The most widely accepted theory for the origin of the name “Sarakatsani” is that it comes from the Turkish word karakaçan (from kara = ‘black’ and kaçan = ‘fugitive’), used by the Ottomans, in reference to those people who dressed in black and fled to the mountains during the Ottoman occupation of Greece. They never accepted the fall of Constantinople. According to another theory, the name derives from the village of Sakaretsi, the supposed homeland of the Sarakatsani. […]
Georgakas (1949) and Kavadias (1965) believe that the Sarakatsani are either descendants of ancient nomads who inhabited the mountain regions of Greece in the pre-classical times, or they are descended from sedentary Greek peasants forced to leave their original settlements around the 14th century who became nomadic shepherds. Angeliki Hatzimihali, a Greek folklorist who spent a lifetime among the Sarakatsani, emphasises the prototypical elements of Greek culture that she found in the pastoral way of life, social organisation and art forms of the Sarakatsani. She also points out the similarity between their decorative art and the geometric art of pre-classical Greece.
Source: Sarakatsani – Wikipedia