Ο τοπικός πολιτισμός της περιοχής των Τζουμέρκων
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The Houses of Matsouki

Most homes in Matsouki were two story houses with a ground floor and an upper floor. Some were built even bigger in order to accommodate up to three families. The two story house was deemed necessary because of the earth’s terrain but also to offer shelter to the animals during winter. The κατώγι (katogi), i.e. the storage space with an ideal temperature, was much cooler and had all the benefits of a basement. A wooden staircase built inside the home, or an external stone made staircase, joined the two floors together. Sometimes, and especially over winter one could access the κατώγι (katogi) though a large incision carved into the upper floor.

In order to build homes local people relied on the builders from these neighboring settlements: Ktistades, Agnanta, Christi, Prosilio, Skloupo and Raftanaion. But the best known settlement for its workmen was that of Pramanta. The most popular families of builders were those of Bekeon and Foteon families. The homes were made of stone. They were entirely covered with slabs of stone. The workmen would remove these from specific places (e.g. Karaouli, Piastra and Kouistria). The transport means was the mule. Then the women would carry the slabs on their backs. The wood panels required for the home’s structure were cut manually from a nearby forest. The transport of wood was also achieved thanks to animals or it was carried on the backs of men. Grouting was done with sand and lime that was manufactured by two families from the Pramanta settlement. These were the Mpoutsolis and Vanaion families. Sand however was scarce. The construction dates together with a commemorative symbol were placed in an obvious spot. When the builders had finally finished building the roof they’d nail a wooden cross in front of the house, leave flowers, a white scarf and of course a large rope for the μαντηλώμαρα (mantilomata), i.e.  gifts to the builders.

Oral Testimonies.