungary 
were worn in Borsod county where both style and placement of decorative 
elements differed not only from one village to another, but also from one 
decade to the next during the period c. 1870 to 1910. The most notable sziir- 
mantles from this region were worn by the Matyd Hungarians, a group renowned 
for their colourful costume. 277 While it is documented that in the 1850s the citra- 
szur was still unknown to the inhabitants of Mezokovesd, the most important 
Matyd town, it was established there by the 1860s. Arriving via the Upper 
Hungarian Palocs and the Nagykunsag Region, the Matyd szur strongly 
reflected the mode of both areas (Figs. 72-73). It was as a result of their 
influence that narrow, black bands rather than coloured edgings were typical 
of Matyd mantles. In the 1870s and 1880s their szurs were worked with many 
brilliant colours. The number of colours decreased as the garment's popularity 
declined. During the 1880s szurs embroidered entirely in red were fashionable, 
while shortly afterwards all-green ornaments prevailed. Contemporary with 
this latter development, but particularly after 1900, the black embroidered szur 
became general (Fig. 57). At the fairs of the Matyd towns, 278 both local szur- 
makers, who could not produce enough to meet the incessant demand, and 
others from a wide variety of regions came together to sell the products of 
their trade. This combination of regional types resulted in a very mixed style. 
With the exception perhaps of entirely red or green szurs, no citraszur type 
can be considered characteristically Matyd. Regardless of the numerous 
regional influences, one may note that the style typical of the Debrecen and 
Hajdusag area did not reach Borsod county until the early 20th century 
(Fig. 68). 

Despite many regional variations of the Upper Hungarian citraszur, the greatest 


influence came from the Nagykunsag. Motifs such as roses, rose-buds, tulips, 
carnations, rosemary and apple (rose) leaves common here, are typical also 
on the szurs from the Nagykunsag. The northern Paloc szurs even have a 
similar colour scheme. With the waning popularity of the garment the formerly 
varied colour scheme of the cifraszurs from the southern regions of Upper 
Hungary became monotonous, while examples from further north died out in 
full splendour. 

4. Cifraszurs of the Transylvanian Saxonians 279 

Although szt/r-mantles were worn throughout Transylvania in the Middle Ages, 
their popularity began to wane in the late 17th century. By the end of the 18th 
century the mode had died out completely among the Hungarian population 
and returned to favour in the form of the Bihar-type cifraszur only in the late 
19th century. The Saxonians, on the other hand, who had worn this type of 
mantle from medieval times, developed a cifraszur style of their own in the 
area around the town of Nagyszeben (south-central Transylvania) from at 
least the mid-1 9th century. Their cifraszur was never embroidered, but bore 
applied decoration in the form of rather simple floral elements cut out from 
coloured broadcloth and sewn on by hand. Such ornamentation was placed 
on the upper part of the front panels, and on the lower corners and occasion- 
ally the centre of the collar. 280 The sleeves, sides and the area around the hem 
remained undecorated. The horizontal seam of the aszaj and the conjunction 
of the horizontal and vertical seams at the lower edge bore narrow, piped 
red bands, suggesting ancient constructive elements (Fig. 61). 



Analysing the origins and survival of a mantle known from relatively recent 
ethnographic material represents a new approach to the study of costume- 
history. Such garments have heretofore been studied almost exclusively from 
a regional point of view with concentration on the decorated variants. Research 
has all too often been based solely on decorative elements, with a complete 
disregard for the historical and geographical perspectives. Similarly, garments 
known from antiquity have generally been examined in the light of their own 
period, seldom as prototypes for later descendants. In those rare cases where 
comparisons have been made between older and newer material, possible 
relations appear to have been discovered by chance through purely formalistic 

The basic premise of this study has been to emphasize the historical back- 
ground of an archaic mantle, the Hungarian szur. Through artistic represen- 
tations, written documents, historical and ethnographic material, and detailed 
research on the construction of the coat itself, it has been possible to trace its 
history through a clear chronological and geographical transmission for over 
2500 years. Its predecessor, the kandys, first appeared in antiquity worn by the 
Medes in the 6th century B.C. Thereafter, the mantle belonged to the outfit of 
many different peoples living in Central and West Asia and all over the steppes. 

While the garment was generally worn with a hood, the immediate prototype 
of the szur with a hood sewn to it, or with a large rectangular back-collar 
transformable into a hood, very likely evolved somewhere north of the Black 
Sea on the European steppes in the middle of the first millennium A.D. It was 
almost certainly in this area that the Hungarians adopted the garment, and 
from where, in the late 9th century, they introduced it to the Carpathian Basin. 
The szur remained popular there among herdsmen and peasants until the early 
20th century. 

Although still unpublished documents and more detailed publications on 
individual garments from the collections of Hungarian museums may yet 
divulge new information about the szur, I have attempted in this study to give 
a comprehensive picture of its historical and regional aspects. The discussion 
of related materials, both historical and ethnographic, is less complete. While 
the artistic representations and literary references from Achaemenid Persia 
and her neighbouring territories are quite well worked out and the conclusions 
drawn from them apparently sound, a good deal of work still remains to be 
done with the later depictions, in particular with the frescoes of Central Asia 
and tomb figurines from China. There can be little doubt that additional repre- 
sentations will come to light, which will serve both to fill in lacunae and confirm 
the theories presented in these pages. From the ethnographic side, the 
material of Central and West Asia and the steppes must be researched in 
greater detail in order that their relationships may be evaluated. Also deserving 
of further attention are the many related garments from the Balkans, which 
can be properly interpreted only from within the boundaries of the countries 
concerned. A great deal more closely associated material may be expected 
to appear from the lands of the European steppes. Linguists working with the 
etymology of all names referring to such mantles might also contribute 
important discoveries in this field. It has been the object of this monograph to 


bring together in a broader historical perspective those mantles which relate 
to the Hungarian szur and to outline the possible influences which played 
some role in their descent and spread. There can be no doubt that the szur 
stems from one of the most traditional and basic garments of Eurasia. 



A. Szurs in The Royal Ontario Museum 

1. Cifraszur formerly worn by Gyorgy Gere at Kalotaszentkiraly (Sincraiu) in the Kalotaszeg 
Region, Transylvania; made either in the szivr-making workshops of Nagyvarad or Nagyszalonta, 
Bihar county; probably sold at a fair in Banffyhunyad, centre of the Kalotaszeg Region (Figs. 
62, 77-79). 

Gift of the Hungarian Helikon Society, Toronto 

Accession number: 970.227.9 

Date: c. 1900 


L: 135 cm 

L. of sleeves: 50 cm 

Collar: 55 x 54 cm 

W. of sides: 30 cm 

Loom-width of szur fabric: 60 cm 

Ground material: heavy, white, fulled woollen 2/2 twill, made by the Transylvanian Saxonian 

szt/r-weavers and fullers. 

Cut: so-called "necked" szur, made from 16 pieces. 

Sewing: sewn by hand with half bleached hemp thread. 

Fastening: across the breast with leather straps and an iron buckle. Long straps of braided black 

woollen cord finished with knotted squares and fringes in the centre and at both ends are 

attached to the shoulders. This braided decoration called altalveto was worn at the back, thrown 

over the shoulders. Formerly, such braided straps were sewn to each of the central front 

openings of the szi/r-mantles at the breast and served as fastening instead of leather straps. 

Over the years, the leather straps with buckle became more and more popular and replaced the 

braided straps, the latter often remaining as decoration. 

Lining: 281 the upper part of the fronts and the back is lined with dark-grey woollen cloth. Small 

semi-circular inner pockets are stitched into this lining at both sides of the opening; the left 

side has in addition a large, square-shaped inner pocket. 

Decoration: richly decorated with wide bands of black broadcloth; black rick-rack bands; 

knotted black roundels of black wool; and elaborate applied floral ornaments cut out from fine, 

thin, black felt and sewn on by machine (Fig. 79). 

Note: typical variation of the Bihar cifraszur with applied decoration. Similar szur in ROM 

collection: 972.248.1 (Figs. 74-76). 

2. Cifraszur formerly worn by Janos Csudom at Magyargyerbmonostor (Manastireni) in the 
Kalotaszeg Region, Transylvania; made either in the szur-making workshops of Nagyvarad 
or Nagyszalonta, Bihar county (Figs. 74-76). 

Gift of the Hungarian Helikon Society, Toronto 

Accession number: 972.248.1 

Date: c. 1890 


L.: 135 cm 

L. of sleeves: 45.5 cm 

Collar: 59 x 58 cm 

W. of sides: 36 cm 

Loom-width of szi/r-fabric: 60 cm 

Ground material: heavy, white fulled woollen 2/2 twill, made by the Transylvanian Saxonian 

szt/r-weavers and fullers. 

Cut: so-called "necked" szur, made from 20 pieces. 

Sewing: sewn by hand with hemp thread. 

Fastening: across the breast with decoratively punched leather straps and a copper buckle. Long 

straps of braided black woollen cord finished with knotted square and fringes in the centre 

(called altalveto) are attached to both sides of the leather straps and stitched to the left shoulder. 

It was worn at the back thrown over the shoulders. 

Lining: the fronts and the upper part of sides and back are lined with heavy dark blue broadcloth. 

Left side square and right side with small semi-circular inner-pockets. 

Decoration: richly decorated with wide bands of black broadcloth, black rick-rack bands, knotted 


black roundels of black wool and elaborate applied floral ornaments cut out from black 
broadcloth and sewn on by machine. (Fig. 79) 

Note: typical variation of the Bihar cifrasziir with applied decoration. Similar szur in ROM 
Collection: ace. no. 970.227.9 (Figs. 74-76). Inside with handwritten marks: CS. J. (initials of 
owner) and 1 1 /2 X and some unreadable characters (referring to the size of the coat and the 
maker. For similar marks see Gyorffy, 1930, p. 65, fig. 58 and p. 151, fig. 131). 

3. Child's cifrasziir, made in the town of Vac 282 (Figs. 80-83). 

Gift of the Toronto Hungarian House 

Accession number: 971.406.1 

Date: 1920s 


L: 63 cm 

L. of sleeve: 27 cm 

Collar: 29 x 31 cm 

W. of side: 22.5 cm 

W. of central back panel: 30.5 cm 

Ground material: factory woven black woollen broadcloth, 2/2 twill 

Cut: Despite the factory made ground material and the very small size, the cut of the garment 

represents the simplest and oldest type of szur, with sides formed from two pieces (palha and 

aszaj) and with shoulder seams; made from ten pieces. 

Sewing: machine sewn with black cotton thread. 

Fastening: crocheted strap of claret coloured wool, and button and button-hole across the breast. 

Lining: fronts and back lined with grey rayon broken twill. 

Decoration: richly adorned with scalloped bands of green and claret coloured broadcloth; 

crocheted roundels of claret coloured wool; and embroidery of multicoloured Berlin wool 

(orange, magenta, green, blue, pale yellow, white) worked mainly in satin stitches. Embroidery 

worked over fine white cotton tabby at the back (Figs. 82-83). 

Note: typical of those embroidered sziirs made in Vac. 283 The decoration is generally related to 

the Paloc and Nagykun ornaments. 


B. Szi/r- making Centres in Hungary 284 (Fig. 54) 


Bohonye (Somogy county) 

Buda (now Budapest, Pest county), 1489 

Csokoly (Somogy county) 

Csurgo (Somogy county) 

Devecser (Veszprem county) 

Dombovar (Tolna county), 1774 

Gorgeteg (Somogy county) 

Gyor (Gyor-Sopron county), 1746 

Kadarkut (Somogy county) 

Kaposvar (Somogy county) 

Karad (Somogy county), 1813 (szi/r-makers were together with the tailors and fur-makers in a 


Kisber (Komarom county) 

Kisdorogtevel (now two villages: Tevel and Kisdorog, Tolna county), 1833 

Komarom (Komarom county), 1687 (before this date the szi/r-makers were in the guild of the 


Kopcseny (Moson county, now Kittsee, Austria), 1770 

Marcali (Somogy county) 

Mihalyi (Gyor-Sopron county), 1827 

Mosonmagyarovar (Gyor-Sopron county), 1818 

Nagyatad (Somogy county) 

Nagybajom (Somogy county) 

Nagyberki (Somogy county) 

Nagykanizsa (Zala county) 

Ozora (Tolna county), 1771 

Papa (Veszprem county), 1767 

Pusztakovacsi (Somogy county) 

Rajka (Gyor-Sopron county), 1677 

Rinyahosszufalu (now does not exist, Somogy county) 

Sarvar (Vas county) 

Siklos (Baranya county), 1716 

Simontornya (Tolna county), 1777 

Szekesfehervar (Fejer county) 

Szekszard (Tolna county), 1795 

Szigetvar (Baranya county), before 1816 

Toponar (Somogy county), 1840 (in the same guild with the tailors) 

Varpalota (Veszprem county) 

Veszprem (Veszprem county), first mentioned in 1766, but existed long before that date 

Vorosmart (Baranya county, now Zmajevac, Yugoslavia), 1833 


Dalja (Veroce county, now Yugoslavia), 1840 

Daruvar (Pozsega county, now Yugoslavia), 1833 

Diakovar (Veroce county, now Djakovo, Yugoslavia), 1838 

Sid (Szerem county, now Yugoslavia), 1818 

Valpo (Veroce county, now Valpovo, Yugoslavia), 1780 

Vukovar (Szerem county, now Yugoslavia), 1832 


Alsokoros (Belovar-Koros county, now Krizevci, Yugoslavia), 1764 

Belovar (Belovar-Koros county, now Bjelovar, Yugoslavia) 

Jaska (Zagrab county, now Yugoslavia), 1814 

Kapronca (Belovar-Koros county, now Koprivnica, Yugoslavia), 1819 

Krapina (Varasd county, now Yugoslavia), 1837 

Szlatina (Veroce county, now Slatina, Yugoslavia) 

Varasd (Varasd county, now Varazdin, Yugoslavia), 1771 

Veroce (Veroce county, now Virovitica, Yugoslavia) 


Great Hungarian Plain 
Bihar county 



Dioszeg (now Diosig, Romania) 


Nagyszalonta (now Salonta, Romania) 

Nagyvarad (now Oradea, Romania), before 1614 



Debrecen and the Hajdusag Region 

BiJdszentmihaly (Szabolcs-Szatmar county) 

Debrecen (Hajdu-Bihar county), 1492 

Ermihalylalva (Szatmar county, now Valealui-Mihai, Romania) 

Hajduboszormeny (Hajdu-Bihar county) 

Hajdunanas (Hajdu-Bihar county) 

Hajduszoboszo (Hajdu-Bihar county) 

Nyiregyhaza (Szabolcs-Szatmar county) 

Polgar (Hajdu-Bihar county) 

Puspokladany (Hajdu-Bihar county) 

Kiskunsag, Nagykunsag and Southern Tiszantul Regions 

Apatfalva (Csongrad county), 1815 

Arad (Arad county, now Arad, Romania), 1817-1823 

Baja (Bacs-Kiskun county), 1765 

B6kescsaba (Bekes county), 1830 

Cegled (Pest county) 

Foldeak (Csongrad county), 1815 

Gyula (Bekes county), 1543 

Hodmezovasarhely (Csongrad county), 1823 

Kalocsa (Bacs-Kiskun county), 1766 

Karcag (Szolnok county), 1823 

Kecskemet (Bacs-Kiskun county), 1825 (previously in the same guild with the tailors) 

Kiskunfelegyhaza (Bacs-Kiskun county) 

Kiskunhalas (Bacs-Kiskun county) 

Kisujszallas (Szolnok county), before 1840 

Kunhegyes (Szolnok county), 1816 

Kunmadaras (Szolnok county) 

Mako (Csongrad county), 1815 

Mezobereny (Bekes county) 

Mezotur (Szolnok county) 

Nagykoros (Pest county) 

Nagylak (Csanad county, now Romania), 1815 

Oroshaza (Bekes county), 1818 

Palota (Csongrad county), 1815 

Szabadka (Bacs-Bodrog county, now Subotica, Yugoslavia), 1763 

Szarvas (Bekes county), 1817 

Szeged (Csongrad county), 1827 

Szentes (Csongrad county) 

Szolnok (Szolnok county), 1766 (in the same guild with the tailors and furmakers) 

Tiszafoldvar (Szolnok county), before 1780 

Tiszafured (Szolnok county) 

Torokszentmiklos (Szolnok county) 

Turkeve (Szolnok county) 

Jaszsag Region (Land of the Jazygians or Jazygia) 

Jaszapati (Szolnok county), 1817 

Jaszarokszallas (Szolnok county), 1817 

Jaszbereny (Szolnok county), 1767 

Jaszkiser (Szolnok county) 


Banat Region 

Hidegkut (Temes county, now Guttenbrunn, Romania), 1846 

Lovrin (Torontal county, now Lovrin, Romania), 1839 

Magyarpecska (Arad county, now Rovine, Romania), 1818 

Modos (Torontal county, now Jasa Tomic, Yugoslavia), 1837 

Nagybecskerek (Torontal county, now Petrovgrad, Yugoslavia), 1818 

Nagykikinda (Torontal county, now Velika Kikinda, Yugoslavia), 1819 

Nagyszentmiklos (Torontal county, now Sannicolaul-Mare, Romania), 1821 

Obesenyo (Torontal county, now Besenova-Veche, Romania), 1840 

Pardany (Torontal county, now Yugoslavia), 1837 

Perjamos (Torontal county, now Periam, Romania), 1845 

Racpecska (Arad county, now Rovine, Romania), 1818 

Temesvar (Temes county, now Timisoara, Romania), 1839 

Versec (Temes county, now Vrsac, Yugoslavia), 1817 

Vinga (Temes county, now Thereziopolis, Romania), 1835 

Bacska Region 

Csonoplya (Bacs-Bodrog county, now Conoplia, Yugoslavia), 1840 

Doroszlo (Bacs-Bodrog county, now Doroslovo, Yugoslavia), 1832 

Feketehegy (Bacs-Bodrog county, now Feketic, Yugoslavia), 1826 

Kapusztina (Bacs-Bodrog county, now Yugoslavia), 1834 

Kula (Bacs-Bodrog county, now Yugoslavia), 1816 

Ofutak & Ujfutak (Bacs-Bodrog county, now Yugoslavia), 1826 

Opalanka (Bacs-Bodrog county, now Stara Palanka, Yugoslavia), 1840 

Szivac (Bacs-Bodrog county, now Sivac, Yugoslavia), 1827 

Ujpalanka (Bacs-Bodrog county, now Nova Palanka, Yugoslavia), 1827 

Zombor (Bacs-Bodrog county, now Sombor, Yugoslavia), 1817 

Upper Hungary 

Abony (Pest county), 1818 

Aldebro (Heves county) 

Aszod (Pest county) 

Balassagyarmat (Nograd county) 

Bazin (now Czechoslovakia), before 1668 

Besztercebanya (Zolyom county, now Banska Bystrica, Czechoslovakia), 1872 

Eger (Heves county), 1775 

irsekujvar (Nyitra county, now Nove Zamky, Czechoslovakia), 1697 

Gyongyos (Heves county) 

Ipolytarnoc (Nograd county) 

Jolsva (Gbmor-Kishont county, now Jolsava, Czechoslovakia), 1838 

Kassa (Abauj county, now Kosice, Czechoslovakia), before 1626 

Kerecsend (Heves county) 

Losonc (Nograd county, now Lucenec, Czechoslovakia), before 1835 

Mezocsat (Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen county) 

Mezokovesd (Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen county) 

Miskolc (Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen county), 1735 (before this date the szur-makers were in the 

same guild with the tailors) 

Modor (Pozsony county, now Modra, Czechoslovakia), before 1668 and 1709 

Monok (Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen county) 

Nagyszombat (Pozsony county, now Trnava, Czechoslovakia), before 1668 and 1702 

Nagytapolcsany (Nyitra county, now Topolcany, Czechoslovakia), 1825 

Nyitra (Nyitra county, now Nitra, Czechoslovakia), before 1709 

Nyusta (Gomor-Kishont county, now Hnustia, Czechoslovakia), 1825 

Paszto (Nograd county), 1817 

Pest (now Budapest, Pest county) 

Poroszlo (Heves county) 

Pozsony (Pozsony county, now Bratislava, Czechoslovakia), before 1668 

Rimaszombat (Gomor county, now Rimavska Sobota, Czechoslovakia), 1820 

Szentgyorgy (Pozsony county, now Czechoslovakia), before 1668 

Szentistvan (Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen county) 


Szered (Pozsony county, now Sered nad Vahom, Czechoslovakia), 1719 

Szirak (Nograd county), 1840 

lard (Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen county) 

Tiszapalkonya (Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen county) 

Tiszolc (Gomor-Kishont county, now Tisovec, Czechoslovakia), 1838 

Ungvar (Ung county, now U.S.S.R.), before 1626 

Vac (Pest county), 1750 


Brasso (Fogaras county, now Brasov, Romania), before 1626 

Gyulafehervar (Also-Fejer county, now Alba lulia, Romania), before 1627 

Kolozsvar (Kolozs county, now Cluj, Romania), before 1627 

Torda (Torda-Aranyos county, now Turda, Romania), before 1639 



Abbreviations for the Notes 

Banateanu-Focsa-lonescu, 1958: Tancred Banateanu, Gheorghe Focsa and Emilia lonescu, 
Folk Costumes, Woven Textiles and Embroideries of Rumania, (Bucharest), State Publishing 
House for Literature and the Arts, 1958. 
Bp.: Budapest 

Dalton, 1964: O. M. Dalton, The Treasure of the Oxus with Other Examples of Early Oriental 
Metal-Work, London: The Trustees of the British Museum, 1964, (third edition). 
Gaborjan, 1970: Alice Gaborjan,"Adatok a szur kialakulasahoz" (Data Concerning the Evolution 
of the Szur), Ethnographia (Bp.), LXXXI, 1970, pp. 467-490. 

