Skyros Carnival: Experiencing Greece’s Wildest Carnival

15 November 2015
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Having the opportunity to read the book “Skyros Carnival” led down an interesting literary path. Any reader having opportunity to read this book will be swept up into an exciting but hurried Greek carnival troupe. The book presents a challenge, to re-explore Greece’s internal but non-mundane affairs, and renew one’s love vows for some of its most peculiar customs and traditions. The image of a goat-masked figure on the cover of the book is intriguing enough to initiate an exploration of the community-building powers of Skyros’ local ritual.

Skyros Carnival Book

Skyros is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It’s known for its beaches, jagged coastline, sea caves and seaside villages. Yet, “Skyros Carnival” is a 85 page book that offers a sophisticated narration and interpretation of Skyros’ most important, possibly lesser known, but still powerful annual attraction through a dialogue of sounds, with still and moving images.

This quite surprising multimedia publication, being the product of exceptional talent, inspiration, and unfailing teamwork, graciously focuses on a unique visual and acoustic spectacle that has been held for at least a century on the island of Skyros, in Sporades.

“The dramatis personae of the carnival in Skyros are a formidable trio,” the contributors of “Skyros Carnival” book say, introducing their project’s main inspiration.

“First, there is the yeros, a part shepherd – part goat figure strung with bells. The yeros is accompanied by the korela, a female figure who is dressed in an assortment of folk bridal and shepherd garments. Finally, there is the frangos, who is an outrageous figure with his bizarre appearance,” they explain.

The authors fascinating experiment, “Skyros Carnival,” aiming to combine the poetics of fieldwork with scientific work, was materialized with the publication series VoxLox. The book is embellished with 36 color and 24 black and white photographs taken by University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Professor of Film, Dick Blau.

Flooded with the words of the University of Adelaide’s visiting research fellow and consulting anthropologist; Agapi Amanatidis and University of the Aegean’s Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Music, and Dance; Panayotis Panopoulos, the book will definitely cause its readers a sensory overload.

In addition, there is a powerful video with sound images from the University of New Mexico Professor of Anthropology and Music; Steven Feld that will give readers the opportunity to experience something unique. “Skyros Carnival” readers will witness the rumbling bells of goat-masked “old men” passing through the narrow cobbled village streets finally breaking people’s strict boundaries of inclusion and exclusion through some weird noises and sounds that are entrenched in tradition.

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