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by Archaeology Newsroom

Rites, Archaeology and Community: A Case Study

The ritual performances are customary expressions, widely disseminated in Greece that are directly related to the cycle of time, especially in rural communities. Apart from this, they also constitute cultural practices with dynamic context, through which the community enhances its present and past. Therefore, the ritual performances set the framework in which the community negotiates its identity and its relation to “the others”.

In the case of Kali Vrysi, in the area of Drama, the ritual performance of the twelve-day long “babougeras” becomes the major expression of the community with a rhetoric dimension. This rhetoric is developed as a power counterbalancing the national and cultural stigmatization that the community experienced in the past. Through this ritual performance the community is mainly pursuing its association with the national identity and the elimination of any relevant controversy. The characterization of this type of ritual as “Dionysiac”, the results of the excavation at the boundaries of the community and the combination of folk and archaeological data supply the community with the assets necessary for the reinforcement of its arguments in any negotiation.