The Victoria G. Karelias Collection of greek traditional costumes was created, initially as a private collection, by the founding member and long-standing president of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women of Kalamata, V. Karelias. The fruit of 50 years of dedicated effort, it was bestowed on the Lyceum, to be henceforth curated by an institution widely recognised for its contribution to the preservation and promotion of Greek tradition. Ever since, as a token of gratitude and based on a unanimous decision of the Administrative Board of the Lyceum, it has born the name of the collector.
The collection comprises a large number of complete outfits, as worn by women and men, from all regions of Greece, a considerable number of gold-embroidered overcoats, excellent pieces of work of the terzides, as well as pieces of jewelry which – much more than being mere decorative accessories – constitute an independent and significant component of the collection in their own right.
The costume exhibit follows the typology firstly introduced by the prominent scholar of Greek costume, Aggeliki Hatzimihali. According to this typology, costumes are classified into three categories; costumes with Segouni, costumes with Kavadi and costumes with the frock dress.
On the ground floor, visitors can find regional costumes including the Segouni, the overcoat worn by the rural and livestock-breeding population of Greek mainland. On the first floor, the world of the nomadic and semi-nomadic population fuses with the societies of traders and craftsmen with costumes including the Kavadi and the Anteri. On the second floor, the Tsoukna frock, a variation of the Byzantine dalmatic frock, encounters its Renaissance-style version of pleated dresses worn in the insular and coastal regions with commercial ties to the West.
The museum is open to the public daily except Mondays. Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Wednesday and Saturday 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm and Sunday 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Information on telephones 27210-86923 and 27210-86927.