Metsovo 1900
Gradually, Metsovo merchants started to replace their local clothing with “Frankish” outfits. Those who stayed in Metsovo still wore the traditional dress with some modifications. After the liberation of Metsovo in 1912, most abandoned the fez and tsarouhi shoes and around that time, women’s clothes were increasingly made using western fabrics based on new patterns.
Metsovo 1900
Schools operated in Metsovo from the early 18th century. The first secondary school in Metsovo was officially founded in 1759 when the Ottomans authorised the restoration of the church of Aghia Paraskevi—its cells would serve as the school’s classrooms until 1817. This first school employed a teacher and two assistant teachers and was financed by inhabitants of Metsovo living abroad and funds from the Monastery of Aghios Nikolaos.The inhabitants of Metsovo who studied in European universities formed a group of intellectuals, teachers and priests who played an active role in Greece’s intellectual life.
Metsovo 1900
Gradually, Metsovo merchants started to replace their local clothing with “Frankish” outfits. Those who stayed in Metsovo still wore the traditional dress with some modifications. After the liberation of Metsovo in 1912, most abandoned the fez and tsarouhi shoes and around that time, women’s clothes were increasingly made using western fabrics based on new patterns.
Metsovo 1900
Motivated by the growth in commerce, many men left Metsovo to settle permanently in cities in Europe, the Ottoman Empire or Russia. However, for most of them, Metsovo remained the centre of their financial activities and their family life. Much of their annual income was pumped back into the local economy and hundreds of inhabitants of Metsovo made donations of varying sizes towards public works. Some of them, such as Georgios Averoff, Michael Tossizza and Nikolaos Stournaras, became well-known benefactors at a national level.
Metsovo 1900
Motivated by the growth in commerce, many men left Metsovo to settle permanently in cities in Europe, the Ottoman Empire or Russia. However, for most of them, Metsovo remained the centre of their financial activities and their family life. Much of their annual income was pumped back into the local economy and hundreds of inhabitants of Metsovo made donations of varying sizes towards public works. Some of them, such as Georgios Averoff, Michael Tossizza and Nikolaos Stournaras, became well-known benefactors at a national level.
Metsovo 1900
The area surrounding Metsovo is mountainous, but the village itself is close to the Politses (Politsouare) plateau, which is still the main pasture used by livestock farmers in the area. The name Politses is possibly derived from the Latin word Policia and may be related to a Roman military guard that settled in the area.Today, much of the plateau is covered by water after the Public Power Corporation built a hydroelectric dam there in 1987. The artificial lake that was created collects the waters of the Aoos River springs as well as the water from the Politses plateau..
Metsovo 1900
The shepherd’s cape, called a “tampare”, is made of goat wool and is thick enough to be waterproof. Despite being only knee-length, it hangs around the body to stop the rain from reaching the legs. Sleeves are sewn on to the cape and have wide armholes. There is also a cone-shaped hood.
Metsovo 1900
Under Ottoman rule, Metsovo became a city of wool and commerce. The wool trade brought wealth to the village as wool was the leading export from the western Ottoman Empire until the early 19th century.Wool processing was an exclusively “female” activity. The women’s first task upon the arrival of raw wool to the village was to clean it. After washing the wool and drying it in the sun, they sorted it by length and brushed it with a special tool called “lanari”. The wool was then spun onto spindles and rolled into large balls. The yarn that would eventually be used to weave multi-coloured carpets and bedding was dyed and, using a spinning wheel, rolled onto spools and taken to the loom.
Metsovo 1900
A woman when working about her house usually goes barefoot, for stockings and shoes will be put on only for high days and holidays […] in fact on journeys when the families are moving in the spring the women will frequently take off their shoes and walk along barefoot, since they find this more comfortable.“The nomads of the Balkans: an account of life and customs among the Vlachs of Northern Epirus”, Alan J. B. Wace – Maurice S. Thompson, Methuen, London, 1914.
Metsovo 1900
A woman when working about her house usually goes barefoot, for stockings and shoes will be put on only for high days and holidays […] in fact on journeys when the families are moving in the spring the women will frequently take off their shoes and walk along barefoot, since they find this more comfortable.“The nomads of the Balkans: an account of life and customs among the Vlachs of Northern Epirus”, Alan J. B. Wace – Maurice S. Thompson, Methuen, London, 1914.
Metsovo 1900
Before going to bed, men and women closed all the windows and doors and covered themselves with heavy woollen bedding and blankets. Vlachs did not have different clothes for summer and winter; they wore the same clothes day and night and did not wash or change clothes on a daily basis
Metsovo 1900
Women’s headscarves were mostly made in dark colours. The white headscarf (fakioli) was worn for special occasions such as festivals and celebrations, including the welcoming of livestock farmers and their animals at the start of summer. The headscarf was not tied at the back of the head, but the two ends were crossed behind the head and brought forward.
Metsovo 1900
According to the Ottoman census of 1454-55, the production of cereal was the second most important enterprise after animal husbandry, at the time. The census also makes reference to beekeeping, sericulture, arboriculture and viticulture, all of which indicate the presence of a settled population.Over the next two to three centuries, the population in Metsovo rose steadily, so much so that during his visit to Metsovo in 1805, British traveller William Leake witnessed a severe food shortage caused by the increase in population: “The fields of Metsovo produce wheat, barley and rye, but wheat only lasts for a month or two and barley is even scantier due to demand by travellers.”
Metsovo 1900
During the years of Ottoman rule in the Balkans, religion was an important part of people’s identity and everyday life. Social events surrounding birth, marriage and death as well as eating habits, mentalities and behaviours were all inextricably linked to religion and explain why churches in Metsovo played such a central role.The Ottoman state allowed Christians and Jews to restore their churches and synagogues but forbade them from building new ones. Any restoration required a permit from the Ottoman authorities, issued both from the local civil judge (kadi) and from the central government in Istanbul.In practice however, the Ottoman state proved to be quite pragmatic and flexible and often allowed the construction of new churches and synagogues, despite the official ban.
Metsovo 1900
Muleteers were paid to carry goods and people across the Ottoman Empire. Across most of the Balkans, the only way to travel long distances over land was using mules. Metsovo’s muleteers were among the most important carriers in Ottoman territory.At the beginning of the 19th century, French traveller Pouqueville points to the residents of Metsovo and of Zagori as the most active muleteers in the European market of the Ottoman Empire. Each muleteer owned between three and ten animals, including one horse. The horse, which bore slightly less weight than the mules, carried the muleteer and his personal items which would have included his cape made of goat wool, a leather bag containing a hammer, horseshoes and nails and a pair of sacks. One of the sacks was filled with barley for the mules and the other one contained bread, roasted meat, cheese and, most importantly, a wooden flask full of wine.
Metsovo 1900
Until the early 20th century, tradition in Metosovo forbade girls from walking outside unless accompanied by their parents, a brother, a first cousin or an elderly relative. The only exception was when they went to the fountain to collect water or to the river to wash clothes.
Metsovo 1900
Until the early 20th century, tradition in Metosovo forbade girls from walking outside unless accompanied by their parents, a brother, a first cousin or an elderly relative. The only exception was when they went to the fountain to collect water or to the river to wash clothes.