Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

<< Gesellschaftliche Reproduktion und kulturelle Innovation. Aus semiotischer Sicht / Social Reproduction and Cultural Innovation. From a Semiotic Point of View

Reproduction of Ethnic Identity and Cultural Innovation in Northern Greece.
The Evolution of the Ethnic Identity of Sarakatsani in the 20th Century from a Semiotic Point of View

Vassilis Dalkavoukis (Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini)



In this paper we will try to discuss the evolution of the ethnic identity of Sarakatsani in Northern Greece and especially in Zagori (Epirus) as an example. In the beginning of the 20th century the ethnic group known as "Sarakatsani" consisted of shepherds who cooperated in huge units ("tseligata"). As they were nomads - they had no homeland - they developed a particular way of life and culture, which has been sufficiently described by social anthropologists such as J.K. Campbell, G. Kavadias, and C. Hoeg. This particular identity was gradually changed under the influence of factors such as the coming of the refugees from Asia Minor (1922-1924), the WW II and the Civil War (1940-1949), the period of interior and exterior immigration of the Greek peasants (1950-1980) etc. Consequently, Sarakatsani were located in villages or towns as members of the local communities, so they developed a new collective identity including the local element. This identity is described as ethno-regional identity. In this paper we will try to point out the two types of the collective identity of Sarakatsani in semiotic terms focusing on elements such as material, mentalities etc., which were reproduced or changed. It means that we will examine the symbols of the ethnic and the ethno-regional identity of Sarakatsani in a comparative way in order to define the manner in which the strategies of surviving caused the cultural innovation.

Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-10-09