Poland: Szczyrzyc Lachy man

Front view
Front view

General description: Man in the traditional costume of the Szczyrzyc Lachy from Lesser Poland

Dimensions 28.5 x 11.5 x 8 cm, circular wooden base 8 x 8 x 0.8 cm

Date when acquired ca. 2004

Original Date Unknown

Source Flea market in Göttingen


Side view
Side view


Papier maché hands and head. His arms, legs and body appear to be padding over wire. His features are painted on. His straight blonde hair is cut to the level of his lower jaw.

The doll is standing on a round wooden base, to which he is fixed by wire staples.



The doll’s stunning attire is made up of two dark blue double waistcoats, a short waist-length one and a longer one reaching down to mid-thigh over that. The waistcoats are made of dark blue cotton and are lined with red cotton, which is used to make a border around the edges of the top waistcoat and a collar on the short one (often the waistcoats were made of woollen material). Both waistcoats are richly adored with sequins, beads, buttons and embroidered zig-zags in yellow, green and red. On the back of the top waistcoat is a small light brown appliqué heart below the neck. Its skirt is divided into four panels at the back, which have long-stalked flowers embroidered above the slits (though the one on the left is missing its red bead bud). Under his waistcoats, the doll has a long-sleeved white linen shirt with a pointed collar. The neck is tied together with a red string tied in a bow. His trousers are also made of white linen and have a codpiece embroidered with red zig-zagging. His trousers are tucked into his black high-heeled boots (made of papier maché). On his head is a round flat black felt hat, which is decorated with six artificial flowers in various colours. On the right, the hat has three upright brown feathers and five ribbons (light blue, yellow, green, red and orange) hanging down to his chest. .


Back view
Back view




Close -up of the hat showing the flowers adn feathers
Close -up of the hat showing the flowers and feathers

Background information


Lachy: The Lachy or Lendians were a West Slavic tribe who lived in the area of East Lesser Poland and Cherven Towns (Ukraine) between the 7th and 11th centuries. Lachy is the plural of Lach, a term for ethnic Poles

There are three kinds of Lachy, the Sądeckie, Limanowa and Szczyrzyc. These groups of people are situated between Krakow, the Gorals and Nowy Sącz area in Lesser Poland. Although they have borrowed some costume elements from their neighbours, they have retained their own identity.

Szczyrzyc Lachy: Szczyrzyc is a village in Lesser Poland, 36 km from Krakow. The village was founded in the 14th century.

Women’s costume: The women had linen skirts with white embroidered aprons, short green damask bodices, and white tulle or cotton headscarves with white work embroidery. Young maidens wore black bodices with bead work and floral printed skirts, but they had no aprons or headdress.


Source(s) of information






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