COSTUMES


The Foustanella (Tsolias). It was established by Otto, the first King of Greece, as the formal court dress in the middle of the 19th century, prevailed in the urban centers of Moreas (Peloponnese) and Roumeli (Central Greece). This dress was originally the military outfit of the Greek chieftains. The waistcoat is called the “fermeli” and has panels hanging from the back. The men wear a white shirt with puffy sleeves under the fermeli that closes in front. The “foustanella” is the pleated skirt that is made of approximately 400 pleates called “langolia”. Each pleate representing one year of slavery under the Ottoman Turks. The Foustanela has changed in the meaning of detailed work, the length of the “fousta”, and, sometimes, the number of jackets worn. The sleeves have become decorative, resembling wings without the function of sleeves. After all the changes, it has become the standard Pan-Hellenic male costume worn today.


Tsolia
Cretan

The Men's Cretan Costume consists of a Black Shirt, beige “vraka”, and black boots. This is common attire for the Shepard’s in the mountains of Central Crete. The common headpiece that is worn commonly throughout Crete is the black crocheted handkerchief known as the "sarichi". This headpiece has tassels dangling in the front, which is said to represent tears for the people lost in the explosion of a monastery at Arkadi in Crete.

The women’s cretan costume consists of the poukamisa (underdress), the vraka (bloomers), the apron and the sartza in the back. There is also a vest which is elaborately embroidered in gold thread with motifs depicting sea-life such as fish and calamari. There is also a zonari (belt) around the waist, and a mantili (scarf) on the head. The vraka was later worn long to the ankles, because during the Ottoman Turkish occupation the Cretan women wanted to hide their legs from the eyes of the Turks. The sartza was originally a full skirt, but because it became bothersome while doing chores in their daily lives, they did away with the skirt but left a colorful piece in the back to brighten the costume without getting in the way while working.
Cretan
Pontian
Pontian, Male Costume. Like Greece, Pontos (which is a bigger area) not only changes it’s costume from state to state but in many cases from village to village (same as its traditions and habits). The most traditional men’s costume from Pontos is comprised of a black wool jacket, vest, and black wool pants which are characteristically baggy in the seat. The pants are baggy in seat to give comfort to men while riding horses. They wear black boots and a belt with riffle bullets and a knife. On their heads they wear a black headpiece called “pashlik.” The decorative trim and pashlik can be found in various colors, which represent the region the man is from.

The Pontian dress is an urban costume, in accordance with the eastern models which began life in the center of Hellenism at that time, Constantinople. Underneath the ladies wear a fine silk chemise, the bodice and sleeves of which are trimmed with crocheted lace, and then a pair of silk or satin breeches. Next comes the well-known urban style kavadi, also known as zipouna, open at the front and with two side openings down to the hips. This garment is always lined and decorated round the hem with silk ribbon and delicate embroidery. Round the hips a large silk scarf is worn, trimmed with fringe of silk thread, folded into a triangle. On top of this goes a sleeved waistcoat, originally of black felt and later of dark-colored velvet decorated with silver stitches. From the wedding day onwards the bride wears a silk- covered disc decorated with a row of little coins that hung across the forehead.