[caption id="attachment_1554" align="alignright" width="300"] Traditional dancers wearing Taraz[/caption]
Armenia's rich history, culture, and traditions have seen many colorful, beautifully hand-made garments worn through the ages. Our national dress, or "Taraz," as we call it, bore significant meaning for the people who lived during those times. Each color was symbolic, and some were considered to bring good luck, for instance, colors such as black of the earth, white representing water, red for the air and the yellow of the flame.
The color purple was seen as a sign of wisdom for those dressed in purple garments. Red was believed to be a symbol of bravery, and blue symbolized heavenly peace, with white being a symbol of prudence.
There are many other interesting facts regarding the color and style of the "Taraz." The "Taraz" played an essential part in the Armenian lifestyle, as it was also possible to determine whether a person was married or not, or even how many children they had.
[caption id="attachment_1553" align="alignleft" width="203"] Armenian women wearing a traditional apron[/caption]
Aprons were worn regularly by women, and they were beautifully embroidered, with patterns on each of the corners which formed the shape of a tree, which they referred to as a life tree. Different items were embroidered on the aprons and were a symbol of a couple's prosperity. Silk aprons, for example, often featured red and yellow embroidered scissors, bowls and other items used by women.
The national dress was also adorned in patterns which served to protect women from evil and were a symbol of modesty and gentleness, and not just for decoration. The "Taraz" varied slightly from region to region in previous times, with each bearing unique embroidery significant to its people. Today, our national dress may not be a part of our everyday lives, but is still of tremendous importance to the culture and history of Armenia.