Gyorffy, 1930: Istvan Gyorffy, A cifraszur (The Decorated Szur), in the series Magyar Nepi 
Himzesek, I, Budapest, 1930, printed by Jozsef Kertesz in Karcag. 
H.E.M.: Hungarian Ethnographical Museum (Magyar Neprajzi Muzeum), Budapest. 
Kresz, 1957: Maria Kresz, Ungarische Bauerntrachten (1820-1867), Budapest: Akademiai 
Kiado, 1957. 

Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, l-ll.: A Magyar Nyelv Torteneti-Etimologiai Szotara (An Historical- 
Etymological Dictionary of the Hungarian Language), Lorand Benko ed., Budapest: Akademiai 
Kiado, I, 1967, II, 1970. 

Malonyay, I, III, IV, V.: Dezso Malonyay, A magyar nep muveszete (The Art of the Hungarian 
People), Budapest: Franklin Tarsulat, 
I: A kalotaszegi magyar nep muveszete (Hungarian Art in the Kalotaszeg District), 1907 
III: A balatonvideki magyar pasztornep muveszete (The Art of the Hungarian Herdsmen around 

Lake Balaton), 1911 
IV: A dunantuli magyar nep muveszete — Veszprem, Zala, Somogy, Tolna (Hungarian Art in 

Transdanubia — Veszprem, Zala, Somogy and Tolna Counties), 1912 
V: A palocok muveszete — Hont, Nograd, Heves, Gomor, Borsod magyar nepe (The Art of the 

Palocs — The Hungarians of Hont, Nograd, Heves, Gomor and Borsod Counties), 1922 
M.Ny.: Magyar Nyelv 
n.d.: no date 
N.E.: Neprajzi Ertesito 
ROM: Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto 

Schmidt, 1953: Erich Friedrich Schmidt, Persepolis, I: Structures — Reliefs — Inscriptions, 
in the series The University of Chicago Oriental Institute Publications, LXVIII, Chicago, Illinois, 

Tilke, 1922: Max Tilke, Oriental Costumes, Their Designs and Colors, London: Kegan Paul 
Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., 1922. 

Tilke, 1925: Max Tilke, The Costumes of Eastern Europe, New York: E. Weyhe, 1925. 
Tilke, 1956: Max Tilke, Costume Patterns and Designs: A Survey of Costume Patterns and 
Designs of all Periods and Nations from Antiquity to Modern Times, New York: Frederick A. 
Praeger, 1956. 

Walser, 1966: Gerold Walser, Die Volkerschaften auf den Reliefs von Persepolis, Historische 
Studien iiber den sogenannten Tributzug an der Apadanatreppe, Berlin: Verlag Gebr. Mann, 1966. 

1. Jozsef Huszka, Magyar diszito styl (Hungarian Decorative Style), Bp.: Deutsch, 1885; 
J. Huszka, "A debreceni cifraszur" (The Cifraszur from Debrecen), Muveszeti Ipar, I, 1885, 
pp. 85-95; J. Huszka, "Targy etnografiank ostoteneti vonatkozasai" (The Relations of our 
[Hungarian] Ethnography to Ancient History), Ethnographia (Bp.), IX, 1898, pp. 41-62; J. Huszka, 
Magyarische Oranmentik, Bp. 1900. 

2. Istvan Gyorffy, Nagykun szurhimzesek (Szur-embroidery from the Nagykiinsag Region), in 
the series Magyar Nepmiiveszet, XI, Bp.: Magyar Nemzeti Muzeum Neprajzi Osztalya, 1925; 

I. Gyorffy, "A magyar szur" (The Hungarian Szur), N.£. XVIII, 1926, pp. 49-66; I. Gyorffy, 
Matyd szurhimzesek (Szur-embroidery of the Matyos), in the series A Magyar Ne r pmuve~szet 
Kincsestara, I, Bp.: Kiralyi Magyar Egyetemi Nyomda 1928; I. Gyorffy, "La broderie dans les 
costumes populaires hongrois", in Art Populaire (Traveaux Artistiques et Scientifiques du 
1er Congres International des Arts Populaires, Prague, 1928), Paris, 1931, pp. 45-53; I. Gyorffy, 
"A bihari cifraszur" (Cifraszurs from Bihar County), N.E. XXI, 1929, pp. 89-109; I. Gyorffy, 


"A regi magyar ruhaviselet" (Old Hungarian Costume), in A MagyarsAg Neprajza (The 
Ethnography of the Hungarians), ed. Elemer Czako, Bp.: Kiralyi Magyar Egyetemi Nyomda, 
n.d., I. pp. 409-415. 

3. In the series Magyar Nepi Himz6sek, I. Bp., 1930, (printed by Jozsef Kertesz in Karcag). 

4. Andras Beres, A debreceni cifra szur (The Cifraszur from Debrecen), in the series 
Muzeumi Fiizetek, Bp., 1955; Alice Gaborjan, "Adatok a sziir kialakulasahoz" (Data Concerning 
the Evolution of the Szur), Ethnographia (Bp.) LXXXI (1970), pp. 467-490; Edit Fel, Hungarian 
Peasant Embroidery, London: B. T. Batsford Ltd., 1961, pp. 39-50; Ferenc Gonczi, "A szurok 
es kodmenek aranak meghatarozasa 1812-ben" (Determination of Szur and Kodmon Prices 

in 1812), Ethnographia (Bp.), LV, 1944, pp. 40-41; F. Gonczi, "A cifra-szurok keszitesenek es 
viselesenek eltitasa" (The Prohibition of the Making and Wearing of the Cifraszurs), N. E., 
XXXIV, 1942, "pp. 268-272; Maria Kresz, "Vengersky narodny kaftan-nakidka cifraszur" (The 
Embroidered Szur), Acta Ethnographica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, I, 1950, pp. 97-120. 

5. Maria Kresz, Magyar parasztviselet (1820-1867) (Hungarian Peasant Costume, 1820-1867), 
Bp.: Akademiai Kiado, HI, 1956, German edition: Ungarische Bauerntrachten (1820-1867), 
Bp.: Akademiai Kiado, I — It, 1957. 

6. Gyorffy, (1930, p. 29) and Gaborjan (1970, pp. 467-490) suggest that the szur could have 
belonged to the outfit of the Hungarians in the late 9th century. Balint Kiss {Magyar r6gis£gek — 
Hungarian Antiquities, Pest, 1839, chapter "A regi magyar oltozetek" — Old Hungarian 
Costume, pp. 118-122, quoted by M. Kresz, Magyar parasztviselet, 1956, p. 136, was the 

first to relate the szur and some other Hungarian garments to the coats and costumes of the 
Medes and other people from Asia. Later Ferenc Salamon (A magyar hadi torte'nethez a 
vezArek koriban, Kutfotanulmany a IX. szazadbeli byzanti taktikai muvekrol — Hungarian 
Military History in the Time of the Dukes, Source Study of the Byzantin Taktik Works from the 
9th Century, Bp., 1877, pp. 89-98) and J. Huszka ("Targyi ethnographiank . . .", 1898, 
pp. 41-62) pointed to the possible connection of the szur to the coats worn by the Medes on 
the reliefs of Persepolis. After them Geza Nagy (A magyar viseletek tortenete — A History of 
Hungarian Costume, Bp., 1900, illustrated by Mihaly Nemes, pp. 15, 28, 210), Aladar Kriesch- 
Korosfoi (Peasant Art in Austria and Hungary, Charles Holme ed., London, Paris, New York: 
The Studio Ltd, 1911, p. 34) and Maria Undi (Magyar himvarro muveszet, Bp.: Stephaneum 
Press, 1934?, pp. 45-49; English edition: Hungarian Fancy Needlework and Weaving, Bp.: 
Stephaneum Press, 1934?, pp. 24-25) mentioned the possibility of the szur's Asian origin and 
also noted that the Persepolis mantles might represent the prototype of the Hungarian coat. — 
Outside Hungary, it was Max Tilke (1922, p. 17, PI. 48; 1925, p. 13, PI. 40) who noticed the 
relation of the szur to Asiatic garments, particularly to Persian mantles of the Achaemenid period. 
He also noted certain similarities between the szur and mantles of the Volga Finns. 

7. Gyorffy, 1930, p. 26; R. Turner Wilcox, Folk and Festival Costume of the World, New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1965, PI. 41/1; Antonin Vaclavik and Jaroslav Orel, Textile Folk Art, 
London: Spring Books, n.d., (representing an old woman from Kopanice). 

8. Gyorffy, 1930, p. 26. 

9. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 87-88, 204. 

10. Edit Fel and Tamas Hofer, Proper Peasants, Traditional Life in a Hungarian Village, 
Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1969, p. 128. 

11. Gyorffy, 1930, p. 11. 

12. Gyorffy, 1930, p. 12. 

13. E. Fel and T. Hofer, Proper Peasants, 1969, p. 301. 

14. Georgina Thompson, "Iranian Dress in the Achaemenian Period. Problems Concerning 
the Kandys and Other Garments", Iran, III, 1965, pp. 121-126. 

15. The foundation of the Apadana was laid by Darius I c. 519-513 B.C., while inscriptions of 
Xerxes show that it was not completed for about thirty years (R. D. Barnett, "Persepolis", 
Iraq, XIX, 1957, p. 65). 

16. Schmidt, 1953. 

17. Probably Medes (Schmidt, 1953, PI. 27/B; Walser, 1966, pp. 70-72, Pis. 1, 32; Oscar White 
Muscarella, Review of Walser, 1966, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 28, 1969, p. 283). 

18. Could be Armenians or Cappadocians (Schmidt, 1953, PI. 29/A; Walser, 1966, pp. 74-75; 
O. W. Muscarella, Review of Walser, 1969, p. 283). 

19. Probably an Iranian tribe (Schmidt, 1953, PI. 35/A-B; Walser, 1966, pp. 83-84, Pis. 16, 54; 


R. D. Barnett, "Persepolis", 1957, p. 67; O. W. Muscarella, Review of Walser, 1969, p. 283). 

20. A Scythian tribe or nation, probably the Saka Tigraxauda or Pointed-Hat Scythians 
(Schmidt, 1953, PI. 37/A-B; Walser, 1966, pp. 84-86, Pis. 18, 57; O. W. Muscarella, Review of 
Walser, 1969, p. 283). 

21. May be an Iranian tribe (Schmidt, 1953, PI. 42/B; Walser, 1966, pp. 91-92, Pis. 23, 68; 
O. W. Muscarella, Review of Walser, 1969, p. 284). 

22. It is questionable whether these were trousers or leggings, but the representations rather 
suggest trousers. Herodotus (1.71) noted the leather trousers of a Lydian. The pairs represented 
here might have been made from leather. 

23. Probably from the Eastern Empire: Drangians, Arians or Arachosians (Schmidt, 1953, 

PI. 30/B; Walser, 1966, pp. 75-77, Pis. 11, 40; O. W. Muscarella, Review of Walser, 1969, p. 283). 

24. Herodotus, History, I, 135, translated by George Rawlinson, in the series Everyman's 
Library, London: J. M. Dent & Sons and New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1910. 

25. British Museum, London, nos. 2 (123902) and 2a (123903), Ht.: 5.6 cm (Dalton, 1964, p. 2). 

26. Victoria and Albert Museum, London (originally in the India Museum at South Kensington, 
collection of oriental gems and gold objects, deposited by Major-General Pearse) 

(Dalton, 1964, p. 2). 

27. Said to have been found in 1920, Ht. 12 cm (The Antiquarian Quarterly, London: 
Spink and Son, V, 1925, p. 49; Dalton, 1964, p. 2). 

28. Vorderasiatische Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, ace. no. VA 4852, Ht. 12 cm 
(Hanna Erdmann, Iranische Kunst in deutschen Museen, Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag 
GMBH, 1967, fig. 4). 

29. British Museum, London, no. 68 (123969), L. 11.65 cm; no. 69 (123970), L. 4.95 cm; 

no. 76 (123977), L. 6.85 cm (Dalton, 1964, pp. 21-23, PI. XV/69; Roman Ghirshman, Persia, 
\rom the Origins to Alexander the Great, London: Thames and Hudson [Editions Gallimard], 
1964, p. 93, fig. 121). 

30. British Museum, London, Franks Bequest, 1897 (123265), diameter 12.7 cm (Dalton, 1964, 
pp. 43-44, no. 179, fig. 19). 

31. R. Ghirshman, Persia, 1964, p. 88, figs. 115-116; C. J. Edmonds, "A Tomb in Kurdistan", 
Iraq, I (1934), pp. 183-192. 

32. The stone bears a 4th century inscription referring to Autophradates, Satrap of Lydia, who 
may have governed Xanthos between 375 and 362 B.C. (British Museum, Catalogue of 
Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1900, II, p. 51, PI. XI; Dalton, 
1964, p. xxix, fig. 12). 

33. Istanbul, Archaeological Museum, ace. no. 2361. Ht. 67 cm, w. 50 cm, thickness 6.5 cm; 
marble. Found west of Ergili at Lake Manyas. Gustave Mendel, Catalogue des sculptures 
greques, romanes et byzantines, Musees Imperiaux Ottomans, ed. Anastatica, Roma: L'Erma di 
Bretschneider, 1966, reprint of the Constantinople 1912-14 ed., vol. Ill, pp. 570-572, no. 1357. 

34. Istanbul, Archaeological Museum, excavations of E. Akurgal. Size c. 100 x 50 cm; marble. 

35. Istanbul, Archaeological Museum, ace. no. 2392. Ht. 54 cm, w. 121 cm, thickness 15 cm; 
marble. Found north-west of Ergili. G. Mendel, Catalogue, 1966, vol. Ill, pp. 569-570, no. 1356. 

36. Ekrem Akurgal, Die Kunst Anatoliens von Homer bis Alexander, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter 
& Co, 1961, p. 174, fig. 123; E. Akurgal, "Les fouilles de Daskyleion", Anatolia, I, 1956, p. 23, 
PI. 12; Kemal Balkan, "Inscribed bullae from Daskyleion — Ergili", Anatolia, IV, 1959, 

pp. 123-128, figs. 1-3, Pis. 33-34. 

37. Ankara, Archaeological Museum, Ht. 55 cm, probably from the 5th-4th c. B.C. 

(Kurt Bittel, "Fur die Frage der Feueraltare in Kleinasien sieke stig Wikander, Feuerpriester 
in Kleinasien und Iran", Turk Arkeoloji Dergisi, VI, 1956, pp. 35-42, PI. 15; E. Akurgal, Die 
Kunst Anatoliens . . ., 1961, pp. 173-74, fig. 120). 

38. Istanbul, Archaeological Museum, ace. no. 367; marble. G. Mendel, Catalogue, 1966, 
vol. I, pp. 33-47, no. 9. 

39. Istanbul, Archaeological Museum, ace. no. 368; marble, Ionian work made for a Sidonian. 
G. Mendel, Catalogue, 1966, vol. I, pp. 48-73, no. 10. 

40. Istanbul, Archaeological Museum, ace. no. 370; marble. G. Mendel, Catalogue, 1966, 
vol. I, pp. 171-200, no. 68. It is now believed to have contained the body of Abdalonysmos. 

Of Persian blood, he was the last king of Sidon and was raised to the throne by Alexander in 
330 B.C. Similar figures are represented on a sarcophagus in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, 


41. Istanbul, Archaeological Museum, ace. no. D.1153; ht. ca. 70 cm. 

42. Xenophon, Anabasis, I. v. 8, trans. Carleton L. Brownson, London-New York, 1921. 

43. Xenophon, Hellenica, II. i. 8-9, trans. Carleton L. Brownson, London-New York, 1918. 

44. In the Cyropaedia (I. Mi. 2, trans. Walter Miller, London-New York, 1914), on the occasion of 
the young Cyrus' visit to his Median grandfather, Astyages (584-550 B.C.), we read that 

". . . his grandfather was adorned with pencillings beneath his eyes, with rouge rubbed on his 
face, and with a wig of false hair — the common Median fashion. For all this is Median, and so 
are their purple tunics, and their kandys, the necklaces around their necks, and the bracelets on 
their wrists . . ." 

45. Xenophon, Cyropaedia, VIII. iii. 13-14. 

46. British Museum, London, no. 7 (123908), L. 18.8 cm (Dalton, 1964, pp. 3-4, xxxvii-xli, 
PI. IV; R. D. Barnett, "The Art of Bactria and the Treasure of the Oxus", Iranica Antiqua, 
VIII, 1968, pp. 34-53; Nancy K. Sandars, "Orient and Orientalizing in Early Celtic Art", 
Antiquity, XLV, no. 178, 1971, p. 105) and no. 132256, originally belonged to Lord Lytton, 
Viceroy of India (The British Museum Quarterly, XXVI, 1962, p. 99, PI. XLIX/b; Dalton, 1964, 
pp. xxxvii-xxxviii, 4, fig. 21 and additional plate). 

