The Dance of Tsakonia

MUNICIPALITY OF LEONIDION | ANGELIKA JAKEL | ET IN ARCADIA EGO
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The Dance of Tsakonia

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The Dance of Tsakonia

...The Tsakonian dance is executed with the right arm of one dancer hooked tightly in another's crooked elbow. In this way, lateral movement is limited.

The origin of the dance has provoked many interpretations the most prevalent opinions of which suggest that it is based on the dance of the crane or of the Pythia. The first opinion (that of Dora Stratou and her school) supports the theory that the dance represents Theseus’ attempt to find a way out of the Labyrinth. It was executed in Delos and from there it spread to Asia Minor and to other cities in Greece, however it was preserved in south Cynuria. The second opinion supports the claim that the Tsakonian dance originated from the crane dance, from which it broke away in continuance and represents Apollo's victorious fight against the huge serpent, Python at Delphi. In other words it retains the labyrinthine style of the crane, but choreographically represents the movement of the serpent. The sacred dance of Minoan Crete was brought to the east coasts of the Peloponnese and was preserved by the Achaeans of Laconia who took refuge on the inaccessible Parnon range in order to avoid slavery and the ruthlessness of the Dorians. With the domination of the twelve Olympian gods, the inhabitants dedicated the sacred dance to Apollo, who according to archaeological information was the principle god already worshipped in ancient Cynuria from archaic times.

The aerostat of Leonidion

...The Easter aerostat of Leonidion is a paper flying device that is brought out once the priest of the parish says "Christ has risen". Every parish of Leonidion (my town Leonidion consists of five parishes) launch approximately 60 -100 aerostats on the night of the Resurrection of Christ, that is around about 500. At this time of the night, the sky of Leonidion is set alight by lights and whoever does not know what there seeing will think that there is a UFO in the sky. The finest and most fascinating aerostat has to be from my parish. The parish of Saint Catherine. No-one knows when this tradition started. The aerostat is well-known to all the people of Leonidion. For these people, if there was no aerostat Easter would not be the same for them, some part of Easter would be missing if there was no aerostat. ... Slideshow of an aerostat

The archives of Orthokosta (only greek text) ...Στον Aγιο Ανδρέα υπάρχει ένα αρχείο πάρα πολύ σπουδαίο και μάλλον μοναδικό γιατί περιλαμβάνει ίσως τα αρχαιότερα κείμενα που γράφτηκαν την περιοχή μας. Είναι τα αρχεία των Μονών Ορθοκωστάς και Ρεοντινού. Τα κείμενα αυτά αστικού κυρίως χαρακτήρα αλλά και πατριαρχικά, της τουρκικής διοίκησης αλλά και της βενετσιάνικής υπάρχουν και στις τρεις γλώσσες αντίστοιχα, ελληνικά, βενετσιάνικα και τούρκικα....

The story of John Cocoris...The first Greek to move to Tarpon Springs was John Cocoris, a buyer for Lembesis of New York who arrived in 1896. He'd come to America in 1895 from his home in Ltonidion, Kynourias, Greece. By 1905, John and brothers were employed by Cheney, and they had all bid farewell to Spyros Vouteres of New York. He went to Greece, hired expert sponge divers, a diving engine, diving suits, lifelines, etc. Meanwhile, the others had bought a boat, The Pandora, for $180, which they quickly re- named "Hope" (Elpis in Greek)....

The reasons why we must consume olive oil (only greek text) ...Σήμερα άν επισκεφθεί κανείς μια καρδιολογική κλινική θα διαπιστώσει πως είναι γεμάτη από ανθρώπους 40-50 ετών με στεφανιαία νόσο. Αν είχαμε την μηχανή του χρόνου να μας γυρίσει πίσω 30 χρόνια, ίσως να μην βρίσκαμε κανέναν άρρωστο με στεφανιαία νόσο. Εκείνα τα χρόνια θέριζε ο ρευματικός πυρετός και οι κλινικές ήταν γεμάτες από αρρώστους με βαλβιδοπάθειες...

Fishing and fishing in antiquity (only greek text) ...Το υγρό στοιχείο τροφοδοτούσε ανέκαθεν με την ποικιλία και την αφθονία του τους κατοίκους της ηπειρωτικής και νησιωτικής Ελλάδας. Η άμεση γειτνίαση μεγάλου τμήματος της πατρίδας μας προς τη θάλασσα, τα καθαρά και όχι ιδιαίτερα βαθιά νερά και τα πολυάριθμα είδη ψαριών, μαλακίων και οστρακοειδών, που - κατά τους αρχαίους τουλάχιστον χρόνους - υπήρχαν σε πλούσιες ποσότητες, καθιστούν ευνόητη την αγάπη των Ελλήνων για τα θαλασσινά... Παναγιώτη Φάκλαρη αν. καθηγητή Αριστοτελείου Πανεπιστημίου Θεσσαλονίκης. Μέλος ανασκαφικής ομάδας Βεργίνας.

The steam roller of Leonidion ..In Leonidion, there is a very noteworthy steam roller, which fortunately has not yet been ravaged by time or striped bare by souvenir hunters, It was this steam roller which was used in the construction of one of first asphalt paved roads - the historical road from Leonidion to Plaka, This historical machine and 9 other steam rollers were ordered by the Greek government on the 21st, April 1914 from the Aveling & Porter factory in Kent in England, Until now, it is obscure as to what has happened to the other 9: they are probably abandoned somewhere rusting away, Unlike most of Aveling & Porter models which were 10 -16 tons, the Leonidion steam roller is a rare 8 Tons BTD model; According to the English Road Rollers Association files it is their 5th, machine, with the frame number 7512 and the Royalty number 8260, These last two numbers enable us to identify this particular machine,

Immigration history of Kynouria (only greek text) ...Ο Σύνδεσμος των Κυνουριαίων ιδρύθηκε το 1956 μετά από από μια ιδέα που είχαν ο Βασίλης Μπεκύρος από το Λεωνίδιον και ο Παναγιώτης Τουρλούπης από τον Άγιο Ανδρέα. Ο Βασίλης Μπεκύρος με τον Παναγιώτη Τουρλούπη που έπαιζε μπουζούκι έχοντας σφοδρή την επιθυμία για επικοινωνία με τους άλλους συμπατριώτες ίδρυσαν την Ένωση Κυνουριαίων για να μπορούν να μαζεύονται και να λένε τον πόνο τους.

History of Kynouria by Panagiotis Faklaris, prof. of Thessaloniki University
It is not known exactly when the first inhabitants of Cynuria appeared, but certainly pre-Greek tribes must have been living there from the Neolithic period. There are indications of this in place names like Anthene, Gonasos, Misonasos, Koilasos and Pregasos. Archaeological finds of stone tools of palaeolithic type indicate that men probably lived on Parnon in the Late Palaeolithic period. Mythological tradition has it that the Danaans appeared in the region of Thyreatis towards the end of the Early Helladic period, in about 2100 BC. Plutarch relates how Danaus landed at Pyramia in Thyreatis and subsequently made his way to Argos. The name of the river Tanos may be an indication that the Danaans had been present in the area. The Cynurians, who were probably an Ionian people, settled in the region during the Middle Helladic period, from 1900 BC onwards; this seems likely from the cult evidence (worship of Achilles and Ino) and the presence of Minyans in the southern part of Cynuria.

Philip Bekyros
Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Last revision: 27 Μαρτίου, 2007 .
* The phrase "A happy town in Peloponnisos" belongs to Mr. Tasos Gritsopoulos