Tradition and Modernity in a Dance Ritual Performance (dromeno): the example of gynaikokratia in a community in the prefecture of Serres, northern Greece

Kalliopi Panopoulou

Apstrakt: The cultural heritage of the prefecture of Serres is rich in Modern Greek ritual performances (dromena). The ritual performance (dromeno) with its contextual components – the ceremonial, the celebrants and the audience – constitutes a cul-tural practice. Through this the community incorporates new situations into its tradition and through these it manages both its past and its present. Even though today the folk ritual performances known to us through the processes of tradition are not held for the same reasons as in the past, they are nonetheless elements of the local folk culture and a significant index of the region‟s development. In this paper we refer to the custom of gynaikokratia (lit. women‟s rule), which is enacted each year in the community of Monokklisia. We shall focus on the social function of the dances, in the context of the ritual performance, in order to see how a cul-tural phenomenon does not remain static and unchanged over time but evolves as a dynamic and historically determined process, which is subject to social and politi-cal manipulations and negotiations. The study is based on primary ethnographic material gathered in the course of fieldwork (participant observation, interviews) in the community.

Ključne reči: Dance ritual performance (dromeno), Babo, dance, gynaikokratia (women‟s rule), midwife, Prefecture of Serres, Monokklisia

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Етнолошко-антрополошке свеске, y. 2008, no. 1 (12), pp. 111-123