47. Xenophon, Cyropaedia, V.i.2; Vlll.i.40; Vlll.iii.1,3; Vlll.v. 18. 

48. Xenophon's error about the interpretation of the Persian adoption of a Median garment 
became generally accepted already amongst the antique authors (Justinus, Historiarum 
Philippicarum, XLI.ii.4 [Abrege des Philippiques de Trogue Pompee et Prologues de Trogue 
Pompee] in Latin with French trans. Chambry & L. Thely-Chambry, Paris: Librairie Gamier 
Freres, 1936?, II, pp. 222-223) and is also believed by scholars of the Achaemenian period 
(Dalton, 1964, p. xxxii; George Rawlinson, The History of Herodotus, London: John Murray, 
1858, pp. 276-77, note #6; G. Rawlinson, The Five Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern 
World, New York: Dodd, Mead & Company [n.d., c. 1900], III, p. 202 & note #3; Schmidt, 1953, 
pp. 83-84; Donald N. Wilber, Persepolis, The Archaeology of Parsa, seat of the Persian King, 
London: Cassel, 1969, p. 87). 

49. Musee du Louvre, Paris. 

50. Strabo, 15.3.19, trans. Horace Leonard Jones, in the series The Loeb Classical Library, 
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press and London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1961. 

51. Diodorus Siculus, XVII. 77.5, trans. C. Bradford Welles, in the series The Loeb Classical 
Library, London: William Heinemann and Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1963. 

52. About Alexander's adoption of the Persian dress see also Quintus Curtius Rufus, History 
of Alexander,, 7; Justinus, Historiarum Philippicarum, XII. iii. 8. According to Lucianus 
(c. A.D. 125 - c. 190) Alexander adopted also the kandys (Dialogi Mortuorum, 12(14), Philip 
and Alexander). The word kandys occurs in the works of Themistius (Orationes, 2.36c, G. 
Downey ed., I, in the series Academia Scientiarum Germanica Berolinensis, Bibliotheca 
Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana, Lipsiae: in Aedibus B. G. Teubneri, 1965 
and in the Inscriptiones Graecae (II & III, editio minor, pars II, Inscriptiones Atticae euclidis 
anno posteriores, 1514.19 [ko.v8vs ttolkLXos], Johannes Kirchner ed., Berolini: 

Apud Gualterum de Gruyter et Socios, 1927). 

53. Dating from the mid-4th c. B.C., 20 of these plaques (3.6 x 3.8 cm) were found in a secret 
recess of the burial chamber (M. I. Artamonov, Treasures from Scythian Tombs in the Hermitage 
Museum, Leningrad, London: Thames and Hudson, 1969, pp. 55-57, fig. 114). Chertomlyk lies 
near the River Dnieper, N.W. of Nikopol. 

54. The plaques, dating from the early 4th c. B.C., were originally stitched onto clothing 
(3.4 x 3.8 cm) (M. I. Artamonov, Treasures from Scythian Tombs, 1969, pp. 67-71, PI. 235). 
Kul-Oba lies on the Kerch peninsula. 

55. Possibly influenced by Xenophon, Justin(us) believed that the adopted Median robe was 
light and full flowing: "Vestis olim sui moris; posteaquam accessere opes, ut Medis, perlucida 
ac fluida" (Historiarum Philippicarum, XLI.ii.4). 

56. According to David Sellwood (An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia, London: Spink & 
Son Ltd. 1971) the following Arsacid rulers used this iconography: Arsaces I (c. 238-211 B.C.); 
Arsaces II (c. 211-191); Mithradates I (c. 171-138); Phraates II (c. 138-127); Artabanus I 

(c. 127-123); Mithradates II (c. 123-88); Gotarzes I (c. 90-80); Orodes I (c. 80-77); unknown 
king (c. 70); Sinatruces (c. 77-70); Phraates III (c. 70-57); Darius (?) (c. 70); Mithradates III 
(c. 57-54); Orodes II (57-38); Pacorus I (c. 39); Phraates IV (c. 38-2); Phraataces (c. B.C. 2 - 
A.D. 4); Artabanus II (c. 10-38); Vardanes I (c. 40-45); Gotarzes II (c. 40-51); Vonones II (c. 51); 


Vardanes II (c. 55-58); Vologases I (c. 51-78); Vologases II (c. 77-80); Pacorsu II (c. 78-105); 
Artabanus III (c. 80-81); Pacorus II (c. 78-105); Vologases III (c. 105-147); Osroes I (c. 109-129); 
Parthamasbates (c. 116); Mithradates IV (c. 140); unknown king (c. 140); Vologases IV (c. 
147-191); Osroes II (c. 190); Vologases V (c. 191-208); Vologases VI (c. 208-228); Artabanus IV 
(c. 216-224). Warwick Wroth's attributions differ considerably (Catalogue of the Coins of Parthia, 
in the series A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, London: printed by Order 
of the Trustees, 1903). Parthian coins with this representation in ROM collection (Greek and 
Roman Department): Mithradates I (924.5.32); Mithrades II (924.5.14; 924.5.58; 924.5.59; 
925.2.74; 925.2.89; 926.6.1 Fig. 18.); Gotarzes I (949x15.471); Sinatruces (924.5.29); Phraates III 
(924.5.28; 926.6.2); Orodes I (924.5.27); Phraates IV (924.5.26); Artabanus III (924.5.24); 
Gotarzes II (924.5.31); Vardanes II (924.5.30); Vologases I (924.5.23; 926.2.42; 927.6.4; 
949x15.481); Vardanes II (924.5.22; 927.6.5); Vologases II (924.5.21; 927.6.6); Mithradates IV 
(924.5.19; 949x15.354; 949x15.485); Vologases V (927.6.7) (identification after W. Wroth). The 
representation occurs principally on the drachms, less frequently on tetradrachms and bronzes. 
The figure is seated either upon a stool, an omphalos or a throne. The latter probably 
represents the famous "golden throne" of the Arsacids which the Romans captured and 
repeatedly refused to restore (W. Wroth, Coins of Parthia, 1903, pp. xviii-lxix). It is interesting 
to note how closely the costume worn by the figure resembles some of the earlier Median and 
Persian representations. The sleeves of the kandys often appear to be closed. The sleeves of 
the shirt worn beneath the mantle are marked in many cases with diagonals, indicating some 
sort of twisted sleeves. Such sleeves appear on a Median king from the reliefs of the rock 
tomb at Kizkapan (Fig. 14) and on one of the golden plaques from the Oxus Treasure (Fig. 12). 

57. According to D. Sellwood (Coinage of Parthia, 1971, p. 8) and W. Wroth (Coins of Parthia, 
1903, pp. xviii-lxix) he is either Arsaces or perhaps the first king, Tiridates I. Eckhel (W. Wroth, 
ibid.) believed that the "bowman" was, at all times, looked upon as representing the reigning 
monarch. This is improbable, for the figure is always beardless, while most of the Parthian kings 
are represented as bearded. His archaic costume probably shows the costume worn by the 
Parthian ruler in the 3rd c. B.C. Except on coinage, this characteristic costume does not 
appear in Parthian art. 

58. Marta Hoffman, The Warp-Weighted Loom, Oslo, 1965. 

59. Such closed sleeves can be seen on one of the golden plaques (Fig. 12) and one of the 
model chariots of the Oxus Treasure (Fig. 17); on the Berlin silver statuette (Fig. 10); and on 
many of the Median grandees (Fig. 1) as well as on the kandys carried by the tribute-bearing 
delegations in Persepolis (Figs. 2-6). An interesting parallel was found in the second barrow 
of the Scythian (?) horseman's burials at Pazyryk, datable c. 400 B.C. Here the excavations 
discovered one sleeve of a sable garment and noted that "The cuff of this sleeve is made of skin 
of dark bay colt, to which have been sewn two rectangular leather plates pasted over with 
gold-leaf. Although the end of the sleeve was broad enough to have allowed the hand to pass 
through freely, it had been sewn up at its lower edge, so the garment must have been thrown 
over the shoulders like a cloak." (Sergei Ivanovich Rudenko, Frozen Tombs of Siberia — 

The Pazyryk Burials of Iron Age Horsemen, trans, and preface M. W. Thompson, Berkeley and 
Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1970, pp. 85-86, PI. 155/A.). 

60. S. I. Rudenko, Scifskaya problema i altayskiye nakhodki (The Scythian Problem and the 
Altaian Finds), in the series Izvestiya A.H.S.S.S.R., Seriya Istorii i Philosophii (News of the 
Academy of Sciences in the U.S.S.R., Sect. Hist. Phil.), VI, 1944; S. I. Rudenko, Drevneishie 
v mire khudozhestvennye kovry i tkany (The Most Ancient Artistic Carpets and Textiles in the 
World), Moscow: Isskustvo, 1968, fig. 9 (illustration of the Katanda coat); S. I. Rudenko, 
Frozen Tombs of Siberia, 1970, pp. 86-88; E. S. Vidonova, Katandsky khalat (The Katanda 
Coat), in the series Sbornik Statey po Archaeologiyi S.S.S.R. (Collected Articles in the 
Archaeology of the U.S.S.R.), Proceedings GIM, VIII, 1938. 

61. The pedestal of the Egyptian obelisk in the Hippodrom, Istanbul, erected in c. 390 A.D., 
bears a relief representing the emperor Theodosius I receiving homage from various barbarian 
peoples; among them is a group wearing long, fleecy coats hanging over their shoulders with 
empty sleeves (N.W. side, this group is identified as Dacians; Wolfgang Fritz Volbach, Early 
Christian Art, New York: Harry N. Abrams, n.d., PI. 55, pp. 322-323 with bibliography). The 
general appearance of these garments seems to be different from the kandys. The manner in 
which they are worn is, however, so similar that we may attribute the style to the influence of 
those fcandys-like garments known from Central and West Asia for many centuries previous. 


62. L. I. Al'oaum, Balalyk-tepe (in Russian), Tashkent: Academia NAUK Uzbekskoy SSR, 
Institute Istorii i Archaeology, 1960, p. 214, fig. 153; Narody Srednei Azii i Kazakhstan (The 
People of Central Asia and Kazakhstan, in Russian), S. P. Tolstova, T. A. Zdanko, S. M. 
Abramzona & N. A. Kisliakova, ed., Akademiia nauk S.S.S.R., Institut Etnografii, in the series 
Narody Mira, Moscow: Akademii nauk S.S.S.R., 1962, p. 62. 

63. Gregoire Frumkin, Archaeology in Soviet Central Asia, in the series Handbuch der Orien- 
talistik, Siebente Abteilung, Kunst und Archaologie, III, Inner Asien, erster Abschnitt, Leiden/ 
Koln: E. J. Brill, 1970, p. 96. 

64. Attributed to Peroz (457-483) by Erdmann and to Chosroes II (590-628) by Herzfeld 
(Roman Ghirshman, Iran, Parthians and Sassanians, London: Thames and Hudson [Librairie 
Gallimard], 1962, p. 192, fig. 235). It lies on the Silk-Road near Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Iran. 

65. It is possible that Ahuramazda also wore a similar mantle and not a cape. 

66. On the northern bank of the Amu-Darya, near Termez, close to the Afghan border in 
southern Uzbekistan (L. I. Al'oaum, Balalyk-tepe, 1960; Aleksandr Belenitsky, Central Asia, 
in the series Ancient Civilizations, London: Barrie & Rockliff, 1969, pp. 110-112, 116-137). 

67. Northern wall, figure #29 (L. I. Al'oaum, Balalyk-tepe, 1960, figs. 115-116). 

68. Southern wall, figure #8 (L. I. Al'oaum, Balalyk-tepe, 1960, figs. 101-102). 

69. For the Vimalakirti Story see: Sources of Japanese Tradition, compiled by Ryusaku 
Tsunoda, Wm. Theodore de Bary and Donald Keene, in the series Introduction to Oriental 
Civilizations, 4th printing, New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1968, pp. 99-104; 
The Buddhist Tradition in India, China and Japan, ed. Wm. Th. de Bary, in the series Reading 
in Oriental Thought, New York: The Modern Libr., 1969, pp. 271-276. 

70. Mrs. Patricia Proctor (Far Eastern Department, ROM), who is presently working with the 
iconography of Vimalakirti, brought to my attention these representations and assisted me with 
their dating. Caves at Yun Kang with representations of Vimalakirti wearing the mantle: V-A 
(west wall), V-B (north wall; west wall, pointed arche niche), Xl-A (south wall, west half), 

XIV (anteroom, west wall, lower zone), XIX-B (left wall, bottom part, niche 23); bibliography: 
Seiichi Mizuno and Toshio Nagahiro, Yun-Kang, the Buddhist Cave-Temples of the Fifth 
Century A.D. in North China — Detailed report on the archaeological survey carried out by the 
mission of the Tohobunka Kenkyusho 1938-45, Jimbunkagaku Kenkyusho: Kyoto University, 
vols. II (1955), Pis. 75/B, 80, 83; X (1953), PI. 54; XI (1953), PI. 13/B; XIII (1954), PI. 126/A; 
Alexander C. Soper, "Imperial Cave-Chapels of the Northern Dynasties: Donors, Beneficiaries, 
Dates", Artibus Asiae, XXVIII, 1966, pp. 244-45; Emma C. Bunker, "Early Chinese Repre- 
sentations of Vimalakirti", Artibus Asiae, XXX, 1968, pp. 28-52 (referring to Vimalakirti's 
representation in Cave V-A at Yun-Kang, E. C. Bunker noted on p. 31, n. 28, that this type of 
coat was originally an ancient Near Eastern garment). Caves at Lung-Men: Lung-men shih-k'u ■ — 
Rock grottos in Lung-Men, Honan Province, Peking, 1961, figs. 47, 48, 51, 52; Osvald Siren, 
Chinese Sculpture from the Fifth to the Fourteenth Century, London: Ernest Benn, vol. 2, 1925, 
PI. 80. Caves at Ta-T'ung-Shan: Seiichi Mizuno, Bronze and Stone Sculpture of China from 
the Yin to the Tang Dynasty, Tokyo: The Nihon Keizai, 1960, PI. 27. For stone-steles see: 
Saburo Matsubara, Chinese Buddhist Sculpture — A Study based on bronze and stone statues 
other than works from cave temples, Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 1961, Pis. 84/B, 113/A; 
Alan Priest, Chinese Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 1944, pp. 30-33, PI. XLIV; Shih k'o hsuan chi, Shensi sheng po wu kuan, ed., 
fig. 21; S. Mizuno, Bronze and Stone Sculpture of China, 1960, PI. 56. For the wall-paintings at 
Tun-Huang see: Terukazu Akiyama and Saburo Matsubara, Arts of China — Buddhist Cave 
Temples — New Researches, Tokyo, Japan and Palo Alto, California: Kodansha Int., 1969, 
pp. 13, 14, 212, 214, figs. 32, 40, 47; Mission Pelliot, Les grottes de Touen-Houang, 6, Paris: 
Librairie Paul Geuthner, 1921, PI. CCCXXIV. 

71. As the Far Eastern Department of the ROM has an excellent collection of T'ang Dynasty 
tomb figurines among which there are many examples of the kandys, my study is based on 
this material. 

72. ROM, ace. nos.: 920.1.72, a-b (Ht. 25.4 cm) 

73. ROM, ace. no.: 918.21.238 (Ht. 21.2 cm). The earliest dated figures of this type came from 
the tomb of general Fan Ts'ui. He died in 575 A.D. and was buried the same year at Anyang, 
Honan, North China {Wen Wu, 1/1972, p. 52). 

74. ROM, ace. nos. 918.7.1-4 (Hts. 24.0 - 24.4 cm). Here the vertical line of the back may 
either refer to a central back seam or is the result of the mould. 


75. ROM, ace. nos. 920.1.6; 920.1.64; 920.5.16; 920.5.123-124, etc. 

76. ROM, ace. nos. 918.21.6; 918.21.582-583 (Hts. 24.3 - 25.0 cm) 

77. ROM, ace. no. 920.5.5 (Ht. 24.5 cm) 

78. ROM, ace. no. 921.21.73 (Ht. 25.5 cm) 

79. ROM, ace. nos. 918.21.583; 921.21.73 

80. Yoshito Harada, Chinese Dress and Personal Ornaments in the Tang Dynasty, in the series 
The Toyo Bunko Ronso, A. LI, Tokyo: The Toyo Bunho, 1970, p. 23; Joan M. Hartman, 
"Chinese Tomb Sculpture, The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Ezekiel Schloss", Oriental Art, 
new series, XV/4 (Winter 1969), pp. 286-292; Jane Gaston Mahler, The Westerners among the 
Figurines of the Tang Dynasty of China, in the series Orientale Roma, XX, Roma: Istituto 
Italiano per il Medio ed Esterno Oriente, 1959, pp. 48-49, 108-109, 143-144; Ezekiel Schloss, 
Foreigners in Ancient Chinese Art, Catalogue of the China House Gallery, New York: The 
China Institute in America, 1969. 

81. Y. Harada, Chinese Dress . . ., 1970, Part III, PI. XXXVII/1. 

82. Personal communication Dr. H.-Y. Shih, Curator, Far Eastern Department, ROM. 

83. Alfred Biihler, Ikat, Batik, Plangi, Reservemusterung auf Gran und Stoff aus Vorderasien, 
Zentralasien, Sudosteuropa und Nordafrika, Basel: Pharos-Verlag Hansrudolf Schwabe A. G., 
1972, vol. I, p. 134 and vol. Ill, fig. 175. 

84. Mission Pelliot, Les grottes de Touen-Houang, 5, Paris: Librairie Paul Geuthner, 1921, 

85. Mario Bussagli, Painting of Central Asia, in the series Treasures of Asia, Geneva: Skira, 
1963, p. 112; A. von le Coq, Ergebnisse der Kgl. Preussischen Turfan-Expeditionen, Chotsho, 
Facsimile-Wiedergaben der Wichtigeren Funde der Ersten Koniglich Preussischen Expedition 
nach Turfan in Ost-Turkistan, Berlin: Dietrich Reimer — Ernst Vohsen, 1913, PI. 7. 

86. Cleveland Museum of Art, handscroll (colour on silk), tradition of Chao Kuang-fu, 

Ht. 28.2 cm, L. 103.5 cm (Sherman E. Lee, A History of Far Eastern Art, New York: Harry N. 
Abrams Inc., n.d., pp. 164-165, fig. 202). 

