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Dress - Castellorizo, Floral Brocade, Purple, by 1920 Object Reg. No: SH 961497

Alternative Name(s): Kavodhi or Chryssos Sakkos
Purple floral brocade dress worn by Maria Markos. Maria was a young widow; her husband had been murdered by the Turks (Castellorizo was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire from the end of the Greek War of Independence until 1921), when she met Constantine Markos, who had fled to Castellorizo from Izmir, a Greek city in Turkey. The couple married and in 1922 immigrated to Australia, where they settled in Fitzroy, Victoria, and had four children.

Castellorizo was famous for the traditions of its inhabitants, particularly the beautiful, rich and magnificent women's dress. Different parts of the costume indicated a woman's social standing and life cycle (engaged, married or widowed). Traditionally many Castellorizan men were sea captains, merchants and sailors, and the richness of Castellorizan women's costumes was a statement of the wealth they acquired. This decorative costume was worn from the day of the engagement until the woman's senior years, for both celebrations and daily activities. The costume served as a statement that even if they became old they were rich enough to have another one made.

The main parts of the costume are:
Silk pantaloons (kondovratsi) which are gathered at the waist with a belt (vrakozoni)
Knee-length white chemise (poukamis) this was fastened with buckles (voukles) usually six in number.
Long Sash (zosma), made with three or four silk stripes, quilted with gold or silver thread and worn wound around the waist
Dress (kavadi or chrysos sakkos) worn open at the front
Silk jacket (zepouni)
Velvet coat (gunna) decorated with gold and silver lace on the hems and on the back, and with fur trim for those who could afford it.
Short overdress (kondochi)
Small woollen cap (raxini) encircled by a band (tsaki or kaski)
Silk shawl (krepi) imported from China or Spain, worn on the head
Shoes were shaped like tipped slippers, and were made of velvet or silk. They were laced with gold or silver thread and shorter than the foot
Women also wore many bracelets and rings and would cross their hands in front of their chest in order to show them off.
Open knee-length dress in purple floral brocade, with short sleeves.
Acquisition Information:
Cultural Gifts Donation from Mrs Connie Gregory, 1996
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: women s clothing, traditional costumes, greek communities, greek immigration, greek textiles
Themes this item is part of: Migration Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: regional costume
Place & Date Made: Kastellorizo, Greece, by 1920
User: Maria Markos, Kastellorizo, Greece, circa 1920s
User: Maria Markos, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia, 1922

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