ELENI LAPARIDOU photography

This is a photographic project examining an ancient custom that is still alive today in the area of Drama in Northern Greece. The custom of the ‘‘Koudounoforoi’’(bell bearers) is a folklore tradition that is believed to be connected to the worship of Greek Gods and a possible residue of ancient rituals in honor of the God Dionysus, the Greek god associated with wine, euphoria, pleasure and festivity. The men of the village dress in hand- made costumes of leather and fur and they wear bells of different sizes. The bells make an incredible noise and it is believed that they are used to frighten the evil spirits and to awaken nature to the coming of spring. The performances are also intended to encourage agricultural fertility, to honor Mother Earth and to welcome the New Year. The performances take place in several villages in the municipality of Drama, with different costumes in each. In this series you see costumes from four of the different villages.