Sakkos and Sphendone

Greek women covered their heads in a variety of ways starting in 500 B.C.E. Evidence of their headwear has been found on sculptures and in writings from the period. A type of cap called a sakkos was worn by many. The sakkos could be a soft woven cap with a tassel hanging from the center or a piece of material wrapped around the head. In either case the sakkos completely covered the hair, which was tied into a bun, except for the bangs or curls by the ears. Sometimes women wore a stephane, a metal upturned headband much like a tiara, as a decorative brim for their sakkos. A smaller sakkos, called a sphendone, was a scarf wound around the head that covered the lower portion of the bun in back but exposed the bun's top. The sakkos and sphendone fell out of fashion starting in about 330 B.C.E. At this time women continued to wear their hair tied up but no longer covered it with scarves or hats.


Symons, David J. Costume of Ancient Greece. New York: Chelsea House, 1987.

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