Wool female vest covered completely with embroidered thread. Highlights of orange thread at lapel , underarm and lower back. Some applied metallic sequins.
The arm vest is lined by a blue row, then there is a string of green and red string woven together. The inner half is a blue background with wavy white strings running through it. The outter half is spiral circles made from orange string and a little bit of gray string. There are a few gray sequins. Between the white/blue and orange there is a rowof green/blue/red string woven together. The rows form a "L" shape on the vest. The long side is the inner section of the jacket, and the bottom is the horizontial side. Each row has a blue backround with wavy white lines running throughout it. In between each inch section of the blue/white row is a row of red/blue/green string woven together. There is a strip of maroon with alternating green and navy blue spiral circle pattern. Border the maroon strips, orange and dark blue string. On the other side there are two rows of blue and white wavy lines with two strings of blue/red/green woven strings. The next section is horizontal rows that go about halfway up. It is the rows of background blue with white wavy lines throughout the section. There are the blue/green/red strings that are woven together that are spaced about an inch from each other. Close to the middle is a maroon strip of fabric with green string in a sprial circle pattern that is throughout the maroon. Bordering the maroon strip is orange and blue string. Further down is the sprial circle pattern with orange with a little green string within. There are a few gold sequins througout. The patterns are the same for the two halves of the front.
The back of the vest is verticle stripes on the top half and horizontal stripes on the bottom half. In the middle of the upper half of the vest a strip of velvet navy blue fabric. Surrounding the navy blue fabric is is orange ruffle. The pattern is the same on both sides of the blue velvet fabric. Around the orange ruffle is red/blue/green string that is woven together. There is a row of navy blue background with white strings wavly sewed into. The another red/blue/green row, followed by the navy blue/white wavy lines row. Then there is a row of maroon background is green and blue alternating spiral circles with gold triminngs and navy blue outlining the maroon strip. Then a red/green/blue string in between two navy/white rows followed by another green/red/blue string. Surrounding the arm sleeve is spiral circles made by dark orange string. There is a little amount of hunter green string throughout the orange. There are a few sequins throughout the spirals. The section is bordered by red/blue/green ribbon. The arm hole is outlined navy blue. The bottom half of the vest has the pattern in horizontal stripes. There are three sections of the blue/white row with red/blue/green woven string dividing the sections. There is a row of maroon fabric with alternating green and blue threads that for a spiral circle pattern. Bordering the pattern is green, organge, green thread. There are three more rows of blue/white lines with red/blue/green ribbon dividing the blue rows. There is a larger row of a background of black felt with an orange spiral circle pattern, there is little hunter green threats throughout the orange. There a few sequins. The pattern is borded by the red/blue/green woven thread. There are three more rows of the blue/white lines with the red/blue/green woven together. There is another maroon with blue and green threads throughout the maroon. On the bottom of the vest there are three more rows of blue/white with red/green/blue woven threads are inbetween the three rows. The vest is outlined in blue.
The interior of the vest is cream with rows of cream thread stitches. There are also back stitch marks.
The donor lived in Greece from 1965-1982 and wore and owned the Sarakatsani costume.
This style of vest 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.
This vest is called a Tzamandani and it is the outer vest. The inner vest is called a polkaki. The polkaki is worn over the chemise. There are hooks on the front to keep the vest closed and the back is usually undecorated because the tzamandani coveres the back. The tzamandani is longer than the polkaki and remains open in the front. Also, there is a center seam in the back. Traditionally, there are five double pleats from the waist to the bottom.
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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Vest, 1940s, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/8471. Accessed 03/07/21.