The National Historical Museum inaugurated the exhibition “The Arbëresh soul in garments”. The garments presented include the history of the Arbëresh people of the southern part of Italy. It describes the soul of a people who represent their cultural identity.
The Director of the National Historical Museum said in his speech that: “This exhibition reflects the Arbëresh spirit, which proves its ethnic affiliation. This event encourages further historical and ethnographic traces on this community, the genesis of clothing, modifications that have taken place, and so on. The Arberesh villages emerged in Italy during the 15th century and were fully completed three centuries later. These colonies came to Italy in various ways, bringing into exile their mother tongue, the costumes and their traditional local culture. This spiritual fortune has been preserved with devotion to the present day. These people also preserved the cult of their hero, Scanderbeg. They proudly preserved and exalted the original ethnic identity that has come over the centuries in manifold forms, expressing it in everyday life, in artistic expressions, oral and literature.”
The exhibition reflects the seven displacements of Albanians:
The First Displacement(1416-1448) in the province of Katanxaros (Garafa, Karfici, Puhëriu, St. Koll, Vina, etc.)
The Second Displacement (1459-1462) in the province of Avelino (Greçi and Picilia).
The Third Displacement (1468-1506) is related to the province of Kozenca (Ejanina, Falkunara, Farneta, Ferma, Frasnita, Kastërnexhi, Maqi, Marri, Mbusati, Pllatani, St. Japku, St. Mitri, Saint Sophia, St. Basil, Ungra etc).
The next stands reflect the Fourth Displacement (1532-1534) in the province of Palermo (Hora of Arbëresh, Sëndastina, St. Paul, etc), as well as the fifth one (1647-1664) in the province of Kampobasos (Këmarini, Munxhufuni, Posrtkanuni, Ruri etc).
It should be emphasized that the last two displacements of the Albanians, the sixth and seventh, were developed in almost the same villages mentioned above.
Costumes are a “symbol status” of the social environment. They link people to each other. Dolls, miniature models, bear witness to this amazing culture. Women’s dress has always introduced an element of pride in our history. The functions that these suits carry are different and show the social order, age, class, work, mourning, religious beliefs, and the fact that a person is single or married. These dolls bring an image of peace and brotherhood; two peoples whose shores lurk in the same sea.