News, upgrades, projects in progress and etc.
Smolqn exhibition 11.09.2017

After all the presentations, talks and participations in Bulgarian and foreign festivals this year, the time has come for the next exhibition of historical costumes. At the invitation of "Stoyu Shishkov" Regional Museum of History, my works will be presented in Smolyan as part of the European Heritage Days 2017. And as teamwork contributes to quality, I will once again partner with the invaluable Avitohol Association. Together we will demonstrate the similarities and differences in the clothing and weapons of the early and late Bulgarian Middle Ages.
Welcome!
The exhibition opens on September 18 at 4 pm.
25.07.2017

Photoshoot Dashing and Dazzling Nobles was added. It includes recreation of the costumes of bolyars Rutesh and Areta who were painted in Saint Marina rock-hewn church near Karlukovo and in Saint Nikola Church in Stanichene. The bolyars were embodied by Stefan and Tony, a. k. a. "The Pale Lord" and the "The Goblins’ Princess" :)
There are clear signs that these two were “the crème of the crop” among bolyars. Unfortunately, the fresco of Rutesh is badly damaged, but the fresco of Areta is well-preserved. Her costume is one of the most detailed costumes we have any information of. The work on its recreation started two years ago and is yet to end but this is one of the risks of experimental archeology :) There is more research to be made, more sewing to be done and, of course, more photos to be taken.
More about Saint Marina skete
More about the church in Stanichene
(Both of the links are in Bulgarian, but richly illustrated.)
16.07.2017

Reconstruction of boyar Rutesh' costume was added at Badamba workshop and at the article about St. Marina cave church.
13.07.2017

My article "Women's headdress arrangements during the Second Bulgarian empire – varieties and appearance", published last year, is now available online.
(The file includes the first pages of "Great Asenevtsi" collection as well).
The article is on Bulgarian, with English summary.
Thanks to Nikolay Hrisimov, PhD and Ivan Chokoev, PhD for their help with the collection of information and the guidelines for finishing the text.
The rise of Kaloyan festival 11.07.2017

In May and June the schedule of Medieval Bulgarian Clothing was so full that there was no time to announce it beforehand. Here are the events in which we took part:

- The lecture before the graduate students which has already been mentioned before. Part of it was recorded and uploaded online.

- Kaleto – Mezdra Medieval Festival which included presentations of medieval cuisine, clothing and armor; stonemasonry; hunting bird training (footage of the event)

- Days of Ancestors fair-festival, Pliska which has grown larger, more interesting and international. There were plenty of horse-riding demonstrations and mock battles which were even more impressive in the bad weather.

- The Daily Life of medieval Tarnovgrad – The Rise of Kaloyan Festival in Veliko Tarnovo. The glory of the Second Bulgarian Empire was recreated in its capital and we were glad to contribute to it with our recreations of bolyars’ clothes.

Avitohol Association was our steadfast partner and helper throughout all three festivals and its new junior members were pleased to play the role of models of our clothes. In this new format, there is almost no difference between an exhibition and a presentation but that is definitely not a bad thing.

Thank you, friends!

Days of Ancestors 2017 31.05.2017

Avitohol Association is the only Bulgarian club that ventures to promote "multi-age" historical festivals. Such an ambitious undertaking is exposed to an increased risk of loss of authenticity, of wrong presentation of the relevant historical periods, being at the same time associated with more than the usual organization problems.

However, none of these is insoluble. The Days of Ancestors Festival takes place since 2012 and is already one of the highest quality and largest-scale reconstruction events in Bulgaria. Every next release is better than the previous one and this is the third international release. So, welcome to Pliska between 2nd and 4th of June! Skillful horse riders, accurate bowmen, tireless shield-bearers, hardy nomads and majestic boyars from Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania will show you elements of the everyday life of the early and late Middle Ages amidst the ruins of the first Bulgarian capital.

