Karpathos is the second largest of the greek Dodecanese islands, in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Olympos is a mountainous and secluded village in Karpathos island, where villagers keep the local dialect and traditional customs. On August 15th, the official celebration of the Assumption of Virgin Mary gives the opportunity to Olympians, who have immigrated to USA, to gather with their families. Early in the morning, in typical local houses with hand-woven textiles and handmade dishes hanging from the walls, girls are getting dressed in traditional costumes. They wear golden jewelers and they also hang necklaces with golden coins on their necks, as a sign of family’s wealth. Usually, women bring to the church bread in big flowered baskets, as an offer to Virgin Mary. After the church service, a meal is served to all comers in the church’s hall of Megaron. In the evening, men with musical instruments such as lyra and laouto, are sitting around a table at the central square called “Plati”. They start playing table songs, whose progression is really slow. The youngest men of the village start dancing around musicians and late at night women join them. When the tsampouna player arrives, all musicians change seats and move with their chairs on top of the table, where they sit, playing songs improvised on the spot called “mantinades”. The dancing keeps up until morning.
Biennale of Photography Bassano Fotografia
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