Highland women in Podhale region, like many women in the world, like to attire themselves. The most beautiful and most wanted jewelery were bead necklaces made of true red coral. Having them indicated the high financial and social status of the family as well as unique resourcefulness and diligence of the owner. This precious decoration was an essential part of the wedding dowry.
Typical coral beads necklace consists of several strings called wojki linked together with a metal ring. They were tied with ribbons the same color as the tapes lacing highland women’s bodice. The number of strings (3-5) also proved the wealth. One necklace could weight up to 400 grams. In the middle of the string some necklaces had a religious symbol – a cross or a holy medal. It could also be a silver coin with the image of Empress Maria Theresa - a gift from godmother.
Women could buy coral beads necklaces at the local marketplace or in Cracow. Tradesmen also used to sell them by distributing in private houses. Women who couldn’t afford the natural corals over time started to substitute them with artificial ones.
Among highland women other types of jewelery have gained popularity too. Those are earrings, bracelets and rings. The most typical are those with natural red coral but highland fashion changes all the time and some new accents are added. Girls like to experiment :)
Where to buy highland woman’s jewelery? You will find it in shops with traditional highland outfit e.g. in Poronin village. It is also sold in jewelery stores in Zakopane.