Traditional customs

What did they wear in Poros - Troizinia

Despite the fact that Poros is an island, however, the insular suit had never been worn, but the “fustanella” had prevailed for men. The women wore rather costumes of continental country, despite islander.

After the arrival of Kapodistrias, even more people started wearing European costumes, in such a grade that around the 1860, those who were still wearing a “fustanella” were few, and in particular, the elders.

In this contributed the fact that Poros was near the capital, its residents had frequent communication with the capital’s residents, and they were adapted easily in the new customs. In 1912 the costumes had been completely europeanised, and only a few insisted on a type of fustanella, mainly residents of the countryside.

In 1950, the women of Poros of the ruling class were competing in who would sew the fairest dress, mainly in Athens, in order to make an appearance in various dancing parties that were held in Poros, the most of the parties and the official ones, in the hall of the Progymnastirio


A few days before the feast of Saint Dimitris, and the latest until the first 10 days of November, herdsmen and other shepherds were starting from Valtetsi with their families and flocks to make the long and difficult travel for the winter in Poros and the opposite coast, where they had their huts and were spending the winter. Someone could see crowds leaving from Valtetsi forming a distant row, others on animals, and others pedestrians, others were carrying things and others were not. On their horses and mules, they had uploaded everything that would need, even long sticks that they had in order to set up their huts on the mountains.

On the front, the women were going with the leather swings that were called “nakes”, hung on the shoulders, while other women were holding the newborn cossets in their arms that had still a difficulty in running. Behind them, the flocks with the young people and the children were following. Someone could see children, running and shouting at the herd dogs in order to collect the flocks. On the mules there were still cauldrons, churns and “levetia”, hollow-ware, wash tubs, hens hung with their head down from the pack saddle, bundles with clothes and blankets and various other things that were needed. For almost 10 days someone would see the same setting. Herdsmen with their sheep pens were abandoning Valtetsi, until the village was getting empty. Back to Valtetsi almost none was staying.

Leaving from Valtetsi, on the first day they were arriving at Aegioritika and were spending the night near the village Steno. On the second evening, after they had passed Achladokampos, they were arriving and were spending the night on the mountain, over the Mills. On the third, they were arriving outside Anapli and were spending the night near the village Lion, while on the fourth evening they were arriving and were spending their evening near the village Iria and on the last fifth evening, they were spending it in Choriza, near Ortholithi. From there others were going to the area from Kokkinia until Galatas and others were going to Thermisi and the region of Hermione. A lot of families were passing to the island and were herding their flocks in the pasture lands of Poros.

The road of return to Valtetsi was beginning always on the next of Saint George’s day. They were following almost the same way, the same passages and in five days time they were arriving in Valtetsi, where the snow had melted and the mountains of Arkadia had bloomed.

But as the years passed by, a lot of families, because they were tired of this journey, they gave all their economies and bought big extents, where they were passing their winter. These extents began from the kerbs of Hermione and reached up to Damala, current Troizina. Some of them purchased also extents in the island of Poros. Thus, all these people stayed permanently in Poros and in Galatas.

And this beautiful valtetsian tradition of “pistrofia” lasted until the decade the ' 60.

Gum resin collectors of Poros

The profession of the gum resin collector, like many other professions, has been abandoned. The gum resin collectors in Poros were many, as the island was full of pines. A big extent was exploited by the Monastery of Poros. The Abbot every three years was delivering the exploitation of pines, which was usually been taken by the tradesmen of gum resin, but also by manufacturers of treatment of resin, from Lavrion, Chalcis and Eleusis. Slowly in the decades of 1910 and 1920 resin collectors from Agkistri settled permanently in the island and many of them bought their own pinewoods.

The work of a resin collector was difficult, intense, hard and with low wages. The resin collector was leaving from his home before dawn in order to arrive at the place he worked before the first light of day.

The work of the resin collector was beginning in almost the mid of April and was finishing in the end of October. The resin collector was chopping the pine with the pecker, a pecker that was especially used for pines. The chop, "hit" as the resin collectors used to call it, was becoming at the down part of the trunk of the pine, making a vertical peeling that had width six to eight cm. The "hit" of the pine needed a lot of technique, since the skin should be come out very thin, like a paper, so that the pine wouldn’t get hurt in depth.

