Objects in Motion

What objects did the refugees who came to Greece after August 1922 bring with them?

Refugee women from Asia Minor arriving in Piraeus on a boat / Petros Poulidis Collection, ERT Photographic Archive

An oud from Prokopi, Cappadocia

Vasilis Kaptanoglou was born in Prokopi, Cappadocia, in 1907. At the beginning of 1922, he arrived in Piraeus with his mother and stayed in a makeshift shack in Tampouria with his brother’s family, who had arrived a few months earlier. Throughout his life, he never stopped playing the oud, the same one he had brought with him from Prokopi.


The everyday outfit of Sinasos women

In October 1924, the women of Sinasos brought their traditional outfits with them to Greece, as they considered them highly valuable both from a material and a sentimental standpoint. Some women even wore them during their first years in Greece before they were ‘hidden’ in closets for years to eventually be donated, usually by descendants, to the ‘Nea Sinasos’ Association Museum, where they are still kept to this day.


The formal outfit of Sinasos women

The women of Sinasos did not dance in public spaces, but only during private feasts in their homes and always accompanied by their fathers or husbands. During these feasts or other formal functions and celebrations, they would wear their ‘special’ traditional outfit, their version of formal wear.


Handmade ‘archaletsi’ (shoulder cover)

The young women of Sinasos went to the water pumps to fill their clay pots with water for everyday household use. To protect the shoulders of their painstakingly constructed outfits from wear, they placed an ‘archaletsi’ over their right shoulder, a handmade cloth cover which they had usually made themselves.