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Guard of honour at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (2006).

Fustanella (Greek: φουστανέλλα; Albanian: fustanellë/fustanella) is a pleated, or folded, skirt like a Scottish kilt. It is worn by men from different countries in Southeast Europe.

History[change | change source]

Statue in the Vari Cave showing the Greek stonecutter Archedemus wearing a fustanella-like garment (5th century BC).
Byzantine pottery fragments from Corinth showing Greek warriors wearing the fustanella (12th century AD).[1]

The fustanella originates from ancient Greek clothing like the chiton (or tunic) and the chitonium (or short military tunic).[2] An ancient Greek statue in Attica shows a stonecutter named Archedemus wearing a folded skirt like the fustanella.[3] The ancient Roman toga may have also impacted the development of the fustanella.[4]

In the Byzantine Empire, the fustanella was worn and called the podea (Greek: ποδέα).[5][6] It was commonly used in Greek lands as early as the 12th century AD.[1] In Byzantine art and music, the wearer of the podea was either a hero or a Greek warrior defending the empire's borders.[6][7] The fustanella was part of a military outfit consisting of bows, swords, battle-axes and armor (corselet or chain mail).[1][4] In the Ottoman Empire, the fustanella was worn by Greek guerillas like the klephts and the armatoloi.[8] In Albania, the fustanella is first mentioned in 1335 in a list of items taken from a sailor at the port of the Drin River.[9]

The Albanian fustanella is based on the Greek fustanella.[10] But the difference is in the number of pleats. The "Bridegroom's coat" is a Greek fustanella with two-hundred pleats that a bride would buy as a wedding gift for her groom.[11] The Albanian fustanella has around sixty pleats or usually a moderate amount of folds.[12]

Gallery[change | change source]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Citations[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Morgan 1942, pp. 132–133.
  2. Smithsonian Institution & Mouseio Benakē 1959, p. 8; Fox 1977, p. 56.
  3. Weller 1903, pp. 271–273.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Notopoulos 1964, p. 114.
  5. Notopoulos 1964, pp. 110, 122.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kazhdan 1991, "Akritic Imagery", p. 47.
  7. Morgan 1942, pp. 133, 317–318, 333; Notopoulos 1964, pp. 110, 113.
  8. Ethniko Historiko Mouseio (Greece), Maria Lada-Minōtou, I. K. Mazarakēs Ainian, Diana Gangadē, and Historikē kai Ethnologikē Hetaireia tēs Hellados 1993, p. xxx; Notopoulos 1964, pp. 113–115; Smithsonian Institution & Mouseio Benakē 1959, p. 8.
  9. Gjergji 2004, p. 16.
  10. Rupert 1842, pp. 356–357.
  11. Smithsonian Institution & Mouseio Benakē 1959, p. 31; Fox 1977, p. 56.
  12. Konitza 1957, pp. 85–86.
  13. Elsie, Robert. "Ottoman Costumes 1873". albanianphotography.net.

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