Friday, December 11, 2015

Pontian woman costumes

The costume belongs typologically in the costumes with kavadi. The main garment is "jerkin" or "zoupounas", which was established as a terminology for the entire costume.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hellenic History | The Fall of Constantinople - 00 years Oppression Part 1.

The Greek Revolution of 1821 was a nation's triumph, a romantic story of heroic action. It was a tragedy, a miracle, a myth.

As Sultan Mehmet II captured Constantinople in Tuesday 29 May 1453, marked the end of Hellenism or Romiosini (Romania). Greeks (Hellenes) who in ancient times, developed the best civilisation with names as Platon, Socrates, Aristotle, Hyppocrates, Diogenes, Herodotus, Thoukidides, were now slaves. Greeks (Romaeoi), who in middle ages with the glorious Eastern Empire protected the Christianity and the Greek Civilisation from barbarians with names as Nicephorus Phocas, Basil II Bulgaroctonus, Alexius Comnenus, were now in disgrace. Minor Asia the birthplace of philosophy, Athina the birthplace of Democracy, Constantinople the center of Orthodoxy, Macedonia the birthplace of Alexander the Great, Sparta the homeland of Leonidas were polluted by the presence of the asian savages.
After the conquest of Byzantine Empire, Mehmet II forsaw that his christian subjects would help to organise his huge state. Commerce, practical arts, administration, science were unknown to ottomans whose only care was the war. So he appointed Georgios Yennadhios as Patriarch in Constantinople and leader of all Greeks (Romaeoi) while he was guaranteed personal inviolability, freedom of movement and exemption from taxes. The Greek Orthodox Church survived, and it was this Church who preserved the traditions and the greek language and since Language means Nation, according to Adhamantios Korais, it was the Orthodox Church who preserved the national identity of Greeks.
Ottoman occupation was very harsh for christians and meant not only the destruction on the grounds of thousands monasteries, churches, monuments, burning of documents, manuscripts, icons but also meant heavy taxation for non muslim subjects, hard work on the fields and illiteracy. Many christians became muslims to be saved from the cruel behavior from the state. A century after the fall of Constantinople a professor from Tubingen, Martin Crusius, on a visit to Greece lamented: 'In all Greece studies nowhere flourish. They have no public academies or professors, except for the most trivial schools in which the boys are taught to read the Horologion, the Psalter and other books which are used in the lithurgy. But amongst the priests and monks those who really understand these books are very few indeed. Historian Thanasis Petsalis - Diomidis wrote: 'In 1630 there isn't not even a single organized school in Greece. Only one exists in Constantinople and this is the Patriarchical School.' Patriarch Kyrillos, in 1628 imported a press machine from Great Britain to print books in the greek language, but after only two years of function, the machine was destroyed by the janissaries. Church remained in close touch with the people, and taught, many times in secret, the boys the language of their fathers. Everybody in Greece knows the rhyme, that boys sung when, secretly in night were going to secret schools krufa scholia to be educated:

"Fengaraki mo lampro - Little moon, so bright and cool

fegge mou na perpato - Light me on my way to school

na pigaino sto scholio - Where to study I am free

na matheno grammata - And God's word is taught to me.

grammata spoudasmata tou theou ta pragmata"

One burden unbearable for non muslim subjects was the heavy taxation. Greek peasants worked as tenants on land owned by an individual landlord or the state and they had to pay taxes for the products they produced. Also Sultan guaranteed their lives for a year as long as they paid the harach, the poll tax to the central government while a major part of their taxes was seized by the corrupted civil servants. The most glaring example of a local potentate was Ali Pasha of Ioannina, who increased his private estates at the expense of the long-suffering peasants. He used to put pressure on the villagers to sell to him by driving them into debt at high interest rates through extraordinary exactions, and also by quartering his Albanian soldiers in their houses. When the peasants could no longer pay their debts, Ali made the village his chiftlik and the villagers in effect his serfs. In 1821, Ali controlled 915 chiftliks. So Greeks fled many to Europe, others to the mountains where they became brigands klephtesDeserted villages became a common sight inside Ottoman Empire.

Another burden, memory of which still smoulders in the greek national consciousness, was the turkish system of devschirme: the forcible conscription of young men and their removal to Istanbul to join the imperial service, especially in a military role as janissaries. ThePaidomazoma turned the young christians to fanatic muslim soldiers. After a long and specialized training, these children became the Sultan's most loyal vassals. He had the right over their life. They also constituted the most competent army, not only within the Empire, but in the whole of Europe. Also, beautiful christian girls were taken by force to the harems of the commanders pashas. Ali Pasha had thousands of women in his harems. He had dozens of spies, who searched for beautiful boys and girls. It is not an exaggeration to say that the modern turks are greeks islamized. In 1705 the official sent to Naoussa of Macedonia to draft new janissaries, was killed, while the crowd shouted their resistance to giving up their sons. The infidel parents were beheaded and their severed heads were displayed in the city before sent to the governor of Thessalonika. According to historian Paparighopoulos 1 million boys were transformed to Janissaries during the dark years of ottoman occupation.

