Skip to main content

Video series documents colorful Laconian weaving traditions and the women keeping them vibrant

On the slopes of Mount Parnon in Greece’s Peloponnese, the Women’s Weaving Collective of Geraki is keeping alive age-old textile traditions. A new series of short videos from the SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) shines a light on the stories of the weavers and their craft, one now nearly extinct in Greece.

Over the course of three weeks, graduate students from UCLA, Simon Fraser University (SFU), and the University of British Columbia conducted interviews with the weavers, took photographs cataloguing woven carpets and decorative patterns at nearby churches, recorded weaving-related local songs, and more. The program took place as part of the Gefyra (“Bridge”) partnership supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) between the SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture at UCLA and the SNF Center for Hellenic Studies at SFU and with the assistance of SFU’s SNF New Media Lab.

The students’ home base was the nearby village of Vamvakou, where they were hosted by the Vamvakou Revival team.

Other recent SNF grants have helped students carry on traditional Greek approaches to marble carving and artists take a decidedly less traditional approach to weaving—both on the island of Tinos. Istorima, created through a founding grant from SNF, has worked to preserve oral histories of all sorts from across Greece.