Many times as I throw my look at our mountain of the slopes, I suppose that even seeing women “klaofores” (they carry on their soulders bradches of trees for fire), loaded head the bundle branches. Maybe because I always liked watching them from afar, since they were shown on top and quinoa slowly, first as an undetermined volume that moved and only as approaching the low edges of mountain of the human figure.
One of the heavier work of the old cover was to go for collecting branches for fire and oven.
Heavy work, however, necessary and close to homemade own bakery, with branches illuminated and warmed the humble house in winter frost.
In older times, many were those who went on the branches. And if they are not going, but were experiencing, and has remained as a beautiful memory.
This work later was left in the parliamentary bundle branches to klaofores, who were doing for occupation: to sell the bundle branches, to feed their family as it was miserable or to study children and siblings, can they issue scientists with their heavy toil.
Slowly the war, and he was lost, especially since each housewife ceased to knead and bake bread of whole the week.
But even all of our generation remember the klaofores to descend the slopes of the mountains, with huge bundles branches in the head and then cross the narrow streets of the village and of Pothia to go to put away in the house RAPID ordered .
From afar I imagine stand up similar to ancient statues, only with his head slightly bowed, he lifted that weight wholeness, but with firmer body and bouncy step, small, jumped, because it was imposed by the pressure of the bale from above …
No longer were like women, they look like little goddesses, fairies of the mountain, priestesses they were far from their goal, but me purpose, to keep unquenchable fire of their home, sacrificing sleep and paying it disproportionate to their wives forces.
Filled our mountains of twigs, but to find large branches are klaofores be they issue whole sheaf had to go away, two or three hours away many times, climbing peaks, descending ravines to succeed virgins kalymniestopous with thyme a hug each and chinopodia.
Always they were started for the branches, with three or four or more, never a nun of. How to start the nun, it was still night, three or four the morning and the cock had crowed to disperse the thoughts of people.
Double good companionship: not afraid, but also help each other to lift the bale.
Many were the places that could make beautiful branches, but all distant, difficult, without neither a path: the mountain of Prophet Ilias, Miliana, the saddle, the way his old Deep, the hillside of Vothynon, Saint Constantine , Trachilos and others yet.
They echoed the mountains of the songs when you go the klaofores branches. So they forget their fear of the wilderness, and increasingly some heart ache leave and lost with tastra erased one by one as dawn approached:
The moon asked and the stars to tell you
how cry my eyes to remember when
The moon walk with the star spiel
and the morning star (augerinos) asked me what I sigh and I cry for
How not to sigh the klaofora, especially as it was summer and always someone was gone for the sponge. If it wasn’t the man, brother was, the neighbor was of the foutnoto frame (= the tufted men’s hair) and stout arms, who had answered in the street, like they come loaded on the shoulder with Laina (= pitcher) from ascent of wells.
As they reached their destination, they begin now to dawn and stood around them clean. Then scatter the company, and each with the help of axin pouche take with her, she started taking off the branches they were rooted deep in the stones within the hatched (the Spurs) and had to pay power in their uprooting.
But even if it were not supposedly taking off only the job? They had then to gather all close to become sheaf, and here fotiakladoforesitan whole art of klaoforas: to will make beautiful sheaf large twigs large, to tie around – around with the rope pouche carry belted at the waist, in order to KOUMPIS on the head and do not dispel Soli the long route which had to will do.
So cumulated branches in one place makes first small hugs, always rooted inward facing and stacked close to each other, two or three rows to get the bale normal size. Apart from the main bundle, always leave a hug, who placed behind the neck and little shoulders, and over there now entered the correct bundle. Suitable supposed to be and the place to be armedthe bale to be able to lift. Usually chooses a ledge of rock, they were standing beneath so easier now could lift the holding from below with both hands the rope to avoid falling. And then began the downhill through small trails on the rough high mountains and these they were lost or not there were helped altogether.
