Karya: the mountain village of Lefkada. It is located 13 km from the city, in the center of the island. A beautiful scenery that difficult words can describe. Painted plane trees decorate its square: a monument of nature of invaluable historical and aesthetic value.
Οthe inhabitants have here to show a special, developed culture, which is a legacy for the whole island of Lefkada. Apart from the letters, many Karsans excelled in the arts, science and politics. The most particular, however, expression of the Cassian culture, which has been fully incorporated into the island's culture, is the Karsan Embroidery.
KArsaniko is called because it comes from Karya (Karsanos, Karsana, Karsaniko). The protector and, in essence, the one who inspired and implemented this particular technique, but also treated it as a distinct and distinctive art, was Maria the "Koutsohero". This particular nickname has "stuck" to her due to her disability, which we will discuss further below. Maria Stavrakas was born in Karya by farmers parents around 1860. 1948 died. Its main occupation - like most of the village residents - was agricultural work. He was working on cultivating the earth from a very young age. He was both very lively and intelligent. This vividness became the cause at a very young age to lose her right hand for ever: during the game in the countryside, she fell from a tree on which she had climbed. Her hand suffered severe injuries, the wound was infected, and the medicine of that time found no solution other than mutilation. The member was removed from the elbow height. Not long after, a second accident creates disability in the other hand. So it was Koutsoheros, that is, she had "lash" both hands.
Πmore participation in rural and rural games became past. He was locked in the house. Somehow she had to fill her time. Trying to embroider. It has only the left hand - and this disabled! Instead, after hard work, he finds a way to stabilize the embroidery fabric: he holds a cloth over her dress and holds it between her legs. Kenting with the "lace", the left. It knelt, scrub and again from the beginning. After effortless efforts, he learns the embroidery technique. It seizes - after many hours of work - the "quaintness", something completely unprecedented for the then known techniques.
Η neighborhood whole shows great admiration for this new technique and its aesthetic result. Maria is excited and is beginning to enrich her technique, reversing the most, all-new, new embroidery art. Her compositions depict scenes and objects from the rich nature of the village. The "quaestone", in particular, is inspired by the church's female chest. Other designs include daisies, leaflets, breeches, wheels, and combinations thereof. He then adds the seals, the reed, the crucifer, the fishing rod and the eight-eared horse. The combinations of all of these become complex illustrations.
Η "New art", Karsani Sternia crosses the boundaries of the neighborhood and spreads throughout the village, which stimulates Maria's psychic composition but also gives it the necessary impetus to continue and perfect this extremely laborious work with the exceptionally elegant result .
Η Life Valaoritis - bride of the national poet - Aristotle Valaoritis is informed about the art of the Karsani Embroidery and visits Maria at her home where she is amazed by her masterpieces. She transfers the news to Queen Sofia and she is impressed by the embroidery. Thus, with the help of Royal Welfare, 1912 is founded as the first embroidery in Karya. Basic teacher - as is understandable - is Maria Koutsosheros itself. The number of students from the beginning is great. The School is housed in the Nasus family building - just below Karyas Square - which until 1854 has been the home of the English prefect on the island of Lefkada.
Η Maria teaches with great enthusiasm and special zeal. All the girls in the village are now stranded, creating hundreds - or even thousands - of masterpieces that are mainly added to the girls' dowry. Tablecloths, bed sheets, towels, bedclothes, tablecloths, pillows, pillows and other pieces of unique beauty - on the other hand, they come in chest and travel to the queen's palace and dowry.
Τthe Embroidery is continuously enriched by the particular inspirations of the embroidered woman, Mary herself left a huge heritage as a base.
Η Kutscherous himself convinces a man to participate in the creation of embroidery, who is also disabled by the war of 1912: Argyris. "There is no woman's and men's work," he says. Her bloody and immeasurable spirit finally makes him agree and start working. Argyris or Koutsargyris - mainly inspired by the soulless sap of Maria - works on the technique with zeal and passion. Some of his designs are perhaps in the list of the most beautiful and widespread designs of the Karsan Embroidery. It has to be one of the few men embroidered in Greece and by the few, more generally, worldwide.
ΌAll these developments make the Karsan Embroidery an essential element for a complete female dowry. From the Royal Providence embroidery becomes known in all European royal salons. They get orders from almost all of Europe. The Spanish palace - whose orders are known - acquires hundreds of works. It is not, however, exclusively a royal privilege! Thousands of people's houses of all financial statements are adorned with Karsani embroidery.
Αfrom then until now the course of the Karsani Embroidery is uninterrupted and the sensitivity and delicacy of the Karia women are decisive. Coarse woven textiles in the lounges of the houses, replacing them with rare finery, made with silk, mainly threads and cotton. Every embroider always has the ability to apply its own inspiration to its embroidery, thus, new, especially, unique designs. Some motifs, however, remain unchanged as Mary was first born.
Σthe embroideries of the Karsani Embroidery are few, but they work with the same passion to complete each handmade. Little by little the embroidery is scarce and it is of particular value: both aesthetic and historical.
ΤKarsaniko Embroidery is an artwork that binds perfectly with every interior (but also exterior) decoration, with every type of furniture and electric, with every color of the surrounding space, as the color chart is large.
ΓDrawing this little text on the Karsan Embroidery, I want to express my admiration for the mental strength of his patrons: Kutscherer and Koutsargyris. Mental power that can lead to historical incisions.
text: Mavreta Arvaniti
editing of text: Panagiotis Katopidis