Pair of woven wool, navy and cream geometric pattern. Worn at ankle.
The knitted navy is the background of the legging. One side a "X" pattern. There is a cream outlined oval in the center of the "X." There are two parallel dotted lines with white spokes coming off from the white line. Those parallel lines creates the first "X." Outlining the first X is a white dotted line. On the sides, there is a filled in zig-zag line that is in the triangle. The top and the bottom has the filled in zig-zag line that is in the outline of a triangle after the dotted line. There is then an outline of a triangle in the dotted line. Thre are four dots in the outline of a circle. On the very bottom there is a line a blue, then in the center there are two rows of four circles. On each side of the circle row there is a circle swiggle. On the top, above the zig-zag lines, there is an outline of an arrow. The head of the arrow is outlined in a dotted line. The bottom of the arrow is a thin white line. In the middle of the arrow, there are four white dots that are in a diamond shape. From the top, there are two hook shaped white lines.
On the other side of the legging the patterns are in diamond shapes. The first diamond in the middle is created by a dotted line. In the diamond there is a pattern. The pattern is two, three sided sqaures that are apart of the side corners. There is a white line connecting the two circles. The line continues through the squares, which leads to a verticle lines with horizontal lines on the top and bottom of the line. Next to each corner of of the diamond, there are four circles in a diamond shape. From the dotted diamond line there is a filled-in zig-zag line in a diamond shape. After the zig-zag line there is a small dotted line. The next line pattern is two small dotted line running parallel to each other. On the outter parts of the lines, there are prongs coming off from the white line. In the center of the white dotted line pattern, there is only a single white dotted line on top and two white circles on the bottom with another two circles beneath them. On the other sides of the white circles there is a circle swirl line with four white circles on the other side. On the top of the legging, in the corners, there is a small dotted line that goes from the side to the top of the legging. Then there is a filled-in zig-zag line. The edge of the legging has rolled over.
The inside of the legging is the backside of the stitch work on the front.
The donor lived in Greece from 1965-1982 and wore and owned the Sarakatsani costume.
This style of legging came from the Sarakatsani people. Sarakatsani are indigenous people from Greek. They are nomatic people who live half the year in the mountains. Their art (song, pottery, dance, clothing design) resembles the geometric art of pre-classical Greece. Furthermore, Sarakatsani still practice traditional folk medicine. They are Greek Orthodox Christians and associate with Church of Greece. They begin their migration up the mountains on Saint George Day in April and return to the low plains on Saint Demetrius in October. Sarakatsanies have lived in countries surrounding Greece (Bulgaria, Albania, Republic of Macedonia). However, now there are only measurable numbers of people in Greece and Bulgaria. For women's outfits there are thirteen parts. Most items are made from hand-wooven wool.
The leggings are also called gabis which are traditionally made in black, white, and red wool. Outer footwear comes in two sections the gabis which keep the legs warm and the Kaltsounia which is for the feet and ankles.
There have been significant decreases in the population of Sarakatsani due to urbanization. Many have willing left; however, others have left because there is not enough open land to support their lifestyle.
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Legging, 1960s, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/8466. Accessed 10/27/21.