Culture
Culture clash! ‘90s photo shows encounter between traditional & modern Maltese dress
We can spot some disapproval there!

Sarah Micallef

While it may difficult to imagine that up until a few generations ago, Maltese women would have modestly covered up with a traditional black ghonnella or faldetta rather than the latest trends, this shot dating back from the ‘90s brings it all back! 

In the endearing photo taken by Ted Attard at the Citadel in Gozo, the difference in dress of the traditional wearer coming into contact with a young woman dressed in a short, contemporary dress is palpable – and so is the marked disapproval in the older woman’s stance!

Her traditional garment – known as the ghonnella – is unique to the Maltese Islands, and was worn by local women for centuries.

By the 1970s however, it is believed that only older members of the Maltese lay missionary movement Societas Doctrinæ Christianæ still wore it, which is probably the story behind the lady in this image.

What do you think of the traditional Maltese garment?



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