Back in the day, the Hungarian peasant culture’s main ingredients were the pieces of clothing these people wore every day. It defined their hierarchy and the kind of work they did every day. Those who did not have a land to grow fruits, vegetables and other types of plants, had to look for a different kind of job in Hungary.
Sokszínű Vidék reported that Hungarian peasants usually wore white, as this was the only material they had, and it was also the one that was the most easily cleaned. The animals they owned defined their place in society: the “kondás” was the peasant on the last step of the hierarchy, followed by the “juhász” and the “gulyás”. The aristocracy of the peasant culture were the people named “csikós”. They were the only people who could afford to keep horses, which were the noblest animals back in the day in Hungary. The csikós people usually disgraced people with less fortune, and that frequently led to physical conflicts in villages.
Among csikós people, the csikós people of Hortobágy were the kings of the peasant culture in Hungary. They wore blue pieces of clothing made out of the most expensive materials many could not afford. First, these clothes were made and painted by hand, until the 19th century, when the first manufacturers appeared in the country. The szűr, suba, ködmön and the csizma (boots) make up the traditional clothes of a csikós.
While people in Hortobágy only got used to wearing blue after 1860, in some parts of Hungary — those who could afford — made clothes out of blue material at already the beginning of the 19th century. Nevertheless, people usually think that Hortobágy is the place where peasants wear blue clothes. There is a simple reason why csikós people did not wear white, and it has to do with money. They could afford blue attire, which emphasised their place in society. This usually led to conflicts with peasants who did not have the fortune they did.
Bugacpuszta, part of the Kiskunság National Park not far away from Hortobágy, is still a place in Hungary where people kept this old tradition.
Although the clothing of the csikós people of Kiskunság is a bit different from Hortobágy csikós people, their appearance gives the same old feeling. Usually, people who preserve ancient Hungarian culture dress up in these blue pieces of clothing, get on a horse and show all the tricks and movements once the real Hungarian csikós people were able to do.
Featured image: www.facebook.com/hortobagymataimenes
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