Red wool blanket used to cover back of horse/saddle blanket. Circular designs surrounding central protective cross. Thread fringe on three sides, looped hooks at top center, left and right sides. Additional colored threads attached to fringe.
In the center of the blanket, there is a large diamond made from tan wool. In the diamond is a pattern from brown and red thread. The diamond patch is stiched in with brown thread. The border is alternating red and brown threads creating a connecting wave pattern. The majority of the diamond is a pattern with red thread. It is a square that is created by four triangles outline in brown thread. In the center is a circle with brown thread and a pinwheel made from red thread. Each triangle is outline in with red thread in a wavy pattern. In between each triangle at the bottom is a hook in brown thread outline in red thread.
Coming from a tip of a diamond that is closet to the bottom is are three tight waves lines in cream thread. The middle wave line has a line of black string in the middle. It leads to a large circle, the circle is outlined with the tight wave lines in cream. The circle is created by individual lines that are different colors. The colors going inward are black, red, gold, red, teal, red. Then the cream thread goes in waves. Red, black, black, and cream threads alternate to fill in the crests and troughs. There is another line of red, cream, red, black, red. Another row of a wavy line of cream. Cream, black, and tell alternate to fill in the crests and troughs. Then red, cream, red, and teal lines of thread continue to fill in the circle. The center of the circle is a cream pin-wheel with the background color red. There are two circles that come from the other cream tight connecting off from the diamonds. Both circles are outlined in the tight wavy cream line. Then there is a single line in the following colors: teal, red, gold, red, black, and red. There is a wavy cream line with red, teal, and black alternating that fill in the crests and troughs created by the cream line. The following lines are red, teal, red, cream, red, brown, red, black. A pin wheel made from brown string and a red backround.
In the bottom four corners there are four cut-out triangles of the brown cotton that the center diamond was made out of. On the large side of the triangle there is gold and white threads that create a wavy ribbon. The inside of the triangle is red and cream threads. The triangle is outlined by cream thread, on the two short sides there is another line of red thread and then cream. At the tip of the, there is a red circle. From the inner line there is red thread that creates a wave pattern throughout the triangle. In the center of the long side, the cream line comes up to form a mushroom shape. On top of the mushroom are two loops made from brown thread. There is a large circle that is connected to the long side of the triangle. The circle is outlined in a tight wavy ribbon made from cream thread. The circle is filled by single lines of different color threads: black, red, brown, red, and teal. There is a wavy pattern created by cream threads, one section is filled in with black thread. Then there is red, brown, red, black. There is pin weel created by brown thread with a red background in the center of the circle.
Close to the edges and about a quarter from the short sides is a single circle. The circle is outlined in tight wavy cream thread. The circle is filled-in with single thread yearn in the following colors: cream, red, cream, red. The cream thread forms waves, and red and cream thread fill in the waves. Then red, cream, red, and black fill-in the circle. Cream colored threads from a pin wheel with red background. The circles on the bottom are the same except that three-fours of the color of the thread that comes after the tight wavy line is teal and the other fourth is cream.
At the thirds of the on the short sides of the blanket, are a cross with a circle in the middle made by black thread. Halfway down each line of the cross there is a downward curve line with cream thread. In the middle of cross is a pin-wheel made with tan threads with a red background.
There are three circles that come from the corners of the diamond on the top and bottom. The middle circle the tight wavy line with cream lines. The circle is filled in with the colors teal, red, brown, red, blue, red line. There is a cream wavy line and it navy blue, teal, red filled-in the crests and trough. There are more lines of color filling in the circle: red, brown, red, and gray. The pin wheel with brown string with a red background. There are two circles on the sides. They are outlined of cream tight wavys. And the color lines that fill-in the circles are black, red, brown, red. Then wavy made with cream string, the colors red, gray, and black fill-in in the wavys. The next color lines that fill-in are red, brown and black line, red, and gray. The center is a brown pin-wheel with a red background.
The border of blanket is made of from different color strings. The first sting is red, green, and yellow woven together, then red, black, a thick gold string, black, red, and red, grenn, and yellow woven together. After the border there is about an inch before long red tassels outline the blanket. On random tassels there are different color threads tied to the bottom of the tassels. The colors are gold, cream, navy blue, and green.
Kaplies, woolen textiles with hand embroidery and fringing. The elaborate standardized volute design covers the entire surface, arranged around the central, protective motif of the cross. The kaplia was used as a horse blanket.
The donor lived in Greece from 1965-1982 and wore and owned the Sarakatsani costume.
This style of horse blanket 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.
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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