Show day – 3rd of June (Saturday).
Entrance fee – BGN 1.00.
19.05.2017

We will celebrate Night (and Day) of Museums 2017 behind the hospitable walls of "Kaleto" - Mezdra, with extended presence and enriched program.
See you there!
10.05.2017

On 11.05.2017 I will hold a talk at Sofia University as part of the "Laboratory of Experimental History" - module for the Masters program "Bulgarian Middle Ages: State, Society, Culture".
The subject, of course, is Bulgarian medieval costume.
5.03.2017

15.03.2017, 17:30, Regional Library Lovech The next presentation of my book will be in Lovech.
Thanks to Regional Library "Prof.Benyu Tsonev" and RC "Vasil Levski" at Tradizia National Association for the invitation!

The event at facebook
27.01.2017

"Princess of goblins" photo session was added, with my brand new hand-embroidered tunic.
17.01.2017

A series of photos of the wax sculptures from "Neolithic Village" Museum has been added. Their clothes have been handcrafted by me and my team. The figures are part of a bigger project, which starts this year.
We wish it luck!

Photoshoot "Wax sculptures"
Great Asenevtsi - cover
27.12.2016

I am finishing 2016 as an author with three publications :)
The collection "Great Asenevtsi" was published by Abagar Publishing house, dedicated to the 830th anniversary of the revolt of the brothers Peter and Assen. It includes my article "Women's headdress arrangements during the Second Bulgarian empire – varieties and appearance".
This material presents an attempt to systemize some available information on the varieties of the Bulgarian women's secular headdresses in the XII – XIV centuries. This study is based on the data obtained from 15 Bulgarian wall paintings, 3 miniature paintings from the the Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander and 44 graves from Bulgarian necropolises from this period. The data from 15 Serbian wall paintings, 12 Byzantine wall paintings, 8 Byzantine miniature paintings, 2 Byzantine wall drawings and one icon as well as miscellaneous West European and Russian sources were used for the comparative analysis. The obtained information is shown in tables and an attempt is made to sort the portraits and graves by age, social standing and marital status.

More info about the collection - here
13.12.2016

For visitor's convenience the websites was updated with some technical improvements.
- Brand new navigation with drop-down menus was integrated into Bulgarian medieval costumes
- Workshop Badamba is now fully bilingual - on Bulgarian and English.
We wish you a pleasant use!

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New costume from the period of First Bulgarian Empire is inserted in My Workshop.
9.12.2016

On 30th November in the lobby of the south wing of the Sofia University we had a presentation on the evolution of clothing and weapons in the First and Second Bulgarian Empire. Together with colleagues from the Avitohol Association we tried to build a bridge between these two very different eras. The multimedia of artifacts and sources was complemented by a live performance - the charming undergraduate and graduate students from the Faculty of History at the University who put on and demonstrated 21 different costumes, made using the methods of experimental archeology and representing different social backgrounds of the two periods.
The event went great not only thanks to the excellent organization (which we owe to the Faculty Student Council and to the Archeology Club), but also due to the inspiring audience who was listening with interest and asking questions.

Thank you all! We already have some exciting new ideas for the 2017 season :)
See photos

And here is a TV report from the exhibition opening in Vratsa on 1st December - imedia.bnt.bg
baner Vratsa exhibition 19.11.2016

Our next presentation will be on 11.30.2016 in Sofia University, as part of the event "Medieval Nights". Read more here.

Immediately thereafter we continue to Vratsa, where on 2th December will open an exhibition with reconstructions of medieval costumes. Both events are accomplished together with Association Avitohol.
3.11.2016

In October, we visited two medieval fairs – "Bulgarian Roots" in Pliska (15.10) and "Remember the Glory" at Tuida Fortress (22-23.10.). Both of them included demonstrations of everyday living and fighting skills from the period of the First and the Second Bulgarian Empires. A group of attractive antique Thracians was also present at Tuida. The purpose of both events was to make a proper comparison between different historical periods. This was achieved with the help of many participants specializing in various areas. Both events went very smoothly.
19.10.2016

Yet another Thracian costume was added to the collection – it is not yet completely finished but it is nice even so :). The experimental archeology reconstructions in the field of Thracian clothing continue with it.
18.08.2016

Photos of few new Thracian costumes were posted in Badamba's workshop – male, female and children`s. I have worked on them since the beginning of the year. The Thracian serie is now big enough to deserve it`s own section in the website :)
Chalcolithic king 12.08.2016

After so many reconstructions of boyars and nobles – my first King!
For him I had to go several millennia back from my usual field of work, but the challenge was worth it! The task was certainly the most unusual I have ever been met with! The real difficulty was not so much in the design and engineering, as in the gathering of people with the right skills, knowledge, professionalism and patience to help me in this enterprise. Thanks to their enthusiasm and to the stoicism of the customers, the work was finished in less than a year :). Whether the reconstruction is right or wrong, only the experts and future experimenters will say. Until then – enjoy!

