ΨΗΦΙΑΚΟ ΜΟΥΣΕΙΟ ΒΛΑΧΟΚΕΡΑΣΙΑΣ

kyklos

We are born, we are baptized, we go to school, we work, we create, we marry, we reproduce, we celebrate, we get old and we die. This is the cycle of life whose demarcations are diverse, if not diametrically opposite, in various societies, cultures and periods of history. In the present thematic unit, our sojourn starts the cycle with the institution of marriage and closes with the event of death.

The institution of marriage, in the past and current times, occupies the largest part of digital space in the present thematic unit. It includes materials (photos and hyperlinks) from the beginnings of the 20th century up to the beginning of the 21st century.

Of special value and quite informative for the traditional marriage are two hyperlinks. One of them involves three dowry contracts (1790, 1867 and 1924)[1] and the other a reportage of Junior H.S. students on a traditional wedding. This comparative approach of the dowry contracts allows the visitor to observe changes in the institution, in the bride’s wedding dress, in the language and the semiotics of the custom. It is noteworthy that the institution of the dowry was legally abolished in 1983 (Law 1329/83).

Except for the wishes the marriage to grow strong roots and the newlyweds to have a life full of happiness, the newlyweds were and continue to be recipients of wishes to have many descendants. In past times, the latter wish was taken seriously and the overwhelming majority of the parents of the current generation of retirees had a least 4-5 children. At that time, there were no obstetricians and the children were delivered at home by mid-wives who usually lived in the same village. We managed to secure a photograph for one of these midwives, Panagiota (“Bolota”) Christofilou as well as a narrative about her life (See hyperlink); Bolota, as was her popular nickname, has delivered 100s of Vlahokerasiotes (as well as women from neighboring villages) during the period 1920-1940. Our collection includes very few materials on the conventional sacrament of baptism. Exception is the photo of a boy at the moment of immersion in the font – a ceremony re-enacting the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River. We had at our disposal video-clip for both boys and girls, but we refrained from incorporating them in the VDM and posting them on the internet for obvious reasons and because that would require the consent of the parents.

We close the present thematic unit with the funeral of two compatriots – one man and one woman – which were given to us by the immediate relatives of the deceased. We begin from the last in-life residence of the deceased where the women lament the deceased[2], we then follow the funeral procession to the new cemetery of the village – the north side of Agioi Apostoloi from where one has a panoramic view of Agriokerasia, Parnonas, Tegea plains and Tripolis. The cemetery has three sections, and if one counts the graves, he will ascertain that the buried exceed in number the living Vlahokerasiotes. For the especial relationship of the living with the dead compatriots, the visitor can activate the relevant hyperlink and cruise through a narrative by omogenis Theodora Kontogiannis (Contis) as she looks over the cemetery (the dead) and the village (the living) from the Agioi Apostoloi heights.

Nikos P. Petropoulos
VDM Committee Coordinator

Click here or on the image above to browse the flipping book.

 


[1] The oldest dowry contract (1790)  comes to us  from the archives of Constantinos N. Baziotis and involves Vlahokerasiotes. The one from 1867 is from the book of the “Enosis Kerasioton” (“Union of Kerasiotes”), Folklore of Kerasia (Arvaniatokerasia), Arcadias, 1966, p. 183) and concerns a couple from Arvanitokerasia, an adjacent to Vlahokerasia village, while that from 1924 (of Vasilis Stasinos) is handwritten and concerns a couple from Vlahokerasia.

[2] Unfortunately, we were not able to locate printed or audio materials regarding mourning from our own village.   If anyone has or knows where we can find such materials, please inform us.  Under a relevant photo caption in the flipping book, the visitor can find an internet link which focuses on mourning in another Arcadian village.

 

 

 


 

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