By Irini Lyratzaki, Terra Lemnia – Restoration of the Traditional Agro-pastoral Mandra System of Lemnos Island
The intangible heritage of our communities and societies contributes a great deal to our culture and identity. Under the auspices of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports develops the national inventory of Greece’s intangible heritage in an attempt to register its elements and provide an accurate picture of its current state. Inscription of an element in the national inventory requires a special form to be filled out, accompanied by the necessary documentation. It is imperative that the bearers of ICH—community groups and even individuals—are involved in the preparation of the application file and later on, in the necessary updates.
MedINA, in cooperation with Terra Lemnia local partner Anemoessa, an Association for Environmental Protection and Architectural Heritage Conservation of Lemnos, carried out desk research and fieldwork, including a number of on-site interviews, to record the information needed to submit the file for melipasto/melichloro cheese. The team, which included Theophilos Massouras, Professor of Dairy Science at the Agricultural University of Athens, met with a number of small and large cheese producers, who explained in detail the entire procedure of cheese making, its origins, as well as its significance for the Lemnians in the past and the present.
Photo credit: P.Pravlis
The melipasto/melichloro cheese has been an important element of the economy of the island, its gastronomic heritage and the cultural identity of the locals. It is also a source of pride for its large number of producers who make cheese in mandras, the traditional agro-pastoral premises of local farmers, in small or larger cheese factories following traditional recipes, and also in their home kitchens, carrying on a very old tradition: to ensure that their family will have enough cheese—a product necessary for their survival in the past—for the coming year.
Following the submission of the file for melipasto/melichloro, Anemoessa and MedINA will host an open event in Lemnos in springtime to discuss with the local community on the potential for further action regarding valorisation of significant elements of the local intangible heritage. Officials from the Ministry of Culture will join the event, sharing their views and experience with the people of the island.
Photo credit: P.Pravlis
MedINA is a leading partner of the Terra Lemnia – Restoration of the Traditional Agro-pastoral Mandra System of Lemnos Island pilot site project that aims to restore landscapes rich with local crop varieties, rangelands sown with seeds to create rich pastures and support sustainable grazing.
Asociación Trashumancia y Naturaleza collaborated with the city council of Madrid to organise the annual Fiesta de la Trashumancia Madrid 2019 (Transhumance Festival)—which saw 1800 sheep and 200 goats pass through the centre of Spain’s capital city. The event, now in its 26th year, was successful in creating awareness on the importance of maintaining this ancestral practice of which Spain is a global example and that is a very valuable tool in the fight against climate change and rural depopulation, among other benefits.
In September last year, we set out to observe and learn about migratory birds and their flight paths. Joined by local and international bird experts, we worked alongside the Hima Hammana community to observe the birds that flew overhead, while learning from the experts about bird monitoring processes.
Mobile pastoralism is a major traditional cultural practice in the Mediterranean and a unique example of the constant interaction between humans and nature. Being entirely different in essence to intensive livestock production systems, this practice offers the most sustainable way to make the most of the Mediterranean’s rangelands.
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The story is a collection of fanciful impressions made on the mind of Eliza, the narrator, of
the rustic and simple way of living on the island of Lemnos.
The story begins with the birth of princess Hypsipile and the ancient Greek gods endowing her with grace and gifts of beauty. Aphrodite is the only goddess that shuns her and departs as Hypsipile grows up on the island of Lemnos...
“It was with great joy that I took up the role of the judge on the students’ writing competition. I was caught up in pleasant surprise when I received and read their works, only to discover their true writing potential! All of the young participants, and especially the ones who won, produced exceptional stories, with flowing language and full of imaginative ideas. I felt like I was instantly carried over to Lemnos island, looked upon its landscape, smelled its fragrance and saw its inhabitants."
The Missing Message is a story about a group of animal friends living in a beautiful forest. However, the forest trees are losing their green colour and the river that was once flowing through the forest has completely dried up. The animals are worried to die of thirst. One morning, they all gather to discuss how they are going to survive and if people will be able to help them...
The garbage monster tells the story of two young girls who time-travelled to the future and found planet Earth deserted and in a terrible state: a sea full of oil and garbage everywhere. While they look around at the state of the Earth they meet a monster who is made of all kinds of garbage. He is very angry with humans and the girls quickly learn why...