Costumes: Attica - Mesogeia - The Bridal Costume

One of the most opulent of Greek costumes is the bridal attire from the Mesogeia region of Attica. Apart from the foundi and the tzakos almost the entire outfit was a gift from the groom, together with the jewelry. It was worn only on high days and holidays during the year that followed the wedding day, or in rare cases until the woman reached the age of thirty. Thereafter a simpler dress without any embroidery was worn.

The costume has a sleeveless chemise with embroidered hem, the foundi. A short-sleeved bodice, the tzakos, is worn over the chemise and a red belt around the waist. The costume includes two sleeveless gold-embroidered overdresses, the so-called griza me ta chrysa. The hair is adorned with peskoulia or masour plexides, i.e. cords with tassels and silver ornaments braided into the plaits. A small cap, the fesi, is entirely covered by a head-scarf of cloth-of-gold, the chrysi obolia. The costume is accompanied by a wealth of jewelry: the xelitsi, an ornament worn on the forehead, the large yiordani, a net-like pectoral ornament, another yiordani worn around the neck, and the kordoni, composed of usually ten chains hung with coins. The various traditional ornaments of the past have completely disappeared around the early 20th century.

Ioanna Papantoniou
Benaki Museum