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Culture Folk Culture - People The People Sarakatsanoi Larissa

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Emigres of Anatoliki Romylia
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Sarakatsanoi constitute an old wandering race which lived has in the geographical area of the Agrafa mountain. In the period of the Turkish Occupation, the sheep-folds of Sarakatsanoi have constitutes the ramparts of the “klephtes” and are known the combats of the “klephtes” Sarakatsanoi with the forces of Ali Pasha and more this one of the hero Katsantonis who had a terrible death in Ioannina. Because of these pursuits continuations, they were forced to abandon Agrafa with their flocks and to expand to the places they exist even nowadays, that is to Epirus, to Sterea Ellada, to Attiki, to Thessalie, to Makedonia, to Thrace, to the area of the state of Skopia, to Bulgaria, and a small number to Peloponnese. Sarakatsanoi of Bulgaria represent the proof of the power of the Hellenism, as they succeeded under difficult conditions to keep alive their Greek language and conscience, their manners and habits.

Up to 1950, their big majority lives as nomads, dealing with the livestock-farming. The spring and concretely in the feast of Saint George, Sarakatsanoi began to go up the mountain in order to spend the summer while the autumn about at the feast of Saint Dimitrios, they were abandoning the mountain and went down to the fields. After 1950, the traditional way of life changes and they also deal with other professions (agriculture, trade etc) while they are turned with admirable success and to the letters, where they excel. The change of traditional way of life and the concern not to lose their cultural identity, which was interwoven with the nomadic breeding life, leads to the need of creation of the associations of Sarakatsanoi. Thus, from the beginning of 1960 they begin to be founded the associations of Sarakatsanoi, with first Larissa’s in 1962.

In 1981 are founded the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Associations of Sarakatsanoi (P.O.S.S.) with base Thessalonica. Today it is constituted by 37 associations - members. Its aim is the co-ordination of the action of this associations in the direction of the maintenance and transmission of the enormous cultural heritage.