Friday, August 27, 2010

Malta - Traditional Ghonnella

The traditional GHONNELLA

Sometimes referred to as a Faldetta, it was a form of women's head dress and shawl. Usually made of black or dark coloured cotton or silk, the Ghonnella was ubiquitous throughout the Maltese Islands. Most Maltese women used to wear it up to the 1930's but its use fell rapidly after World War II, in the 1940's and 1950's. By the 1960's and 1970's it was hardly used except by women of the lay missionary society 'M.U.S.E.U.M' as shown in this image from the 1960's. Today the Ghonnella is frequently used in various historical re-enactments in Malta and Gozo.

Sent by Silvan, a Facebook friend from Għaxaq in Malta.

This is from Wikipedia : The għonnella, pronounced "awe-nel-la" (pl. għonnielen, pronounced "awe-nee-lan"), sometimes referred to as a Faldetta, was a form of women's head dress and shawl, or hooded cloak, unique to the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo. In the dialects of the south-east of Malta it was referred to as ċulqana while in the dialect of Għargħur it was referred to as stamijna. It was generally made of cotton or silk, and usually black or some other dark colour, although from the sixteenth century onwards, noble women and women from wealthier households frequently wore white or brightly coloured għonnielen. The għonnella covered the head, and framed but did not cover the face. The upper part of the għonnella was starched quite stiffly, and given a broad, rounded frame, formed by means of a board, cane, or whalebone. This gave the għonnella a mysterious but alluring, sail-like appearance. From a practical perspective, this broad bonnet captured much needed cooling breezes during the hot Maltese summer. On cooler days, the wearer could wrap the għonnella around her face more tightly, by making a slight adjustment. The lower part of the għonnella could be worn loosely draped around the wearer's bodice and hips, or more tightly wrapped in the case of inclement weather. It would typically fall to mid-calf length. While walking, the wearer would hold one or both sides of the għonnella clasped in her right hand.

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