87. Arriani Tactica et Mauricii Ars Militaris, ed. Joannes Schefferus, facsimile edition of the 
1664 edition (Uppsala: Henricus Curio S.R.M. & Academiae Upsaliensis Bibliopola) with an 
introduction by W. Hahlweg, in the series Bibliotheca Rerum Militarum, III, Osnabriick: Biblio- 
Verlag 1967. English translation verified by the Rev. G. Reginald O'Donnell, Pontifical Institute 
of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto. F. Salamon (A magyar hadi tortenethez . . . , 1877, pp. 89-98) 
and after him G. Nagy (A magyar viseletek tortenete, 1900, pp. 15, 28, 210) noted the possibility 
that the long avar gunia with a round collar which covered the shoulders might have been 
related to the Hungarian szur, but the references they give to the Strategicon are unfortunately 
incorrect. One may note, however, that certain szur-Uke garments with back-collar or hood 

are called guna or siguni in recent ethnographic material from Yugoslavian Macedonia end 

88. Sirarpie Der Nersessian, The Armenians, in the series Ancient Peoples and Places, no. 68, 
London: Thames and Hudson, 1969, PI. 30 (from the lintel over the west portal, representing 

a saint and one of the donors, Nerseh Kamsarakan or David Saharuni). 

89. As the szur is closely related to but one variant of the kandys (type "A"), here we shall 
not discuss the ethnographical descendants of the other variant (type "B") (Fig. 22). 

90. Kashmir; parts of India; Turkestan; Afghanistan; the Caucasus Region; the lands of the 
Ob-Ugrians, Kasan Tartars, Ural Bashkirs and Volga Finns; Syria; Iran; Iraq; Palestine; Turkey; 
the Ukraine; Gallicia; Moldavia; Wallachia; the Balkans (Walter A. Fairservis, Jr., Costumes 

of the East, published in association with The American Museum of Natural History, Riverside, 
Connecticut: The Chatham Press, 1971; Tilke, 1922; Tilke, 1925; Tilke, 1956; Tyyni Vahter ed., 
Ornamentik der Ob-Ugrier, material collected by August Ahlqvist, U. T. Sirelius and Artturi 
Kannisto, in the series Societe Finno-Ougrienne, Travaux Ethnographiques, IX, Helsinki: 
Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden, 1953; Eugene de Zichy, Voyages au Caucase et en Asie Centrale, 
La Description des Collections by Jean Jankd and Bela de Posta, I, Bp.: G. Ranschburg 
Libraire-Editeur, 1897; and material in the collections of the Textile Department, ROM). This 
sleeve-construction was common in Hungary too, not only among the szurs, but also among 
various other ancient types of shirts and jackets (A magyarsag neprajza, ed. E. Czako, I, 
pp. 400-410; Gaborjan, 1970, pp. 467-490; Gertrud Palotay, "A magyarorszagi noi ingek egy 
szabastipusarol" One Type of Woman's Blouse from Hungary, N.E., XXIII, 1931, pp. 152-163). 
Outside this large geographical area where garments with set-in sleeves were common, the 


construction is also known in parts of north and east Africa. It was not native to that territory, 
however, but reached the area with the spread of Islam. A similar sleeve construction is to 
be found sporadically in the Far East, as for example in Korea (Tilke, 1956, PI. 97/1-2), but 
how it got there is not known. The set-in sleeves also occur on a few medieval western 
European ecclesiastical garments, very likely influenced by eastern models. 

91. ROM collection, ace. nos. 971.5.7 (% length Turkmen jacket made of warp ikat silk, 
northern Afghanistan, border region of Uzbekistan); and 972.118.9 (Turkmen coat, 
Turkestan, made of warp ikat silk); Tilke, 1922, PI. 108 (Tashkent), Pis. 109, 113 (Bokhara), 
PI. 118 (Yarkand or Khotan); PI. 119 (Yarkand); Narody Srednei Azii i Kazakhstana, 1962, 

vol. I, p. 293, fig. 1 (Uzbek), p. 477, fig. 3 (Karakalpak). Made of figured silk, these were formerly 
worn in the courts of the Bokhara and Kiva emirs. The emirs sometimes offered them to nobles 
and officials as a sign of honour. The tshapanes made of cashmere were only worn by 
dignitaries, nobles and rich merchants (notes of Mme. Huguette Paul, Ambassade de France 
in Afghanistan, 1971). For variants see also A. Biihler, Ikat, Batik, Plangi, 1972, vols. I-III. 

92. Tshapanes, cut in two basic forms, one with set-in sleeve-construction (type "A"), and 
the other with two narrow widths of material sewn together vertically giving a central back 
seam (type "B") were worn all over Afghanistan (Fig. 22). Some coats made of very narrow 
woven fabric (w. 23-25 cm) have a centre back seam although their cut tends to be that of 
type "A" (The American Museum of Natural History, New York, ace. nos. 70.2/4734 ■ — 
Afghanistan, Panjashir Valley; 70.2/4962 — Afghanistan, Uzbek, Fig. 37). The back-panel of 
another variant also made of narrow material consists of three fabric widths (American Museum 
of Natural History, New York, ace. no. 70.2/3125 — Central Afghanistan, Hazara; illustrated: 
W. A. Fairservis, Costumes of the East, 1971, p. 65). For every-day occasions in the summer, 
tshapanes are made of cotton, today often of rayon, and for the winter of camel-hair (in 
Mazar-i-Sharif), of different shades of natural coloured wool and of diverse fur-lined fabrics. 
For festivities, the tshapanes are made generally of silk and of ikat-patterned silks worn by the 
Turkmen in northern Afghanistan (notes of Mme. H. Paul, 1971). Tilke, 1956, PI. 81/8 (from 
Astor, Western Himalayas). 

93. W. A. Fairservis, Costumes of the East, 1971, p. 66. — A very heavy coat, made of natural 
coloured woollen fabric with long, pendant sleeves is still worn by the Kashgai Nomads of Iran, 
who migrated from Central Asia and still speak a Turkish dialect (The National Geographic 
Magazine, C/4, Oct. 1951, p. 447). Similarly heavy coats are worn over the shoulders of the 
nomads in Hunza, near the Himalayas (The National Geographic Magazine, CIV/4, Oct. 1953, 
pp. 507, 512). These coats may have been made of felt. 

94. Tilke, 1956, PI. 17/8-9. Two three-quarter length quilted coats of cotton tabby in ROM 
collection (959.243.7, late 19th c, Gift of Mrs. B. W. Horan; 971.87.2, c. 1900, gift of Mrs. 
Edgar J. Stone). Similar coats, however, were also known from other parts of the Near East. 
Two mid-calf length quilted coats in ROM collection, one of cotton tabby (972.410.70, late 
19th c, purchased at Bursa) and the ether of silk (972.410.71, probably 18th c, purchased in 
Istanbul) were possibly worn by Turkish imams as ceremonial garments. A fine silk quilted 
coat, 18th -19th c.) in the Brooklyn Museum, New York, is identified as from Persia. 

95. Tilke, 1922, PI. 89. 

96. Tilke, 1922, Pis. 87 (Lahore), 88. Grey-green cashmere coat with tapestry woven borders 
in ROM collection (964.218.1, Kashmir, 19th century second half, gift of Mrs. Bruce Adams). 

97. About the origin of these coats: Mr. Bernard Dupaigne's letter (Musee de I'Homme, Paris, 
Sept. 22nd, 1972). Coats of this type in ROM collection: ace. nos. 972.124.2 (white cotton tabby 
ground with elaborate, multicoloured silk embroidery) and 972.124.1 (yellow silk tabby ground 
with similar silk embroidery; altered in the fashion of a kaftan somewhere in the Near East). 
Other examples of the mantle are to be found in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New 
York; Musee de I'Homme, Paris; Musee Historique de Berne (ace. no. MT. 625); and the Victoria 
and Albert Museum, London (ace. nos. 450-1884; 1059-1900; T.61-1933; T.71-1936). Similar 
coats worn over the head are also known from Bokhara, Turkestan (Tilke, 1922, fig. 116, p. 30), 
from the Karakalpaks of Turkestan (Narody Srednei Azii i Kazakhstana, 1962, vol. I, pi. between 
pp. 484 & 485) and Palestine (Palestinian Embroidery, exhibition in the British Museum, 
Ethnographical Department, London, 1971, organized by Shelagh Weir). 

98. Edgar Blochet, Les enluminures orientaux — turcs, arabes, persans, Paris: La Gazette des 
Beaux-Arts, 1926, Pis. XXVI. a, XXIII. 

99. Tahsin Oz, Turk kumas ve kadifeleri (Turkish Textiles and Velvets), I: XIV-XVI. yuzyil, II: 


XVII.-XIX. yiizyil ve kumas suslemesi, Istanbul: Milli Egitim Basimevi, 1946 & 1951. 

100. Corina Nicolescu, Istoria costumului de curte in Tarile Romane, Secolele XIV-XVIII, in 
Romanian with French summary: Histoire du Costume de Cour dans les Pays Roumains, XlVe 
XVII le siecles, Bucuresti: Editura Stiintifica, 1970; C. Nicolescu, Costumul de curte in tarile 
romane (sec. XIV-XVIII) (Romanian Court Costume, 14th— 18th Centuries), Bucuresti: Muzeul 
de Arta al Republicii Socialiste Romania, Sectia de Arte Veche Romaneasca, 1970. 

101. Costumes from the 17th c. in Transylvania: Janos Szendrei, Adatok a magyar viselet 
tortenetehez (Contributions to the History of the Hungarian Costume), offprint from the 
Archaeologiai Ertesito (1907-1908), Pis. X/1 (prince Zsigmond Rakoczi), XIII/3-4 (Calvinist 

102. Tilke, 1922, PI. 43. 

103. Tilke, 1925, PI. 76 and Tilke, 1956, PI. 71/6-7 (Bashkir); Tilke, 1925, PI. 77 and Tilke, 
1956, PI. 71/1-2 (Kasar Tartar). 

104. Tilke, 1925, PI. 73; Tilke, 1956, PI. 51/6. 

105. Tilke, 1925, PI. 74; Tilke, 1956, PI. 51/8. 

106. Types et costumes de la Russie Rouge a I' exposition ethnographique du Royaume de 
Galicie en 1887, ed. Wladislas Oginski Fedorovicz, n.p., n.d. 

107. Irena Czarnecka, Polnische Volkskunst, Warszawa: Polonia, 1957, p. 171. 

108. A magyarsag neprajza, ed. E. Czako, I, fig. 1190; material in the H.E.M. 

109. Jeno Nagy, Portul popular maghiar din Tinutul Calatei (Hungarian Folk Costume from the 
Kalata Valley), n.p.: Editura de Stat Pentru Literature si Arta, n.d. fig. 3, PI. II (Kalotaszeg 
Region); Banateanu-Focsa-lonescu, 1958, figs. 245 (Apuseni Mountains), 338 (Dragus); Nicolae 
Dunare, "Influente reciproce in portul si textilele populare de pe ambele versante ale Carpatilor 
Meridionali", Anuarul Muzeului Etnografic al Transilvaniei, 1959-61, Cluj, 1963, PI. 12 (Retyezat 
Mountains, Hunyad region); George Oprescu, (Peasant Art in Roumania, London: The Studio, 
1929, p. 59; Teodor Onisor, "Etapele de dezvoltare a colectiilor Muzeului Etnografic al 
Transilvaniei", Anuarul Muzeului Etnografic al Transilvaniei, 1957-58, Cluj, 1958, pp. 51, 52, 55; 
Tancred Banateanu, "Sirbesti — Sat de Sumanari din. Reg. Crisana", Anuarul Muzeului 
Etnografic al Transilvaniei, 1959-61, Cluj, 1963, pp. 65-78 (Koros Region). 

110. Banateanu-Focsa-lonescu, 1958, fig. 175 (Hungarian Csango group); Paul Petrescu — 
Elena Secosan, Arta Populara, Indreptar Metodic, Bucaresti: Comitetul de Stat Pentru Cultura 
si Arta, 1966, fig. 32 (Bacau Region). 

111. Banateanu-Focsa-lonescu, 1958, figs. 1 (Schela village, Craiova Region), 2 (Cimpofeni 
village, Craiova Region); 39 & 46 (Craiova Region). 

112. Dvanaieste Glava, "Materialna Kultura: gratevine, narodna noshnia, hranaitd" in Istoria Srba 
(History of Serbia) by Constantin Yirechek, Beograd: Izdavachko Preduzete Narodne Republike 
Srbiie, 1952, p. 245 (the coat appears with the following names: mantellum, clamis, soccha, 
zocha, plasht, gun' and kabanica). In one 14th c. document the gune-coat is mentioned as "ad 
modum bosnensem" (lovan Kovachevich, Sredn'ovekovna Hoshn'a Balkanskih Slovena, in the 
series Srpska Akademiia Nauka Posevna Izdan'a, vol. CCXV, Istoriski Institut Kniga, Beograd, 
1953, p. 275). 

113. The Miracle of Saint George, fresco (1.29 x 1.61 m). The artists Michael and Eutichije 
completed the frescoes for this church, which King Milutin had restored in 1304. (Yugoslav 
Medieval Frescoes, an exhibition organized and circulated by the National Gallery of Canada, 
Ottawa, 1962, text by Milan Kasahin, no. 27.) 

114. Marijana Gusic, Commentary on the Exhibited Material, Zagreb: Ethnographical Museum, 
1955, p. 120 (Labin, Istria); M. Gusic, O. Delorko, V. Zganec, T. Komar, O. Mladenovic, 

V. Ivanovna, Folklore des jugoslawischen Volkes, Zagreb: Graficki zavod Hrvatske, 1964 (Jabuka 
near Sinj); Vladimir Kirin, Narodne nosnje i plesovi Jugoslavije, Zagreb: Nasa Djeca, 1965, 
vol. I, fig. 8, vol. IV, figs. 10, 15, vol. V, fig. 6 (Pag Island). 

115. The bacino di San Marco from San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, by Antonio Canale called 
Canaletto (1697-1768) (people are represented in short and long brown coats), Wallace 
Collection, London (497); Feasf on the Piazetta, Venice, by Canaletto (one man wears a brown 
coat and black fez); Wallace Collection, London (500); A regatta on the Grand Canal, Venice, 
by Canaletto (on the left side of the foreground, one figure wears a beige coat with pendant 
sleeves; cuffs with red and neck with brown edgings. He has a red fez), The National Gallery, 
London (938); San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, by F. Guardi (1712-1793) (two men standing 

in small boats wear the coat), Wallace Collection, London (491); The Piazetta, Venice, by 


R. P. Bonington (1802-1828) (several people wear heavy hooded brown coats with pendant 
sleeves. Some of the coats have red decoration), Wallace Collection, London (684); The Piazza 
San Marco, Venice, by Bonington (one figure appears in a brown coat with pendant sleeves 
and wears a red fez); Wallace Collection, London (375). See also note 122. 

116. M. Gusic, Commentary, 1955, p. 32; M. Gusic et al., Folklore des jugoslawischen Volkes, 
1964 (Donja Lomnica, Turopolje); V. Kirin, Narodne nosnje i plesovi Jugoslavije, 1965, vol. Ill, 
fig. 7 (Novo Cice, Turopolje). Many examples in the Ethnographical Museum, Zagreb; ROM, 
ace. no. 972.410.170; Kunstgewerbemuseum, Zurich, ace. no. 1955-71 (Europaische Textilien, 
Kunstgewerbemuseum, Erika Billeter, ed., Zurich, n.d., p. 145); Musee de I'Homme, Paris, ace. 
no. D. 55.8.4-(1211). That the name of this Croatian garment is either coha or kepenek, the very 
terms used for centuries to refer to the Hungarian szur (csuha or koponyeg) indicates some 
connection in its origins with the Hungarians. For the names see chapter IV, Linguistic 
Evidence for the Adoption of the Szur. 

117. The same kind of collar-construction also appears on a black coat made of fulled woollen 
fabric called chepeneag in Transylvania (worn by a woman, Retyezat mountains, Hunyad Region; 
N. Dunare, "Influente reciproce . . .", 1963, p. 188, fig. 12). 

118. Gyorffy, 1930, p. 26 and Mrs. Elena Secosan's letter (February, 1972), Bucharest. 
According to Mrs. Secosan, szur-Wke mantles in general are not characteristic of Romanian 
costumes. Such coats appear only sporadically along the borders of the country, as along the 
Danube on the south, near the Balkans (the coat of the surudius may have connections with 
similar garments from the Balkans) and in Moldavia on the north-east (such coats may relate 
to certain Ukrainian mantles). The Romanians of Transylvania did not wear the Hungarian or 
Saxonian szurs. In Romania, no one has yet studied these coats and the questions concerning 
their origins. Mrs. Secosan believes that they originated somewhere in the east and that 

they are worn by Slavic peoples living in the territory of the U.S.S.R. (we know of no 
publications on this material however) and the Balkans (particularly Bulgaria). See also: 
The National Geographic Magazine, XXIV/10, Oct. 1913, p. 1068 (teamster wearing a grey 
szur-\\ke coat in Bucharest). 

119. Gyorffy, 1930, p. 26. Additional width is provided by two side-pieces on each side below 
the sleeves which correspond to the two pieces forming the side of the szur. 

120. Such a coat was studied by the author in a private collection at Skopje. Information 
provided by Blaze Petrovski, Folklore Institute, Skopje. 

121. Hristo Vakarelski, Bulgarische Volkskunst, Sofia: Verlag Bulgarski Hudoshnik, 1966, 
fig. 55 (near Sliven). 

122. ROM collection, ace. no. 972.410.1 (made of brown woollen twill called sayaki, from near 
Kozani. Worn in the mountains of Macedonia and the plain of Thessaly. Purchased in 1972 

in the Athens bazaar); Musee de I'Homme, Paris, ace. no. 69.59.1 (made of black wool, from 
Larissa, gift of Michel Brezillon). It is probable that the Saracatsan maliotto is a similar coat 
(Georges B. Kavadias, Pasteurs-nomades mediterranees, Les Sarakatsans de Grece, Paris: 
Gauthier-Villars, 1965, pp. 101-103). Such coats appear on a painting of Edward Lear from 1849 
(Castle at Karytaina, Greece) Geunadeion Library, Athens. Reproduced: Hugh Trevor-Roper, 
The Rise of Christian Europe, London: Thames and Hudson 1965, fig. 85, p. 127. In the early 
19th c, J. L. S. Bartholdy (after M. Beaujour) noted that heavy, hooded, brown coats called 
kapot were the important products of Zagora, Thessaly. These coats were exported in 
enormous quantities every year through the ports of Trikeri, Volo and Salonique to the Aegean 
Islands, Syria, Egypt and the Christian ports of the Mediterranean and the Adriatique. The 
mantles, particularly favoured by seamen, had short and long variations. Both types, made of 
fulled woollen fabric, were decorated with red broadcloth borders and embroidery on the collar 
and the pockets. According to J. L. S. Bartholdy, similar coats, dark or white, were also worn 
in Albania {Voyage en Grece fait dans les annees 1803/4, 1807, vol. II, pp. 183-185, reference 
brought to my attention by Mrs. Pauline Johnstone, Victoria and Albert Museum, London). 
It is probable that the brown kapots known from the northern Dalmatian coast (see notes 114, 
115) were originally the products of Thessaly. According to Mrs. Johnstone and Dr. P. M. Warren 
of the British School of Archaeology at Athens, the hooded brown coats with pendant sleeves 
are still worn on the island of Crete. These may also relate to the garments of Thessaly. There 
is a hooded brown coat in the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 
(ace. no. 1972.34.1, dated 1936, fig. 52) tentatively identified as being from Crete. Cretan hooded 
coats of blue broadcloth with red lining, called kapoto, are also known (The American Museum 


of Natural History, New York, ace. no. 70.2/7698A; Hellenic National Costumes, Antony E. Benaki, 
ed., text by Angeliki Hadzimichali, plates by Nicolas Sperling, Athens: Benaki Museum, 1954, 
vol. II, p. 62, pi. 59). It is also possible that those hooded waistlength brown jackets (trimmed 
with applied decoration of coloured broadcloth) which are known from North Africa relate to 
the Thessalian coats (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, ace. nos. 1545-1903, T. 117-1916; 
W. Bruhn and M. Tilke, A Pictorial History of Costume, New York: F. A. Praeger, 1955, pi. 188/6). 

