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Saint Lucia traditional clothing

​The Wobe Dwiyet is the formal national dress of Saint Lucia.

What is the Wobe Dwiyet?

It is…

  • Full-length outer dress with intricate pleats to the waist at the back, and a sash from the back of the bodice
  • Long petticoat made of rich lace, satin or lace trimmed cotton
  • A scarf called a Foulard worn around the neck and shoulders and attached to the front with a broach
  • Custom-made headpiece called Tete Case or La Chaudiere, with a peak to the front called “Provocaccion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kULsCKnjuw

While traditional dress is no longer a common thing seen regularly, the Saint Lucia clothing of yesteryear is considered out of fashion for everyday wear. It is said to have originated in Southern France, via the many years of French occupation.

Popularised in the French West Indies in the late 1700’s, Wob Dwiyet consists of a Dwiyet, or full length dress with a long trail and narrow sleeves as well as a Tete Case, or folded headpiece, a Foulard, or scarf that is attached to the Dwiyet, and a long petticoat decorated with ribbon and lace.

Madras

This is a more commonly worn attire seen at events and local festivals.

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The madras is a less formal traditional wear consists of:

  • A short coloured madras skirt,
  • A long white cotton petticoat bordered with lace and red ribbons,
  • White blouse with cotton lace and red ribbons running through its neck and short sleeves tied to a bow,
  • A red  triangular scarf (Foulard) pinned over the left shoulder,
  • Headpiece called “Tete en l’air” made from madras, tied showing different peaks, each denoting the romantic commitment of the person wearing it:

– 1 peak: I am single, my heart is free.
– 2 peaks: I am divorced or widowed.
– 3 peaks: I am married and not available.
– 4 peaks:  I am available to all who will try.

Reference:

Much of the detail for this page was referenced here –
https://www.embassyofstlucia.org/culture-and-national-festivals

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