The Silk Mansion (in Greek)
Illustration: Eleni Kotsoni
Athens 2017, 64p.
Built in the late 19th century, the Brikas Mansion overlooking Soufli’s “Mesochori” square still stands tall. It was the largest “koukoulospito” (literally a cocoonery, as the large houses centred on sericulture were then called) in terms of silkworm rearing, and its owner the biggest producer of silkworm seed (eggs). During the War of 1940, the children of three families whose fathers had been conscripted found refuge in this mansion. They watched the silkworm’s rearing and the harvesting of silkworm seed, and acquired a lot of knowledge in the most amusing way, participating in the silkworm’s life cycle: its birth, its endless meal, its sleep, its quirks, its growing up, its transformations from a tiny egg to an ugly caterpillar, which spins its cocoon and then self-imprisons itself there until it becomes a beautiful moth.
Author and teacher Matoula Karayianni-Tolka transports us to one of the most characteristic cocooneries of Soufli, allowing us to observe all the stages of domestic sericulture and silk manufacture. Thus, we not only understand the individual phases of a traditional cottage industry that has now shrunk, but also observe the daily life of the children of a large Soufliote family during the Second World War. Dynamically and with a contemporary slant, artist Eleni Kotsoni renders both the cocoonery’s homely microcosm and the multitude of tasks required by domestic sericulture.
Strictly necessary cookies are of central importance for the proper operation of the website, allowing you to navigate and use its functions, such as access to safe sites or use of your shopping basket. These cookies do not recognise your individual ID. Without them we are unable to offer effective operation of our website.
Web analytics cookies are provided by Google Inc. These cookies allow the officer responsible to monitor and analyse the behaviour of users at the website with which they are linked. The information collected via this type of cookie is used to measure activity at the website, platform or application, and to process the browsing profile of users of this website, platform or application, in order to make improvements based on the analysis of user data. Web analytics cookies are anonymous, and so there is no capability to establish users' ID or to identify users navigating the site from different browsers and appliances. These cookies may also be used to offer customised advertising to each user. If a user deactivates the web analytics cookies all events at Google Analytics are blocked and therefore no information is collected about the user's subsequent actions on the site. Deactivating web analytics cookies, even when advertising cookies have been accepted, will mean that the user will not be able to see advertisements over Google's network, since advertisements are always linked to web analytics cookies.
Use of these cookies allows us to show / send advertisements to users on and off our website. They store information about users' behaviour based on their actions at our site and may be used jointly with our partners to send / show advertisements and offers related to the interests and preferences of Internet users, to measure the effectiveness of advertising, to measure the productivity of our external partners and reward them, and to limit the frequency of advertisements. Capability to access advertisements over the Google network requires that web analytics cookies are not deactivated. If web analytics cookies are deactivated no information is collected and you cannot participate in any list for targeted remarketing advertisements. If you do keep web analytics cookies activated but do not activate advertisement cookies, Google Analytics collects information about your visit to our website but does not include you in remarketing lists and you cannot see any remarketing advertisements. Google Analytics does not function retroactively. This means that if your navigation at the website begins with the advertising cookies on, you will participate in advertisement groups depending on your visits during the time the cookies are activated. When you choose to deactivate them, information is no longer collected from the website and no advertisement will be shown again. This will start applying as of the moment you choose to deactivate and thereafter. It means that for some time you will continue seeing advertisements, which however will relate to the period when the cookies were still activated; it is in this context that information based on which advertisements are shown later is drawn.