Home Tradition The Traditional Costume of the Men

The Traditional Costume of the Men

General information

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General information

Unlike the costume of the women of Roumlouki that is considered to be one of the most famous and impressive costumes of Greece, the men’s traditional costume has almost been forgotten. Angeliki Chatzimichali gave her attention to the women’s costume; as a result there is no information about the men’s traditional costume in our days, not even a description of it. Furthermore, there are no original costumes. In the past people used to give the personal belongings and the clothes of their dead to relatives, friends or poor people. This custom still lingers on and is probably one of the reasons that all the original costumes got lost. The photographs, which are usually a reliable source, do not help this research because the costumes had already started to modernize when the first photographs were shot. Another problem is that we don’t have to deal with color photographs and as a result there is no way of finding out the colors of the costume.

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The parts of the costume

According to information, at the beginning of the 20th century the elder men carried on wearing their formal dresses that consisted of two main parts: a white, linen pair of trousers and a shirt. The trousers that were worn even after the end of the Second World War were of cotton and reached down to the ankles. The part from the knees till the ankles was close-fitting and the upper part was larger, it actually reminded of a pair of knickers. They used a knickers-cord to tie them up around their waist.

The shirt was also light-colored and large. It had a collar and buttons on its front side but its main characteristic were its large sleeves that reminded of the sleeves of the traditional costume of the fustanella (skirt-like garment worn by men).

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The “fustanella” and the “rougatzia”

There also was another kind of traditional costume in the region of Roumlouki, the one worn by the evzones (members of select infantry corps in the Greek army that wear the traditional fustanella). Especially in the past there were many residents who still had that costume. However, it was worn in special occasions by the “rougatzaroi”.

Some of these original costumes were also worn by students at feasts in school even after the Second World War.

However, this traditional costume is very common in many regions of Greece.

 
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 A special way of coloring

In Roumlouki, there was also a traditional way of coloring the wool and the cotton yarn. As far as the local costume of the men is concerned the color preferred was black.

The yarn was put into a forged copper with grips, larger on its top and its bottom and smaller in the middle (chalkoutsouka), and was covered with water. After that, pieces of sorrel (a kind of bush) were put into the water. This was not a simple procedure as the quantity of sorrel had to be correct in order for the coloring to be successful. The water was heated up occasionally for some days till the fabric turned into brown. Afterwards, and with the addition of black dye the fabric finally turned into black.

Extant hand-woven materials haven’t lost their shine yet and prove that it is about unfading colors.

 

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