123. Belgrade, Ethnographical Museum, ace. no. 14652 (Dojkinci, near Pirot). According to 
Mrs. Jelena Lazic (Belgrade Museum), these coats were called guna in eastern Serbia, while 
the name kabanica was more widespread for similar garments in western Serbia, Voivodina 
and Slavonia. The term kabanica may derive from the Greek meaning a long sleeved, perhaps 
military garment, which was worn by Turks and Khazars in Constantinople and later by the 
Byzantines themselves (F. Salamon, A magyar hadi tortenethez, 1877, pp. 97-98). 

124. Musee de I'Homme, Paris, ace. no. 39.45.62, Mission J. & R. Benezech, Korga Region. 

125. ROM, ace. no. 972.410.2, Greek Macedonia. 

126. Hellenic National Costumes, 1954, vol. II, p. 66, PI. 78 (Island of Leukas). 

127. J. Cvijic, La peninsule balkanique, Paris: A. Colin, 1918, p. 447; M. Gusic et al., Folklore 
des jugoslawischen Volkes, 1964; V. Kirin, Narodne nosnje i plesovi Jugoslavije, 1965, vol. II, 
fig. 11 (Galicnik), vol. V, fig. 17 (Kumanovo, Tetovo); R. Markovic, Les costumes du Drimkol de 
Debar, Skoplje, 1939; Tilke, 1925, p. 8, fig. 25 (Galicnik); Tilke, 1956, pi. 59/6-7; Makedonski 
Narodni Nocii (The National Dresses of Macedonia), Skopje: Etnoloski Muzej, 1963, 

pis. XXVII, XXVIII and supplement pp. 22-23 (Galicnik, Debar Region, ace. no. 682); Musee de 
I'Homme, Paris, ace. no. 51.20.1 (Lazaropolje). 

128. For example, ace. no. 4960, Ethnographical Museum, Belgrade. 

129. Musee de I'Homme, Paris, ace. no. 65.59.2 (Mission Jaques Millot); the Costume Institute 
of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, ace. no. 1970.84.1a. 

130. Musee de I'Homme, Paris, ace. no. 39.45.75; M. Tilke, Le costume de /'Europe Orientate, 
Berlin: Ernst Washmuth, 1926, p. 6, fig. 16 (Malcija Vogel district); Tilke, 1956, pi. 61/1-2; 
Franz Baron Nopcza, Albanien, Bauten, Trachten und Gerate, Berlin & Leipzig: Gruyter, n.d.; 
M. Edith Durham; "Albania, I, Oldest and Quaintest of Balkan Peoples", in Peoples of All 
Nations, J. A. Hammerton, ed., London: The Amalgamated Press Limited, n.d., pp. 47-60 
(Alessio, Malsia highlands, Tosk highlands, Durazzo). In Tirana, this type of jacket is called 

131. Now in the Textile Museum, Washington, a short jacket of somewhat similar type 
(L. 60 cm), supposedly found near Rayy, south of Tehran, at a site called Bibi Shahr Banu, 
indicates the relative antiquity of such fringed collars. Made of pale blue silk with yellow woven 
bands, this jacket bears Kufic inscriptions which have been translated as: "Glory and prosperity 
to the King of Kings: (Bah)a ad-dawla, Diya'l-milla, Ghiyath al-u(mma, Abu Nasr, son of 

Adud ad-da)wla, Taj al-milla, may his life be long. Order of Abu Sa'id Zadanfarrukh, ibn 
Azadmard, the Treasurer." Since Baha ad-dawla, Prince of the Buwaitrid Dynasty, reigned from 
989 to 1012, the fabric of the jacket can be safely dated to the late 10th — early 11th centuries. 
Originally, however, it seems that the fabric was not made as a jacket but rather as a hanging 
or tomb-cover (a product of Baghdad according to A. F. Kendrick), which at some undetermined 
date was subsequently made into a garment. Since similar coats are entirely unknown from 
medieval Persia, while related garments were worn throughout the steppes, particularly the 
European steppes, we may presume not only that this jacket was prepared by or for someone 
familiar with nomadic costumes, but also that the coat was made in Persia sometime after 
the turn of the 10th— 1 1th centuries. Miss Louise W. Mackie of the Textile Museum, Washington, 
notes that the authenticity of the coat has been questioned since the Bibi Shahr Banu site has 
produced a number of suspect textiles attributed to the 11th-12th centuries. Professional opinion 
on the subject is divided. Bibliography: Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art, 
London, 1931, no. 73; Rhuvon Guest & A. F. Kendrick, "The Earliest Dated Islamic Textiles", 
The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, LX, no. CCCXLIX (April, 1932), pp. 185-190, pi. D; 
A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, Arthur Upham Pope, ed., 
Oxford: University Press, London & New York, 1939, vol. Ill, p. 2031 & vol. VI, pi. 984/A; 
Nancy Andrews Reath & Eleanor B. Sachs, Persian Textiles, Pennsylvania Museum of Art: Yale 
University Press, 1931, pp. 101-102, pi. 51. 

132. Skopje, Ethnographical Museum, ace. no. E.M. 13758 (village of Vrbica-Kocansko, east of 
Skopje, Yugoslavian Macedonia). 


133. See note #97. 

134. Selected bibliography concerning the early history of the Hungarians: M. Artamonov, 
The History of the Khazars, Leningrad: Hermitage Museum, 1962; Karoly Czegledy, IV-IX. 
szazadi nepmozgalmak a stepper) (Population Movements on the Steppes in the 4th-9th 
Centuries), Bp.: Akademiai Kiado, 1954; Gyorgy Gyorffy, Kronikaink es a magyar ostortenet 
(Our Chronicles and the Ancient History of the Hungarians), Bp.: Neptudomanyi Intezet, 1948; 
A magyarok elodeirol es a honfoglalasrol (The Proto-Hungarians and the settlement of 
Hungary), ed. Gy. Gyorffy, in the series Nemzeti Konyvtar, Bp.: Gondolat Kiado, 1958; Balint 
Homan and Gyula Szekfu, Magyar tbrtenet (Hungarian History), 7th ed., Bp.: Kiralyi Magyar 
Egyetemi Nyomda, 1941, I, pp. 15-132; Lajos Ligeti, Az ismeretlen Belso-Azsia (The Unknown 
Central Asia) , Bp.: Athenaeum, 1940; Carlile Aylmer Macartney, The Magyars in the Ninth 
Century, Cambridge: The University Press, 1930; Gyula Moravcsik, "Az onugorok tortenetehez" 
About Onugor History), M.Ny., XXVI, 1930, pp. 4-18; Gy. Moravcsik, A magyar tortenelem 
bizanci forrasai (The Byzantine Sources of Hungarian History), Bp.: Magyar Tortenelmi 
Tarsulat, 1934; Gy Moravcsik, Bizantium and the Magyars, Amsterdam: Adolf M. Hakkert, 1970; 
Gyula Nemeth, A honfoglalo magyarsag kialakulasa (The Development of the Early Hungarians) 
Bp.: Hornyanszky Viktor R. T. K. Udvari Konyvnyomda, 1930; Geza Roheim; "A kazar 
nagyfejedelem es a turul monda" (The Khazar Khagan and the Turul Legend), Bthnographia 
(Bp.), XXVIII, 1917, pp. 58-99; Jozsef Szinnyei, A magyarsag eredete, nyelve es honfoglalaskori 
muveltsege (The Origin, Language and Culture of the Hungarians at the Time of their Settlement 
in Hungary), Bp.: Franklin, 1910; Istvan Zichy, Magyar ostortenet (Hungarian Prehistory), 

Bp.: Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia, 1939. 

135. Selected bibliography concerning the Bulgarians: Geza Feher, Bulgarisch-ungarische 
Beziehungen in den V-XI Jahrhunderten, Bp., Taizs Nyomda, Pecs, 1921; G. Feher, A bolgar- 
torok muveltseg emlekei (The Monuments of the Bulgarian Turkish Culture), in the series 
Archaeologica Hungarica, VII, Bp., 1931; G. Feher, A bolgar torokok szerepe es miiveltsege 
(The Rule and Culture of the Bulgarian Turks), Bp.: Kiralyi Magyar Egyetemi Nyomda, 1940; 
Zoltan Gombocz, Die bulgarisch-turkischen Lehnwbrter in der ungarischen Sprache, in the 
series Soc. Finno-Ougrienne, XVIII, Helsinki, 1912; Z. Gombocz, "A bolgar kerdes es a magyar 
hun monda" (The Bulgarian Question and the Hungarian Hun Legend), M.NY., XVII, 1921, 

pp. 15-21. 

136. Besides the Danube Bulgarians other pastoral nomads of the steppes who might have 
worn the mantle appeared in the Balkans during the great migration period (Sarmates, Avars, 
Petchenegs, etc). Influences coming directly from Hungary may have penetrated Croatia. It is 
not impossible that the kepenek Icoha of Turopolje evolved from a proto-sziir. In northern 
Croatia and Slavonia, men also wear an obviously oriental type of wide trouser called gage, 
which is very similar to the Hungarian gafya and not at all characteristic amongst Balcanic 

137. Dezso Pais, "Szint jelento melleknevek lappango kicsinyitoi" (Hidden Diminutives Meaning 
Colours), M.NY., VIII, 1912, pp. 300-308; D. Pais (as Pal Zs.), "Sziir-koponyeg, sziirke" (Szur- 
Mantle, the Colour Grey), M.NY., XXIII 1927, p. 540; D. Pais, "Sziir", M.NY., XXXI 1935, 

pp. 335-336; D. Pais, "Szur-fiiz, sar-fiiz," M.NY., XXXII 1936, pp. 189-199; Gaborjan, 1970, 
pp. 468-472. 

138. In Tobolian Turkish: sur; in Kazanian Turkish: soro; in Pecheneg: suru or suru (D. Pais, 
"Szur", 1935, p. 336). Geza Barczi (Magyar Szofejtb Szotar — Hungarian Etymological 
Dictionary, Bp.: Kiralyi Magyar Egyetemi Nyomda, 1941, p. 297) did not find convincing the 
arguments for either the Turkish or the Caucasian origin of the word, suggesting with some 
uncertainty the possibility that the word has Finno-Ugrian or Slavic origins. Karoly Taganyi 
("A besztercei szoszedet kulturtorteneti jelentosege" — The Cultural-Historical Importance of 
the Beszterce Veracular, Szazadok, XXVII/4, 1893, p. 333) had earlier suggested that the 
word szur came to the Hungarian from a Slavic dialect. Beside Pais, Istvan Kniezsa 

(A magyar nyelv szlav jovevenyszavai — Slavic Borrowed Words in the Hungarian Language, 
Bp.: Akademiai Kiado, 1955, I/2, pp. 955-956) pointed out that the Slavic origin of this word is 
quite improbable, but he did not feel the arguments for Turkish, Finno Ugrian or Caucasian 
origins convincing either. Of all the hypotheses yet put forward, those suggesting the Turkish 
origin seem to be the most probable. 

139. D. Pais, "Szur", 1935, pp. 335-336. Gaborjan (1970, p. 470) pointed out that the 
Franciscans and the Cistercians dressed in grey woollen material all over Europe, and were 


called "grey monks" (Grauhe Bruder, Grau Bruder, Graue Monche in German; Grey Friar in 
English for Franciscan brothers, Grey monks for Cistercians). 

140. Henrik Finaly, A besztercei szoszedet (The Vernacular of Beszterce), in the series 
Ertekezesek a Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia Nyelv es Szeptudomanyi Osztalya korSbol, 
XVI, 1897, nr. 685; K. Taganyi, "A besztercei szoszedet . . .", 1893, p. 323. 

141. Istvan Szamota, A schlagli magyar szojegyzek a XV szazad elso felebol (The Hungarian 
Schlagli Vernacular from the First Half of the 15th Century), Bp., 1894, nr. 1249. That the Latin 
griseus (grey) already referred to the grey fabric in the earlier sources, can be surmised from 
the context of such later expressions as "grisium pro tergendis equis wlgo threwrlew zew-nek" 
(1524 — grey cloth for wiping down horses is called in the vernacular threwrlew zewr); "Pannum 
griseum zywr dictum" (1528 — grey cloth is called zywr) and "pro theorleo zwr dedimus vnam 
vinam grisei" (1552 — for theorleo zwr [wiping horses] was given one piece of grey cloth). 

142. In the 17th century it is known to have been used for military uniforms in Transylvania. 

143. In Hungarian: "Draga ruhaiat rola le hanyuan zyrben oetoezek" (Kazinczy Codex, 1526- 
1541, 72, after Gyorffy, 1930, p. 16). 

144. Mihaly Bathory, Hangos trombita (Loud Troumpet), 1664, 143 (after Gabor Szarvas and 
Zsigmond Simonyi, Magyar Nyelvtorteneti Szotar — An Historical Dictionary of the Hungarian 
Language, Bp.: Homyansky Viktor, 1893, III, p. 359). In Hungarian: "Angliai poszto kamuka es 
tafota helyett szuert koedmoent vet nyakatokban". 

145. Different variations of the jacket (szurdolmany, worn on the Great Hungarian Plain; 
condra, worn in the Kalotaszeg Region of Transylvania; daroc, worn along the Black Koros 
River in Transylvania; szokmany or zeke, worn by the Seckler Hungarians of Transylvania; 
kankd, worn in Transdanubia); waistjackets (mellrevalo, melleny); trousers {harisnya, worn by 
the Seckler Hungarians of Transylvania; berhe, worn along the Black Koros River in Transyl- 
vania; rajthuzli, worn on the Great Plain); animal feed-bags (abrakos tariszyna, abrakos 

bako) and saddle blankets (nyeregtakaro). 

146. Janos Melich, Calepinus latin-magyar szotara 1585-bol (The Latin-Hungarian Dictionary 
by Calepinus from 1585), Bp.: Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia, 1912, pp. 134, #448 and 198, #642. 

147. The Raday Calvinist Library, Bp., Collection Jerney, vol. XXII, Regestrum Super Bonorum 
Dominy Georgy Rakoczi de Felseo Wadaz Anni 1619, MS., pp. 117, 118, etc. 

148. G. Barczi, Magyar Szofejto Szotar, 1941, p. 297. 

149. Zsigmond Szendrei, A magyar viselet torteneti fejlodese (The Historical Development of 
Hungarian Costume), Bp., 1905, p. 22. 

150. Bela Radvanszky, Magyar csaladelet es haztartas a XVI. es XVII. szazabdan (Family Life 
and Household in 16th-17th c. Hungary), I, Bp.: Hornyanszky Viktor, 1896, pp. 137, 202; II, Bp.: 
Knoll Karoly, 1879, pp. 6, 10, 11, 32, 46, 55, 56, 72, 77, 139, 284; Bethlen Gabor fejedelem 
udvartartasa (The Household of Prince Gabor Bethlen), ed. B. Radvanszky, in the series 
Udvartartas es Szamadaskonyvek (Household and Account-Books), Bp.: Athenaeum, 1888, pp. 
98, 250, 385. 

151. Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, II, pp. 610-611. 

152. Gergely Czuczor — Janos Fogarasi, A magyar nyelv szotara (A Dictionary of the Hungarian 
Language), Pest: Emich Gusztav Magyar Akademiai Nyomdasz, 1865, III, p. 1072; Magyar 
Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, II, pp. 610-611. According to Prof. Sir Harold Bailey, Iranian had a word 
kan, to cover, which with the common suffix tu would suitably give kan-tu, covering. Middle 
Parthian in Manichean texts has qnzmg kanzuy, a cloak; Pasto of Afghanistan, kandzol, 
upper garment; Sanskrit and Pali, kancuka and kanculika; Kroraina Prakrit (c. 300 A.D.) kanculi, 
jacket; Nepali, kajuli (G. Thompson, "Iranian Dress . . .", 1965, p. 122, note #13). 

153. G. Barczi, Magyar Szofejto Szotar, 1941, pp. 175-176; Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, II, 
pp. 610-611. It has been argued that the word entered the Ottomon Turkish language from the 
Hungarian (Lajos Fekete, "Az oszmanli-torok nyelv hodoltsagkori magyar jovevenyszavai" — 
Hungarian Words which Entered the Ottoman-Turkish Language during the Turkish 
Occupation, M.NY., XXVI, 1930, p. 265). Geo. Widengren (Artica, [Uppsala] XI, pp. 235 and 237, 
after G. Thompson, "Iranian Dress . . ." 1965, p. 122 and note #13) identified the Iranian 
kandys with the Polish word kontusz. 

154. Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, II, 610,-611. 

155. Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, II, p. 616. 

156. G. Barczi, Magyar Szofejto Szotar, 1941, p. 297; (D. Pais), 
"Szur-koponyeg, . . ." 1927, p. 540. 


157. H. C. Honey, Turkish-English Dictionary, 2nd e<±, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957, p. 195. 
On the manufacture of the Anatolian shepherd's coat see Hikmet Gurcay, "Kege ve Kegecilik", 
Turk Etnografya Dergisi Sayi, IX, 1966, pp. 21-32. Turkish kepeneks in the collection of the 
ROM: 971.340.37 (made at Tire, near Izmir, 1970) and 972.410.68 (made at Gaziantep, sold at 
Kars, 1971). 

158. Zoltan Gombocz, "Regi tbrok jbvevenyszavaink" (Our Pre-Settlement Words Borrowed 
from the Turkish Language), M.NY., II, 1970, p. 261, no. 221. 

159. In Bulgarian kepeneg, in Polish kopeniak, in Belorussian kepen' or kepen'ak (Z. Gombocz, 
"Regi tbrok jbv. szavaink", 1907, p. 261, no. 221). It also appears in the Romanian language 
as chepeneag (Transylvania, Hunedoara Region), ipingeaua (Wallachia, Arges Region) and 
epingeaua (Wallachia, VTIcea Region) (N. Dunare, "Influente reciproce . . .", 1963, p. 188). 

160. Magyar Nyelv T.E. Szotara, II, p. 616. 

161. According to Z. Gombocz ("Regi tbrok jbv. szavaink", 1907, p. 261, no. 221) and Antal 
Horger ("Bolgar-tbrbk jbvevenyszavaink. Kritika Z. Gombocz's Die bulgarisch-turkischen 
Lehnwbrter in der ungarischen Sprache, Helsinki, 1912", M.N., VIII, 1912, p. 450). 

162. The Hungarians of Transylvania still spoke of szur-koponyeg in the early 20th century 
(Gybrffy, 1930, p. 21). A sziJr-Wke garment in the Turopolje Region of Croatia was also called 
kepenek or coha (see note #116). 

163. Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, I, p. 569. 

164. Charter of privileges to the szt/r-maker's guild at Nagyvarad, dated March 10th, 1614 
(Gybrffy, 1930, p. 49). 

165. Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, I, p. 569. 

