By Irini Lyratzaki (Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos/MedINA)

Following the successful proposal submission to inscribe melipasto/melichloro cheese in the National Inventory of the Intangible Heritage of Greece, effort is now afoot to develop a proposal on another element of intangible heritage of Lemnos, that of the ‘mandra system’. This system,  the way the rural sector of Lemnos is organised, is a set of infrastructure and traditional practices that enables the sustainable management of the island’s natural and cultural resources.

Photo credit: Strongylos’ mandra – by MedINA

Members of the local community should be involved in the preparation of the proposal. Their input is crucial during the gathering of information and supporting materials. With this in mind, the Terra Lemnia team from the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA), in close cooperation with local NGO Anemoessa (the Association of Environmental Protection and Architectural Heritage of Lemnos), organised a field trip to gather information and audiovisual materials to produce a short documentary on the ‘mandra system’. The short film will follow the evolution of the mandra from the distant past to the present days, illustrating the importance of this practice then and now. 

Comprising two ethnologists and a videographer, the team organised a number of interviews with locals from several social standings (farmers, land owners, researchers of cultural heritage) with first-hand experience on Lemnos’ mandras and agro-pastoral practices. The raw footage collected will be edited into a 15-minute ethnographical documentary, enriched with aerial landscape shots and other visual material, and will be used to complement the project proposal.

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