Zeybek costume


Zeybeks were the Robin Hoods of western Turkey.  From the 1600’s to the early 20th century, they lurked in the highlands, swooping down to correct injustices, rob the rich, help the poor, etc., and occasionally to help the army repel invaders.  Their costume reflected their lifestyle – self-sufficient. They roamed in bands with an elected chief, called Efe.


Efe wear a reddish helmet which is made of broadcloth and this helmet called ‘’Kabalak’’. Efe tie ‘’Posu’’ that the young girls embroidered around their helmets. The blue shalwar (baggy trousers) that Efe wear are called ‘’Çasir Menevrek‘’. These shalwars’ length extends to the knee-caps and they are open in both winter and summer. The flank side of these ‘’Çasir Menevreks’’ are black-silk caftan (robe). They wear the tassels that is called ‘’Koza’’ and they are long. This tassed must be 100 drachma (400th part of an okka). If the jackets that the Efe wear have sleeves, this type is called ‘’Cepken’’ and if not, then it is called ‘’Çamadan’’. These are made of blue or dark-blue broad-cloth and they are embroidered with the black-silk caftan with various motifs and Zeybeks wear silver-thread cepkens. The mintan with thin round disks and without color is called ‘’Alakye’’, is worn to the waist and leather weapon case which is tied to it. In this weapon case ‘’Kulakli Yatagan Knife’’ takes place.


Besides a handkerchief a silver tobacco case, an amber cigarette holder and two okkas of clean wool-shorn is used in case of an injury and from flank side of the weapon-case, an iron stick that is called ‘’mese’’ leans over. He uses his knife to sharpen this Pala or to defend himself in case of a confrontation against agony. Two Efe never shoot each other, because this signifies ‘’cowardness’’.


Efe wear ‘’Pazubent’’ that is covered with silver to their arms, an ‘’enam’’ and a silver ‘’hamay’’ lean over on their breasts. Pazubent is worn from the childhood to the end of life. Efe’s weapons are silver reposs’e work that is embroidered with a silver reposs’e. They wear cross-cartridges called ‘’Karlilik’’on their breasts. The embroidered boots that Efe wear are called ‘’Kayalik’’ only Efe wear them. Zeybeks and infants wear ‘’Çariksi’’ (slippers). Both in winter and summer the woll socks are worn and knee-pad that is called ‘’Kepmen’’ are worn on it. The daggers which are put ‘’Kepmen’’ are used in dances. Efe and Zeybek are distinguished from each other with the difference in their mintans; Efe’s mintan’s are not buttoned up, their breasts are seen.

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