A detailed description of the project, methods and participants - in Experimental archaeology section
09.08.2016

Next event in the program - 13th August, in Nicopolis ad Istrum (near Nikyup), Roman Festival "Nike – The Game and the Victory". Director and screenwriter of the festival is Vladimir Popov, the doyen of antique reenactment in Bulgaria.
More info
07.08.2016

On July 28 to 31, we had the pleasure to participate in the biggest Bulgarian medieval festival this year - Everyday Life of Medieval Tarnovgrad held at Tsarevets fortress and organized by Traditzia Club - Veliko Tarnovo, Veliko Tarnovo Municipality and Historical Museum of Veliko Tarnovo.

The event was wonderful, with an excellent organization, rich program and interesting international participation. There was everything one should see at a medieval fair - foreigners and locals, boyars and commoners, priests and pagans, carnival shows and widespread dancing, demonstrations of various crafts, authentic medieval dishes and friendly tournaments in shooting and fencing. As an additional attraction, people could watch the capturing of the watchtower or learn an ancient dance.
We are grateful to the organizers and to our colleagues-reenactors for the memorable experience and we wish the festival long life and many new editions.

As to our part in the festival, preparations for the event had begun nearly a month in advance. The medieval pavilion was expanded to almost its double size, to provide better shelter from the weather and more exhibition space. Тhe new parts were arranged in a manner that allowed them to be easily moved following the movement of the sun. As a result, our visitors and colleagues were very happy to pause beneath our awning. :)
Moreover, specifically for this festival, we developed complex costumes of a noble Cuman couple from the middle of the XII century, in cooperation with our partners from the Avitohol Association of Varna. The involvement of the Cuman ethnicity in our medieval political and social life had been unfairly underrepresented at such events. Thanks to Avitohol, the Tuida Fortress team and the Sivkovs, this oversight has now been corrected.
Both costumes, designed by Kalina Atanasova, are based on stone funeral figures and include silk kaftans and trousers and a complex female headdress. Our colleagues Jasmin and Florina Parvanovs added the mandatory accessories accompanying their constantly traveling owners - comfortable boots, exotic jewelry, belts, bags, knives, combs and mirrors for the lady; a breastplate, a belt with quivers and a saber for her beau. In our humble opinion, the result is beautiful :)
Baner for the presentation in Varna 29.06.2016

In quick succession, the author of badamba.info obtained two official publications :) The scientific works collection from last year’s conference in Nish has already been published, including my article ‘The Headdress of Three Female Ktetors’ Portraits from Donja Kamenica’. The article has already been uploaded to my website - http://badamba.info/images/BySource/NishXIV_2016.pdf
More info on the conference
18.06.2016

Two new costumes have been inserted in Workshop section - a nobleman from the First kingdom and a little boyar boy from XIVc.
13.05.2016

After 11 years of hard work, the "Bulgarian Medieval Costume" project finally reached its logical culmination - being published on paper! The book "Reconstructions of Bulgarian Medieval garment (XIII – XIVc.)" by Ongal Publishing house is already a fact: a full colored album with 189 pages and 174 illustrations and photos in total! The text is edited by two professional historians - Vanya Popova, PhD, associated professor and Ivan Chokoev, PhD – and includes a synthesized version of all the information that I have collected since 2005, with specified sources and quotes.

