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  • Writer's pictureNebraska Czechs of Prague

Red, and White, and Black - Oh My!

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

Traditional Czech-Slovak costume is called Kroj (Kr-oi) or plural Kroje (kr-oi-eh).

Lydia Rosno Prague Queen 2018

When many families immigrated to the United States, they could not bring their traditional costumes with them, and if they did, they may have been lost through the generations. Because of this, the United States has come up with their "Americanized" version of Kroj.

This mainly consists of the red skirt, white blouse, and black vest motif.

This Americanized Kroj tends to be the most popular style throughout the country, particularly in Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. It could be that this design is so widely known due to the very popular and iconic Kyjovsky Kroje from the Moravia region in the Czech Republic. This Authentic Kroje tends to be the most recognizable kroj when people think of the European Country.

John Fiala (Left) co-founder of the Miss Czech Slovak US Pageant, with Michaela Steager (Right) Prague Queen 2015, Nebraska Czech-Slovak Queen 2015-2016, and Miss Czech-Slovak US 2016-2017. Michaela is wearing an authentic Kyjovsky Kroj.

The Kyjovsky (Kee-ahf-skee) Kroj is from the village of Kyjov. The kroj's most recognizable component is a heavily starched and pleated red skirt with embroidered rows of white poppies.

On top of the skirt lays a black apron with different assortments of flowers and bobbin lace trim.

A heavily starched white blouse with black eyelet embroidery and black bobbin lace, is worn with a scarf with similar design. The vest often has three large circles made of beads and sequins on the back to symbolize the Holy Trinity. The kroj is typically finished off with black tights, black boots, and an elaborate headpiece.

Different styles of "Americanized" Kroje

The Prague Czech Dancers

Do you have a similar American styled kroj? Did your grandma help you make it? Was it passed down in your family? Tell us below!

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1 Comment

Michaela Marie Steager
Michaela Marie Steager
Aug 05, 2019

My very first kroj when I was a princes was just a red skirt and white t-shirt. As an adult now I can see why a more simple style is beneficial for a messy, rambunctious little girl. My first kroj as Prague queen was my red skirt, white apron, white blouse, and black vest. I actually cried when my mom helped me get dressed for my coronation at Kolac Korner. Its been years but that very first kroj will always be so special to me. My mom made it for me. I know a lot of my family members have similar kroj and have passed pieces around to each other. It's all in the family <3

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