Project Description

An impressive traditional women’s costume, a unique dance routine, as well as an rich embroidery tradition are key aspects of Karya, the island’s main mountain village. Silk and velvet dresses, scarves, gold chains and brooches are features of the traditional women’s costume. An unusual village dance during which women balance copper cooking pots on their heads, was conceived during the ‘50s by the dance instructor Nikos Thanos. Both the dance and the traditional costumes play key roles in Karya’s annual reenactment of the old village wedding ceremony, staged every August since 1979. At the local folk museum, fine embroideries are on display to demonstrate Karya’s signature embroidery stitch, a single-handed technique invented by local embroidery legend Maria Stavraka, whose physical disability prompted the idea. An embroidery school operated at this village in the early 20th century.