Left: 1931, SPONGE DIVING
Kastellorizo’s economic zenith in the mid-19th century was, in large part, attributable to Ottoman liberality, which permitted minimal tax obligations and financial self-regulation. One activity which was of particular attraction during this period was sponge diving, mainly off the Syrian coast, an industry that experienced a limited revival on the island in the early 1930s, when this photograph was taken.
Right: 1935, THE BRIDE
This photograph of young bride Evangelia Palaiou (née Koutsoukou) is revealing of the ornate and composite nature of Kastellorizo’s bridal costume. Over a long cotton shirt held together by five elaborate chased silver or gold pinned boúkles (brooches), a silk kavadi (kaftan) was layered over a baggy trouser, bound low across the hips with a long silk belt, or zosma. Over these was worn a richly embroidered and fur-lined velvet coat of either short or extended length. The outfit was completed by a large silk mandili (headscarf) to cover a popazi (headpiece), a fringed shawl, and gold embroidered kountoures (slippers).