Stay tuned for more details about the premiere and distribution!
04.04.2016

On 19th of March, at the invitation of the Avitohol Association, I joined their project Bulgarian Army – from Asparuh to Nowadays. The project idea is to give the children of several schools from Varna a maximum visualized idea of warrior traditions, customs and culture of Bulgarians over the various stages of our history. To implement the Second Bulgarian State module, the promoters relied on me and my knowledge on the 13th – 14th century period.
Thanks to the curious children from the Angel Kanchev 3rd Primary School and Nayden Gerov 7th High School, our performance was transformed into a real interactive discussion. We examined together the various defensive and offensive elements of Bulgarian’s warrior equipment, we tried the weight and discussed their convenience and ways of use. We compared the war clothes to every day clothes. All the time, I enjoyed the undisturbed interest and the intelligent questions of this young audience. Their teachers may be proud of them!
15.03.2016

In Photo shoot section was added photos with replicas of ancient Thracian suits - men, women and children. The presence of immature Leia and Kamen impart unique atmosphere of the shooting process :)
11.02.2016

Dear colleagues, organizers and fans of living history, we inform you we started entering events into the Bulgarian Historical Reenactment Calendar for 2016. If you are sure about the dates of your events, you are welcome to mark them!

Season's greetings 2016 10.12.2015

A wonderful news related to the protection of our medieval heritage - after nine-year efforts the cave church of St.Marina is almost completely restored! Full details can be seen at the website of the initiators skalenmanastir.com
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the new fresco with the donor scene used my restorations. I am happy that I have contributed to such a good cause :)
18.11.2015

The results of project for Thracian Peltast costume was published in sections Photoshoots and Experimental Archeology. This is a part of bigger serie of Thracian costumes, which will be published soon.

Honor guard of Tsarevets 10.11.2015

In 1185, on the day of St Dimitar, the boyar brothers Asen and Teodor-Petar rise against the Byzantine Emperor and re establish the Bulgarian Empire.
In the former Bulgarian capital Veliko Tarnovo this important anniversary was celebrated with processions through the town and medieval fair.
For participate in this event I equipped by myself a whole boyar family and two guardians. Thanks to Avitohol club for their support and to 18 etarski pehoten polk club for the invitation and for their royal hospitality :)

Photo by Rostislav Grancharov
03.11.2015

A new photoshoot was inserted in "The Project Offline" section. The garment which inspired it is a few centuries more recent than my usual research area, but the history of costume should always be looked at in context :)
logo Badamba 10.09.2015

The article about Kalotina church was updated with new photos and a sheme of priestly vestments.

My workshop section was renamed as Badamba workshop. The change was needed due to the name Badamba is now official :)
In the same section was inserted one of my last creations. It is owned by Petar Delchev - member of Ambient Folklore, Kayno Yesno Slonce and Isihia formations, inspired by the music of X-XIV century and playing on replicas of ancient string instruments. As a true troubadour he has added some oriental elements to the Bulgarian kaftan :)

"Ambient folklore" can be heard during the sixth edition of the International Art forum Without Borders - 26-27 September in Balchik.
I recommend both the band and the forum :)
11.08.2015

The last tunic I made is inserted in My workshop. It`s based on eleventh-century Byzantine mosaic. Due to lack of Byzantine section at the website I published the picture between the Roman clothes.
06.08.2015

My last series of adornments in medieval style have been added to Photoshoot section. On Talasamia festival two beautiful fairies agreed to help with the advertising :)
Todorka`s sun 20.07.2015

01.07.2015

In Experimental archaeology section have been inserted information about extra-long-sleeved tunic bazed on Madrid Skylitzes.
22.06.2015

In My workshop section have been inserted First Bulgarian Kingdom section. The costumes there are only three for now, but it seems like their number going to grow :)
Nis 19.06.2015

Past and upcoming events for the month of June:

- On 3-5th June 2015 at the University of Nis took place the 14th International Symposium of Byzantologists "Nis and Byzantium" - "Cities and Citizens in Byzantine World": www.nisandbyzantium.org
I had had the honor and the pleasure to be approved as a lector on theme "The Head Adornment in Three Female Ktitor Portraits from Dolna Kamenitza". I presented the portraits of the despotess, boyar`s wife and boyar`s douther in the context of the Bulgarian, Serbian and Byzantine medieval portraits.
This is the beginning of a detailed typology of the Balkan medieval female head adornment.

