Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village

Some women visit home to home to invite others to the feast. They go into the yards, they chase chickens, dance, eat doughnuts made by housewives to cure them, drink wine. This goes on in every house and on the streets of the village.
Photography / Text: Michael Pappas

I'm in Athens, on the train and I expect to leave at exactly 23:55. Final destination Serres.

I travel all night. At 06:00, the train arrives in Thessaloniki. It stops for one hour and continues for Serres.

I arrive at around 09:00 in Serres. Familiar scenes. I have come several times by train to this station to go to a village that takes place a custom. The stragglers who are just outside the station remember me. Today the only change is the weather. It drives a drizzle and the fog that has fallen does not let you see very far.

I head to the bus station nearby to take the bus to Monoklissia. They tell me at the ticket office that a bus going close to the village will pass at noon. There is no direct route.

I told to the driver that I wanted to go to Kato Mitrousi, 5 km away from Monoklissia. He asks me how will I go there and I reply on foot. He looks up and down, looks at my luggage and greets me.

I walk between fields. Absolute silence, only some birds were singing. I continue to walk and see some houses in the background, it is a village and I take courage. It is called Ano Kamila. Then I decide to make a hitch.

A gentleman stops, opens the windows a little, just to listen. I tell him I want to go to Monoklissia and he tells me he does not go there. Before he leaves, I get to tell him that I'm going there for the custom and that I'm a photographer. Eventually, he let me in the car and soon I was in the village, at a Kafeneio called Zoe which was crowded.

Men gathered everywhere. Baking meat, drinking local wine, listening to live music and dancing.

Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas

Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas

The women are in the cultural club and they are preparing for the feast in the evening. Each brought a hen and gives it to the most experienced person to slaughter it.

Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas

Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas

Some women visit home to home to invite others to the feast. They go into the yards, they chase chickens, dance, eat doughnuts made by housewives to cure them, drink wine. This goes on in every house and on the streets of the village.

Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas

Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas

Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas

Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas

Singing dancing at the elementary school of the village, all women together end up in the cafe where they ask all the men to exit. The men who played cards, drank, smoked, and the women took their place with much pride. This is done for one day a year and is done today.

Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas

Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village - Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village
Greece. Central Macedonia. Monokklisia. © Michael Pappas
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Location

Gynecocracy at Monoklisia village

Monokklisia
Monokklisia, Central Macedonia, Greece