Sample of a Foundi, Attica, Greece

Sample of a Greek 'Foundi', 1925-1950. Sample of a Greek 'Foundi', 1925-1950. © The Trustees of the British Museum, acc. no. 2007,8012.1.

The British Museum in London houses an embroidered but unfinished border for a sleeveless, ankle-length woman's dress (foundi) from Attica, Greece. It dates to the period 1925-1950 and is made of cotton with silk thread embroidery. The grey markings for the embroidery are still visible. The motif is traditional to the region, and called a pomegranate, an upside-down omega or a vase with flowers.

The foundi dress was characteristic for the Arvanites, who settled in Greece in the late medieval period, coming from the north, and originally speaking an Albanian language. Until the nineteenth century they constituted the dominant ethnic group in some parts of Attica. Arvanite women also used to wear a heavily embroidered chemise. Arvanite men were known for wearing a fustanella, a pleated skirt or kilt, a shortened version of which is still worn by ceremonial military units in Greece, the euzones. Before World War II, it was also worn by the royal guard in Albania.

For a complete foundi, housed in the British Museum (129 x 108 cm; acc. no. Eu1970,02.4), click here (retrieved 15 January 2017).

British Museum online catalogue (retrieved 15 January 2017).


Last modified on Saturday, 04 March 2017 14:16