Men’s Costumes

dance 3The men’s costumes for the group are the same as the dress worn by freedom fighters in the Greek War of Independence in 1821 and the Macedonian Struggle for freedom in 1904. Elements of these both were also common dress for men during their respective time periods.  Both are still worn as standard attire by the Evzones, the Greek Presidential Guard, today.

The standard costume for dancers in the Spirit of Macedonia is the blue Macedonian Evzone costume. The costume was worn by soldiers and guerrilla fighters during the Macedonian Struggle (1904-1908), where Greeks tried to free Macedonia from Ottoman and Bulgarian rule.  It is also known as the Pavlos Melas costume to honor its most famous wearer; a Greek army officer who’s heroic actions during the beginning of the Macedonian Struggle became a propelling force that lead to the freedom of Macedonia.

The costume is made of blue dyed wool, with ornate embellishments on the chest and sleeves. The pleated kilt is reminiscent of those worn as common dress for men through the early 19th century. The Greek kilt has its roots in the ancient dress of warriors. Thick white stockings are worn under the kilt. These stockings are adorned with tassels worn right below the knee. Additionally, the shoes of the costume, called tsarouhia, have large decorative pompoms at the toe.

The alternative costume for the men in the Spirit of Macedonia is the classic Evzone costume. It is a costume reminiscent of the dress of the klephts, the anti-Ottoman mountain guerrillas who resisted the occupation of their homeland since the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The costume has similarities to the blue Pavlos Melas costume, however it consists of a white shirt with large sleeves, a woolen vest, and a red hat with a tassel, rather than a simple blue hat. Additionally, the kilt of the Evzone costume is made of white cotton and traditionally has 400 pleats in it to represent mourning for the 400 years of Ottoman occupation.

Occasionally a variation of the costumes will be worn; the Boules costume from the Macedonian city of Naoussa. The kilt of this costume is similar to the Evzone costume. However faces are covered with a white painted mask and chests are covered in silver coins. This costume is only worn as during Carnival celebrations before Lent.