166. Tibor Halasi-Kun, "Csuha", M.NY., XXXVI, 1940, pp. 185-186; Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, 
I, p. 569. 

167. Among the Paldc Hugarians in northern Hungary and people of southern Transdanubia, 
the szur-csuha expression was common earlier in this century. Szt/r-mantles were called szur- 
csuha also in 1614 in Transylvania (Gybrffy, 1930, pp. 21, 49). A szi/r-like garment in the 
Turopolje Region of Croatia was also called kepenek or coha (see note #116). 

168. Also called in Hungarian aba-poszto meaning aba-broadcloth (when in 1525 the word 
aba first appears in Hungarian written sources it refers to a coarse woollen fabric. It derives 
from the Ottoman-Turkish aba which in turn derives from an Arabic word probably via Persian. 
In the 16th century, aba-fabric existed in several colours and varying qualities, but from the 
17th c, it referred only to a lower quality white material. Today the word only exists in a few 
dialects. Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, I, p. 88.); halina (of Slavic origin meaning fulled woollen 
fabrics or garments made from them. Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, II, p. 34); or daroc (this word 
first appears in Hungarian written documents in 1349 as "de panno darouch" meaning a coarse 
and thick woollen fabric. Its origin is as yet unknown. Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, I, p. 596). 

169. In a document dated 1086, it is stated that the serving people should provide ten 
yards of woollen (?) cloth for the wardrobe of Bakonybel abbey. In 1152, in a charter of 
Szentmarton abbey, one reads that a freeman was supposed to give, among other things, 12 
yards of woollen (?) woven fabric to the Church yearly on the day of Saint Michael for which 
service he could pasture his sheep free on the lands of the abbey (Antal Szmik, Gizella kiralyne 
himzo iskolaja — The Embroidery-School of Queen Gizella, Bp.: Kerner Albert nyomdaja, 1909, 
pp. 30-31; M. Undy, Hungarian Needlework and Weaving, 1934?, pp. 9, 15). 

170. These guilds were called in Hungarian csapo-ceh or szurtakacs-ceh. 

171. Gybrffy, 1930, p. 47. 

172. A. Beres, A debreceni cifra szur, 1955, pp. 5-7; Gaborjan, 1970, p. 470; Gybrffy, 1930, 
p. 111; Elemer Malyusz, "A mezbvarosi fejlbdes" (The Developmnet of Prairie-Towns), in 
Tanulmanyok a parasztsag tortenetehez Magyarorszagon a XIV. szazadban (Studies Concern- 
ing the History of the Peasants in 14th c. Hungary), ed. Gybrgy Szekely, Bp.: Akademial 
Kiado, 1953, p. 135. 

173. Gybrffy, 1930, pp. 46-48; Cornel Irimie, Pivele si vitorile din Marginimea Sibiului si de 
valea Sebesului (with German summary: Die Walkmuhlen und Wirbelkorbanlagen in der 
Marginimea Sibiului und im Muhlbachtal), Sibiu: Muzeul Brukenthal, 1956, pp. 8-10; Lajos 
Szadeczky, Iparfejlodes es cehek tortenete Magyarorszagon (The History of the Industry 
and the Guilds in Hungary), Bp.: Orszagos Iparegyesiilet, 1913, I, pp. 65, 78; II, pp. 91, 
97-98, 135. 

174. The guba-coat is an archaic straight cut garment made from a fleecy woollen blanket. 


It certainly had its predecessors among fur and leather garments. In Hungary, however, 
it appears first only in the late 16th century (Janos Melich, Szikszai Fabricius Balazs 
latin-magyar szojegyzeke 1590-bol — The Hungarian-Latin Vocabulary of Balazs Fabricius 
de Sziksza from 1590, Bp.: Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia, 1906, nr. 185) in the north- 
eastern regions, showing that the mode of the coat reached Hungary from the east (it 
was first worn by Ruthenians). Even in the 17th century, the guba was worn only in the 
eastern regions (Alberto Molnar Szenciensi, Dictionarium Vngarico-Latinum, Noribergae, 1604; 
Amos Janos Comenius, Index vocabulorum, Gyula-Fejervar, 1642, p. 240, #450). — For its 
appearance in Debrecen see: A. Beres, A debreceni cifra sziir, 1955, p. 7; Gyorffy, 1930, p. 111; 
Gabor Ltiko, "Az alfoldi guba-viselet eredete" (The Origin of the Guba Worn on the Great 
Plain), in Debreceni Kepes Kalendarium, 1939, pp. 121-122. On its manufacture see Margit Luby, 
"A guba keszitesmodja es a gubas mesterseg" (The making of the Guba and its Trade), N.E., 
XIX, 1927, pp. 144-145; Malonyay, V, pp. 27-37. 

175. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 111-122. 

176. As a result of their large orders, filled only with the greatest difficulty by the Saxonians, 
the quality of the Transylvanian szi/r-fabric decreased and only regained its standard of high 
quality in the mid-1 9th century, when — with the exception of szt/r-mantles — garments made 
from it were no longer in demand. 

177. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 125-126. In contrast to the Saxonian output, the 76 szur-weavers and 
fullers of Ratko, Upper Hungary, made 1600 rolls of szt/r-fabric in 1866 (Malonyay, V. pp. 53-70). 

178. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 111-119. 

179. Varpalota and Privigye in Transdanubia; Matolcs, Nagykallo and Kalo on the Great Plain; 
Gyongyos, Putnok, Miskolc, Klenocz, Nagyroce, Jolsva, Csetnek, Losonc, Rimaszombat, 
Rozsnyo, and Ratko in Upper Hungary (Gyorffy, 1930; Malonyay, V, pp. 53-70). 

180. Akos Szentkiralyi, Erdely juhai, Erdely juhtenyesztese (The Sheep and Sheep-Breeding of 
Transylvania), Kolozsvar-Cluj, 1925. 

181. The Nadasdy family inventories of 1552 indicate that the length of one roll of szt/r-fabric 
was between 18.90 and 23.31 m (30-37 cubits) (Gaborjan, 1970, p. 471; Lajos Bernat Kumorovitz 
and Erzsebet M. Kallai, "Kulturtorteneti szemelvenyek a Nadasdiak 1540-1550-es 
szamadasaibol" [Cultural-Historical Extracts from the Account-Books of the Nadasdi Family], 
Torteneti-Neprajzi Fuzetek Bp., II 1960). According to a Transylvanian general price-list, dated 
1627, the required length of a roll of szt/r-fabric was 23.31 m (37 cubits) (Gyorffy, 1930, 

pp. 49-50), while in the 19th century, the length varied between 17.64 and 18.90 m (23-30 cubits) 
(Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 88, 125). In the early 20th century, it was only between 16.38 and 17.64 m 
(26-28 cubits) (Gyorffy, 1930, p. 88). In Upper Hungary, a price-list of 1812 shows the length of 
a roll to be 15.12 m (24 cubits) (Gyorffy, 1930, p. 183). 

182. From a description by Sandor K. Nagy, Biharorszag (Bihar County), Nagyvarad: 
Hollosy, 1884. 

183. A price-list from Brasso, Transylvania, shows that in 1626 the price of one roll of white 
sziir fabric was 4 forints, and of black or grey fabric 3 forints (A. Szentkiralyi, ErdGly juhai, . . ., 
1925, p. 7). From another Transylvanian price-list, dated 1627, we learn that the price of one 
roll of white fabric was 5 forints, a roll of black fabric 4 forints, and of grey only 3 forints 
(Gyorffy, 1930, p. 50). In Bars county (Upper Hungary), the price of one roll of the best quality 
white szt/r-fabric was 16 forints; of inferior white 14 forints, of grey 12 forints, and of inferior 
grey 10 forints in 1674-75 (Gaborjan, 1970, p. 473; Rezso Jaszai, "Limitaciok 1602, 1675 es 
1688-bol"— Price Limitations in 1602, 1675 and 1686, Tortenelmi Tar, 1898, p. 561). In 
Transylvania, a large white szt/r-mantle cost 3 forints, while a big coat of similar proportions 
made of grey fabric cost 2 forints 60 denars in 1744 (Gaborjan, 1970, p. 473; Jozsef Koncz, 

"Az 1744. evi erdelyi arszabas" — Price Limitation in Transylvania, 1744, Magyar 
Gazdasagtbrteneti Szemle, 1895, p. 194). In an Upper Hungarian price-list, dated 1812, the price 
of a large white szt/r-mantle made of the best quality material was 4 forints; the same coat 
made of inferior quality white material cost 3.24 forints, and of grey fabric 2 forints. In the 
same price-list, one length of the best quality white szt/r-fabric cost 12 forints; inferior quality 
white fabric 10 forints, and black fabric 8 forints (Gyorffy, 1930, p. 183). 

184. This survival was especially pronounced in Bihar county (Great Plain), in the Hajdusag 
Region (Great Plain), along the River Ipoly (Upper Hungary), in the villages of Markaz, 
Domoszlo and Veresmart (Upper Hungary) and in the town of Kaposvar (Transdanubia). An 
interesting map in the as yet unpublished Hungarian Ethnographical Atlas, based upon 


historical, literary and contemporary ethnographical sources, shows that older people from all 
over Hungary clearly remembered grey szuMabric and grey szi/r-mantles from their own 
lifetime in this century (Gaborjan, 1970, p. 473). 

185. In Bihar county and the Hajdusag Region (Great Plain), in the towns of Vac, Hatvan and 
Tura and along the River Ipoly (Upper Hungary). 

186. The price of a roll of the best Transylvanian white fabric, sold in Debrecen in the 19th c, 
varied between 24 and 49 forints from year to year (Gyorffy, 1930, p. 126). 

187. In Hungarian called csapo-fold, a fine white powder of white wash put into the water of 
the fulling mill. Sziir fabric whitened by this powder was of lesser quality. 

188. 10-14 forints in 1812/13, Gyorffy, 1930, p. 126). 

189. A. Beres, A debreceni citra sziir, 1955, pp. 12-13. 

190. A wandering word which has its origins in the English. In the Hungarian language it 
appeared probably via Italian and to a lesser extent Serbo-Croatian sources in the 16th century 
(Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, II, p. 377). 

191. In the Nagykunsag Region, particularly at Kunmadaras and Karcag, and less frequently in 
Bihar County (Great Plain). 

192. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 22-23, 94. 

193. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 48, 126. 

194. I. Gyorffy, "A szurszabo mesterseg (The Szur-Making Trade), M.NY., XXVI, 1930, 
pp. 411-417. 

195. Gyorffy, 1930, p. 108. 

196. Ferenc Gonczi in Somogyi Ujsag (Dec. 25th, 1929); Gyorffy, 1930. pp. 201-203. 

197. Gyorffy, 1930, p. 196. 

198. Gyorffy, 1930, p. 11. 

199. Szurs with slightly shaped shoulders appeared only in the late 19th and early 20th 

200. It is possible that the back-vent was copied from over-coats worn by townpeople in the 
19th century. The Transylvanian Saxonian szurs have long vents on the sides, which indicate an 
ancient derivation and suggest that the garment could formerly have been used for riding. 

The comfort of the rider was important for nomadic mantles and many of the Central Asian 
mantles have such side-vents. 

201. I. Gyorffy was the first to point out that the back-collar of the sziir might have developed 
from a hood (1930, p. 29), and indeed there are sziirs which are made with a hood (see Kresz, 
1957, PI. 29, representation from 1822). Recently A. Gaborjan (1970, pp. 478-481) suggested that 
the back-collar is probably a relatively modern addition to the szur. She believes that it 
developed from the fashionable historical costumes of Western Europe. In the 15th-17th c, 

a fur-lined mantle, called Schaube in German, appeared with a large back-collar. It was also 
worn in Hungary and served, according to her, as the example for the back-collar of the szur. 
Although the collar of the Schaube and of the sziir show certain similarities, those alone are not 
enough to prove that the one was the inspiration for the other. The earliest detailed description 
of a szur-mantle from 1627 already mentions the collar (Gyorffy, 1930, p. 21), and the earliest 
representation of the coat is with a back-collar (Wilhelm Dillich, Vngarische Chronica, 1600, 
reproduced: Gaborjan, 1970, p. 478, fig. 4). 

202. The cut of the sziir is based on the comparatively narrow width of woven fabric. In a letter 
dated May 4th 1971, Maria Kresz noted that Supan szurmaker in the town of Mohacs cut his 
szurs from large pieces of cloth (ponyva) in the 1950s. As he knew how to work only in narrow 
widths, he first cut the fabric in half and proceeded to make the mantle from these strips. 

203. The word aszaj is no longer used in the Hungarian language. 

204. Once probably of widespread occurrence and usage, the word appears today only in 
certain dialects (Balint Csury, Szamoshati Szotar — Dictionary of the Dialects from Upper 
Szamos River, Bp., 1936, II, p, 212; Ertelmezo Szotar — Dictionary of Definitions, Bp., 1961, 
V, p. 613). 

205. The only known example is published by Tilke, 1922, PI. 48. 

206. E. Fel and T. Hofer, Proper peasants, 1969, p. 326. 

207. Kresz, 1957, Pis. 13, 38, pp. 65, 68, 106; Jozsef Markov, The Slovak National Dress through 
the Centuries, Prague: Artia, n.d., Pis. 97, 149. 

208. Veszprem, Zala, Vas and Somogy counties. 

209. For early representations see Kresz, 1957, Pis. 35, 50, 83, 85, 90-93; for wood carvings 


see note 218. Similar closed sleeves, although slightly longer, were worn by the peasants in 
Csokoly village, Somogy county, Transdanubia (Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 204-209). 

210. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 173-174. 

211. A szur with closed sleeves from Budszentmihaly, Szabolcs county, is to be found in the 
collection of the H.E.M. (ace. no. 15.759, made by Jozsef Vamos, c. 1896, reproduced by 
Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 123-124, figs. 107, 108). 

212. Saxonian mantles in the H.E.M. : ace. nos. 74.994 (dated 1900); 17.408 (collected in 1898). 
For representations see: Banateanu, Focsa and lonescu, 1958, fig. 365; lulius Bielz, Portul 
popular al Sasilor din Transilvania (Saxonian Folk Costume in Transylvania), in the series 
Caiete de Arta Populara, n.p.: Editura de Stat Pentru Literatura si Arta, n.d., figs. 21, 23; 
Gyorffy, 1930, p. 22 (fig. 16) & p. 41 (fig. 35); Peasant Art in Austria and Hungary, ed. Charles 
Holme, London, Paris, New York: The Studio Ltd., 1911, fig. 781. 

213. 17th c. Transylvanian representations showing the influence of the Turkish mode in the 
Hungarian and Saxonian costumes are published by Janos Szendrei, Adatok a magyar viselet 
totenetehez (Data for the History of Hungarian Costume), offprint from Archaeological Ertesito, 
1907-1908, Pis. XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XVI, XVII. 

214. In the Nagykunsag Region and in Bihar county, coats measuring 134 cm in length are 
known, while a 120 cm length was usual. Those from Miskolc measure up to 126 cm. 

215. The longest szur known from this area measures 112 cm, but this is exceptionally long and 

216. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 18, 21 (fig. 14). 

217. Such szurs in the collection of the H.E.M.: ace. nos. 17.407 and 17.410 (Handlova?, 
Nyitra county, Upper Hungary), 17.408 (Saxonian from Transylvania). 

218. Laszlo Madarassy, Trans-Danubian Mirror Cases, in the series Monumenta Hungariae 
Ethnographica, A, I, Bp.. 1932, figs. 5, 8, 19, 67; Malonyay, III, figs. 155, 158, 210, 229, 256, 
288, 287, Pis. VII, IX, XI. The H.E.M. has a rich collection of Transdanubian wood-carvings which 
are decorated with figures represented in szi/r-mantle; as mirror cases (1840: Magyargencs, 
Veszprem county [fig. 67/D]; 1842: Transdanubia; 1843: Transdanubia; 1843: Halimba, Veszprem 
county; 1847: Doba, Veszprem county; 1847: Transdanubia [fig. 67/E]; 1840s: Sumegpraga, 
Veszprem county; 1861: Zajk, Zala county; 1873: Nagygyimot, Veszprem county; 1874: 
Transdanubia [fig. 67/F]; 1870s: Kutas, Somogy county; 1886: Transdanubia; 1889: Kakics, 
Baranya county; 1880s: Kisbajom, Somogy county), razor cases (1890: Rabapatona, Gyor-Sopron 
county), mangles (1841: Volcsej, Gyor-Sopron county; 1842: Transdanubia); flutes (1842: 
Bakonybel, Veszprem county [fig. 67/C]; 1872: Ostiasszonyfa, Vas county) (from the exhibition 
The History of Hungarian Folkart, Bp., Royal Castle, April-September 1971). Some of the figures 
are reproduced by Gyorffy (1930, Pis. 84-88). 

219. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 18, 58-59. The earliest such szur in the collection of the H.E.M. was 
made in Debrecen in 1865 (ace. no. 76.852). 

220. M. Kresz, "Vengersky narodny citraszur", 1950, p. 104, fig. 9 (Hungarian noblemen in 
szurs, 1860s); Gyorffy, 1930, p. 15, fig. 7 (lady's ciiraszur, 1870s). 

221. In Hungary, during the Turkish occupation of the 16th 17th centuries, a special 
"Hungarian" mode developed influenced by a mixture of European Renaissance, early Baroque 
and Turkish styles. This mode did not disappear after the 1686 liberation of the country from 
the Turks, but survived, with many changes both important and unsignificant, until the late 
19th century. As the gala costume of the nobility, it was still worn in the 20th century and the 
simpler variations were also worn by some of the common people. These Hungarian costumes 
were made in the 18th and 19th centuries by the so-called "Hungarian tailors" {magyar szabo), 
while the fashionable European mode was made by the so-called "German tailors" {nemet 
szabo), referring not to the nationality of the tailors themselves but to the style of the garment 
which they made. 

222. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 18, 25, fig. 13. For early representations see: Kresz, 1957, Pis. 1 
(1793), 30 (1822), 31 (1822) and p. 60. 

223. From Somogy, Zala, Vas, Veszprem, Gyor, Komarom and Fejer counties. 

224. Vinkovci in Slavonia. 

225. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 207-208, figs. 182, 183, 189, 190. 

226. Meaning szur-caoe. 

227. Meaning collar-szt/r. 

228. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 208-209, fig. 184. 


229. Other types of hooded, cape-like garments, made from heavy, fulled, woollen fabrics and 
reflecting archaic traditions, can be found in Transylvania (H.E.M., ace. no. 95.321, Csik county, 
made of white szur-fabric, collected in 1912) and throughout the Balkans (from Bulgaria: Musee 
de I'Homme, Paris, ace. no. 98.65.32, Kotel ? Region, Zivkovo, made of brown woollen twill; 
Tilke, 1956, PI. 60/2-3; from Romania: Nicolae Dunare and Constantin Catrina, Portul popular 
romanesc de pe Tirnave, Brasov: Casa Creatiei Populare a Judetului Brasov, 1968, pp. 121-122, 
figs. 84-85). It is questionable whether these garments have any connections with the 
koponyeg- or galler-szurs. 

