Greek Dancing Costumes


MARIETTA GREEK FESTIVAL COSTUME COLLECTION AS SEEN BY GROUP

PITSIRIKIA (Pre-K) wears the “Manoitis” costume from Mani in southern Peloponessos. The boys wear the traditional foustanella skirt. Usually the foustanella is seen with a black or blue colored vest, except in the Peloponesse where they wear a red vest with gold trim. The girls have a red and black jumper dress and a yellow or gold headscarf.

Pitsirikia inspiration

PALAMAKIA (K & 1st) wears the Eptanissa costume from the Eptanissa islands in the Ionian sea. The boys wear a black or navy vraka pant with a traditional vest  and straw hat. This version of the traditional island costume has the venetian influence that was left behind when these islands were controlled by the Italians. The girls wear jewel toned skirts, colors popular on the island of Lefkada, one of the Eptanissa. or “seven islands”. Also the girls wear the traditional bridal headpieces of the area.

ASTERIA (2nd and 3rd) wears the Epiros costume of Northwestern corner of the mainland. This costume has the boys in dark colored vests, khaki linen or wool pants and a cream colored sash. The girls wear a traditional young girl’s jumper dress over a cotton white petticoat type of dress underneath, an apron decorated with printed or embroidered flowers and a dark colored headscarf also decorated with printed or embroidered flowers.

ASTERIA INSPIRATION

PETALOUDES (4th and 5th) wears the “Trikeri” costume from Thessalia, the central plain lands of the main peninsula. This Costume looks similar to some island costumes, because it is from the only true coastal plain area in the whole country. The men’s costume looks similar to all the central Greece costumes, with the baggy khaki pants, wide sleeved shirts and light colored sashes. The girls have the more coastal feel with the brightly colored silk or satin jumper dresses worn over the white cotton petticoat. This costume doesn’t exactly have an apron, but has a large handkerchief that is worn tucked under the belt. The headscarf is a gold, or cream colored chiffon material.

Petaloudes Inspiration

PHOENIX (6th-8th) wears the traditional costume from the island of Samos. The basic island pieces of all men have a white shirt, dark red or black colored vest, very baggy black knee length pants and colorful stripped sashes. The ladies wear a white crappe or thin cotton blouse with a brightly colored jumper dress. There is no apron worn in the traditional ladies costume from Samos, as in many of the islands. The head scarf is not tied on the head, as seen in most of Greece, instead it is more draped.

Phoenix inspiration

ELEFTHERIA (9th-12th) wears two costumes, one mainland and one island. The Mainland costume is from the central part of Greece, just a couple of hours drive north of Athens. This costume is called the “Desfina Fokidos” for the ladies and the traditional “Kleftiko Foustanella” for the guys. The ladies have a white cotton petticoat with a long vest called a “sigouni” worn over it. All this is held closed in the front by the apron. this costume the ladies wear their aprons tied over the other pieces. The wool sigouni vest is always a cream color, as is the headscarf. The guys wear the traditional skirt called the “foustanella.” Each Foustanella has 426 pleats to represent the 426 years of oppression by the Ottoman Turks. The Kleftis version of the foustanella simply means it was worn pre-1821 (year of independence) but the gorilla fighters of this mountainous region. This means the vest and all accessories (head scarf, garters, shoes) were all in black – to represent being in morning.

Eleftheria Costumes

The island costumes that will be worn by this group are from the northern islands of the Aegean Sea. The ladies wear a white cotton blouse with a silk gold or red vest and a jewel toned colored silk skirt. The head scarf is tied around the head and is made of light weight woven cotton. The guy wear the traditional mens black extra baggy pants and velvet vests.

METAMORPHOSI young adult dancers will also wear two different costumes through the weekend. One is from the northeastern most part of the mainland, a region called Thraki (or Thrace). The ladies in this region wear a cotton/linen blend interior dress, with a wool highly decorated jumper dress. A very colorful and decorated apron is worn. The headpieces are specially woven scarves and only seen in red or yellow. The men wear brown wool suit; slightly baggy pant, inner vest and outer jacket with a red sash tied around the waist. As you can tell from all the wool, this is a old part of Greece, not the sunny warm islands you see on TV!

Metamorphosi

The other costume set we have worn by this group is from the island of Krete. The ladies costume is very complicated with many pieces; white blouse, white pantaloon under pants, white cotton skirt, back apron that is called a “stanza”, the regular apron, black or navy velvet colored vest and a red headscarf with gold fringe trim. The men wear a blue wool Vraka (very baggy knee pants), white shirt and blue wool vest. The knit headpiece the men wear have black tears knit at the edges. These tears represent the Turkish lives that were taken in the battles for independence.

The money that you see thrown at the dancers during the shows are given in love as a show of pride and respect to the dancers. In old times this was given to the band, since without good music there cannot be good dancing. Here in Marietta, we use this “tip” money if you will to care for all of these beautiful costumes you see here. We are continuing to build on our collections, every year adding more and more authentic pieces to our closet pieces. Your continued support of our dance program, ensures that this piece of Greek Folk history will not be lost. We thank you for that support and invite you to come and see a living folk museum at every Greek Festival!