Village Clothing – A Few Comments

Most clothing worn by Chereshnicheni before World War 2 was hand made.  This was because of the remoteness of the village, the lack of trade with the outside world, and the poverty of the villagers.  Also, the clothes had to withstand the rigors of life and hard work required of the villagers.  They would most likely be made during the winter months by the women of the household.

The dress pictured below was made in (circa) 1923.  It belonged to Theodota (Boshkova) Pappas (1903-1996).  We think it was made by her future father in law Vasil Popoff, who was a tailor by avocation.  This type of dress was predominately worn from before 1890 to about 1950, and occasionally to 1980.  It was a special occasion dress and not worn for work or household chores.

In the picture, it is worn by Theodota’s daughter, Eleftheria Mitchell in June of 2010.


A. Dress – a dark green woolen outside with cotton lining inside. Velvet on bodice and bottom (three small strips and one large strip)

B.     Shemiya (headdress) is probably gabardine.  It is black with fringe.

C.     Pregach (apron) is a black material (probably wool) with black velvet insert with hand embroidery.  It is finished with black lace.

Because of the quality of the material used, we surmise that this was a relatively well-to-do village family.  The material was probably purchased in Kastoria, Greece, not handmade material.  The bride’s wedding dress (Nevestinska nosiya) usually included a blue wedding dress, not white, with a white tsipa (a large scarf).

A large dowery (prika) was given by the parents of the bride to the newlyweds.  If there were a lot of daughters to one family, more than likely that family would end up much poorer after all the daughters were married off.

In later life after the death of a close family member, the mother and/or wife would wear the black shemiya till she passed away.  This was a custom that continued into the USA if the family immigrated.

(Left click on the pictures below to see a larger image.)

Special occasion dress 2

Special occasion dress