COSTUMES FROM MACEDONIA
The male costume of Alona is similar to the male costume found in
both Akritas and Psaradhes. Generally, this costume style, with
some variations made to it, is found throughout the region of
Florina, Western Macedonia.
The cotton undershirt hangs to just above the knee and is
embroidered around the collar. Beneath the undershirt, unattached
sleeves cover the forearm, and may also be embroidered if so
desired. A sleeveless, black, woolen overcoat, the
kiourdia, is also worn but not in the summer months.
In Alona, as in the other areas of Macedonia, the old red hat or
fesi has been replaced by a black toque of astrakhan or
plush, the kape.
This costume has served as model for the uniform of the Macedonian
FLORINA: AGHIA PARASKEVI
The women's costume of Aghia Paraskevi is similar in style to the
costumes of the surrounding villages. The white chemise is hand
spun and woven from cotton, embroidered with a fine woolen thread
around the hem line. Two heavier panels are added to the bottom
of the back side only. The front of the chemise is open to just
above the waistline revealing the dickey (or bib). The dickey is
bordered by a simple piece of floral-patterned cotton and tied
around the neck. The sleeveless overcoat is worn over the chemise
and dickey. The overcoat, black in color, was white prior to the
1920's. However, there was a period of time where both colors
were used. The cord-work on the overcoat is made with yellow and
red threads. It is a very simple design, but because of the
colors it is very appealing. The apron is a woven masterpiece.
The pattern design is very complicated and is woven with red,
yellow and black threads. The edges are adorned with ribbons and
coins. The pattern design of the hand-knit leggings is also very
complicated and is made using the same color scheme as the apron.
The plain white scarf is folded in a triangle shape. The corner
hangs down the back to just beneath the waistline, and is trimmed
with coins and long fringes, embroidered with woolen or silk
The poor quality of the soil of the Florina plateaus, prevented
the local residents from wearing clothing of expensive material.
The nearby forest offered some resources, such as timber,
charcoal and bee-keeping, but the people lived a life of
deprivation and hardship. The women wove their own cotton and
woolen cloth from which they sewed their simple, austere dresses.
The white cotton chemise was embroidered around the hem line and
on the sleeves with colored threads. The opening of the front of
the chemise was bordered by brightly-colored fabric. A floral
patterned jabot of bought fabric was placed at the opening of the
bodice. A black woolen, sleeveless overcoat, the sigouni,
was worn over this. This overcoat was embroidered around the neck
and on the front with brightly-colored threads. The sash,
approximately two meters in length, was made of black wool and
tied around the waist at the top of the apron. The black and red
apron was always home spun and woven. The simple black scarf,
placed upon the head, was adorned with a string of pearls. These
pearls were considered to be part of the dowry.
Women of the Triantafyllies area can still be seen wearing their costumes
on special occasions.
The Psaradhes region is among the very few regions in modern-day
Greece, where many women still continue to wear their every-day
folk dress and even their festival costume. The cotton chemise
worn, similar in form to all chemises belonging to costumes using
the siguni, are characterized by the old, traditional
motifs sewn with the same stitches as found in the embroideries
of Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Attica, Boeotia and Euboea. In
the past, the costume of the villages around Lake Prespa, Agios
Germanos and Psaradhes was all white. Around the years 1930-1935,
the women replaced the all-white bridal and festival costume with
a black siguni and dark-colored apron, worn later only by
middle-aged women. A decorative dickey, the tracila,
draped over the bosom. A black, woolen, elbow-length overcoat was
also worn. An apron, made of either black wool, a dark-colored
velvet or brocade material, adorned with silver coins, tied over
the waist and overcoat. Black stockings were always worn and a
printed black scarf adorned the head. To accent the costume,
pearls were worn around the neck; silver coins draped from the
bosom down to the waist and up to the shoulders; and silver
chains were used to grace the aprons.
Orini consists of two villages, neighboring each other, known as
Orini and Ano Orini. Both are mountainous villages, as their
names imply - earlier they were known as the Phrastena - with
Orini situated at an altitude of 750 meters and Ano Orini at 820
The mountainous situation of the two villages, the agricultural
nature of their economy, the restricted, "closed" life of the
villagers and the absence of tourism - the road from Serres to
the villages is for the most part only roughly paved - all have
contributed effectively to the preservation of the villagers'
traditional modes of life.
Women's costumes of Orini, Ano Orini, and Xirotopos, Serres, are
characterized by the same basic elements that make up the
majority of village costumes in the Balkans (underdress, middle
dress, overcoat, sash, apron, stockings and head kerchief).
Visually, they immediately call to mind the costumes of Volakas,
Drama and of those villages sharing similar costumes
(Xiropotamos, Monastiraki etc.) Like all of the costumes of
Greece, they differ according to the circumstances under which
they worn (i.e. denoting every day wear, to mark festive or
nuptial occasions, to denote single or married status). The
kouralak, a small round box dressed with material of some
kind and worn on the crown of the head, is an important accessory
to the bridal headdress.