Lemnos - Information
The social and economic infrastructure of Lemnos was based, from the 19th to the mid-20th century, on the autonomous domestic agricultural production of each household: representative of this production network, in socio-economic terms, were farmers – known as “kechagiades” – who owned or (more commonly) rented land from wealthy landowners, where their livestock grazed or where they cultivated the cereals and pulses they needed to sustain their families. Up to the early 20th century, most major landlords were Muslim landowners or Christians who managed the monastery-owned “vakoufia”, land that belonged to various monasteries, mainly those of Mount Athos. The population exchange in 1922, and the redistribution of cultivable land under the rule of Papanastasiou (1924), resulted in the creation of numerous independent properties, which passed into the possession of the farmers, many of who have kept their land to this day (2007). Nevertheless, since the late-19th century, large expanses of land were gradually bought by Lemnian émigrés abroad, in particular those of Egypt, and, as a result, the sub-letting regime continues, to a certain extent, to this very day. Within this particular socioeconomic context, all musical activities in Lemnos before the late 19th century were tightly bound to the “culture of the kechagiades”, which had developed before the arrival of the refugees. The local community of musicians and singers was made up, exclusively, of amateurs, and the lyra was used to accompany group songs, as part of family celebrations or local holiday events, or to play dancing pieces. A few shepherds who lived in the animal pens (or “mandres”, as they are known in the local dialect) also played certain types of flute, known as “siliavria”.

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10 records found — Island: Lemnos

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