History & Culture

Playmogreek, a Unique Version of Playmobil Figurines

by GreeksConnect Team

What is PlaymoGreek?

“Playmogreek” the recent creation of Petros Kaminiotis, a 21-year-old Greek with plenty of imagination and patience, are little Playmobil figurines dressed up in traditional Greek costumes from all over the country. Each handmade toy takes him at least five days to make, as Petros instead of using any machinery he uses materials such as paper, napkins, coloured pencils, markers and glue.

Crafted with incredible detail and love, there are miniatures of “Karagounes”, “Vlaches”, “Sarakatsanes” and islanders wearing their traditional colourful costumes. Kaminiotis also created a doll called “Queen Amalia”, which features a long “silk” gown inspired by the first queen of the modern Greek State, wife of the Bavarian King Othon. The historically-accurate dolls charm and delight people of all ages.

Who is Petros Kaminiotis?

Petros Kaminiotis is studying Marketing and Communication at the Athens University of Economics and Business. The idea of making the figurines started at a very young age and the trigger was the traditional Greek dance classes he was participating in. It was back then that he decided to create figures with the ornate costumes of the dancers inspired by the traditional Greek costumes of the 19th century.

The Greek Traditional Costumes

Worn by fighters in the 1821 War of Independence, the traditional costume for men on mainland Greece features a kiltlike garment known as a “foustanella”. Today the uniform for the Evzones, the presidential guard, includes a white “foustanella” that has 400 pleats, symbolizing the 400 years Greece was ruled by the Ottomans. That's paired with a wide-sleeved white shirt and topped off with an embroidered woollen vest. Long, white socks, a sash and pointed shoes called “tsarouhia”, topped with their recognisable large pompons which complete the outfit.

On the islands, the men's traditional costume starts with a white undergarment and is layered with baggy pants, known as “vraka”, a white shirt, a sleeveless coat, a sash, a jacket and a tasselled cap.

Traditional women's clothing in Greece also varies from region to region, but these outfits also contain similar elements. Most traditional costumes for women have a simple cotton dress as a base, with a sleeveless wool vest over it. To this, women may add aprons, sashes and, perhaps most importantly, large head scarves.

One example of a traditional outfit for women is the “karagouna”. This traditional wedding dress from Central Greece is very colourful and can be quite heavy. Like some other traditional Greek costumes, it includes many layers, starting with a black-fringed white underdress. Over that, women wear a few different coats, starting with an embroidered wool coat, followed by a long white sleeveless coat and then another embroidered waistcoat. This is all topped by a red apron. A woman wearing a “karagouna” will also do a head kerchief and chains of gold coins across her forehead and bosom to signify wealth.