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Culture Folk Culture - People The People Sarakatsanoi Larissa

Traditional Costume of woman Sarakatsana
(Photo: Archive of the Folklore and Historic Museum of Larissa)
Apron of the costume of Sarakatsanoi
(Photo: Papakonstantinou A. - Kassou A.)
Cape of the costume of Sarakatsanoi
(Photo: Papakonstantinou A. - Kassou A.)
Socks of the the costume of Sarakatsanoi
(Photo: Papakonstantinou A. - Kassou A.)

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Traditional Costumes

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The Costume of Sarakatsanoi


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The costume of Sarakatsanoi is characterized by the gravity of the dark colours and the symbols which are impressed on it. All the clothing, were being made by the women using fabrics of their own manufacture.

The multiform embroidered patterns on the aprons of the women – the "panaoules" - are related with the life, the fertility, the collective metaphysical values and they correspond to the big stations of life as the birth, the marriage, the death. There is often the symbol of the cross, proof of religiosity of Sarakatsanoi, as well as the moon, the sun and the snake, which are considered symbols of fertility and prosperity. Certain aprons had decoration of a plant, with trees, small branches and flowers that they usually wore in their spring-like transferences. Moreover the strict geometrical shapes on the female socks, is believed, that they were symbolizing the universe.

The female costume of Sarakatsanoi of Thessaly is composed of:
1. Katasarki: It is a woollen white cloth made on a loom. It is worn for underwear and it is open on the chest with short sleeves, almost ten centimetres below the shoulder.
2. Shirt: It is a long cotton cloth made on a loom with an embroidery on the sleeves from the shoulder up to the elbow. It is open on the chest and it has an embroidery of five centimetres to the two sides up to the neck. This embroidery is the same with the embroidery on the sleeves.
3. Zostari: It is a type of long waistcoat, that reaches up to hips. It is embroidered on the two sides of front part, which are called profillia. It has a big opening on the chest, which is covered by the shirt.
4. Skirt: It is made from fine woollen fabric made on a loom, thin with shiny surface and it is long up to the leg. It is made from three parallel pieces of woven fabric folded in order to do tucks, and sewed on the belt of the skirt. The colours of the skirt are dark red or light blue. The lower part it has lace. The most formal skirts, in the very old days, were embroidered on the lower part around with colourful spinners in various drawings.
5. Sleeves: They are worn in the hands and are held with a clasp from the katasarki. The lower part touches the wrist, is knitted with various drawings and it was being called hiroti. The rest is made from woollen or cotton fabric.
6. Trahlia: It is worn on the neck and it covers the opening of the chest with an extension of fabric which it has from below. It is knitted and decorated with laces and frentzes.
7. Apron: It is worn in front of the skirt, it is tied up in the middle and it is long up to the ending of the skirt. The fabric of the apron is cotton or woollen. It is knitted and decorated with lace and.
8. Kerchief: It is stamped cotton with fringes and has yellow or white colour. It is worn on the head tied up behind.
9. Socks: Are knitted with white thread and woollen colourful spinners in various geometrical drawings. They are worn on the legs by the knee up to the ankle.
10. Patounes-kontotsourapo: They are worn on the lower part of the leg, on the sole and reach up to the ankle.
11. Cape: It is worn above the zwstari, it is without sleeves and reaches up to the waist. It is knitted on the two front sides and behind on the back. On the back it has thrown two knitted decorative sleeves.
12. Tsarouhia with pom-pom, similarly with the men's.

The male costume, until 1920, it was composed of:
1. Katasarki
2. Shirt: It is white with big wide sleeves.
3. Long Foustanela.
4. Socks: They are woollen woven up to the thighs, with garter and pom-pom under the knee.
5. Zonari: It is woollen and it is worn on the waist. Above the zonari, formerly, they wore the silahi or sliafi, as was being called. The silahi is leather wide area with a lot of sheaths for money and arms.
6. Tsipkeni: Is the formal coat and is worn above the shirt. Is woollen, in colour blue or green, with two sleeves thrown in the back, knitted with lace black or gold.
7. Cap: It is a round low cover that is worn in the head. The formal is made from a shiny fabric, like silken.
8. Tsarouhia with pom-pom.

After 1920 they replaced the foystanela and the socks, with the mpourazana. Mpourazana was white or black, made with woollen fabric. It was tied up on the waist with a thick woollen knitted lace or white rope, which was passed internally in its belt. They wore it with waistcoat and black or blue jacket. Later they wore suit, European type, made from blue fabric made on a loom with jacket, trousers and waistcoat .