The dawn just at sunrise over brown, sweet gas mountain refreshed virginal cheeks wrinkled or the race of life, why not missing thyself job married, mature, even older detained.
Many were those who turned before to see the sun the eye and boast today.
He stood away from the convoy with their imposing stature that was going on with supernatural sheaf high.
Slowly and who stand to rest, to put the bale to a wall at high places to eat no mouthful of dry bread, drink some water and to cut any fresh fig if they had to find or fruits same plot in the street, and get back to the walker, for arrive on time, before waking up in their home.
The Sheaf as he came, entered into where stamped when under the kravvato at the bottom. Only this summer, there was no danger of rain could stay out snacks in the courtyard.
In winter heavy they could not go into the branches. Had not raining, but and not blowing strong wind that could easily throw them down. So they were met the time the weather was suitable.
The summer had to make Sikourio, which needs a lot of bunched branches. When picking figs, remaining branches and store thme for rainy winter days, and one was from the very impartant stores each household.
What sorts of weather and Tunney had every Saturday to get fire to the oven with the branches to bake breads and going very nice flavour TANGIBLE thyme, and more is the cake which was eaten that first fresh, warm and not cut off the bread, to not to leave very quickly from the first day because it was bad housekeeper.
That first flame of the oven, the entire ritual. A one being tossed into the branch, and depending on the species to the flame springs up and remind you of the biblical “furnace burning fiery” …
Stronger, bigger flame gave it the legs of gooses. In piercing always when they were busy and be watching out for. But what smells delicious in their burning were the thyme and the dry alisfakiies as they could find them.
Branches were not serve only to get fire to the oven . Most of them housewives cooked mafta, they made beautiful frying, only you could not escape beside the fire.
Testing in the war, we necessarily turned to mother earth and all sow, reap, grind, knead, bake and had branches for all, even for lighting, as the oil release ended up nonexistent. A bundle branches have cost more than the wages of a laborer.
There were women Keynes weather, they had the courage in the good days to go and twice in the same day. To sell them to make more money, as there lived the poverty.
Little daughter, I remember the Foukaina, a villager she got widow with three children because her husband popped the sponge, which brought us regularly branches at home.
The admired together and I was very sad as I watched her arrives loaded the enormous heavy sheaf with her head bowed, subordination to the fate of the women of the island, conscious obedience, sacrificial, and she touched them down gradually in the courtyard wall.
As entering into the house and sat to rest, wandering near her, I liked to feel the smell of thyme she had as aroma, noticed thick slippers she wore the baggy underskirt the pied and shirt as more closed and thick white Foot that changed her into a little with regular black kerchief.
Required had to ask: “where did you bring Foukaina branches?” laughed wearily.
– A my daughter, today I went beyond WO ‘to (from) the dsiny Foti. In Trasila away and I find two walkers. I got out very quicly, I did the first sheaf I got it to fire and I’ve got the other. ‘Where the night finished i’m in tiredness…
She always had some story to tell about thoughts for Kalomira that the caw of rooster flee. She did not affraid, she always kept on her bread, wore a bone and a small stafroa agiotafitiko, for “gkiximo” (= touch of the ghost).
Beside the figure of woman Kalymnos, carrying on her shoulder a pitcher water should be carved and form of klaoforas because cahrved stands in mind rates hearts of many.
-When I remember my mother, I always bring to in front of me my sheaf stems to the head. said with great emotion and respect Kalymnios scientist.
Women of my island, unsuspected, kept it together with the bundle branches alive the tradition of klaoforas, you go to put out to our time, dechtite This simple lines etched in your remind.
We thank Ms. Angeliki Marangou we supplied the text which is written by the narrator of the video that we present, Mrs Faneromeni Skylla, which gave us and a personal interview will post soon. We thank her warmly and she allowed the publication of the texts and photos of Kalymnian house (Folklore Museum).
Enjoy the video explaining Kalymnian life and contains reference to Klaofores.