This is the dress, no longer in use, that the people of Roncal wore up to the 20th century and which has been regulated and protected by the Valley’s ordinances for centuries.
Within traditional dress, it is necessary to distinguish between ordinary, everyday attire and the costumes worn for festivities. The latter is the dress most readily remembered and that reproduced for folk purposes.
In addition to the costumes of Roncal men and women kept in private houses, others are worthy of special mention: the collection of seven pairs of costumes owned by the General Council of the Valley of Roncal (restored in 1998 by the sisters Celia and Esther Navarro); a male costume and a female costume kept and displayed at the “Erronkari” Roncal Centre in Pamplona; six women’s dresses that belong to the treasure of the Virgin of Idoya (made in 1973 by a group of women from Isaba and kept in the parish museum); a Roncal woman’s dress (made by Araceli Garde) which the General Council of the Valley of Roncal presented to Queen Sofia of Spain when the King and Queen visited the valley in February 1983 and now kept in Madrid; a male costume and a female costume on display in the Roncal Nature Interpretation Centre (made in 1994 by Julián Peñas and Rosa Mari Urra, respectively); a male costume and a female costume on display at the “Casa de Navarra” in Valladolid (made in 1999 by Araceli Garde); the collection of twenty-one pairs of costumes which also belong to the General Council of the Valley of Roncal (made in the first half of 2000 by a group of women coordinated by Rosa Mari Urra); and the costumes on display in the House of Memory in Isaba, showing the different types of Roncal costume (made by a group of women from Isaba).
Of the numerous garments kept in private houses, two costumes from the 18th century kept in a house in Uztarroz, the oldest we know of, deserve special mention. Fernando Hualde’s collection of garments and apparel, all from the first half of the 20th century, should not be overlooked either; of the items in the collection, several patterns made at the beginning of the 20th century and used at the time to bring the costume back into use in the valley are of particular interest.
Old pieces of fabric and Roncal cloth are still preserved in certain houses in the valley. It should not be forgotten that it was the women of Roncal who made these costumes in their own homes. A document from Isaba from 1644 goes to show; the inventory of goods confiscated from Francisco Gorría Varrena and his mother by the King for fleeing on learning that he was being enlisted includes, amongst many other things, “a yard of black Roncal Cloth, a yard and a half of dark blue Roncal Cloth…”.