This short vest is made of red velvet with gold thread designs sewn on. The coat has a plunging neckline that is accented by the gold thread. It creates a flattering line that would not be revealing because the yelekaki would be worn over a modest cotton dress. On the front side at the very center there are a series of four hooks that are covered over by a flap of red velvet that hold the piece together. Flanking the the hooks are two decorative triangles of gold thread. The bottom hem of the jacket is lined with a thick design of gold thread. This hem continues all the way around the back. At the very center of the back of the vest is traingle pointing upwards with a tear drop in the center and two pointing outwards from the corners. The cuff of the sleeves have two borders of gold design. Both are curling lines but the exterior border is more scalopped where the interior one is more abstract and wavey.
This waist coat, yelekaki, was owned and worn by the donor's grandmother, Despina Baltas. Traditional Greek dress for women includes a simple cotton dress with some variation of a vest or waiscoat (yelekaki) over it.
Despina and her husband George Kremidas lived in the Greek village of Dessila, Greece. Dessila is a tiny village in the area of Messenia on the Peloponnese. Their daughter Angeliki, the third of five children, was the only member of the immediate family to emmigrate to America. While living in New England, she married Nicholas Apostolos and subsequently gave birth to two sons: George and James. The family moved to Michigan and both sons served in the military during World War II. Afterwards both sons earned degrees from Worsham College of Mortuary Scieince in Chicago and opened a mortuary in Muskegon, Michigan together. James married Geraldine Pavlis. In 1960 the two left to visit his family in Greece, however, on the day of their departure George Kremidas (James' grandfather) passed away at the age of 98. The personal artifacts included in this accession were given to the Apostles during this trip.
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Waistcoat, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/9814. Accessed 08/05/21.