Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dancing to the Donkey of the Black Rock

The nickname of a singer and carpenter with a famously flat voice, here leading the traditional dancers in the square at Trikeri, a mountain top village at the end of the Pelion Peninsula.

Trickeri is celebrated for its mercantile energy, and sends its fishermen to dive for sponge all over the Levant. It possesses several schooners and tricanderis, which carry on, principally, the cabotage of these parts, but also venture as far as Alexandria and Constantinople. They did not recollect having sent vessels to Soujouk-Kaleh, and therefore it was needless to ask them about the Argo, or to tell them that their ancestors, thirty-five centuries before, had discovered Circassia, in a vessel, the timbers of which had descended from their mountains. In this narrow circuit of hills, enclosing the gulf, a great portion of which, too, is perfectly bare and completely barren, exists a population of 50,000 souls, amongst whom arts so varied flourish, and who, for centuries, have enjoyed freedom and abundance. Men have seemed to spring, in this favoured region, from the fructifying look of the rocks, still bearing the names of Deucalion and of Pyrrha. They have been protected, by their geographical position, from the savage tribes that, for so many centuries, oppressed their neighbours of the plain, and they have been shielded by the Church from the abuses of the Government. This district exhibits what the soil can produce, and what happiness man can attain to when relieved from the intrusion of laws.
Since then it's changed drastically in many ways, but perhaps not in all.

Photos by Aphroula

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'...what happiness man can attain when relieved from the intrusion of the laws.'

A perfectly anarchic description. Thank you Peter.