230. The expression cifraszur means decorated szur. The Hungarian term cifra, meaning 
decorated, is documented first from 1518. The word originally meant mathematical zero (the 
original source of the word is the Arabic silr meaning mathematical zero, which through 
medieval Latin passed into most European languages) and in Hungary may formerly have also 
referred to circular ornaments or objects which were adorned with small circles, i.e. zeros 
(Magyar Nyelv T.-E. Szotara, I, p. 428). 

231. Jozsef Huszka, who introduced the cifraszur to ethnographers and students of applied art, 
(see note #1), believed in his later works that the richly embroidered decoration of the sziir- 
mantles derived from Sassanian ornaments which had influenced the decorative style of the 
Hungarians long before they arrived in the Carpathian Basin, and that these ancient ornamental 
styles had survived until the late 19th century. It was I. Gyorffy (1930), who discovered that 
such szur-embroidery styles really originate in the late Baroque and Biedermeier motifs of the 
18th and early 19th centuries. Karoly Viski came to the same conclusion examining a single 
motif, the rose ("A pavaszem" — The Peacock Eye, N.S., XVIII, 1926, pp. 24-27). 

232. Tortenelmi Tar, XVIII, p. 187; Gyorffy, 1930, p. 50. 

233. In Hungarian: "Az nemesseknek czimere boytos szuerre valtoznek" (The noblemen's 
coats-of-arms can be changed into a tasseled szur). Andras Pragai, Fejedelmek serkento 
oraja (The Awakening of Princes), Bartfa, 1628 (after Magyar Nyelvtorteneti Szotar — Hungarian 
Language-Historical Dictionary, Bp., Ill, p. 358). 

234. With reference to their antiquity, I. Gyorffy (1930, pp. 30-33) points out that these motifs 
appear related to the applied felt-ornaments of the Central Asian Turks (in particular on 
Karakirgiz works). Historically the Hungarians were associated with different Turkic tribes from 
before the 5th c. A.D. and lived in areas dominated by Turks until the late 9th c. It is therefore 
by no means impossible that their decorative art preserved some elements of these old 
traditions and influences. The folk art of the Bashkirs, a Turkic group living on the southern 
and southwestern slopes of the Urals in the Kama River area, who are linguistically connected 
to the Hungarians, shows the tradition of similar applied motifs (Sergei Ivanovich Rudenko, 
Istoriko-etnografichesky ochenki, in Russian, in the series Akademia NAUK SSSR, Bashkirsky 
Filial, Institute Istoriy, Yazika i Literatury, Moscow-Leningrad: Akademii NAUK SSSR, 1955, 

pp. 294-298). 

235. In Hungary certain Renaissance and Ottoman Turkish traditions of the 16th-17th c. 
survived in the Baroque and Biedermeier motifs. These elements also appear in szur-embroidery. 

236. Malonyay, V, Pis. between pp. 80 & 81 (patternbook of Istvan Fulep, leather-garment maker 
from Miskolc town, 1824; patterns of Daniel Nyitray, Miskolc, c. 1870). Pages of the same 
patternbooks are also reproduced by Gyula Ortutay, A magyar nepmuveszet (Hungarian 
Folkart), Bp.: Franklin Tarsulat, 1941, I, Pis. XVIII, XIX, pp. 247-248. 

237. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 189-204. 

238. Vollstandige Sammlung der merkwurdigften noch dermalen bestehenden National 
Costume von Ungarn und Croatien in 78 Slattern, drawn by an officier of the Kaiserliche & 
Kbnigliche Engeneers, (Jozsef) von Bikessy, Graz, 1816?, in the Library of the Brooklyn 
Museum of Art, New York. 

239. Kresz, 1957, PI. 35. 

240. In the collection of the H.E.M., shown in the exhibition of The History of Hungarian 
Folk Art, Bp., Royal Castle, April-September 1971 (one mould from Marcali, Tolna county, 
representing F. Milfajt; the other one from Tolna, Tolna county, representing both F. Milfajt and 
J. Sobri. One side of the latter is published in the catalogue Nepmiiveszetunk Tortenete — The 
History of our [Hungarian] Folk Art, an exhibition of the H.E.M., organized by Klara K. Csillery, 
Bp.: Nepmuvelesi Propaganda Iroda, 1971, fig. 31). A similar mould is reproduced in Peasant 
Art in Austria and Hungary, ed. Ch. Holme, 1911, fig. 582. 

241. See note #218. 


242. Sandor Farkas, Csepreg mezovaros tortenete (The History of Csepreg Prairie Town), 
Bp.: Franklin, 1887, p. 284 (from the fourth minute-book of the town, p. 236). 

243. Karoly Eotvos, A Bakony (The Bakony Mountains), Bp.: Revai, n.d., II, p. 209. 

244. Gyorffy, 1930, p. 214. 

245. Besides governmental anti-sziir regulations, the very traditional szur-making guilds, 
resisting innovation and jealous of individual success, were also opposed to the highly 
decorated examples. It was not until 1873, when the archaic guild system finally disappeared 
from Hungary, that the cifraszurs began to flourish in many parts of the Great Plain and in the 
northern and eastern parts of the country. 

246. Parallel with the decline of the szur-mode and the ever-diminishing use of the szuMabric 
for other garments, the so-called Hungarian purzsa sheep was quickly disappearing to be 
replaced by the more generally useful merino sheep (A. Szentkiralyi, Erdely juhai . . ., 1925). 

247. For stitches used in szur-embroidery see: Kornelia Ferenczy — Gertrud Palotay, 
Himzomesterseg. A magyarorszagi nepi himzesek oltestechnikaja (Embroidery. The Stitches of 
Hungarian Folk Embroidery), Bp.: Kokai Lajos, 1932 — first ed., 1940 — second ed., p. 96; 
Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 43-45 (figs. 38-39), 73-74, 143-145, 184-187, 222-223; G. Palotay, 
"Sziirhimzes oltesmodok" (Szi/r-Embroidery Stitches), N.E., XXII 1930, pp. 47-54; G. Palotay, 
"A magyar nepviselet kutatasa" (Hungarian Folk Costume Research) and "A magyar 
nepmuveszet kutatasa" (Hungarian Folk Art Research), in A Magyar Nepkutatas Kezikonyve (The 
Handbook of Hungarian Folk-Research), ed. Gyorgy Gyorffy, Bp.: Keleteuropai Tudomanyos 
Intezet, 1948, II, pp. 12, 16. 

248. Used were shades of red, crimson, pink, magenta, purple, blue, green, brown, yellow, 
orange, black, white, cream and grey. 

249. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 72, 96-97, 109. Silk embroidered szurs were worn in eastern Hungary: 
in Bihar county, the town of Debrecen and in the Szilagysag Region, etc. They were always 
master-works made by szur-makers aspiring to enter a guild or special szur-maker group and 
were worn by well-to-do villagers and coachmen of large estates. An outstanding example, made 
by Sandor Bagosi at Nagyszalonta, Bihar County, is in the H.E.M. (ace. no. 77.169). 

250. Beaded details can be found on some Debrecen and Nagykiin sziirs, particularly those 
made in the town of Kunmadaras (H.E.M. , ace. no. 77.165, made in 1888). 

251. In the 19th c, the same term was applied to embroideries of Ayrshire work in Scotland. 

252. To produce this charcoal, thin hazel branches were cut into pieces 8-10 cm in length and 
then split into pencil thickness. The small wooden pieces were placed in a ceramic pot which 
was in turn covered with a tightly-fitting mud top. The pot was then put into a very hot oven 
over night and only removed the following morning, by which time the wooden sticks were 
completely carbonized and perfectly suitable for drawing on coarse woven fabric (Gyorffy, 
1930, p. 96). 

253. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 69-70, 96. 

254. Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 189-223, Pis. 69-88; Malonyay, IV, pp. 178-182, PI. XXIV, figs. 322-26. 

255. In Hungarian "Akinek nem szure, ne vegye magara," meaning "Stay with your own kind." 

256. In Veszprem, Zala, Vas and Somogy counties. 

257. A Transdanubian mountain north of Lake Balaton. 

258. A large town north of Lake Balaton, centre of Veszprem county. 

259. A county in Transdanubia. 

260. Similar representations, which quite likely took their inspiration from the decorated 
szurs, often appear on Transdanubian wood-carvings. (See note #218.) 

261. A good example of such szurs from Csokoly village, Somogy county is in the collection of 
the H.E.M., ace. no. 17.409. At Kaposvar, among other places, such coats were called 
"Garibaldi" or "peasant" szurs (Gyorffy, 1930, figs. 192-193). 

262. A. Beres, A debreceni cifra szur, 1955; Istvan Ecsedi, "A hortobagyi pasztorviselet" 
(Herdsmen's Costume from the Hortobagy Area), N.E., XV, 1914, pp. 21-56; Gyorffy, 1930, 
pp. 111-154, Pis. XLIX-LXIV, 37-52; J. Huszka, "A debreceni cifraszur", 1885, pp. 85-95; 
Lajos Zoltai, "A debreceni viselet a XVI-XVIII szazadban" (The Costume in Debrecen from the 
16th-18th c), Ethnographia (Bp.), XLIX, 1938, pp. 21-28. 

263. A. Beres, A debreceni cifra szur, 1955, p. 30; Gyorffy, 1930, p. 138. 

264. Good examples from the town of Hajduboszormeny are in the collection of the H.E.M., 
ace. nos. 76.854 (c. 1885); 76.856 (early 1890s); 76.857 (1887). 

265. I. Gyorffy, "A bihari cifaszur", 1929, pp. 89-109; Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 46-76, Pis. 1-20, l-XVI. 


266. To a lesser extent also at Derecske, Berettyoujfalu, Sarkad, Zsaka, Nagyleta and Dioszeg. 

267. The earliest sewing machine was invented in 1790 by Thomas Saint, a London cabinet 
maker, but remained unnoticed. A chain-stitch machine was made by a German hosiery worker, 
B. Krems, in 1810, but the first effective sewing machine was invented in 1830 by Thimonnier 

in France. The sewing machine of today in its various forms is largely of American origin, 
stemming from inventions made between 1845 and 1854. Their production rapidly grew into an 
important industry (K. R. Gilbert, Sewing Machines, A Science Museum illustrated booklet, 
London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1970). The sewing machine reached Hungary in the 

268. At Kolozsvar and Banffyhunyad. 

269. It never became really popular in this area. 

270. The cifraszurs of the Great Plain also reached Transylvania via Arad. The Nagykunsag 
region variations of the embroidered szurs became popular in eastern Transylvania at the same 
time that the Bihar szur flourished in central Transylvania. 

271. I. Gyorffy, Nagykun szurhimzesek, 1925; Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 77-110, Pis. 21-36, XVII-XLVIII. 

272. E. Fel, Hungarian Peasant Embroidery, 1961, p. 23, figs. 7, 56. 

273. I. Gyorffy, Matyo szurhimzesek, 1928; Gyorffy, 1930, pp. 155-199, Pis. 53-68, LXV-LXXX; 
I. Gyorffy, Matyd nepviselet (Folk Costumes of the Matyos), ed. & arranged by E. Fel, Bp.: 
Kepzd-miiveszeti Alap, 1956, pp. 43-46 & illustrations; Malonyay, V, pp. 53-70 & illustrations 
(description of Gyula Fabian). 

274. For 19th c. representations of Slovakian szurs see J. Markov, The Slovak National 
Dress . . ., figs. 52, 55, 57, 80, 142, 143, 147, 148 (not all illustrations of this book depict 
Slovak peasants). 

275. Szt/r-making centres developed in Upper Hungary in those places, where szur-fabric was 
made: Putnok, Gyongyos, Rimaszombat, Miskoic, Rozsyno, Ratko, etc. For the Paloc szur, 
Losonc and Balassagyarmat were particularly important. 

276. It has been suggested that military ranks of the ancient clans are reflected in these 
distinct, traditional colour-differences. 

277. I. Gyorffy, Matyo szurhimzesek, 1928; Matyo nepviselet, 1958. 

278. At Mezokovesd, Tard and Szentistvan. 

279. See note #212. 

280. Some szurs (as for example ace. no. 17.408 in the H.E.M.) had sequinned decoration 
beside the applied ornaments. 

281. Szt/r-mantles were formerly unlined. Lining began only in the 1890s, when the garments 
were lined to the hips (Gyorffy, 1930, p. 94). 

282. Situated north of Budapest on the eastern bank of the Danube. 

283. Gyorffy, 1930, Pis. 66-68. 

284. Mainly after Gaborjan, 1970; Gyorffy, 1930; Malonyay, IV-V. 



Achaemenidae or Achaemenids Persian royal dynasty whose name derives from Achaemenes 

(reigned c. 700 B.C.). The dynasty came to an end in 330 B.C. 

Ahuramazda Supreme god in the ancient Persian pantheon in the time of the reformed religion 

of Zoroaster. The name is best translated as the "Wise Lord." 

Alans (Alani) Nomadic people, eastern division of the Sarmatians. 

Apadana Large audience hall in the royal palaces of Darius at Persepolis and Susa. 

Aszaj Hungarian word; originally it meant the lower side portion of the szur-mantle. In the case 

of most cifraszurs, it means the central side-panel of the sz/vr-mantle. The double aszaj is found 

only on the Debrecen sziirs. 

Avars of Europe Sometimes called "pseudo Avars", probably a Turkic tribe which was 

subjected by the true Avars, a nation perhaps identical with the Yuan-Yuan. In 567 A.D., the 

Avars occupied the Carpathian Basin and were then probably the greatest power in Europe. 

They vanished from history in the early 9th century. 

Bactria (Bactriana) The ancient name of the country between the Hindu Kush range and the 

Oxus River (Amu Darya). The capital was at Bactra (now Balkh). It was one of the satrapies of 

the Persian Empire. 

Bashkirs A Turkic, nomadic people living on the southern and southwestern slopes of the 

Urals (U.S.S.R.). 

Biedermeier Refers in Central Europe to the petit bourgeois style of the first part of the 19th 

century. It combines Baroque and Empire elements and was used mostly for decorative arts. 

Boyars Romanian aristocrats. 

Cheremiss (Maris) Finno-Ugrian group living on both sides of the middle Volga River (U.S.S.R.). 

Chorezmia Region extending over both banks of the Lower Oxus (Amu Darya) and around the 

Aral Sea, which formed part of the 16th satrapy under the Achaemenids. 

Cifrasziir Szivr-mantle decorated with embroidered or applied ornaments. 

Cilicia A district of Asia Minor extending along the south coast between Pamphylia and Syria. 

Its northern limit was the crest of Mt. Taurus. 

Croatia Western part of Yugoslavia inhabited by the Croatians (a southern Slavic group). 

Ephthalites or White Huns A people of Iranian, Turkic or Mongolian origin, referred to by early 

writers as "White Huns." They had a considerable importance in the history of India and 

Persia in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. 

Finno-Ugrian A linguistic group probably closely connected to the Ural-Altaic family of 

languages. It is represented in Europe by the Hungarian and Finnish languages. 

Galicia Portion of present-day Poland lying on the northern slopes of the Carpathians. 

Guba Heavy coat made of a fleecy woven woollen blanket, worn mostly in Eastern Hungary. 

Hajdusag District on the Great Hungarian Plain. 

Hajdu Towns Towns of the Hajdusag region. 

Hanaks Inhabitants of the Hana Plain in central Czechoslovakia who speak a Czecho-Moravlan 


Huns A nomadic people of Turco-Mongol origin, the instigators of the great invasions. In 

374 A.D., they invaded south Russia and under Attila (434-452), a large part of Europe. They 

withdrew after Attila's death, but some settled in the Balkans, and others in south Russia on 

the Dnieper. 

Ikat fabrics Woven with yarns which are carefully resist dyed before weaving so that subtle but 

very distinctive patterns can be obtained in the finished cloth. 

Iranians People speaking Iranian languages, belong to the Indo-European family. That they 

probably came from the east is indicated by their close relationship to the Indians, with whom 

they previously formed a single people bearing the name Arya. 

Kandys Coat of the ancient Medes, Persians, etc., which was worn over the shoulders; the 

historical prototype of the Hungarian szi/r-mantle. 

Khazars, Khazar Khanat Turkish-speaking people of considerable importance during the second 

part of the first millennium. Their empire lay between the Sea of Azov, the Caspian Sea, the 

Volga and Don Rivers and the Caucasus. 

Kddmon Hungarian word referring to a sheepskin jacket of varied length with long sleeves. 

Lycia A district in south-west Asia Minor. 

Magyars Native name of the Hungarians. ' 

Matyo Hungarians A Hungarian ethnographic group living in the towns of Mezokovesd, Tard 

and Szentistvan, Borsod county, North Hungary. 


Media Ancient country of western Iran with its capital at Ecbatana (now Hamadan). 
Medes People of Iranian origin. 

Moesia Roman frontier province south of the River Danube. In the 7th century A.D. Slavs and 
Bulgarians entered the country and founded Serbia and Bulgaria. 
Moldavia Eastern Romanian province, today divided between Romania and the U.S.S.R. 
Moravia Central region of Czechoslavakia. 

Nestorianism The heretical doctrine of Nestorius (c. 380 - c. 440 A.D.), patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, who distinguished two complete persons in Christ, one human, the other divine. 
Oldal Hungarian word meaning side, referring to the lower side portion of the szur-mantle. 
Palha Hungarian word meaning gusset. In the case of the szi/r-mantles, it refers to the upper 
side-portion of the garment. 

Paloc Hungarians Hungarian ethnographical group living in northern Hungary along the Ipoly, 
Zagyva and Sajo Rivers. 

Parthia Province of Persia south-east of the Caspian Sea. 

Parthians Nomadic tribe of Iranian origin. Under the Arsacid Dynasty the Parthians ruled Persia 
(c. 238 B.C.-c. A.D. 228). 

Pazyryk Site in the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia where rich tombs of Iron Age horsemen 
have been discovered. 

Persepolis One of the four capitals of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. 
Persians People of Iranian origin. 

Petchenegs People of Turkic origin who played a considerable role in the medieval period of 
Eastern Europe. 

Phoenicia Situated on the Syrian coast near Beirut; capital city, Sidon. 
Phrygia Ancient kingdom of Asia Minor; capital city, Gordium. 

Phrygians A Thracian people of Indo-European stock who migrated from the Balkans to Asia 

Sagartians According to Herodotus (VII. 85) they were a nomadic Persian horse-rearing tribe. 
Satrap The name given by the Persians to the provincial governor. 

Saxonians of Transylvania Colonizing West Germans who, arriving in various groups, settled 
down in Transylvania between the mid 12th and 13th centuries. 

Scythians (called Saka by the Persians) Nomads of Iranian origin who lived in south Russia in 
the 6th-4th centuries B.C. 

Secklers (Szekelys) Hungarian ethnographical group living in the south-eastern part of Transyl- 
vania (now Romania) called Seckler-Land. Originally a Turkic group (probably one of the Kabar 
tribes), they joined the Hungarians in the 9th century A.D. and were responsible for guarding 
the eastern border of the Carpathian Basin. 

Serbia Formerly an inland kingdom of south-eastern Europe, situated in the north of the Balkan 
Peninsula and now incorporated in Yugoslavia. 

Skanderbeg or George Castriota (1403-1468) A national Albanian hero. 
Southern Slavs Slovenes, Serbo-Croatians and Bulgarians; they occupy the main mass of the 
Balkan Peninsula. 

