Thursday, June 21, 2012

Traditional Greek Costumes

These two FDCs with the pretty stamps on them were given to me by Merja. They were issued on 1st March 1972. The jewellery printed on the cover is to be worn along with the impressive traditional costumes of Greece.
Men's Costumes. There are two main types of costumes for men. Foustanella and Vraka.
In the central and southern regions of Greece wear the "fustanella". After the liberation of Greece in the first quarter of the 19th century, all male costumes in Peloponnesus took the form of the fustanella. The Greek fighters of the 1821 revolution wore Fustanella and today it serves as the official uniform of the Evzones, Greece's Presidential Guard.
The fustanella skirt consists of 400 pleats symbolizing the years during which Greece was under Ottoman rule. The remainder of the costume is composed of a white shirt with very wide flowing sleeves, an embroidered woolen vest, a sash worn around the waist, and shoes (tsarouhia) with large pompons. The embroidery is made of spun wool and the belt is of a fine leatherwork.

Women's Costumes. One general rule about the Women's costumes concerns the main parts of their traditional dress. Most of the mainland costumes in particular have a cotton chemise (poukamiso) as the basic garment. On the body, over the chemise, there is a sleeveless vest, which is usually made of wool. These may be short or long.
Sometimes dresses are of homespun wool, but in some areas they are made from finer factory woven wools. Colours are sometimes black, sometimes white. Sometimes in urban areas, they are made from velvet. Other important elements of the women's costumes are various types of aprons, sashes, and head coverings. The head coverings are usually large scarves of various materials and colours. Women's dresses were handmade embellished with detailed needlework and decorated in a rich and colourful fashion. Although there are some generalizations that can be made about the women's dresses and their styles and components, costumes of each area tend to be different.

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