The Dowry

Since the age of sixteen my mother has made embroidery, with the thought of giving it to her future child. In The Dowry video I made in 2008 she explains how important these pieces are. She wants the viewer (and me) to appreciate them. At the end she expresses her will to have me back in Greece.
Beautiful traditional artifacts, that have a big importance for her and for a whole community and which transform my house into a kind of museum of Greek tradition and culture.

The Dowry 1

The Dowry 2

The Dowry 3

The Dowry 4

The Dowry 5



Hello, I’m Kali’s mother, I will show you some things I have embroidered and knitted and I hold on to these to give them to Kalitsa to decorate her house with.
Well, I believe it is something traditional you will like.
Look now, one piece by one, which I will show you with pleasure.
Look at this, it is a lovely centre-piece which she can put on her table. It is an old design. I knitted it many years ago and I have kept it. When it’s time will come, we will open it, we will wash it, we will iron it and we will prepare it for the moment when we will take care of giving Kalitsa away in marriage.
Do you like this? I think it is very nice.
This is a piece which her grandmother has knitted who was also named Kali. She made it in order to remember her.
This too. These are old pieces.
This is again a very nice centre-piece for her table. This too, which her grandmother had made as a set, so they could decorate different furnitures in the house, and they could match.
This is a very nice one. It is the “city’s key” as we call it here in Greece. We make this pattern a lot and we call it the “city’s key”. I embroidered this when I was sixteen year’s old. I took this pattern from Sparta, close to Mistra, where I saw it and because I liked it very much I embroidered it and kept it for Kali.
This is also very beautiful, with the “pine cones” as we say here. I was small when I embroidered this.
This too. I embroidered all these when I was sixteen year’s old. I liked embroidery a lot. Our parents had taught us, their dream was to become good girls and house wifes. So, I also want my Kali to become a good girl, although she is good already, to be a good girl, house wife, to come here close to us, we would love to see her close to us, in our house with a proper man, a good one, to give her away in marriage, to take her to church, to look at her admiringly as a bride and eventually to create a family. We, here in Greece, have this expectation to see our children creating a family. A proper family with the Greek customs we have. And, whatever comes after that.
Ok, nothing more.
Thank you very much.

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