The registration of Shepherding and the Shepherd’s World in the National Index of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Pastoral life in Psiloritis, or shepherding as a term derived from the shepherds themselves/current herders of the region, defines a broad framework consisting of elements of self-organization and customary law, rituals and “troparia” (specific phrases and performances), techniques and practices, the which have over time shaped a set of cultural data that co-create the shepherd’s world and the life of today’s breeder.

The inclusion of shepherding and the world of the shepherds of Psiloritis in the National Index of Intangible Cultural Heritage was completed on 7/2/2022 by the decision of the Minister of Culture and Sports, Mr. L. Mendoni, constituting the beginning of a participatory, cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration for knowledge and understanding of the most timeless human carrier of the mountain of Ida, the shepherd of Psiloritis.

Participants and safeguarding guarantors of this initiative are:

The shepherds of Psiloritis and their families, whose cultural practices have shaped the physiognomy and character of the region, with an active imprint on time and place.

The local self-government bodies of the region, specifically the Municipalities of Anogeia, Amario, Mylopotamos, Malevizio, Phaistos and Gortyna, in whose territory the shepherd of Psiloritis is active.

The initial initiative was started by the Municipality of Anogeia, which, as a member of the network of Psiloritis Municipalities, suggested the creation-drafting of a proposal for the National Index of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Greece in collaboration with the local Cultural Management Androidus Project Tank.

The Livestock Association of Amari, the Livestock Association of Anogeia and the Livestock Association of Mylopotamos. Also, the Agricultural Cooperative of Mylopotamos based in Perama of the Municipality of Mylopotamos and the new Agricultural Cooperative of Anogeia under formation.

The IDAology research project, during the implementation of which data and audiovisual recordings have been and will be produced about pastoral life in the entire geographical range of Psiloritis.

Authors of the Intangible Cultural Heritage element sheet are:

Georgios Kalomiris, Candidate PhD in Cultural Planning Methodology Development in Cultural Democracy issues, University of the Aegean, Archaeologist – Cultural Administrator, Curator of the cultural Network Androidus Project Tank – Laboratory of Culture – Research Innovation.

Geronti Marina, Communication Consultant – Cultural Manager, Communication Manager of the cultural network Androidus Project Tank – Culture – Research Innovation Laboratory.

The gathering of audiovisual material and the organization of the on-site research in the pastures of Psiloritis was overseen by Antonis Dayantas – Analyst programmer specializing in intelligent IT systems, co-founder of the cultural network Androidus Project Tank – Research Laboratory of Culture – Innovation.

The initiative for the writing and research of the above proposal started in 2019 in collaboration with the Municipality of Anogion and the former Mayor Mr. Manolis Kallergis and was completed in collaboration with the current Mayor of Anogion Mr. Sokratis Kefalogiannis with the main aim of the philosophy of coexistence, networking and interaction with the Municipalities and communities that line the mountain mass of Psiloritis.

The contribution of the Director of Research of the Center of Folklore of the Academy of Athens, Mr. Andromachis Economou, the Director of the Directorate of Newer Cultural Heritage, Mr. Villis Fotopoulou, the head of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Mr. Yiannis Drinis, the archaeologist E. Bazinis, of their partners as well as the National Committee of Intangible Cultural Heritage that led to the co-formation and completion of the proposal.

The following collaborated and contributed equally to the compilation of this bulletin:

The Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophical and Social Studies of the University of Crete in the Cognitive Subject “Social Anthropology” and director of the Visual Anthropology center of the University of Crete Aristides Tsantiropoulos through important additions derived from his research project and as a scientific collaborator of the IDAology research program.

The candidate Doctor of Folklore and Anthropology of the University of Ioannina Thanos Kotsis through his contribution to the scientific curation and structure of the proposal and the important supplementary additions to the scientific bibliography.

The editorial and research team from the beginning of the proposal includes:

Dimitris Kallergis, Cattle breeder-shepherd through his experiential approach to know and understand pastoralism and to come into contact with the agencies themselves throughout the geographical range of Psiloritis.

Maria G. Fasoula – Culturalist, through her overall research contribution to the entire proposal and the writing of the article “The role of the woman as a weaver, from haircuts to dyeing and weaving in Anogeia”

Katerina Kalomiri, philologist for the philological curation of the text and the intuitive look to see and include features and traditions that make up the shepherd’s world.

Kostis Patenas, deputy mayor of the Municipality of Amari – Cattle breeder, contributing to the understanding of shepherding through the invitation to traditions and practices that he maintains such as the shearing of sheep, their movement on foot during the spring and autumn months, etc.

Pastoralism to this day is an element of particular importance for the actors of the element and their communities, as despite the socio-economic transformations, it constitutes a functional code for the preservation of interpersonal and intercommunal relations, with the out-of-court resolution of disputes between residents and the avoiding internal social crises, strengthening the sense of belonging and community spirit.

This largely unwritten history of the mountain itself through its timeless protagonists, the shepherds of Psiloritis, is important to constitute a complete cultural proposal as a starting point for cross-cultural continuities through research and interaction.

A meeting and collaboration of the local agent with the modern researcher and the scientific methodological tools of oral history with the lived experience of the mountain, in a popular research approach of public history.

The complete Intangible Cultural Heritage Fact Sheet:

b) At the facilities of FORTH in Heraklion, the 4th progress meeting of the #IDAlogyProject Project took place on 3/2/2022, with the presence of representatives of the Consortium from the ITE of the University of Crete and the Androidus Project Tank.

The project financed by the “Research, Create, Innovate” Program of EPANEK is in its second year of implementation and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.

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