Greeks, during ottoman occupation had tried many revolts, but without success, because they were local and not properly organized. Immediately, after the fall of Constantinople, Peloponness revolted, in 1463. Patra, Mystras, Korinthos were temporarily liberated. Greeks counted on the venetian help, or any european help but actually Europeans didn't help the local people to ged rid of their oppressors. Nevertheless Mani remained autonomous during turkish rule. Revolts took place also in Macedonia, Epirus, Crete. Suli also remained autonomous and Sfakia of Crete the same. The mountains, where klephtes lived, were always free:

"Ego veziri den psifo, pasha den proskinao-I don't care for vezirs and I don't kowtow pashas"
"Pasha eho to ntoufeki mou, veziri to spathi mou.- My gun is my pasha and my sword is my vezir"

Also in 1571, when turkish fleet was defeated in the Lepando (Nafpaktos) naval battle, greeks again in many places revolted against the oppressor.Dionysios Skulosophos bishop of Thesally revolted in 17th century and almost managed to conquer Ioannina. He failed and he was skinned alive.His friend Serafeim, bishop of Fanari, refused to become muslim and was tortured to death. The last important insurrections took place in Peloponness in 1769, when Russians promised to help, but they sent the brothers Orloffs with only 1000 russian soldiers and a few ships. Greeks this time trusted Russians but in vain. Turkoalbanians suppressed the revolution and deserted many cities and villages. And the same happened in 1790 with the revolt of Lampros Katsonis. After the French Revolution in 1789, Hellenes transferred their hopes to Napoleon Bonaparte.But soon they knew that they were alone, and only with their own forces they would throw the opressor away.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The "Desfina" costume

(Images: 1. Peasant Woman Desfina, Fokida, 20th Century © Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation
2.  Woman's Costume (Desfina). Illustration by Nicolas Sperling
3&4 Peasant women, Delphic Festival; 1920's. Images by Maynard Owen Williams / Wilhelm Tobien.)

The female costume "Desfina"
The costume that prevails today is the simplified form of the costume of Arachova, as established in the early 20th century.

The female costume of Arachova is the traditional female dress of the homonym region found in Central Greece, in the areas of Amfissa, Desfina and Delphi. Main feature is the harmonious combination of various construction materials and delicate stylized embroidery.

Parts of the costume is the petticoat, the shirt, the overcoat "sigouna", the woven belt called "fkas", the apron, the gold "podioschoino", gold handkerchief, socks and headband "gourounotsaroucha".The fez, the braids, the roof , red kerchief and crimson scarf. The jewels are the buckles, chains with talismans, ribbons with gold coins, the folds with pearls and yordani.

(Women costumes from Central Greece & Roumeli by Stamco)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Kastoria - Woman's Town Dress

1. Woman from the book of LD Siokos "Clothes and society Kleisoura"
2. "Woman's Town Dress, Kastoriani" illustration by Nicolas Sperling, 1930
3. Stamco Greek traditional costumes of Kastoria, Western Macedonia, Greece.

The traditional costume consisting of a sleeveless jacket, the "Countess" (there are also some versions sleeved vest) usually felt and decorated with rich gold embroidery on which are mounted several series of coins.
The luxurious long dress is adorned with a hem and waist ties the silver or gold belt.
The red fez adorned with coins and tassels. Characteristic is the way Kastorians noblewomen wove their hair and then the fastened around his fez.
The internal parts of the costume is the shirt, usually white or off-white color with lace neck and sleeves and baboukli, a kind of furan to become more inflatable dress.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Intro to Sarakatsana Woman Costumes


(Left: Sarakatsan Woman of Attica, Right Sarakatsan Woman of Epirus)

The Sarakatsans is Greek population with characteristic customs and lifestyle. Considered the cradle Pindos they were spread across most of mainland Greece. Pastoralists living in regime closed patriarchal society. From the early 19th to mid-20th century they moved between Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia. After the settlement of the Greek border in 1923 their movements are restricted in Greece. Large Sarakatsani tseligata sustained in the late 40s.

Today Sarakatsans have abandoned farming and nomadism and live within the wider community.

(1935: Marriage. Women Sarakatsanou with rag rough and aprons, stuffed with froutopodies panaoules | Source )

The woman costume of Sarakatsan is characterized by chromatic rigor and presents local variations.Three varieties of female sarakatsani costume. From left to right: Epirus, Thessaly and Central Macedonia, and the so-called "Kassandrino".

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Emponas of Rhode

The woman's costume Embonas considered one of the most beautiful in Greece.

The costume consists of a white shirt, the "malola" when it gathers or "Grispos" when it does not. The front and sleeves are decorated with many ornaments and colorful embroidery.

The skirt is wide, full of folds and colors.
The daily dress is blue woven, while the official dress - worn on Sundays and holidays - consists of black shiny fabric. The bust, which is stitched together with the skirt is tight and lifts up his chest, reminding the ancient women's clothing that we see in Minoan frescoes of Knossos.

It is said that in prehistoric times the Minoans colonized Rhodes and left the high culture, not only in the peaceful nature of the people, but also in popular culture and in particular in authentic traditional costume of women of Embonas.

To complement the impressive costume of the island, women wearing a colorful head scarf, which they call "akrivomantilo" or "tsoullato".

Friday, October 16, 2015

Introduction to the Greek Foresia

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.Fustanella was worn by the Greek fighters of the 1821 revolution 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 leather work.
The Fustanella 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 used to the modern times. Extremely popular, this costume is now one of the world's most well-known traditional garments. 

Vraka: The word vraka means generally the male Crete costume although this kind of trousers worn by the islands inhabitants of Greece instead of a fustanella. The men's costume is made of heavy wool felt to protect against the cold and is embroidered with black cord. In some island 'vraka' was worn by women too and was long, to the ankles, because during the Turkish occupation women wanted to hide their legs from the eyes of the Turks. The male Epirotan costume has also characteristic pair of pants, called 'bourazana' or 'panovraki', which resembles the Macedonian 'salvaria' or 'vrakia'. The pants are either white or black. 

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. Colors 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 colors. Women's dresses were handmade embellished with detailed needlework and decorated in a rich and colorful 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.