Historical laments: the case of the community of Kommeno in southern Epirus

Lampros Efthymiou

Apstrakt: This article is an effort to approach Greek folk songs (demotiká) as an expression of different aspects of life experiences of people’s tradition. Lament songs (mirolóyia) from the community of Kommeno in southern Epirus are used as an example to shed light on the evolution of folk songs within the framework of ritual practices. The influence of historical memory is examined as a contributing factor to the expression and the creation of songs. The present article also restates the viewpoint on the classification of folk songs based on their content and purpose. Last, it considers the fundamental features of laments: their musical and poetic structure, as well as the role of tsakismata (repetitions and interjected added words or phrases) in the very creation of the laments and as a means to enhance the content of the “pure text” (i.e. the written transcription of a song as standardised verse without the tsakismata).

Ključne reči: Historical laments, Greek folk songs (demotiká), lament songs (mirolóyia), community of Kommeno in southern Epirus

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Етнолошко-антрополошке свеске, y. 2015, no. 15 (26), pp. 71-82