History

The Morias of Freedom

THE MORIAS OF FREEDOM

Although Greeks cried “Freedom or Death” at the time of the Revolution, each region had its own distinguished customs and of course, different attire.

This diverse range is displayed in “The Morias of Freedom” exhibit, presenting local clothing from the Peloponnese and Saronic Gulf during the Revolution era. The exhibit is showcased  in five Peloponnesian cities and was created by the George and Victoria Karelia Foundation in collaboration with the Lyceum of Greek Women of Kalamata and the Collection of Greek Costumes “Victoria Karelia”.

The exhibit revolves around six historical events that marked Kalamata, Tripoli, Areopoli, Pilos, Navarino and Nafplio, all of which are described in six texts. It follows the historical course of the Revolution in the Peloponnese and displays Greek traditional costumes that tell the story in their own unique way and give visitors the chance to connect with the lives of the Greek fighters of 1821.

  • Exhibition in Kalamata
    Exhibition in Kalamata
    • Exhibition in Kalamata

      Exhibition in Kalamata

      Kalamata, the first city to be liberated, on March 23, 1821. The failed Orlov uprising of 1770, in which the prefect of Kalamata, Panagiotis Benakis, contributed with a militia corps consisting of 400 Mani men. The costume with the precious silk “kavadi” garnment and the silk belt on display here show the wealth of the local leaders, and are a sample of the old urban attire of Kalamata, for which we draw important information from the dowry agreement of Panagiotis Benakis’ daughter, Petzechroula.

  • Exhibition in Nafplio
    Exhibition in Nafplio
    • Exhibition in Nafplio

      Exhibition in Nafplio

      The historical course covered by the exhibition is completed in Nafplio, the first capital of the free Greek state, where the first king of the Greeks, Otto, landed on January 25, 1833. When he, at the request of his father, Ludwig I of Bavaria, decided to dress like the Greeks, he commissioned the creation of his costume to famous Nafplio tailor Stavros Kremmidas. Otto wore the blue costume with a “foustanella” sewn by Stavros Kremmidas for the first time on January 25, 1836. He has never been seen without it since. When, in 1837, Queen Amalia arrived in Greece, wanting to replicate the attire of her subjects, she created a romantic court dress, like the one displayed here, which was to become the national civil dress, known as “Amalia” dress. The costume consists of a gold-embroidered silk shirt, a long silk skirt in Biedermeier style, the “kontogouni”, a velvet gold-embroidered vest, and a red fez with the silk tassel. Queen Amalia’s dress was sewn, like Otto’s costume, by Stavros Kremmidas.

  • Exhibition in Tripoli
    Exhibition in Tripoli
    • Exhibition in Tripoli

      Exhibition in Tripoli

      Theodoros Kolokotronis had set up his headquarters in the tower of Augustus in Vervena, a village on the outskirts of Tegea. The Greeks successfully repulsed a Turkish attack there on May 18, 1821. The battle of Vervena and Doliana frustrated the disbandment of the Greek camp and boosted the morale of the revolutionaries, paving the way for the fall of Tripoli on September 23, 1821. The key element of Tegea’s women’s costume on display here, is the dress with the embroidered hem made of multicolored silk finished with red felt. The costume is completed with a velvet gold embroidered vest and a silk apron, with a silk headdress.

  • Exhibition in PylosExhibition in Pylos
    Exhibition in PylosExhibition in Pylos
    • Exhibition in Pylos

      Exhibition in Pylos

      In the revolutionary struggle at sea, the Psarians, the Spetsiotes and the shipowners of Hydra dominated. Among the latter was Anastasios Tsamados who died heroically on April 26, 1825 during the Fall of Sfaktiria in the bay of Pylos. The traditional dress of Hydra, which is exhibited here in honor of island, is characterised by multi-layered sleeveless green silk dress with the velvet hem. A silk neckline covers the chest, along with a fitted silk jacket, while a triangular embroidered silk scarf is worn on the head. A similar composition of the costume of Hydra is presented by the costume of the nearby Ermionida, which is exhibited in Costa Navarino.

  • Exhibition in Costa Navarino
    Exhibition in Costa Navarino
    • Exhibition in Costa Navarino

      Exhibition in Costa Navarino

      In the summer of 1827, Ibrahim, unable to consolidate his position in the Peloponnese, began preparing for a landing in Hydra, or “Little England” as he called it due to its strong naval power and war experience. Fortunately, he was beaten by the allied naval forces, who destroyed the Ottoman-Egyptian fleet at the Battle of Navarino. The new costume of Hydra, which is exhibited here, is influenced by the costume of the type “Amalia”, retaining the triangular all-embroidered silk scarf, is reminiscent of the older traditional clothing of the island.