Sunday, July 19, 2009


Peplos: A peplos is another garment made from an entire piece of cloth. Other such garments are Himation (yesterday's post), Chiton (the day before), Dhoti (India), Sarong (Malaysia), and Shuka (Maasai). In order to better understand the cost and importance of cloth in pre-industrial societies and why people might be inclined to search for ways to use entire pieces of cloth, read Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times - a wonderful history of weaving.

A peplos is slightly more complex than the himation or chiton. It is a tube of cloth. The peplos is worn as follows:
  1. The tube is placed over the person, but under the arms. The top of the tube is folded down over the rest of the tube and the person,
  2. The fold is lifted to the shoulders and pinned over both shoulders. Each arm is through the top of the tube between the folded edge and a pin. The neck also is at the top of the tube, but between two pins.
  3. The folded-down part of the tube forms a second layer at the upper part of the person.
He sat alone with a peplos shielding him.
I found Acheron in the hallway outside my room wearing the bland colored peplos he used to visit the plays. As always, it was pulled up over his head to shield him from the others.
Evidently, the top of the peplos can be raised to cover the head.

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