To Hold Your Heart in Your Teeth is an intriguing cultural and social history of the traditional Romanian blouse by New York–based illustrator, designer and educator Simona Bortis-Schultz.
Made by generations of women, the folk garment of the Romanian blouse secured its language despite eons of fierce changes. Simona Bortis-Schultz biography follows the blouse from Neolithic beginnings in northeastern Romania and western Ukraine, through the period of folk revival, the Communist era and the post-Communist emigration out of the region. Design, location, colours and their semiotic significance relay the elements of a deliberate communication carried forth by women through enduring craft from prehistory to today. The Romanian proverb 'to hold your heart in your teeth' means to move forward bravely despite fear. The book is an homage to generations of resilient women, their fortitude and the garment they made to survive.
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