Our Cretan costume is from the village of Anogheia, high in the rugged mountains of central Crete. The mens’ costume is made of heavy wool felt to protect against the cold and is embroidered with black cord. They wear white boots to climb the mountains and a silver knife with a bone handle for protection. On their heads they wear the black crocheted “mandili” in mourning for the loss of the capitol of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople (present day Istanbul). The tassels dangling in their eyes are said to represent tears for the people lost in the explosion of the monastery at Arkadi in Crete. When the mandili is lowered it is a sign that they are not to be approached.
The women wear pantaloons as is common to the southern islands of Greece. They wear aprons in the front and back and their black felt or velvet jackets are richly adorned with gold embroidery and they wear a necklace gold coins.