Pomak Brides


Pomak Brides is a tradition unique to some remote villages in Bulgaria, the tradition is practiced in a village called Draginova. Pomak is the name given to Slavic Muslims, the Muslim Women of the village on their wedding day adorn themselves with paint and sequins, It seems like all of the women of the village come together to help get the bride ready, helping to adorn and dress her.

I’ve found an amazing Polish photographer who has created a series of photographs called ‘Pagan poetry’ which are a celebration of slavic culture and are definitely influenced by this bridal tradition. They are incredibily beautiful pictured below –

Marcin Nagraba

Pomak bride – painted by myself

I did a couple of versions, trying to merge the different examples I found and I did have a go at recreating Nagraba’s photographs, but i didn’t think the painting worked out very well. I found it hard to recreate the darkness and the contrast between the darkness and the metallic, opalescent light in the photographs, It ended up looking flat and like a strange illustration of a priest so I gave up and tried concentrated more on the imagery of the traditional Pomak brides.

Below is a small image of my failed first attempt, recreating the bead work in painting was really hard with the acrylic gouache i’m use to using, think it would work but better in oils as you can add layers and more depth.

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