- On 6th of June, 2015, in the Old City of Pliska took place the fair-festival Days of Ancestors. For the first time the fest was international - participants from Hungary and Poland joined the Bulgarian reenactors. In addition to the regular presentations of crafts, outdoor museum and horse shows this time many battles was included.
Project "Bulgarian medieval costume" participated with a traveling exhibition of armor, jewelry and accessories. Active contribution gave also our three-year successor - bolyar Kamen.

- Between 18th and 21th June in Stara Zagora mineral baths will be take place Talasamia 2015 - national meeting, dedicated to the fantastic and fabulous in Bulgarian folklore and mythology. We will enter the program with a presentation of Bulgarian medieval jewelry.
09.06.2015

NOTIFICATION: Due to a technical reasons (server migration) the web-sites Bulgarian Medieval Costumes (http://badamba.info) and Calendar of the Historical reenactments in Bulgaria are temporarily unable for updating.
The problem is expected to be solved for week or two.

Sorry for the inconvenience! The change will bring benefit in future.
21.03.2015

My newest creation was published - proto bulgarian lady`s costume. The reconstruction is based on Gasimova`s picture of archaeological findings in Bolshe-Tarhan, Tatarstan. The cemetary is dated VII-VIII century and referred to Volga Bulgar`s culture.
06.03.2015

An article about me and my work was published on 26th February at the Bulgarian newspaper "All about family".
12.02.2015

The list of well-preserved portraits in Bulgarian wall paintings is translated on English :)
22.12.2014

It is time to stop with the studies and recreations and to wish HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thanks to all friends and associates who have supported us over the past year.
With your help we will continue to revive the Bulgarian Middle Ages and in the next!
07.11.2014

I was surprised to learn that I had been nominated for "Guard of Traditions" award for second consecutive year. Thanks to the unknown recommenders:) If you like my work too, vote for it here (category "Занаяти - млади"):
Vote 2014


18.08.2014

Especially for the ladies: My workshop section is enriched with attractive replicas of medieval Balkan earrings. I have tried to imitate the most luxurious models - half-round and decorated with gemstones. This kind of jewels is used to be depicted on portraits, but have rare found in archaeological environment. Nevertheless, the vision of the noble East-European lady is unfinished without them.
09.07.2014

The article about Fourty Holy Martyrs Church in Veliko Tarnovo was updated. For a long time I`d believed that grave 5 is woman`s, because it had not been clearly written in publications. After discussion with the restorer the truth appeared :) The previous illustration with graves 5 and 28 is now separated into two, and 28 is shown with more options.
08.07.2014

Photos from The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora (Istanbul) have been inserted. The survived images of nobles and warrior saints there are important for comparative analysis between Byzantine and Bulgarian medieval costume.
In the beginning of May we had the pleasure to see them personally, together with Hagia Sophia and other remains from the Byzantine period of the town.
07.07.2014

A photo of the latest piece of garment I was working on was inserted at "My workshop" section. Ordered by Iordan Nikolov, its decoration was selected by me. Based on frescoes in Dobrun Monastery with portraits of jupan Pribil and his sons. This garment represents one of the very few (for the Balkans) examples for overlap between info of frescoes and archaeological findings. Before I met the Serbian portraits, I had read about excavations in medieval Preslav. At least two of the graves there contained remains with buttons on skeleton`s chests and feet, but not on the waists. Even more, the buttons on the chests are bigger and denser situated, compared with others. Obviously, the model of the clothes was similar to Dobrun`s ones, but with longer and richly decorated slit on the chest for the Bulgarian ones.
06.12.2013

The Serbian portrait list is already translated on English. Thanks to Vladimir Rodić from Zlatno Burence club.

19.08.2013

In order to make access to this website easier for foreign visitors, the table of contents and the introductory page of the site were translated in English and Russian. As I am constantly correcting my articles and adding new material, I cannot translate the contents of the whole website. Therefore I would ask you to use Google Translator for the main articles.

Для удобства иностранных гостей содержание и резюме сайта переведены на английский и русский языки. К сожалению из-за постоянных обновлений и поправок, я не могу перевести всю информацию на сайте, поэтому, пожалуйста, для перевода основных статей, пользутесь Google Translator.
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