Greek Traditional Costume on Stamps

We continue our series of articles devoted to the traditional costume. Next stop – Greece. Greek traditional costume is pretty well-known worldwide. However, its local variations are not just as well known. With a lot of local, Balkan influences, from Bulgarian to Turkish, and from Albanian to Serbian, the monolithic traditional “Amalia dress” (called so because it was “designed” by Amalia, consort of King Otto of Greece in the 19th century) gets lots of local variables.

In general, the Greek costume the way we know it today, has a romantic tinge – needless to say, because it was devised in the 19th century, when the need of local identity markers was quite high throughout the region. On the one hand, the wish to have something local added sartorial elements to the traditional body of dresses, fustanellas, fezes, kalpakis (toques) or stivania (boots). On the other hand, the need to diversify the traditional costume regionally meant that different resources were researched in order to pick up and revive elements that had long been out of use. Nowadays, these clichés of traditional costume persist – however, their use is of course limited to special events. The only daily appearance of traditional costume is the Presidential Guard in Athens – quite showy, I would say.

Below you will find a series of traditional Greek costume issued between 1972-1974, including 40 instances of traditional costume.


Pictured above, left to right: Crete, Pindos, Mesolongos, Attica, Nisyros, Megara, Trikeri.


Pictured above, left to right: Macedonia, Peloponese, Central Greece, Livanates, Skyros, Spetses, Almyros.


Pictured above, left to right: Alexandria, Salamis, Epirus, Lefkada, Skyros, Corinth, Corfu.


Pictured above, left to right: Epirus, Thessaloniki, Episkopi, Thrace, Megara, Salamis, Aidipsos.


Pictured above, left to right: Kymi, Greek Mainland, Desfina, Epirus, Naousa, Chasia, Thasos.


Pictured above, left to right: Skopelos, Gramos, Pelion, Lefkimmi, Tanagra.


Stamps featured in post: 40; Period: contemporary (1972-1974); Pricing: low; Availability: quite available.

Michel catalogue no’s (price for mint in € in brackets): 1972: MiNr: 1095-1102 (4€); 1973: 1130-1146 (11€); 1974: 1180-1194 (4.5€).

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