Page 36 - SMCK Magazine #4
P. 36

 „Kentima #1“ - Embroidery. 14.518 bobby pins. Photo: Gregory Staley.
us Artist, AcAdemic, And writer mAriA KArAmetou reflects on fAmily his- tory And culturAl roots
y grandmother, Makrina Michaelidou Politou, was a refugee from Asia Minor. She arrived at the port of Piraeus with the expulsion of the mi-
norities from Turkey in the early 1920s, when her silk- rearing Greek hometown was burned down by the Turks. She was the only survivor from her immediate family and always carried the loving memory of the place she left behind.
As a young girl growing up in Athens, I still remember how she continued to raise silkworms in the drawers of her dresser, feeding them mulberry leaves from the trees the refugees had planted along our street, which was na- med Peramos, after my grandmother’s coastal town on the Sea of Marmara. Watching her turn a plain piece of fabric into something beautiful was a magical childhood experience.
lAce mAKinG And imperiAl emBroideries
Yaya Marika, as we called her, slightly changing her given name, embroidered everything with the lustrous silky thre- ads she made from her silkworms—pillowcases, table- cloths, even our hankies whose outlines were adorned with intricate bibila, a delicate lace she made with a hook so fast that I could barely follow the movement of her hands. She also used kofto, a complicated type of em- broidery created by cutting and carefully pulling out indi-

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