Collections in this community
Informal creative associations "Chatyr Dag" and "Ornek Ustalary," led by artist and craftsman Mamut Churlu from Crimea, bring together craftsmen who own the system of symbols of the Crimean Tatar Оrnek ornaments* and use them in their creativity, promote Crimean Tatar textile practices, safeguarding and enhancement on the basis of traditional knowledge. NGO "Alem" unites everyone who is interested in preserving, promoting and developing the Crimean Tatar cultural heritage. The team of "Alem", led by Esma Adzhiieva, performs general strategic planning of the element's safeguarding activities, serving as a contact point for the craftsmen, Crimean Tatar community and state agencies on implementation of plans of the element safeguarding and promotion. *"Ornek" is a system of symbols and their meanings, currently used in embroidery, weaving, felting and other types of applied arts. A distinctive feature of Оrnek is understanding of these symbols’ meanings by craftsmen who combine them into ornamental compositions to make a message.
The FEX Progressive Union of Xanthi (Filoproodi Enosi Xanthis, FEX), is a historic cultural association which has been closely connected to the history of the town. Founded in 1952 by the people of Xanthi, it comprises a network that respects, rescues and promotes local culture and tradition. The active participation of citizens initiated a bottom-up process which gave birth to a unique community that is run by both volunteers and professionals. Being present in the local cultural scene for over seventy years, indicative results of this community’s work are the creation of libraries, the function of cultural and educational workshops and the establishment of the Folk Museum of Xanthi. Today, over 900 people, members of FEX, are engaged, either implicitly or explicitly, in the intangible cultural heritage and art of our region. The museum has a collection of over 2000 textile-items including objects such as flags, aprons, peasants’ bags, haversacks, waistcoats, kilted skirts woven textiles and women dresses, of different patterns, colors, sizes and textiles form this unique mosaic of Balkan traditional clothes, all coexisting in one small geographical area like ours.
The Rizarios school of Monodendri was founded back in 1979 aiming in the educational, cultural as well as the social development of the area of Zagori. The main purpose of the school is the preservation of the traditional arts that tend to be extinct. At the same time though it functions as an institution providing its students professional training during a time where job search is really difficult. The woven products are created with traditional manual loom machines. The shuttle is operated through a mechanism manually by hand and in combination with the foot pedals produces a handmade fabric. The embroideries are produced on the loom by the dexterity of the fingers where at the same time are weaved.
The Roma Community Office Aliveri has been operating for 20 years and aims at the social integration of Roma residents living in this settlement. The social scientists, educators and the Roma mediator of the center through the empowerment groups with women and teenagers of the settlement, aim at the social integration of women but also at the change of their image in the wider community through their own creations. In collaboration with the Roma community, we recorded their traditional tales and stories as told by them and created the printed material "the 12 Roma tales". One of the fairy tales, “the rooster and the pound” became a puppet show in which the women sewed the figures and the children of the settlement dramatized it. The group of women in collaboration with non Roma women created “the tree of life”, a weave that by embroidering it, each woman told her own story and path. Their latest creation is the woven "Roma Routes" which depicts the history of the local community and their route and evolution. All this, along with traditional costumes and wedding dresses, was presented at the exhibition "Roma women create" held at the Art Center in June in Volos.
The SEN Heritage Looms is the oldest hand weaving community of the nineteenth century that still survives in Greece, almost in its original form. It was founded in 1872 by a women’s society in Athens, as an effort to educate and train young girls, a radical undertaking by that time. A rich collection of the unique, hand woven textiles have decorated the Hellenic Palace, the House of Parliament, the Cathedral of Athens and were often awarded in world exhibitions. Following a recent innovation of the historical buildings, the SEN Heritage Looms is now open to the public and to educational visits with classes in historic weaving, spinning, dyeing, felting, fiber arts and various experimental archaeology projects. The SEN Heritage Looms is now conducted by the textile expert Sophia Tsourinaki, whose special area of study is the archaeology of textile production, with focus on combining theoretical analysis with practical knowledge garnered from handicraft processes.