Girl's Socks, Dragaš, Metohija, Kosovo, Republic of Serbia

1990.14.03a, b.jpg
1990.14.03 a.jpg
1990.14.03 b.jpg


Clothing and Dress


Girl's Socks, Dragaš, Metohija, Kosovo, Republic of Serbia


ca. mid-20th century


16.25 inches long (41.5 cm): 12 inches top circumference (30.75 cm)


These socks belong to a community of Slavonic origin, who speak a “Gorani language” (a dialect of the Serbian language typical of Kosovo and Metohija) and who have adopted Islam as their religion. The Gorani people are an ethnic group living in the triangle created by the political borders of Albania, Bosnia & Macedonia, and the Kosovo region of Serbia & Montenegro. The word "gora" means "mountain" or "highland," a reference to the Dinaric Alps and Balkan Mountains east of the Adriatic Sea, in which they live. 

The socks are made from a tightly knit, white wool yarn heavily decorated with brightly-colored designs that have been knit into the socks, the technique being similar to intarsia knitting. Eastern European women knit from the toe up. Traditionally, sheep breeding was an important part of life in the mountains, with its lack of land suitable for agriculture. Sheep provided food and clothing in the form of wool, hides, meat and milk. The use of synthetic yarns indicates that these socks were made in the mid-twentieth century.

Traditional dress is highly decorated with woven and embroidered designs, geometric and floral, divided into horizontal rows. In addition to the dominant geometric motifs on these socks, there is also a small stylized floral ornament, which does not appear in the folk costumes of all ethnic groups in Kosovo and Metohija, but it does appear sporadically on some parts of the rural and urban dress of the Serbian population. The Gorani folk costume was shaped under the strong influence of the Albanian population.

The use of gold and silver metallic thread in the rural costumes of Serbs and Gorani in Kosovo and Metohija is interpreted as a feature developed under the influence of the urban Muslim population in these areas, and its emergence may be roughly dated to the late 19th and early 20th century.

With Special Thanks to Mirjana Menković and the Ethnographic Museum of Belgrade


Donor: Eleanore von Kern Nelson


URI 1990.14.03a, b


Susan J. Jerome, MS '06
With Special Thanks to Mirjana Menković and the Ethnographic Museum of Belgrade


wool yarns
core-wrapped metallic yarn
synthetic yarns


“Girl's Socks, Dragaš, Metohija, Kosovo, Republic of Serbia,” Historic Textile and Costume Collection, accessed July 30, 2021,

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