On the base of cutting, he was stocking firmly a small, iron, triangular bowl, "gkrava", where the resin of the tree was pouring like a teardrop. The "Gkrava» could have room for almost half a kilo of resin. The next year, they were chopping the pine, beginning from the top of the old section and over it. The care of the resin collector was to take the resin from the pine, without however creating cuttings that would be mortal wounds for the tree.

They were transporting the resin to the factories of treatment of resin of Eleusis, Chalcis and Lavrion. From the process of the resin, colophony, pitch-black and tar were produced, which were used in the old days for the caulk and the graving of the sea boats. Also, they were putting resin into the must in order to become Retsina.

Lumberjacks and coalmen in Poros and in Galatas

The coal (charcoals) during those years was made with the forge fires of coal. These were forge fires made of wood. The coalmen were making a team of three to four individuals that were between them relatives or friends. They were coming in agreement with the owners that had big extents and other land owners of the region and were taking the "topiatiko". The "topiatiko" was the land plot that the coalmen were taking and the rent they were paying to the owners. The most of the times they did not pay, as it was after the clearance of the ground that the extent was becoming a fertile field. Many of them were going to Kokkinia and to Mpelesi, in governmental extents and so they didn’t have to pay the rent. Others were making forge fires on the island.

The coal forge fires were becoming mostly during the winter months and lasted from December until April, in years however that there was no olive oil production and the olive oil presses were closed. The cutting of the woods however could become all year long. Thus, after they were removing plenty of logs and were cutting a lot of timbers, they were choosing a flat surface, in a place with no wind and near water. The surface of space of the forge fire was circular, flat and they were opening a channel around it, so that the waters wouldn’t enter in the space of the forge fire.

The construction of the forge fire was made with a practical way. They were measuring the area of the forge fire with the steps, Eastern to westwards and afterwards north to southerly. If the steps were 6 roughly metres, the forge fire would produce a thousand to a thousand and two hundred kilos of coal, while if it was 8 metres, the production of coal would approach the 2.000 kilos. The construction of the forge fire needed technique and one from the team, was the craftsman that was undertaking the building.

After they were finishing the building, they were covering the forge fire with branches of wild locust tree, lentisk or venia and over the branches they were covering the forge fire with dirt, the “karvounistra”. Then, they were throwing from the “mpoy'ka" dry timber, firebrands and small dry logs and they were turning on a fire. They were leaving it to burn for almost 10 hours and afterwards they were covering the exit of "mpoy'kas" and were opening in distance of half metre from the top two holes from the both broadsides of the forge fire, so that the forge fire could take air and could keep the fire alive. When one day was passing by, they were closing these holes and were opening four holes half a metre lower than the first ones and so on they were reaching in the base where they were opening more holes in order to strengthen the light of the timbers. The duration of the forge fire was lasting for almost ten days regarding to its size. The coalmen were keeping with shifts the forge fire day and night, because many times it was opening a big hole by itself, the fire was getting out and the whole forge fire was in danger to become ash and not coal.

Nowadays, there is no one in Poros who makes the work of a coalman.

The fishermen of Pounta

Since the old times, the neighbourhood of the fishermen in Poros was Pounta. In even older times, in all the sea wall, from the Museum up to near the Cross, someone could see boats with nets, longliners, boats for the catching of octopuses and other boats for flare fishing with the lamp of acetylene on the crow, next to trawls, gri - gri and wind trawls resting on their double irons, tied up with mooring cables.

Gaites and trehantiria, sakoleves and paparovarkes, all the fishing boats, all the beach from Vaggelistra up to the Cross was one big boot-yard. There, the old people of Poros were fixing and graving their boats.

The fishermen, fighters of the sea, are still making their work with the gear and the art that they ' learned from ' their fathers and grandfathers. Nets, harpoon and trawl line. In the older times, the flare fishing also worked with shining on the coast, slow paddle, the head in the glass, the harpoon in the hand and the abstention from the trawl linego on the side. Sometimes, when no patrol car of the port authorities seemed from the bluff, they were striking a very small part of dynamite, to remove live deceit for the trawl lines.





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