Slovaks A Slavic people living in the semi-autonomous state of Slovakia in Czechoslavakia, an 
area forming part of Upper Hungary before 1918-1920. 

Suba Hungarian word referring to a type of full-length sleeveless cloak made of sheepskin. 
Sziir, Szur-mantle Hungarian word meaning a long, straight cut, coat-like garment made of 
heavy, fulled, woollen twill, and characteristically worn over the shoulders by men. 
Sziir-fabric Heavy, fulled woollen twill woven in one cubit (60-63 cm) widths; the fabric used 
for the szur-mantles. 
Thessaly A district of northern Greece. 

Transylvania Region in the eastern part of the Carpathians. It formed the easternmost part of 
Hungary from the 10th century A.D. until 1918-20, when it was ceded to Romania. 
Turfan Oasis town on the silk road in the Tarim Basin of Chinese-Turkestan. 
Turks or Turkic Peoples Belonging to the Ural-Altaic language group, divided into two major 
groups of eastern and western Turks. 
Wallachia Province in southern Romania. 

Zoroaster (Zarathustra) An Iranian religious prophet of the 7th century B.C. 
Yiian-Yuans (Asian Avars) Tribe probably of Mongol stock which lived in Mongolia during the 
5th-6th centuries A.D. 



Fig. 1. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Persian (left) and Median (right) dignitaries, turn of the 6th-5th c. B.C. 

Courtesy of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago 


Fig. 2. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Eastern Stairway, Tribute Procession: Delegation no. I, turn of the 6th-5th 

c. B.C. 

Courtesy of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago 

.JET 1.1. /^li. .11. I I* \l~ fi I f\: 


Fig. 3. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Northern Stairway, Tribute Procession: Delegation no. Ill, turn of 6th-5th 

c. B.C. 

Courtesy of The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago 

y 71 n 

Fig. 4. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Eastern Stairway, Tribute Procession: Delegation no. IX, turn of 6th-5th 

c. B.C. 

Courtesy of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago 




Fig. 5. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Eastern Stairway, Tribute Procession: Delegation no. XI, turn of 6th-5th 

c. B.C. 

Courtesy of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago 

Fig. 6. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Eastern Stairway, Tribute Procession: Delegation no. XVI, turn of 6th— 5th 

c. B.C. 

Courtesy of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago 


Fig. 7. 

Persepolis, Apadana; Eastern Stairway, Tribute Procession: the leader of the delegation no. IV 

with a Persian usher, turn of 6th-5th c. B.C. 

Courtesy of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago 


Fig. 8. 

Golden statuettes, Oxus Treasure, 5th c. B.C. 

British Museum, London (123902-a and 123903-b). Ht. 5.6 cm 

Courtesy of the British Museum 

Fig. 9. 

Golden statuettes (back views), Oxus Treasure, 5th c. B.C. 
British Museum, London (123902-a and 123903-b). Ht. 5.6 cm 
Drawing by J. E. Curtis 

Fig. 10. 

Silver statuette from Soloi, Sicily, 5th c. B.C. 

Vorderasiatische Museum, Staatliche Museen, Berlin (VA.4852). Ht. 12 cm. 

Courtesy of the Staatliche Museen 

Fig. 11. 

Golden plaque, Oxus Treasure, 5th 

c. B.C. British Museum, London 

(123969). L. 11.65 cm 

Courtesy of the British Museum 

Fig 12. 

Golden plaque, Oxus Treasure, 5th 

c. B.C. British Museum, London 

(123970). L. 4.95 cm 

Courtesy of the British Museum 


Fig. 13. 

Silver box lid with engraved design, Erzingan, Armenia, 5th c. B.C. 
British Museum, London, Franks Bequest (123265). Diameter 12.7 cm 
(after O. M. Dalton) 

Fig. 14. 

Kizkapan, Iraqi Kurdistan, entrance to a rock tomb, 5th c. B.C. 

(after C. J. Edmonds) 


Fig. 15. 

Sacrificial scene, Dascyleion (Ergili), Phrygia, late 5th c. B.C. 

Istanbul, Archaeological Museum (2361). Ht. 67 cm 

Photo: Michael Gervers 


Fig. 16. 

Cypriot statue of an oriental figure 
Istanbul, Archaeological Museum (D.1153) 
Photo: Michael Gervers 

Fig. 17. 

Model golden chariot, Oxus Treasure, turn of the 5th-4th c. B.C. 

British Museum, London (123908). L. 18.8 cm 

Courtesy of the British Museum 

Fig. 18. 

Back view of the passenger from the model golden chariot, Oxus Treasure, turn of the 

5th-4th c. B.C. 

British Museum, London (123908) 

Drawing by J. E. Curtis 


Fig. 19. 

Golden plaques with embossed design from the Scythian barrows of Chertomlyk 

(A, mid-4th c. B.C., size 3.6 x 3.8 cm) and Kul-Oba (B, early 4th c. B.C., size 3.4 x 3.8 cm). 

Hermitage Museum, Leningrad (after M. I. Artamonov) 

Fig. 20. 

Silver drachm of Mithradates II of Parthia (c. 123-88 B.C.), 

reverse side 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (926.6.1) 

Photo: ROM 


Fig. 21. 

Sable coat with mosaic-scale pattern of ermine and gold-covered wooden plaques from one 

of the Katanda kurgans, Altai Mountains, c. 4th c. B.C. (after S. I. Rudenko) 

Fig. 22. 

Types "A" and "B" (reconstructions) 







Fig. 23. 

Frescoes depicting the festivities of Ephthalite (White Hun) grandees, Balalyk-tepe, 

Uzbekistan, late 5th - early 6th c. A.D. 

Upper, no. 8 (southern wall): a woman in a figured silk coat with vertical sleeve line on the left. 

Lower, no. 29 (northern wall): serving girl wearing a /candys-type coat. 

(after L. I. Al'oaum) 

Fig. 24. 

Clay tomb figurines, Chinese, late 6th c. A.D. (Sui Dynasty). 
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (920.1.72, a-b). Ht. 25.4 cm 
Photo: ROM 


Fig. 25. 

Clay tomb figurine, Chinese, late 6th - early 7th c. A.D. (Sui Dynasty). 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (918.21.238). Ht. 21.2 cm. 

Photo: ROM 


Fig. 26. 

Clay tomb figurines, Chinese, late 6th - early 7th c. A.D. (Sui Dynasty). 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (920.5.123-124) 

Photo: ROM 


Fig. 27. 

Clay tomb figurines of warriors, Chinese, late 6th - early 7th c. A.D. (Sui Dynasty). 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (920.1.6, 920.1.64) 

Photo: ROM 


Fig. 28. 

Clay tomb figurines, Chinese, first half of the 7th c. A.D. (T'ang Dynasty). 
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (918.21.6 and 918.21.582). Ht. 25 cm 
Photo: ROM 



Fig. 29. 

Clay tomb figurine, Chinese, first half of the 7th c. A.D. (T'ang 
Dynasty). Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (920.5.5). Ht. 24.5 cm 
Photo: ROM 


Fig. 30. 

Clay tomb figurine, Chinese, 7th c. A.D. (T'ang Dynasty). 
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (921.21.73). Ht.: 25.5 cm 
Photo: ROM 


Fig. 31. 

Map of Central and West Asia and Eastern Europe 

1. Distribution of kandysAype garments between the 6th c. B.C. and 9th c. A.D. 
Ethnographic material shows that such coats were still worn in this territory at the 
beginning of the 20th century. 

2. Distribution of coats with large collar which could be transformed into a hood. 

3. Migration of the Hungarians. 

4. Migration of the Bulgarians. 

Fig. 32. 

Turkman coat of warp ikat silk, Turkestan, late 19th — early 20th c. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (972.118.9) 


100 CM 

Fig. 33. 

Turkman jacket of warp ikat silk, Northern Afghanistan, first quarter of the 20th c. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (971.5.7) 







F 2 

F 2 

F.W N 



E ^~~~ 




Fig. 34. 

Turkman woman's coat (kurti) of white cotton tabby embroidered in multicoloured silks, Merv 

Region, Western Turkestan, 19th c. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (972.124.2) 

Fig. 35. 

Turkman woman's coat (kurti) of white cotton tabby embroidered in multicoloured silks, Merv 

Region, Western Turkestan, 19th c. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (972.124.2) 

Photo: ROM 





B ' 



Fig. 36. 

Cashmere coat with tapestry woven borders, Kashmir, second half of 19th century 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (964.218.1 — Gift of Mrs. Bruce Adams) 



1 1 


Fig. 37. 

Uzbek coat of white cotton tabby, Afghanistan, 20th c. 

The American Museum of Natural History, New York (70.2/4962) 


Fig. 38. 

Turkish costume of the Supreme Sherif, Istanbul, c. 1640-1650. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (971.292.2) 

Photo: ROM 


Fig. 39. 

Cheremiss woman's coat of dark blue woollen fabric, Upper Volga Region, 19th c. (after M. Tilke) 

Fig. 40. 

The Miracle of Saint George, fresco from the church at Staro Nagoricino, Northern 

Macedonia, Yugoslavia, 1313-1318 

Courtesy of the Gallery of Frescoes, Belgrade 



Fig. 41. 

Mantle of white fulled woollen twill (kepenek/coha) with applied decoration of red, blue, 
green and yellow broadcloth, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Turopolje Region, last quarter of 19th c. 
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (972.410.170) 


Fig. 42. 

Mantle of white fulled woollen twill (kepenek/coha) with applied decoration of red, green, 

blue and yellow broadcloth, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Turopolje Region, last quarter of 19th c. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (972.410.170) 

Photo: ROM 




Fig. 43. 

/p/ngea-mantle worn by coachman, Romania, Muntenia, area along the Danube River, 20th c. 

Photo: Elena Secosan 


Fig. 44. 

Manfa-coat, Romania, Moldavia, 20th c. 

Photo: Elena Secosan 


Fig. 45. 

Jackets of brown or black woollen twill from the Balkans, late 19th 

1. Cepe, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Lazaropolje. 
Musee de I'Homme, Paris (51.20.1); 

2. Yugoslavia, Western Macedonia, Galicnik (after M. Tilke); 

3. Xhurdine, Northern Albania. 

Musee de I'Homme, Paris (65.59.2 — Mission Jaques Millot); 

4. Xhyrdin or xhyok, Central Albania, Tirana. 
Musee de I'Homme, Paris (39.45.75); 

5. Dzurdija, Albania (after M. Tilke). 

early 20th c. 

C A 




Fig. 46. 

Jacket of heavy black fulled woollen twill decorated with black woollen embroidery and 

fringes, Albania, late 19th c. 

The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1970.84.1,a) 


D A 




c |c 



Fig. 47. 

Hooded coat (kapa or kapot) of black woollen twill, Greece, Thessaly, Larissa 

Musee de I'Homme, Paris (69.59.1 ■ — gift of Michel Brezillon) 


Fig. 48. 

Hooded coat (kapa) of dark brown woollen twill (sayaki), Greece, Thessaly, near Kozani, 

contemporary example. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (972.410.1). Photo: ROM 



Fig. 49. 

Coat (kapa) of heavy grey woollen twill, Greece, Macedonia, contemporary example. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (972.410.2) 


Fig. 50. 

Coat (kapa) of heavy grey woollen twill, Greece, Macedonia, contemporary example. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (972.410.2) 

Photo: ROM 


Fig. 51. 

The Crippled Soldier wearing a hooded brown coat (kapa or kapot) over his shoulders, painted 

by Theodoros Vryzakis, Greece, 1840. 

Benaki Museum, Athens (24) 

Courtesy of the Benaki Museum 


Fig. 52. 

Coat (kapot) of fulled brown woollen twill decorated with couched work of blue silk and blue 

broadcloth edgings. Greece, probably Crete, 1936 (dated). 

The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1972.34.1) 







&- * 





















Fig. 53. 

Map of Hungary showing the different geographic districts 

1. present border of Hungary; 

2. border of Hungary before 1918-1920; 

3. borders of Austria (A), Czechoslovakia (B), U.S.S.R. (C), Romania (D) and Yugoslavia (E) 
within the old boundaries of Hungary. 


[a 3. 

s s 

"5 i' 


3 Sill 

Fig. 54. 

Szi/r-making centres in Hungary 











si gL h> »Mtm 


Fig. 55. 

Szt/r-mantle, Nagykunsag Region, Great Hungarian Plain (coloured woollen embroidery) 

(after I. Gyorffy's description) 









D ! 






Fig. 56. 

Szur-manWe, made in Debrecen, Great Hungarian Plain, 1880s (coloured woollen embroidery) 

The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (43.64.16) 




Fig. 57. 

Szur-mantle, probably around Mezokovesd, Borsod county, Northern Hungary, c. 1900 

(black woollen embroidery) 

The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (65.51) 




Q Q 




Fig. 58. 

Swineherd's szur, Somogy county, Transdanubia (applied red broadcloth decoration and 


(after I. Gyoffry's description and szurs in the collection of the Hungarian Ethnographical 

Museum, Budapest, particularly 65.130.982) 



^ ' — ■■ — a 













Fig. 59. 

Swineherd's szur, Bakony mountains, Transdanubia (applied red broadcloth decoration 

and some embroidery) 

(after I. Gybrffy's description and szurs in the collection of the Hungarian Ethnographical 

Museum, Budapest, particularly 125.502). 






/ SIN 

/ TT 


// H 







3j cl 

Fig. 60. 

Szur-mantle from Csokoly village, Somogy county, Transdanubia, last quarter of 19th c. 

(applied decoration of red broadcloth and black woollen embroidery). 

Hungarian Ethnographical Museum, Budapest (17.409) 


< i 


Fig. 61. 

Saxonian szur-mantle, Transylvania (applied decoration of coloured broadcloth), 1900. 

Hungarian Ethnographical Museum, Budapest (74.994) 


Fig. 62. 

Szur-mantle (nyakas or "necked" sziir) made in Bihar county, Great Hungarian Plain; worn at 

Kalotaszentkiraly, Transylvania, c. 1900 (applied black felt decoration) 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (970.227.9) 

Gift of the Hungarian Helikon Society, Toronto 


1 B 





e ; 






Fig. 63. 

Szt/r-mantle with black broadcloth edgings, Banat Region, Southern Hungary, late 19th c. 

Ethnographical Museum, Belgrade (4960) 


Fig. 64. 

Man, wearing szur, and a woman near Kassa, Upper 

Hungary, engraving of Jozsef Bikessy, c. 1816 

(Vollstandige Sammlung der Merkwurdigften noch 

Dermalen Bestehenden National-Kostume von Ungarn 

und Croatien, Graz, no. 73). 

Courtesy of the Library of the Brooklyn Museum, 

New York. 

Fig. 65. 

Shepherd from Apony village, lithograph of 

Reiffenstein and Rosch, c. 1860 

{Oesterreich's Nationaltrachten, Wien). 

Author's collection 

Photo: ROM 


Fig. 66. 

Pista Patko wearing a szur, Somogy county, Transdanubia. Drawing by Mihaly Szemier, 1959. 

Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest (F57-156). Courtesy of the Hungarian National Gallery 


Fig. 67. 

Szur-representations from Trandanubian herdsmen's woodcarving in the collection of the 

Hungarian Ethnographical Museum, Budapest: 

A. Mirror case, Felsozsid, Zala county (69483) 

B. Mirror case, 1843 (121819) 

C. Mirror case, Bakonybel, Veszprem county, 1842 (Museum of Veszprem) 

D. Mirror case, Magyargencs, Sopron county, 1840 (114969) 

E. Mirror case, 1847 (121821) 

F. Mirror case, 1874 (121816) 

(after I. Gyorffy and the History of Hungarian Folk Art exhibition, Budapest, 1971) 



Fig. 68. 

Old matyo couple, man wearing Debrecen-type szur, Mezokovesd, Borsod county, Upper 

Hungary, c. 1930. Courtesy of the Hungarian Ethnographical Museum, Budapest 

Fig. 69. 

Cattlemen in Debrecen-type szurs and suba, Hortobagy area, Great Hungarian Plain, 1930s. 

Fig. 70. 

Horseherds in Debrecen-type szurs, Hortobagy area, Great Hungarian Plain, 1930s. 

Fig. 71. 

Design of an embroidered szur-collar, Nagyszalonta, Bihar county, Great Hungarian Plain, 

c. 1870-1880. Hungarian Ethnographical Museum, Budapest (76873) (after I. Gyorffy) 


Fig. 72. 

Design of an embroidered Matyo szi/r-collar with Hungarian coats-of-arms, Mezokovesd, 

Borsod county, Upper Hungary, 1889. Herman Otto Museum, Miskolc (after I. Gyorffy) 


Fig. 73. 

Design of an embroidered szur-collar of Kunsag-type, Szentistvan, Borsod county, Upper 

Hungary (after I. Gyorffy) 


Fig. 74. 

Bihar-type szivr-mantle with applied black broadcloth ornaments, worn at Magyargyeromonostor, 

Kalotaszeg Region, Transylvania, c. 1890. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (972.248.1) 

Gift of the Hungarian Helikon Society, Toronto 

Photo: ROM 



Fig. 75. 

Bihar-type szi/r-mantle with applied black broadcloth ornaments, worn at Magyargyeromonostor, 

Kalotaszeg Region, Transylvania, c. 1890. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (972.248.1) 

Gift of the Hungarian Helikon Society, Toronto 

Photo: ROM 



Fig. 76. 

Applied black broadcloth ornaments of a Bihar-type sztir-mantle: 

1. front panels; 2. collar; 3. back-vent; 4. aszaj. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (972.248.1) 

Gift of the Hungarian Helikon Society, Toronto 


Fig. 77. 

Bihar-type szur-mantle decorated with applied black felt ornaments, worn at Kalotaszentkiraly, 

Transylvania, c. 1900. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (970.227.9) 

Gift of the Hungarian Helikon Society, Toronto 

Photo: ROM 


Fig. 78. 

Bihar-type szur-mantle decorated with applied black felt ornaments, worn at Kalotaszentkiraly, 

Transylvania, c. 1900. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (970.227.9) 

Gift of the Hungarian Helikon Society, Toronto 

Photo: ROM 


Fig. 79. 

Applied black felt ornaments of a Bihar-type szur-mantle: 

1. front panels; 2. collar; 3. back-vent; 4. aszaj. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (970.227.9) 

Gift of the Hungarian Helikon Society, Toronto 


Fig. 80. 

Child's black szur embroidered in coloured wools, made in Vac, 1920s. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (971.406.1) 

Gift of the Toronto Hungarian House 

Photo: ROM 


Fig. 81. 

Child's black szur embroidered in coloured wools, made in Vac, 1920s. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (971.406.1) 

Gift of the Toronto Hungarian House 

Photo: ROM 


Fig. 82. 

Embroidered ornaments of a child's szur, made in Vac, 1920s: 

1. cuff; 2. collar. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (971.406.1) 

Gift of the Toronto Hungarian House 


Fig. 83. 

Embroidered ornaments of a child's szur, made in Vac, 1920s: 

1. front panel; 2. aszaj; 3. central back vent. 

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (971.406.1) 

Gift of the Toronto Hungarian House 


ISBN 0-88854-031-0