Ο τοπικός πολιτισμός της περιοχής των Τζουμέρκων
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Homeware

Daily homeware in the Tzoumerka and wider Epirus region are divided into categories depending on their intended purpose. First, there is the kind of homeware that is used to produce and process raw materials (e.g. livestock, farm) as well as handle products that are primarily found in the residential space. A second category is based on the homeware item’s material (e.g. wood, stone, metal). The hinterland’s populations manufacture necessary homeware items with the natural materials found in their environment. Other metals such as copper are purchased at local fairs or from street vendors. In most homes the homeware items may lack diversity but nonetheless reflect the importance of domestic primary production.

Homeware is simple, functional and made ​​of on-site materials or purchased at local seasonal bazaars. Well maintained and passed on from generation to generation homeware items meet the home’s daily needs as opposed to the unnecessary excess of ornaments. This need for surplus is only applicable to the manor homes found in the Syrrako and Kalarrytes communities. In addition, the excess of homeware items is directly linked to established foreign trade routes, through which goods, new ideas, concepts and aesthetic standards are able to spread and become assimilated in local traditions. This is far from the case of the farming communities of Matsouki.

Homeware is simple, utilitarian, made ​​of wood and stone and intended for the primary and secondary processing of products. Low level tables, stools, traditional wooden ladles and trays are some of the more common kitchenware that residents have preserved until today but no longer use. Nonetheless they are items that indicate a specific economic and social reality of the past.

In the kitchen or cooking space we find homeware items used to transport and store goods such as large casseroles, barrels, buckets, various kinds of rolling pins and sieves. These had many functions from collecting and transporting water to bread making. The homemaker would sift corn or wheat flour which was preserved in a specially designed wooden container. In the same space there is also a crate to store salt and large containers for petrol which was only supplied by the state.

Trays made of copper used specifically for pie making, as well as pots and pans hang on the wall. The homeware collection included all items that were required for the processing of ingredients. In the home’s courtyard one could find the mortar and the hand mill. This is where the homemaker would grind the wheat. Tools used for the transportation and processing of milk were also kept in the courtyard as were wooden churns and other relevant items for the manufacturing of butter.

Outside the courtyard one would encounter a wood burning oven and a small house that was adequately equipped to prepare meals. The wine and tsipouro were kept in large oak barrels which were safely stored in a cool space called the κατώγι (katogi). These oak made barrels could hold up to 300 kilos of liquid. The cheese was preserved in sacks made of animal skins [1].

[1]. Dimitrios Pappas, Folklore Traditions of Tzoumerka, Volume I, 1998, p60-68.