The purported history of the island constitutes in effect a chronology for the history of the community itself, which thus goes back to the dark depths of a prehistoric-mythological time, links itself to the wanderings of Ulysses, and reaches our time through connections with major events in modern and contemporary history such as the end of Ottoman rule and the establishment of the Greek state, gradually and in parallel to the Italian rule. The community has created its own time and through it its own “cosmology” (since scientific evidence is lacking), according to which the natural environment was created long before the advent of the modern inhabitants. Aside from its cognitive and aesthetic function, however, this specific oral tradition contributes to the community’s self-perception by maintaining and promoting a cohesive system of values and beliefs (cf. Stewart 1991: 89–90).
KeywordsOral Tradition Burial Ground Contemporary History Symbolic Extension Greek State
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