Male Costume7060_107141952300

The Traditional Cretan costume is fashioned from blue felt by a special tailor, the so called levendoraftis. This distinctive feature of the costume is the vraka, a kind of wide baggy trousers. The older type of vraka had a longer sella which is the part that hangs from the rear reaching down almost to the ankles.

The costume includes a black poukamiso, a sleeveless waistcoat called the yileko and a sleeveless jacket called the mindani. The Zonari a sash about eight metres long is wrapped around the waist and a silver knife, the basalis is tucked through it. The ornamental watch – chain worn around the neck, is an indispensable accessory. The boots known as stivania are either white or black. A black kerchief of special knit edged with a fringe called the sariki is tied around the head. A cape of blue felt with an inner red lining featuring embroidery, the kapoto, flung freely over one or both shoulders completes the costume.

Female Costume

The Sartza is a long finely draped red half – skirt worn in the region of Rethymnon and has given its name to the costumes of the prefecture. It is worn at the back over the white cotton bloomers poukamissa and chemise. The cotton apron podia is wove in the loom with ornamental designs. The costume includes a short dark coloured jacket made of black felt or velvet called the kondochi. The mandila a gossamer fine dark red kerchief decorated with a yellow cotton fringe, is tied around the head. A red sash called the zonari is worn around the waist and a knife with silver sheath, the basaliki or argyrobounelaki is tucked under the belt, indicating that the wearer is betrothed or married. The ornamental gold coin accessories worn around the neck and across the chest area are called the flouria.