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Document Details :

Title: Religious Recollections of Family in the Ritual World on Rhodes
Author(s): RIAK, Patricia
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 62    Issue: 3-4   Date: 2010   
Pages: 227-270
DOI: 10.2143/JECS.62.3.2061119

Abstract :
The paper reconstructs what is remembered about saint worship practiced in the Rhodian highland village of Istrios. Saint Merkourios, the patron saint of Istrios will be examined. Istrian memory reveals a religious practice that included dance as a form of promise (taximo) and offering (tama) to Saint Merkourios, particularly by Istrian mothers and their role in assisting to cure their children of illness. The paper introduces the presence of dancing as a form of promise and offering to worship a saint, describing in detail how Istrian mothers performed the dance in a Holy shrine atypically located in a cemetery chapel. The paper also investigates other forms of religious child cure practices by Istrian mothers. However, the main focus of the paper is the dancing for Saint Merkourios and the paper concludes with a comparison to the Anastenaria, Greek religious fire walking and, what the dancing may mean in a religious context for the Istrian mother.

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