Athens, June 2018

Athens, June 2018

Greek Folklore and Tradition

Metsovo's (a region in Epirus/Western Greece) 

Craftsmen and women keep alive the traditions of woodcarving and weaving, producing amazing rugs & carpets, the so-called "Metsovitika".
Popular traditional Cretan (from the island of Crete) art is continued today in weaving, crocheting, carpet making, towels, lace work etc. showing the feel for beauty and art the people of the county have. Village women and local co-operatives make embroideries from silk or wool. Peope from Crete also have their own traditions, in music, and dancing.

Embroideries (Tsevredes, τσεβρέδες in Greek) were made by old women in Greece few generations ago, as a dowry given to girls in order for them to get married. Could be found in the form of pillows, framed embroideries, curtains, sheets, tablecloths etc.

Embroidered products - coloured, white embroidery and lace, gold embroidery - were meant for clothing, the home and the church.
The embroidery is made with threads of silk, cotton and wool, or silver and gold threads, and depending on the technique, was known as "grafta", "metrita", "terzidika" or "sirmakesika". Embroideries varied, from cotton/towel fabrics with cotton/gold and silver threads.
Personal statement: Not available nowadays, cause not many women can take the would take up to 15-30 days to do an embroidery.

Embroidery is the most impressive branch of folk art, and is of significance for both art and folklore. Embroideries from all parts of Greece, especially Macedonia, attest to influences from East and West, and also to distinctively Greek characteristics, which are clear in the variety of the decorative motifs. Embroideries are classified according to their use and their technique, into white, coloured and gold embroideries.  

Coloured embroideries are intended to adorn houses, or to form part of both male and, mainly, female costume. They are 'metrita' and 'grapta', with local variations in both the motifs and colours used. The material used is normally silk thread, wool or cotton thread being used more rarely.

In the older times, in reference to marriage, in some parts of Greece, the bride had to have a dowry made by her mother, grandmothers and aunts, consisting of sheets, towels and hand made embroideries, and the father of the bride offers a furnished home to his daughter and son-in-law as a wedding gift.

Personal statement: today, in Athens and other big cities, the bride doesn’t have a dowry anymore.

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