Sep 11, 2011

Macedonian women and Tsolias

Lately I'm started to get more and more interested in vintage postcards and especially the ones showing people and/or national costumes. The first postcard shows two Macedonian women in national costumes. 
Macedonians (Greek: Μακεδόνες, Makedónes) are a regional population group of ethnic Greeks, inhabiting or originating from the region of Macedonia, in northern Greece. They are largely concentrated in the capital city of Thessaloniki, but many have spread across the whole of Greece and in the diaspora.

The second postcard shows a man (Tsolias or Evzonas) dressed in Greek national costume. 
The Evzones, or Evzoni, (Greek: Εύζωνες, Εύζωνοι) is the name of several historical elite light infantry and mountain units of the Greek Army. Today, it refers to the members of the Proedriki Froura (Presidential Guard), an elite ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Άγνωστος Στρατιώτης), the Hellenic Parliament and the Presidential Mansion. The Evzones are also known, colloquially, as Tsoliades (Greek: Τσολιάδες; singular: Τσολιάς - Tsolias).

Though the Presidential Guard is a predominantly ceremonial unit, all Evzones are volunteers drawn from the Hellenic Army's Infantry, Artillery and Armoured Corps. Prospective Evzones are usually identified at the Army Recruit Training Centres during Basic Training; there is a minimum height requirement of 1.86 meters to join, and the soldier must serve a minimum of 6 months with an operational Army unit before beginning Evzone training.
The unit is famous around the world for its unique traditional uniform, which has evolved from the clothes worn by the klephts who fought the Ottoman occupation of Greece. The most visible item of this uniform is the fustanella, a kilt-like garment. Their proven valour and peculiar dress turned them into a popular image for the Greek soldier, especially among foreigners. [wikipedia]

The second postcard was used. In the front it is handwritten "Athens 27.11.04 [...] I met people dressed like this every day. Is it not pretty?". And it is sent to England. It also had this beautiful red  stamp of Hermes.

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